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Pros: Overclocked my i5 6600K to 3.8GHz right out of the box without a voltage increase.
M.2 on the front of the board supports my Samsung 960 EVO. Boots into Win10 in about 10 seconds.
No shortage of USB3.0, SATA, or LAN ports despite being SFF. Fast I/O for days.
Also has a few USB2.0 ports and a PS2 port for legacy devices.
Headers are well placed on the edges of the board for super clean cable management.
The WIFI module can easily be removed and is held in by two screws.
Quality board with simple aesthetics. No gaudy 'gamer' nonsense.
Cons: Only two fan headers on-board, prompting me to pick up a SilverStone CPF04 fan hub.
No USB3.1, Thunderbolt, Display Port, or SPDIF, but these can all be found on the higher-end Fatal1ty board.
Other Thoughts: This board really hits a sweet spot with lots of features and I/O for a mini-ITX at a reasonable price. I really wish it had at least two more more chassis fan headers, but I just can't knock an egg off for that on such a tiny board. If you don't plan to overclock, then you can save a few bucks and step down to the H270M-ITX/ac. If you need more features or you just gotta have dem crimson red heatsinks, step up to the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac.
I was unable to mount my Dark Rock 3 CPU cooler on this board because the mount points for the VRM heatsink conflict with where the backplate needs to go. However, the only reason the backplate doesn't fit is because it also has mounting holes for AMD sockets, so I don't fault the design of an Intel board for that.
Here's my build:
Intel i5-6600K CPU
ASRock Z270M-ITX/ac MOBO
HyperX FURY 16GB RAM
SAMSUNG 960 EVO NVMe SSD
WD Black 2TB 7200RPM HDD
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW GPU
LIAN LI PE-550 550W PSU
Fractal Design Define Nano S Case
CRYORIG H7 CPU Cooler
SilverStone RL-PP08B PSU Bracket
SilverStone CPF04 Fan Hub
Fractal Design Venturi HF-12 (rear exhaust)
This review is from: LIAN LI PE-550W 550W SFX Power Supply, Black
Pros: Lightweight and small - perfect for enthusiast mini-ITX builds.
Fully modular and 80+ Gold certified.
Single 12 volt rail.
120mm fan in SFX-L form factor.
Includes a bracket to adapt to normal ATX form factor.
Unit comes packed in thick protective foam.
Has common sense features such as OTP, OVP, Active PFC.
Warranty is 3 years per Lian Li's site.
Cons: Reliability unknown, but Lian Li puts out quality cases.
Instructions are sparse - just a single sheet of paper.
No warranty information included.
Box art is bare bones.
Other Thoughts: The unit has been working well in my Fractal Define Nano S with no issues for a few months now. However, it didn't rest on the bottom of my case nicely with the included bracket, so I picked up a SilverStone RL-PP08B ATX bracket instead.
My unit came with a solid black fan, solid black cables, and none of the plugs or ports are red. There are only two blue ports for the PCIe power cables and there's one cable with a blue plug. The box art is a bit misleading, but Newegg's pictures of the unit are accurate.
Pros: Low price for 4 extra USB3.0 ports.
Works in any PCI-E slot.
Drivers are easy to find on Rosewill's site.
Cons: Supplemental power connector is Molex rather than SATA.
Only a single USB3.0 controller and bus on-board.
Other Thoughts: I bought this to add four external drives to my system to mine Burstcoin. Each external drive has its own power supply, so I didn't need to plug in the Molex power connector. If you plan to charge phones or use portable external hard drives in these slots, then you probably want to plug in the Molex power.
Since there's only a single USB3.0 controller (the little black chip on the board), the bandwidth from that controller is shared between all the devices you have plugged in. A dedicated USB3.0 bus can theoretically handle 640MB/s and a 7200RPM HDD averages 80 - 160MB/s, so a single USB3.0 controller should handle four external drives without bottlenecks. When I tested reading from all four external drives at once, I saw no difference in throughput as compared to using four separate USB3.0 ports on my motherboard. However, I expect faster devices would see bottlenecks if you try to use all four ports at once.