ASRock X99E-ITX/ac LGA 2011-v3 Motherboard Review

There is a small subset of computer enthusiasts that have been asking for an X99 option in the mini-ITX form factor. Ask and you shall receive, right? ASRock steps up to the plate to provide small form factor enthusiasts with just such a motherboard. We evaluate the X99E-ITX/ac and experience the good, the bad, and the ugly...if any.

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Motherboard Overclocking Software

ASRock offers its A-Tuning software with the X99E-ITX/ac. The software is generally easy to use and offers a lot of utility. The software is easily navigated via the tabs at the top of the application window. The operation mode has three selections to choose from. Performance, standard, power savings, There is an auto-tuning function although it isn’t very illuminating in terms of what it’s doing and even when it’s finished. There is a useless 3.8GHz preset there you can choose from or simply auto-tune. The application was reliable in this regard, but it isn’t as verbose as competitor’s software. That is to say it is difficult to tell when it’s finished or what state the system is currently in while the tuner is working.

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From the tools menu you can see a number of options to choose from. The most important of these are the "FAN-Tastic Tuning", and "OC DNA" menus. The rest are various features most of which I won’t delve too deeply into as these features aren’t necessarily going to be of interest to the enthusiast. The OC Tweaker menu is where all the manual tuning is done within the utility. The utility has a really nice interface with the terminology spelled out and easy enough to understand. Sliders allow you to adjust variables without difficulty. There aren’t that many options here but there are certainly a comparable amount to that of the competition. Adaptive and override voltage modes are both represented here with offset voltage to provide a similar level of tuning compared to the UEFI BIOS itself. Although the latter has additional settings the software lacks. You can choose to automatically apply settings on startup, save, or load profiles from the OC Tweaker directly. Incidently this is also the point of the OC DNA menu.

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The system information menu does exactly what its name implies. Basic processor, memory and configuration information is represented here. The tech service menu allows you to submit problem information to ASRock directly. The settings menu is ridiculous as it is a blank menu asking if you want to auto-run at Windows startup. The live update menu actually shows the same thing which confuses me. The utility has simple design errors which ruin the overall polish of it. Still despite the almost amateur hour like shortcomings the software did work as intended and was always very responsive. It is definitely rough around the edges but I feel like the software can be improved on very quickly should ASRock devote the resources into it. I think we may see some headway on this when the next generation of motherboards launches.