ASRock Z87E-ITX Final Thoughts
In the past ITX form factor motherboards have lacked features that were available in ATX and even m-ATX motherboards. Since Intel are so keen on integrating everything into the CPU die, motherboard partners can really condense their boards down and still offer enthusiasts exactly what they want. The ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard is a full feature ITX motherboard with extra to offer.
The ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard features 6 x SATA3 ports, 1 x eSATA port, 6 x USB 3.0 ports (2x internal) and 6 USB 2.0 (4x internal). There is only one PCI-e x16 slot as with all ITX motherboards, but the ASRock Z87E-ITX also features 1x half mini-PCIe and 1x mSATA/full mini-PCIe for extra expansion capabilities. In the front mini-PCIe slot ASRock have included a WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth v4.0 module. It is surprising also to learn that the Z87E-ITX motherboard from ASRock has a 6 Phase power design for overclocking your CPU and also supports dual channel DDR3 memory speeds up to 2933+(OC) too.
ASRock Z87E-ITX Conclusion
Performance of a motherboard relies heavily on the components installed in it as far as benchmarks are concerned. Without running a benchmark though, it is really hard to distinguish how well any one component is running. The fact that no problems (major or minor) reared their ugly heads we can reach the conclusion that the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard performed as expected. With such high quality components used as standard it was never in doubt that this motherboard would perform well.
Appearance is a subjective and sometimes irrelevant matter. At the end of the day who really cares how your motherboard looks. Especially with an ITX motherboard, by the time you have all of your components installed you simply won’t see much of it any way. Unless you plan to build an aesthetically pleasing PC which you will take on tour to shows or to LAN parties, looks really don’t count. Since this is a graphic review you are free to make your own choice on the aesthetics of the Z87E-ITX motherboard.
Construction of the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard is excellent, it uses high quality components and is put together really well. The PCB area is well utilized but not too over populated in any one area. The layout is really clever and I am surprised that ASRock have been able to fit it all in without any issues. ASRock haven’t always had a good reputation for their hardware, but they really seem to have got their stuff together in recent years. They have shaken off that old multi color stuff they used to put out and now they are in the big leagues with the other top three. This new motherboard does not let them down.
Functionality wise the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard makes other ATX motherboards pale in comparison. An ITX motherboard that features 6 x SATA3 ports, 1 x eSATA port, 6 x USB 3.0 ports (2x internal) and 6 USB 2.0 (4x internal). There is only one PCI-e x16 slot as with all ITX motherboards, but the ASRock Z87E-ITX also features 1x half mini-PCIe and 1x mSATA/full mini-PCIe for extra expansion capabilities. In the front mini-PCIe slot ASRock have included a WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth v4.0 module. The Z87E-ITX has a 6 Phase power design for overclocking your CPU and also supports dual channel DDR3 memory speeds up to 2933+(OC) too. There are also plenty of bundled utilities to extend the functionality of this motherboard (some covered in this article) that you may find useful.
Beyond any doubt the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard is an expensive solution. It’s not the most expensive ITX motherboard on the market (Maximus VI Impact takes that crown) but you need to decide if the extra features merit the cost. $164.99 (NewEgg | Amazon) would be considered high for an ATX motherboard, but you also have to bear in mind that condensing the features of an ATX motherboard into the ITX form factor is not an easy task.
After a giving a lot of thought to the individual ratings, I have decided to give the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard the Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
+ Great performance
+ Excellent design
+ Functional software
+ 6 x SATA3 ports
+ 6 x USB 3.0 ports
+ mSATA / mini-PCIe ports
+ 802.11ac + Bluetooth v4.0 module
+ Intel Gigabit LAN
+ Premium components
+ Supports overclocking
+ Great connectivity
- Expensive enthusiast motherboard
- Only two fan headers
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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