ASRock Z87E-ITX Detailed Features
In this section we take the highlighted features of the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard and look at them in more detail.
ASRock also wanted to look after the overclockers with the Z87E-ITX in the form of a 6-phase power design. ASRock assures potential buyers and budding enthusiasts that only the finest components are used in their designs.
Removing the heatsink to the right of the CPU reveals six DrMOS 3-in-1 mosfets. These units combine the Driver IC, Top MOSFET and Bottom MOSFET into one unit. According to the literature on ASRock’s website this design provides more stable and smooth voltage, decreases power loss, boosts the system’s response speed and also lowers the motherboard’s temperature.
Another sacrifice for users planning an ITX build is no quad channel RAM configurations. Due to space constraints users are limited to dual-channel configurations only. Along with this comes a reduced RAM capacity of 16GB. Headers for power/reset buttons and HDD/power LED’s are found in the bottom corner. Next is the USB 3.0 header and then the 24-pin ATX power connector. One of the two 4-pin fan headers is found in the top corner.
To the left of the Z87 chipset heatsink you will find the front I/O headers for USB 2.0 and HD audio. On a regular ATX motherboard these would generally be located at the bottom below the PCI-e slots. This means neat cable management issues will arise once you have a video card installed.
Since there is only one 16x PCI-e 3.0 slot you won’t need to worry about lane allocation across multiple slots. Just above the PCI-e slot is a half mini-PCI Express slot intended solely for the installed WiFi + BT module.
For those that like to play with a modded BIOS or should you get a bad flash, you will find that the BIOS chip is indeed removable. To most this won’t seem such a big deal, but to those unfortunate souls that have had to sacrifice a motherboard because of a faulty BIOS or bad flash this is a godsend.
On the reverse side of the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard there is a mSATA / full mini-PCI Express slot. This slot will be just ripe for an mPCI-e/mSATA SSD, and since capacities are always rising in this form factor you won’t necessarily be limited to using it just as a boot drive solution.