ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac Motherboard Review

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac reviewToday we are reviewing the ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac motherboard, this board was featured in our Phanteks Evolv ITX Tempered Glass Build Guide and is among the most highly rated ITX Z370 motherboards available. With support for stable CPU overclocking, high-speed memory, M.2 NVMe storage and even Intel Thunderbolt, the Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac offers a strong feature set despite its small footprint. Read on to see if this ASRock ITX board is the right choice for your next build!

Unboxing

The front of the box includes ASRock’s Fatal1ty branding and logo as well as badges for Intel’s Thunderbolt, HDMI, Intel Optane Memory, Z370 Chipset and Intel Core support.

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac motherboard unboxing

The back of the box expands upon the included Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, Dual-Band WiFi, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3, Intel Optane and M.2 support with additional pictures and descriptions. The specs of the board as well as the rear IO port breakdown are also present.

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac unboxing

In the box ASRock includes:

  • Motherboard manual and driver disc
  • I/O plate
  • 2x SATA 6G data cables
  • ASRock WiFi 2.4/5 GHz Antenna
  • Screw for M.2 Socket

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac accessories

The motherboard is packaged in an anti-static bag, with a sheet of black foam padding providing added support.

Board Overview

ASRock went with a black and silver theme that looks great in person and will easily fit the color scheme of most builds. The PCH and VRM heatsinks are connected together with a heat pipe, both heatsinks are gunmetal gray and look great!

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac motherboard review

The single PCIe x16 slot is made with steel which further enhances the look of the board and prevents signal interference with graphics cards. Heavier graphics cards will appreciate the additional support the steel slot provides.

The lone M.2 slot present on the back of the motherboard.

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac m.2 slot

There are 3 PWM fan headers present on the board and this great because so many ITX boards come with a mere 2 fan headers which makes custom water cooling and high-end air-cooling setups frustrating as fan hubs and splitters become necessary for them to function as intended.

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac

The rear I/O includes:

  • 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 6x USB 3.0 Ports
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Type-C Port
  • 1x HDMI 2.0 Port
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.2 Port
  • 1x Clear CMOS Button
  • 1x WIFI Antenna Connectors
  • 1x Optical SPDIF Audio Out
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Port
  • 1x 7.1 Channel Audio Jacks

asrock fatal1ty z370 gaming itx ac rear io

Aside from the typical 24-pin power, 8-pin CPU power, front panel audio and front panel power/LED connectors, additional onboard headers include:

  • 3x PWM fan headers
  • 4x SATA connectors
  • 2x RGB headers
  • 1x USB 3.1 header
  • 1x USB 2.0 header
  • 1x RGB LED Header

Features

The most unique feature of this board is the inclusion of the Intel Thunderbolt port and while it’s the low power type of Thunderbolt, it is a welcome addition for users of Thunderbolt external drives, etc. The Thunderbolt connector also functions as a USB type C port using the USB 3.1 standard.

The M.2 slot supports PCIe x4 32Gb/s as well as SATA drives. Additional SATA support comes in the form of 4 headers on the motherboard.

asrock fatal1ty z370 itx wd black m.2 nvme ssd

This board also features onboard Wi-Fi using Intel’s 2×2 wireless AC adapter which supports up to 867 Mbps. Given that the majority of builds using ITX boards are small form factor, reliable on board WiFi is a must and ASRock’s solution works very well here.

The onboard sound is using the Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3 and it delivers clean, powerful sound for an onboard solution. As always, we continue to recommend a high quality DAC or amplifier if you are using a nice set of headphones or speakers.

BIOS

The BIOS on the Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac is excellent from a customization standpoint. There are several fan control options via the GUI included. There are also preset profiles for CPU overclocking built in to the board. We used one with our 8700K and had no issues with stability.

asrock fatal1ty z370 itx team group night hawk rgb ram

There is also RGB LED customization in the form of a color chart with several modes from breathing to wave. This controls both the onboard LED lights as well as any RGB devices plugged into the RGB header. RGB enthusiasts might be slightly disappointed with the lack of large LEDs on the board, the illumination provided on the backside of the board near the GPU is noticeable but does not provide the over powering look that many go for. However, that is why RGB strips exist and the Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac does have support for those as well as the ability to sync all RGB lights.

Performance

ASRock uses a 7-power phase design on the new digital PWM platform which turned out to be among the best we’ve tested. We used the onboard profile to overclock our 8700K to 4.9GHz and our Team Group Night Hawk RGB memory to its maximum speed of 3200MHz. Our voltage was to 1.32v and we enabled the XMP profile.

asrock fatal1ty z370 itx noctua nh d15s chromax

The ease of overclocking as well as the stability we experienced (no blue screens) can be attributed to ASRock’s superior component quality. Don’t let its affordable price fool you, this motherboard utilizes high-quality construction and is sure to provide many years of strong, stable overclocking.

Conclusion

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac motherboard is a great choice for gamers and overclocking enthusiasts alike. The inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 is nice and definitely sets this ITX board apart from the competition, how useful this port is of course dependent on each user. We would have liked to have seen an additional M.2 slot on the front of the board however ASRock has this planned for their next series of Z390 boards, the Phantom series.

team group xcalibur

Back to the Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX/ac, between its 3 fan headers, beautiful aesthetics, surprisingly good onboard audio, strong WiFi chip and easy, stable CPU and memory overclocking, we highly recommended it! ASRock built a great board and it will no doubt serve its owner quite well with no problems or headaches!

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