ASRock B450 Fatal1ty Gaming-ITX/ac Review

👤by Matthew Hodgson Comments 📅25-09-18
Closer Look
Most motherboards that we look at, especially at the higher end of the market, where this ‘board sits, feature large power phase cooling heatsinks to help disperse the hundred or so watts of power the AM4 AMD CPUs can consume, the B450 Gaming-ITX/ac is a little different, with only a tiny piece helping to cool the area. Space is obviously at a premium on this board, but due to the height of those rear IO pieces, there’s almost definitely room to build upwards and help dissipate more heat. We’ll see how this fares during our tests.
Above and right over the CPU socket is a fan connection, capable of providing ample power for watercooling pumps, as well as a whole host of RGB connections if you fancy “pimping” your case a bit.
The 8-pin power connection is tucked away in the top-left of the board.

Obviously, due to the size of the ‘board, four DIMM slots was going to be quite a challenge, instead we’re only getting a single pair but that’s still plenty for 32GB of DDR4 at today’s capacities.
Tucked around the DIMM slots is a quartet of SATA 3.0 ports, Front USB 3.0 and 2.0 connections and another couple of PWM fan connectors.

At the bottom of the ‘board is a full-length x16 PCI-E port, perfect for a GPU due to the reinforced metal shield. ASRock have provided WiFi accessibility with the motherboard, accessible from the rear IO, so that’s something you need not worry about in terms of PCI-E slots.
The small ASRock Fatal1ty heatsink is covering the southbridge, helping to dissipate heat away from the area.

Moving round to the rear IO, starting from the left we’ve got a pair of USB 2.0 ports, with the top one being tuned by Fatal1ty to give priority when using a gaming mouse – every millisecond counts. There’s also the traditional PS/2 port for older mice and keyboards.
We get a Display Port 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, both capable of 2160p60Hz. Next up is a USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-A and Type-C. Following on is a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a Gigabit ethernet. Providing audio is a full stack of 7.1 options and an optical SPDIF. Finally, a twin-aerial WiFi connection with provided antennas.

Generally we wouldn’t photograph the back side of a motherboard because there’s nothing there, but you may have noticed the lack of any M.2 NVMe ports on the front. Because of the lack of real-estate, ASRock have moved this port to the back of the board; unfortunately this can only support the 2280 standard so be sure to check that when purchasing any device. (99% of NVMe SSDs are 2280 so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.)

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