ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4 Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅16-07-17
We have looked at a fair number of B350 motherboards now and each offer their own little party piece, and the ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4 is no exception. It is made using premium components, and has a plethora of features that keep it competitive against the alternatives. Some of the key features that we liked, aside from the additional M.2 slot, is that it features 3x video outputs, and it has a total of 8 USB ports immediately available at the rear, which is the most we have currently seen on a B350 based motherboard.

The most annoying factors we would like to note is the non-standard ATX size, and that the PCB is very flexible. This means that when installed in a chassis, there will be an overhang around the memory slots/ATX 24pin slot. So care should be taken to ensure while pushing memory/24pin ATX power cable.

If we were consider some of the features more realistically, aside from the Fatal1ty Mouse Port, much of the 'Gamer' specific features are naturally occurring (such as VR support via USB 3.1 ports). The rest of the gaming features are left to software/apps such as the 'Sniper, and Master key', enabling a sniper mode for your mouse, and macros on your keyboard. Then, when considering the audio solution, why not use the ALC 1220? What happened to the 8 channel audio ports? If we were to consider it logically, surely gamers would benefit more from a fast Intel LAN? Why no onboard RGB LED lighting (only red)? Why colour the PCB with red? Well, it could be that this board is pretty much identical to the somewhat cheaper AB350 Pro4, so gamers may need to decide if a few bonus utilities/apps are worth the additional cost.

All things considered, The AB350 Gaming K4 is an attractive motherboard that has been made to be stable and durable, however, aside from the additional M.2 slot, it is rather uninspiring as a gaming motherboard, feeling more like a mainstream solution capable of proving gamers with a little extra.

ASRock give users a greater focus on storage options with an additional pair of SATA3 ports as well as an additional M.2 slot. Great for an affordable all round solution.

+ Good layout
+ Enhanced audio solution
+ 'Super Alloy' features
+ 2x M.2 socket (1x 32Gb/s, 1x SATA3)
+ Additional 2x SATA ports
+ RGB LED header
+ Three video-out: HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub

+- Neutral colouring would be preferred
+- non-standard ATX size
+- Requires audio header expansion for 7.1 audio
+- Would have preferred Intel LAN
+- Seems like ASRock are confused over whether they offer USB 3.1 Gen2 or not.

- Overly flexible PCB

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