ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX Motherboard Review

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ASRock Z77E-ITX SFF Intel Z77 Motherboard

ASRock Z77E-ITX mITX Motherboard Review

Not horribly long ago, Nate built himself a system based around a mini-ITX motherboard. We learned then that you could build yourself a pretty wicked system despite using such a small form factor. Since his article, several other companies have brought Intel Z77 mini-ITX motherboards to the market. Small form factor PC’s seem to be growing in popularity since you can run all of the latest gear. Today we are going to look at our first Intel Z77 mini-ITX motherboard to come across my bench. The ASRock Z77E-ITX is, as the name suggests an Intel Z77 motherboard which supports the latest Intel 22nm ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors in the LGA1155 package. The key feature to the ASRock Z77E-ITX is clearly the mini-ITX small form factor. The mini-ITX form factor is extremely small when you are accustomed to ATX and eATX motherboards. The ASRock Z77E-ITX measures only 6.7in x 6.7in or for our friends across the pond 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm. Compare that to a board like the ASRock X79 Extreme9 which is a full ATX motherboard and the Z77E-ITX is dwarfed in comparison.

ASRock Z77E-ITX mITX Motherboard Review

Despite having a much smaller PCB, the ASRock Z77E-ITX doesn’t carry a lower cost. The ASRock Z77E-ITX is currently available for $149.99 + $7.56 shipping over at Newegg.com. Though it is a lower cost than some of the other mini-ITX motherboards.You may be paying a premium for the size, but if you want a small form factor PC it is well worth it. Due to the limited real estate on a 6.7″x 6.7″ PCB we do miss out on some of the features available on the larger form factor motherboards. Though not as much as one may expect to miss out on. We will be going over the features and lack there of a little later on, but as a teaser we are missing out on the expansion slots, and two of the typical four DIMM slots. If you’re not planning on running AMD CrossFireX or NVIDIA SLI that shouldn’t be an issue. ASRock did decide to use as much real estate as possible on the Z77E-ITX, even using the back of the PCB for a mSATA slot!

Many of the technologies in the ASRock Z77E-ITX are common to the Intel Z77 chipset. Features like SuperSpeed USB 3.0, SATA III 6Gbps, Intel 22nm ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor support, and others are all part of the Z77 chipset and can be found on all Z77 motherboards. The ASRock Z77E-ITX does have some features that are exclusive to ASRock and the Z77E-ITX. One of the features that I have come to love on the Intel Z77 chipset is the UEFI BIOS. Most Z77 motherboards have their own implementation of the UEFI BIOS but the ASRock UEFI BIOS is one of my favorite to work with.

ASRock Z77E-ITX mITX Motherboard Review

ASRock also has their XFast 555 technologies on the ASRock Z77E-ITX mini-ITX motherboard. The XFast 555 consists of XFast USB, XFast LAN, and XFast RAM. We have never really played with the specific technologies that companies like ASRock implement on their motherboards, so today we are going to start a new chapter in our testing and see what the XFast 555 technologies can do! For now let’s take a look at the specifications of the ASRock Z77E-ITX mini-ITX Intel Z77 Motherboard.

ASRock Z77E-ITX mini-ITX Motherboard Specifications

CPU - Supports 3rd and 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 in LGA1155 Package
- Digi Power Design
- 6 + 2 Power Phase Design
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPU
- Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
Chipset - Intel Z77
- Supports Intel Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology
Memory - Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
- 2 x DDR3 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 16GB
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2
BIOS - 64Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
- Supports “Plug and Play”
- ACPI 1.1 Compliance Wake Up Events
- Supports jumperfree
- SMBIOS 2.3.1 Support
- CPU Core, IGPU, DRAM, VCCSA Voltage Multi-adjustment
Graphics - Supports Intel HD Graphics Built-in Visuals : Intel Quick Sync Video 2.0, Intel InTru 3D, Intel Clear Video HD Technology, Intel Insider, Intel HD Graphics 2500/4000
- Pixel Shader 5.0, DirectX 11 with Intel Ivy Bridge CPU. Pixel Shader 4.1, DirectX 10.1 with Intel Sandy Bridge CPU.
- Max. shared memory 1760MB
- Multi VGA Output options: DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and D-Sub with the bundled DVI-to-D-Sub Converter
- Supports HDMI 1.4a Technology with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports DVI with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution up to 2560×1600 @ 60Hz
- Supports D-Sub with max. resolution up to 2048×1536 @ 75Hz
- Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
- Supports HDCP function with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort ports
- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) / HD-DVD playback with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort ports
Audio - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- Supports THX TruStudio
   
LAN - PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- Broadcom BCM57781
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports PXE
Wireless LAN WiFi-802.11n module
- 300Mbps IEEE 802.11n / 54Mbps IEEE 802.11g / 11Mbps IEEE 802.11b
- Supports Station mode (Infrastructure mode and Ad-hoc mode)
Slots - 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE1: x16 mode)
- 1 x mini-PCI Express slot: For WiFi module
SATA3 - 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
USB 3.0 - 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by Intel Z77, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
- 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by ASMedia ASM1042, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
- 1 x Front USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) by Intel Z77, supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
Connector - 2 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions
- 1 x mSATA 3.0 Gb/s connector (Solid-State Drive connector), supports RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI functions and Full-size mini-PCI Express modules
- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors
- 1 x CIR header
- 1 x CPU Fan connector (1 x 4-pin)
- 1 x Chassis Fan connector (1 x 4-pin)
- 24 pin ATX power connector
- 8 pin 12V power connector
- Front panel audio connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 headers (support 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports)
Rear Panel I/O I/O Panel
- 2 x Antenna Ports
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x DVI-I Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 2 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports
- 1 x eSATA2 Connector
- 4 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
- HD Audio Jack: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
Unique Feature - ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility (AXTU)
- ASRock Instant Boot
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock APP Charger
- ASRock SmartView
- ASRock XFast USB
- ASRock XFast LAN
- ASRock XFast RAM
- ASRock Crashless BIOS
- ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard)
- ASRock Internet Flash
- ASRock Dehumidifier Function
- ASRock No-K OC Technology
- Lucid Virtu Universal MVP
- Hybrid Booster:
- CPU Frequency Stepless Control
- ASRock U-COP
- Boot Failure Guard (B.F.G.)
- Good Night LED
Support CD - Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite – OEM
Accessories - Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- 2 x SATA Data Cables
- 1 x ASRock WiFi 2.4GHz Antenna
- 1 x DVI-to-D-Sub Converter
Hardware Monitor - CPU Temperature Sensing
- Chassis Temperature Sensing
- CPU Fan Tachometer
- Chassis Fan Tachometer
- CPU/Chassis Quiet Fan (Allow Chassis Fan Speed Auto-Adjust by CPU Temperature)
- CPU/Chassis Fan Multi-Speed Control
- Voltage Monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore
Form Factor - Mini-ITX Form Factor: 6.7-in x 6.7-in, 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm
- Premium Gold Capacitor design (100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors)
OS - Microsoft® Windows® 7 / 7 64-bit / Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit / XP / XP 64-bit compliant

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