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When it comes to motherboards, ASRock is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable names. This Taiwanese manufacturer is also well-known for its desktop minicomputers, which is yet another reason to take a look at their new mini-ITX board – the AB350 GAMING-ITX/AC.
This would be the direct competitor to Gigabyte’s popular GA-AB350N-Gaming Wi-Fi, and the thing that makes this battle interesting is the fact that these boards sport an almost identical MSPR. ASRock’s model sports a very nice set of features and offers solid performance, so we’ve decided to take a closer look at it and find out if it’s actually worth the money.
Features of the ASRock Mini-ITX Motherboard
One of the first things to notice about this model is that it sports a pretty standard layout, as it has all those typical connectors that one would expect to see on a mini-ITX motherboard. But there are still some things that make it distinctive – like the position of the SATA connectors (front side) or the inclusion of the RGB headers. The rear IO is, actually, the only place where AB350 leaves something to be desired – there is no USB 3.1 port. There are, however, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI ports, as well as the LAN and the Optical SPDIF ports.
Let’s jump to the software side of the story. Upon entering the BIOS, we’ve immediately noticed what a nice job ASRock has done with the UEFI – the Fatality Gaming BIOS is, without a doubt, one of the nicest in the business. The practical layout and the straightforward descriptions make using this interface a real joy. Overclocking is very simple, so we jumped straight into it and managed to achieve 3.9GHz at 1.39V with a Ryzen 7 1700. We also tried to overclock the timings and the speed of the Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM kit, raising its speed to 3200MHz and increasing the timings from 15-16-16-35 to 16-17-17-36.
The AB350 handles overclocking very well and hasn’t been struggling with cooling its VRM during the process. This makes the model a fantastic choice for the overclocking enthusiasts – if you’re among them, definitely consider this one for purchase.
- Dimensions – 6.7″ x 6.7″
- Chipset – AMD Promontory B350
- CPU Socket – AMD AM4 A-Series, Ryzen
- Memory Support – Dual Channel DDR4 (32GB, 3466MHz)
- Audio – Realtek ALC1220, 7.1 channel
- Great build quality
- Excellent performance
- Straightforward UEFI
- Easy overclocking
- No USB 3.1 port
In conclusion, we think that this is one of the best mini-ITX motherboards that the money can buy today. ASRock did an excellent job here – the AB350 is packed with features and is a perfect choice for people looking for a mini-ITX board that offers high performance and easy overclocking. It’s an ideal nest for your new Ryzen CPU, especially if you’re planning to do some CPU and RAM overclocking. Despite some minor flaws, the AB350 definitely deserves our recommendation.