ASRock X99E-ITX/ac Motherboard Overview
The X99E-ITX/ac motherboard follows the same color design as ASRock’s X99 Extreme line of motherboards. So you have a black PCB with metallic blue accents on the heatsinks and blue DIMM slots. It is pretty cool that ASRock kept the styling on such a small motherboard.
Talking about size if you are not familiar with the Mini-ITX form factor check out the motherboard sitting next to a 2.5-inch solid state drive. This is one small motherboard! The actual dimensions are 17 × 17 cm (6.7 × 6.7 in). Even though the motherboard is extremely small it still packs in quite a lot of features.
The LGA2011v3 socket takes up a considerable amount of space on the motherboard itself. This is not the typical LGA2011v2 socket, ASRock went with the narrow-ILM socket to save space. Because of this you will not be able to your aftermarket CPU cooler with this motherboard as almost all of them are made for the square-ILM socket. Because of this ASRock has included a compatible CPU cooler that we will talk about in just a bit. Now if you wanted to go the watercooling route ASRock does include a custom mounting plate that is compatible with Cooler Master’s Seidon 120V Plus / 120V liquid CPU coolers. Also you can get water blocks that are compatible with narrow-ILM, but you are going to want to make sure they will fit on this motherboard. This motherboard uses ASRock’s X Series OC Socket. When X99 motherboards were launched ASUS figured out that the stock 2011v3 socket did not have enough all of the pins for the full 2083 connections on the Haswell-E CPUs. The in-turn made their own socket which was called the O.C. socket that had 2083 pins. This socket design led to more stable and better overclocks using less voltage. ASRock now uses this socket on their newer X99 motherboards. This board supports Intel’s Core i7 Haswell-E processors as well as Xeon processors.
At the top part of the board above the CPU socket you have your 24pin ATX power connection and two dual-channel DDR4 DIMM slots. Typically on X99 motherboard you will see 4-8 DDR4 memory slots for quad-channel operation. Because of the size limitations of this board the memory slots had to be cut down to two. You can fit up to 32GB of DDR4-3200+ (O.C.) memory in the slots and this board also supports DDR4 ECC memory if you decide to install a Xeon processor.
Moving over to the right side of the board we have a 4pin fan header, 8pin EPS connector, another 4pin fan header, USB 2.0 header and the front panel headers. We can also see a metallic blue heatsink covering our power delivery components. This motherboard makes use of a 6-phase all digital power design. ASRock uses their Super Alloy design on this motherboard that takes advantage of premium 60A power chokes, premium memory alloy chokes, Fairchild 60A Dual Cool DrMOS MOSFETs, and Nichicon 12K platinum caps. All of these components will ensure clean and stable power delivery.
On the right side of the board there are four SATA 6GB/s ports which support RAID 0/1/5/10 modes and are controlled by the X99 chipset.
Moving down to the bottom half of the board there is a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, which will run at x16 speeds at all times. This means you can install a full-size graphics card in here no problem! Right to the left of the PCI-Express slot is your HD Audio header and on the opposite side is a third 4pin fan header. Above the PCI-Express slot is your SATA Express connector and a USB 3.0 header. Keep in mind if you do not use SATA Express those two SATA ports there can be used. Moving up just a bit more you have the Ultra M.2 (Gen3 x4) 32 Gb/s port. This port is of course for M.2 solid state drives.
Mixed in with the rear I/O ports is your TPM header and a half-size mini PCI-Express slot. This is for the included WiFi+Bluetooth module.
Finally at the rear I/O we have two USB 2.0 ports, a combo PS/2 port, clear CMOS button, SATA 6GB/s eSATA port, two Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB 3.0 port, two USB 3.1 ports (type A), and your HD audio connections. It is great to see a rear clear CMOS button on a motherboard this size, because finding it on the board and switching a header when everything is installed could be quite the task.