ASRock has announced one of the industry’s first Mini-ITX motherboards for Intel’s latest Core X processors in the LGA2066 packaging. The new X299E-ITX/ac is small, but it takes full advantage of Intel’s new X299 platform, offering support for all CPUs with up to 18 cores, quad-channel DDR4 memory on the higher-end CPUs, three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots as well as everything that one might expect from a Mini-ITX board, including Wi-Fi.

Besides being a miniature motherboard for Intel's HEDT processors, the most important aspect of the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac is support for quad-channel memory in this form-factor. The company’s previous-gen Intel X99-based Mini-ITX mainboard was feature-packed, but one of the things it missed was the quad-channel memory sub-system, which had an expected negative effect on performance in applications that required high memory bandwidth. By contrast, the new unit has four SO-DIMM DDR4 memory slots and even supports DDR4 overclocking (assuming that there are SO-DIMMs that can be significantly overclocked). In fact, putting four memory slots onto a small motherboard while also fitting the LGA 2066 socket and required high-capactiy VRMs is a rather remarkable engineering achievement. The flip side however is that the very tightly packed design of the X299E-ITX/ac may impose certain limitations on compatibility with large cooling systems.

Just like every other Mini-ITX motherboard around, the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac has only one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot for graphics cards. In the meantime, the X299E-ITX/ac is the first miniature mainboard to feature three M.2 slots (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA) for SSDs. In addition, the board carries six SATA 6 Gbps headers for builds that require multiple storage devices in drive form-factor. It is noteworthy that in order to fit everything it wanted onto a Mini-ITX PCB, ASRock had to place the USB 3.1 controller, SATA ports and one M.2 slot on custom DIMM-like modules - essentially going vertical when they ran out of horizontal space. Such modules add certain dimension-related limitations to the size of CPU radiators (plus, it remains to be seen how higher-end M.2 SSDs perform when located near a CPU cooler), but this is a tradeoff that the manufacturer had to take.

As for connectivity, the X299E-ITX/ac comes with a 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 module (based on an Intel controller), two GbE ports (Intel controllers too), two USB 3.1 headers  (Type-A and Type-C), six USB 3.0 connectors, 7.1-channel audio sub-system (enabled by the Realtek ALC1220 controller) and so on.

ASRock's Mini-ITX Motherboard for Intel Core X-Series
CPU Support Intel Core i9
Intel Core i7
Intel Core i5

CPUs in LGA2066 form-factor
Graphics PCIe 3.0 x16
Chipset Intel X299
Memory Four DDR4 SO-DIMM slots
Ethernet 2 × Intel GbE controllers
Storage 6 × SATA 6 Gbps
3 × M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
Audio Realtek ALC1220
7.1 channel audio
USB 6 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × USB 3.1 Type-A
1 × USB 3.1 Type-C
Other I/O Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2
Form-Factor Mini-ITX
MSRP $280 ~ $300

The ASRock X299E-ITC/ac will be available in the coming months for about $280 - $300, depending on the region and other factors. Such a price point is considerably higher than MSRPs of most Mini-ITX motherboards, but given the fact that this is a very high-end platform (with equally high component requirements) aimed at enthusiasts, it is not unusual. In fact, from many standpoint it may be considered as an entry-level X299 board simply because it does not provide opulence of its bigger brethren.

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  • Zak - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - link

    Sweet. My next PC will be built around something like this, 8 core CPU and a single high-end video card. Possibly in an Ncase case. SLI isn't worth the headaches under Windows 10 any more and I mostly play older games anyway. The Tiny Monster will be so neat!
  • sharath.naik - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - link

    wow, finally the first mitx that can be considered as a replacement for matx. Until now Mitx could not be a replacement for MATX for performance systems as you need additional PCIE slots for m2 nvme drives and atleast quad channel ram for high core count cpus. Now the only missing piece is 32 GB ram modules in this form factor and every one will simply drop matx.
  • jospoortvliet - Friday, June 2, 2017 - link

    > they generally only add it onto really high end/expensive boards to fluff them up.

    I would say 280-300 dollar counts as expensive and high end?
    I agree that thunderbolt is missing...
  • prateekprakash - Monday, August 7, 2017 - link

    It's sad to see m.2 slots routed through the chipset. Would have been great if all three m.2 were using cpu lanes, that would mean 12 lanes for storage, and 16 lanes for GPU. Theoretically a 28 lane cpu would suffice!
  • giomasmic - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - link

    In this article about ASRock X299E-ITX/ac there is a BIG mistake, the board DON'T support I5-7640X and I7-7740X due to a lack of PCIe lines
  • mirddes - Thursday, November 21, 2019 - link

    there needs to be something like this for AM4 B550

    4 sodimms. maximum utilization of the chipset's features. cheaper. way more sales. huge profits for prophets are hard to come by; the best computers come in small packages.

    AM4 is a smaller socket so it should be easy.
    release an improved versions using B650 and B750

    rear-mount the ram and m.2 drives. encourage full rear clearance with case manufacturers. scale to front and rear mounted ram for 8 sodimm trx40 itx high density nodes.

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