Specialists from the staff of ASRock have prepared five models of full-size boards, where the older hub from AMD — X370 acts as the basis. They can be conditionally divided into two groups, the numerical distribution will take the form of three and two models that are very similar to each other, first of all, this refers to the organization of their processor power subsystem. The sample we have chosen is at the top of the junior trio, offering maximum possibilities in terms of scaling up the configuration of the future PC, that is, it has an advanced set of expansion slots and comes with bonus software for the sound system, which is based on the older codec from Realtek. The other two are referred to as Fatal1ty X370 Gaming X and X370 Killer SLI (there is a version with a pre-installed wireless network adapter, it carries the suffix «ac»); understandably, they are slightly cheaper than the solution in question.
The presence of the POST code indicator is also important. The empty place in the center of the device, apparently, was intended for an external reference frequency generator, but at the last moment they decided to abandon it, making this element a feature of only the oldest models. Another distinguishing feature is the presence of a seat for M.2 expansion cards of the 2230 (Key E) format, in other words, designed for modern wireless network adapters with a PCI-E interface. The main features are listed in the table:
|Model||ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming K4|
|Official product page on the Web||asrock.com|
|Processor socket||AMD AM4|
|Processors||AMD Series: Athlon X4, A6, A8, A10, A12, Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2667/2933+*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8) — APU/Athlon
4 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 — X370
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x2, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — APU/Athlon
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x2, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — B350
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 (Key E, 2230)
|Integrated video core (in APU)||Radeon Series: R7, R5|
|Number of connected fans||5x 4pin|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel — A and C)
10 x 3.1 Gen1 (6 connectors on the rear panel)
4 x 2.0 (no connectors on the rear panel)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (X370)|
|RAID||0, 1, 10 (SATA, X370)|
|Built-in sound||Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments NE5532
|Networking||Intel I211-AT (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||POST indicator, Fatal1ty Mouse Port, pair of RGB LED strip headers, rear dual antenna stand, AMD 2-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI support, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3|
|Retail price, $||169|
Packaging and equipment
Since the solution is not simple, but “playable,” the packaging was taken care of properly. What is the huge box, where there is also a handle for easy transportation.
Features of the hardware component are described on the back side. There is a modest mention of bonus software at the very end of the list.
Inside there is:
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- UEFI and F-Stream manual in English;
- memo on the correct installation of memory modules;
- optional RGB LED utility brochure;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- company logo sticker;
- postcard with the emblem of the series (there is a place for the stamp);
- a plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with color and symbol designation of all sockets;
- double hard bridge for organizing SLI;
- three mounting screws for M.2 format devices;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one end.
This is a product for a one-time and final assembly of the system — there are no additional controls or any auxiliary diagnostic indicators (except for POST codes). To reset the CMOS settings, there is a contact group on the board (with a classic jumper). The dimensions correspond to the ATX format, there are nine holes for case screws.
Radiators and a plastic visor are fixed with screws. There is practically nothing on the back of the product, there are also no LEDs. The backlight is implemented exclusively by a group of elements that are located near the hub, under its radiator.
The cooler itself is quite large, so there is no need to worry about its ability to combat heat generation.
There are three compact M.2 sockets, two of which can be used for storage needs. Device size 22110 is not supported.
There are only six SATA outputs, all of them are longitudinal type. The slot for the case fan at number «1» is extremely inconveniently located; almost any modern video card will complicate access to it.
Under the case USB sockets there are a pair of pads of each type (second and third generation). For the first time, I met a special socket for the AMD Wraith SM3 proprietary cooler — USB type. Previously, they were exclusively white, as for tapes (here there is such a thing, in total, it turns out that there are two of them — for one cooler).
The distribution of PCI-E lanes from the CPU takes place between steel-reinforced PCI-E x16 slots. The four smaller ones are connected to the hub.
The audio codec is not equipped with a shielding design, but one op-amp has been added to help it. There are few special capacitors (I suppose the output to the front panel of the case was left without their participation).
Radiators that seem massive are actually samples from a bent profile. We saw a similar approach with the inexpensive ASRock Z97 Anniversary. The board has a pair of four-pin sockets for the processor cooler.
The main PWM controller is the eight-channel International Rectifier IR35201, however, here its capabilities are used only according to the 4 + 2 phase scheme. Three dual IR3598 drivers are attached to help him. For this circuit, 12 power elements would be enough (six pairs for the upper and lower arms), but there are 24 of them on the board, which means that the method of doubling the number of elements is used in each channel — both for the CPU voltage and for NB (SOC). The pair of transistors is made up of models SM4336NSKP and SM4337NSKP manufactured by Sinopower. Capacitors are selected with an extended service life (12 thousand hours).
There are comments on the area of one of the thermal pads, it is clearly not enough for a full-fledged heat transfer. There are no questions about the clamping force.
The rear panel configuration is quite unusual. In general, you can’t complain about eight USB outputs, but here they are all very close to each other, there will be no problems with connecting cables, but any device may not fit here. It would be nice to see at least (one) button here — to reset the settings, but it is not there, but two PS / 2 sockets are soldered.