Report: ASRock to Reveal Mini-ITX Haswell-E Motherboard at CeBIT - The X99E-ITX/ac

Subject: Motherboards | March 13, 2015 - 11:34 PM |
Tagged: X99, mini-itx, Haswell-E, CeBIT 2015, asrock

AnandTech is reporting that motherboard maker ASRock will be showing off a new Haswell-E motherboard at CeBIT 2015, and it would represent an industry first as this new X99 board is in the mini-ITX form factor.

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Cramming an X99 system into mini-ITX does limit the platform, as the form-factor's two-DIMM limitation means this can only support dual-channel memory. The other obvious penalty is the single x16 PCI Express slot, though ASRock has incorporated an M.2 connector that may be using a x4 connection (the article points out the "Ultra M.2" listing on the box).

The LGA 2011-3 socket is apparently a slim version according to the report, but it still dominates the tiny motherboard. Dual Intel NICs and included 802.11ac WiFi make this very capable from a networking standpoint, but with limited expansion and reduced memory bandwidth this will appeal to only a limited number of users. Very compact micro-ATX enclosures and existing X99 motherboards in the mATX form-factor can already provide a platform for a very powerful small build, but there is something to be said for the engineering that has made the move the mini-ITX possible.

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Image credit: SweClockers

One item of interest is the inclusion of a heatsink and fan with the motherboard, and given the unusual layout and socket design it is unclear what the aftermarket cooler support might be like with this motherboard. We should see further details soon as CeBIT 2015 kicks off next week.

Source: AnandTech

March 14, 2015 | 08:46 AM - Posted by CoconutHusk (not verified)

Is it posible to use Intel Xeons and 16gb Dimms on this one for a total of 32GB Ram?

March 14, 2015 | 09:18 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Very good questions, I wasn't able to find any of these datails since ASRock hasn't listed the board yet and none of the reports cover these specifications. We should know early next week.

March 14, 2015 | 11:16 AM - Posted by hud (not verified)

5000rpm fan?

March 14, 2015 | 11:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Maybe with laptop ram oriented vertically and putting the M.2 port on the back like ASUS did with their Itx lga 1150 boards they could have fit 4 dimms on and possibly even a full size socket.

March 14, 2015 | 11:59 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I agree. Two banks of stacked SoDIMMs wouldn't occupy too much space, but I can't imagine anyone else attempting this so I don't think there will be any innovation beyond this design unfortunately.

March 16, 2015 | 09:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You could stick the SODIMMS on risers in that same way as the vregs on the impact boards and that would free up even more room for port and voltage regulation around the socket. It would cause height issues in some cases though but anything short to handle something like that would probably be to small to deal with the heat output anyway.

March 14, 2015 | 02:53 PM - Posted by TigerGD (not verified)

The M.2 probably is on the back, as it is on my Z97E-ITX/ac.

March 14, 2015 | 05:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's on the top, there is a mounting point next to the socket just below the choose heatsink

March 16, 2015 | 11:20 AM - Posted by anonymous (not verified)

There is an m.2 port on the back. And another one on the front. You can tell because of the mounting holes. There are 2 flush with the motherboard itself and one raised up in the middle, so the only logical explanation is that there is one on the front and another on the back. And one for the wireless card.

March 14, 2015 | 02:54 PM - Posted by collie

I'll say it : COOL! Very limited use case but if anyone ever asks the question "is is posible to build a Mini-Itx Haswell E system?" The answer will be, "Yes."

Nice one ASRock

March 14, 2015 | 02:57 PM - Posted by collie

also, thats ALOT of usb for a mini-itx board, and 2 Ethernet jacks. cool.

March 14, 2015 | 05:00 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Intel Ethernet, no less

March 14, 2015 | 06:35 PM - Posted by collie

Are there only 3 sata ports? I can only see 3. Other than that the more I think about this the more I want to use something like this for my next main rig, smaller case cuz as I get older I'm less inlove with this giant case on my desk taking up space. BUUUUUUUTTTTTT 3 drives just isn't enough for my world.

March 14, 2015 | 08:57 PM - Posted by djotter

It looks like a bank of four SATA in grey facing away from the camera and then mid board there is one black SATA express connection. Or you can use the bank of four SATA and the SATA express connector for two regular SATA connections for a total of six drives.

March 15, 2015 | 09:39 AM - Posted by collie

right, I didn't notice those, I was looking at the ports next to the pci slot.

March 20, 2015 | 11:33 AM - Posted by obababoy

People will buy this. It is unfortunate that there is only 2 ram slots but for gaming with an HTPC this thing will work great! I have the Asrock Z97E-ITX/ac with a 4770k, 16gb Ballistix ram, and Vapor X R9 290 fit in a HTPC case for gaming. I use an 250GB SSD and 2TB WD Black. Served and exceeded every expectation I have had and the Mobo was only $100

March 20, 2015 | 02:44 PM - Posted by renderfarm (not verified)

But if it supports DDR4 ram than 2 DIMMs is no problem you can have 32GB or even 64GB with just 2 DIMMS.

March 20, 2015 | 05:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Would 16GB of RAM in two slots, be slower than 16GB of RAM in four slots?
That seems to be what the article is indicating, due to bandwidth considerations.

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