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A gem hidden/overshadowed by its Taichi bigger brother.

gopackersjt
Posted · Updated · 314 Views · 4 Comments

Pros: X370, doesn't have obnoxious flashing RGB lights everywhere, RAM support has GREATLY improved, OC's decently, seems stable, UEFI is well laid out.

Cons: BIOS updates seem to be slowing.... No "true" diagnostics LED or screen. Flimsy I/O shield.

More pros!: The board has decent I/O, functional heatsinks, two M.2 slots (both of which are placed in an area where they actually get airflow, unlike most manufactures cramming them under a hot GPU.), it has WiFi and bluetooth if that's something you need, and last but not least, a REALLY good VRM/power delivery setup.

Now for the meat and potatoes...

I bought this board for $130 about two months ago. I now see that the price is down to $99 with a rebate on Newegg. For that price, this board is the best bang for your buck! I honestly think that this board is a good option, even up until $150. I haven't had any issues with any of the ports, the board does not seem flimsy or thin, and I have not had any crashing issues. There were a few quirks early on, but the BIOS updates seemed to have ironed those issues out. Now more on the BIOS, this board has a very detailed UEFI that lets you tune and configure everything that any seasoned OC'er would need, except for a BCLK chip (you need to step up to the Taichi for that). However, the rate at which AsRock is updating this board seems to be slowing. I don't know that this is a HUGE issue since they have the system stable, but I'm still holding out hope that RAM speeds become more consistent. This brings me to my next point, and that's RAM compatibility. I have a 16GB kit (8GBx2) of Corsair Vengeance LPX @3200mhz. This is not Samsung Bdie RAM. I am able to run it at 2933mhz @ 1.35V. Not great, but not terrible. Before I updated the BIOS, I could only get 2666mhz, so there was a noticeable improvement. I hope AsRock can one day get this board running 3200mhz smoothly... As for CPU OC'ing, this seems like something that is VERY dependent on the actual CPU and how well you do with the silicon lottery. I've got an R7 1700 in my system, and have it cooled under a Cryorig H5 Universal cooler. I was able to get all 8 cores clocked at 3.8Ghz with 1.38v. Not bad. However, I could not even get the system to POST at 4ghz. I was able to boot at 3.9ghz, but could not put the system under any stress without a BSOD. I can't really say that a different board would do any better, as Ryzen CPU's are not great at OCing. I am also using the top M.2 slot, and had no issues installing Windows 10 on my PNY NVMe SSD, and it seems to be running just fine at its advertised speeds. Everything else about this board is great though. I stayed away from AsRock since 2012 after my Z68 Extreme 3 died only 8 months in, and had numerous friends have issues with their AsRock boards in about a years time. I talked myself into giving my them another shot after reading that AsRock is leading the way with AM4, and that they have rebuilt themselves from an engineering stand point. I don't regret my decision, and for the price, this board is phenomenal. It also looks REALLY nice with my black and white theme. Here are the full system specs that I'm using this board with.

CPU: R7 1700 @ 3.8Ghz
RAM: 16GB LPX Vengeance
Mobo: AsRock X370 Killer AC/SLI
GPU: EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2
Cooler: Cryorig H5 Universal
PSU: EVGA 1300 G2
Case: NZXT s340 in white
SSD: PNY 240GB NVMe

And lastly, a tip for OC'ers. I was having what seemed like a dead system when trying to OC too far, crashing the system. I wouldn't get any LEDs, no power, and the unplugging and replugging power in the system wouldn't do anything. I honestly thought it was bricked. If you have this issue, unplug your system's power, and let it sit about 5 minutes. The system needs to drain all of it's power, you might even need to pull a stick of RAM. After you plug it back in, wait a few seconds, and you should see the chipset light back up in the case.

My absolute final thoughts. If you're building a Ryzen system, keep in mind that the AM4 platform is going to be current for a while. This board will theoretically run the next few generations of AMD's Zen based CPU's. Buying into this platform means that you're buying into a good upgrade path, without buying a new motherboard. Assuming that this board doesn't randomly die out, this should be able to support the next gen Zen CPU's, due to its beefy VRM setup for generations to come. If you want a solid motherboard with a good enough power delivery system to handle overclocking for future Zen CPU's, then consider this board. If they can figure out RAM support, this board will be perfect. thumb.gif

4 Comments:

RGB, yes. Debug LED, no. Sigh.
The mediocre VRM is why 3.8GHz-3.9GHz is pretty much the limit. It is running 4 phases in dual output mode .
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-x370-killer-sli-ac-am4-motherboard,5154-5.html

I'm surprised you didn't hit on my major gripe with this board when it was $130-140: it lacks USB 3.1 gen 2. The ALC892 is another minor gripe.
It has a 12 phase VRM which is great for a board in this price point. As for USB, it has 3.1 and a C port on the back. Not gen 2, but how many people actually have a device that supports those speeds yet? I stand by my point that this is a great board for the price. It's pretty much better than anything MSI offers for AM4.
That being said, I am thinking about going into a little more detail on this review. This was the first review I've ever done, so I'm still learning...
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