ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT review

The ITX format has finally come of age

TODO alt text

For

  • Performance
  • Decent feature set
  • Bundled remote control

Against

  • Lack of Wi-Fi

We've been raving about Sandy Bridge ITX boards such as the ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT since they first appeared and quite frankly we make no apologies for it. If you want to build a small, compact PC with plenty of grunt then now's the right time.

The boards even come with a x16 PCI-e slot so you can keep gaming. We tested ours with a trusty HD 6850 – it's quite a sight to see a graphics card looking bigger than the motherboard.

You may be of the opinion that a motherboard that measures 17cm square is just too small to be of much use, but one look at the following feature list might put an end to that.

You get two DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB of 2133MHz (OC) RAM, integrated eight-channel audio, Gigabit Ethernet, a pair each of SATA 3Gbps and SATA 6Gbps ports, four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports and the rear panel also holds the three output ports for the integrated video; DVI, VGA and HDMI.

You can tell ASRock has a pretty good idea where most of these boards will end up, because the company bundles a USB infrared dongle and a Windows MCE-compatible remote control in with the board.

Push the power

ASRock z68m itx ht

Overclocking isn't something a lot of the users of this board will be interested in – mostly because it will probably end up powering home theatre PCs and media systems. However, we gave it a go anyway.

There's not enough space on the board for one of the seriously big third-party coolers, so extreme overclocking is out, but we got our example to run an i7 2600K happily at 4GHz without experiencing any problems.

It may not be quite as feature-rich as some of its tiny competitors, but ASRock's offering is still one of the most powerful ITX boards that we've seen to date.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelZ68 Express
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameASRock
Form FactorMini ITX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium Dual-core, Celeron Dual-Core, Xeon Dual-Core
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots2
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics 2000/3000
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces2
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots1
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports4
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports4
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots1
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports1
Processor TechnologyTurbo Boost Technology 2.0, Hyper-Threading Technology, Enhanced SpeedStep Technology, Smart Response Technology
Width170.2 mm
Depth170.2 mm
ManufacturerASRock, Inc
Product ModelZ68M-ITX/HT
Product NameZ68M-ITX/HT Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part Number90-MXGJU0-A0UAYZ
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.asrock.com
Marketing Information

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, "Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness", the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept. ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.

Package Contents
  • Z68M-ITX/HT Desktop Motherboard
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Support CD
  • I/O Shield