ASRock Mini-ITX - AB350 GAMING

guytanatz

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Oct 14, 2015
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Anyone have any thoughts on this board? It's my first Mini ITX build, I like the idea of it....it's just not working out that well.

I wanted it to be a portable, wireless system so I bought a Corsair K63 and Dark Core mouse / keyboard, with lapboard for gaming on the couch. But I find that it doesn't work, even from about 10 feet away. Connectivity gets choppy or even non responsive. I've tried the USB 2 and 3 ports.. Also, the wireless is pretty much useless even with the antennae attached so I'm back to using ethernet which now limits where I can place the unit. I'm also not the biggest fan of the BIOS but I may just be spoiled by my ASUS ROG ATX from the previous build. Is this just how Mini ITX boards are or are the AUS ROG Strix worth the dough (and the wait since they're always out of stock)?
 

MadOver

Weaksauce
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Sep 1, 2016
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I had a ITX Fatal1ty and loved it, such small board and overclocked like a ATX. Good pricing as well.
 

guytanatz

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Oct 14, 2015
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I had to rearrange the placement of the PC and mouse and keyboard are a bit better, maybe there was interference in the old spot. Still forced to stick with ethernet connectivity, WiFi is worthless.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I had to rearrange the placement of the PC and mouse and keyboard are a bit better, maybe there was interference in the old spot. Still forced to stick with ethernet connectivity, WiFi is worthless.


what wireless router are you using and where is it located in relation to the pc? also are you using G, N, or AC?
 

Neapolitan6th

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I'm not sure if the asus b350 board is much better, but I have owned this particular asrock itx b350 board.

Just know it can't do a few things:

-no bclk overclocking
-no in bios igpu overclocking (only through ryzen master which can be frustrating)
-a number of voltages are in offset mode if memory serves correct. So it can be a little confusing
-my biggest gripe which im sure the gigabyte board has too is vdroop. This board has no LLC settings. Under load your set vcore can fluctuate mildly enough to crash sensitive overclocks. It'll keep you from hitting that last 100+ mhz on the cpu clock unless you pump the voltage even higher too offset the droop which is less than desirable.
 
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Hakaba

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Jul 22, 2013
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If you are talking about the Gaming-ITX/ac... I bought mine about 2 weeks ago and it was already updated with a later bios which was Ryzen 2XXX ready (which was good since I only have the 2200G). But it seems that ASRock had a few bad bios updates and may or may not have rushed these to support 2XXX (forum assumptions).

My only real issue at the time was that Wi-Fi had issues, the latest 4.60 BIOS has fixed some of those (no more BSOD, or random Wi-FI card crashes/stop working), but it still is slow...

I just popped in the CPU, NVME (From 6700k build), RAM and powered on and landed on my desktop almost instantly, with only minor driver issues. Overall I am happy for it as an HTPC computer.
 

luke51087

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Does anyone know how to change the vram buffer size on this board? its a great board but it seems with my 2200g it is capped at 1gb
 

luke51087

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ouch, that kinda sucks i know even basic gaming on these should really be the 2gb vram even for 1080. I saw that it was using the gig on 4k video play back
 

gigaxtreme1

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Be nice if someone hacked this limitation to provide 4Gb. Low CAS ram this thing would scream.
 

wuzupfoo

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I have experience with both the Gigabyte and the AsRock AB350 ITX. The wifi cards in these AB350 boards were the el-cheapo versions. They are limited to 433 mbits? Intel 3165 is the model. I think whereas the X370 versions got the full dual band? 866 mbits. Intel's 8265 (Sorry dont know the terminology, I just know its half as slow) I would replace that wifi card if you are having issues with speed and also look at your router. Well actually I would look at your router first and if its up to current day standards I would then check out a new wifi card. They are under $30 a pop so really cheap. I got intels latest one (the gigabit one, newer than the one included with the X370 versions) and it is much better from a throughput standpoint. I didnt have reception issues to begin with but I would assume it will help but of course I have no idea how your house wifi is set up.

EDIT:

To add, the AB350 boards were really budget boards so they really didnt beef up the overclocking and skimped on features like wifi add-in cards. As others stated you arent going to get the best overclocking from these nor should you considering the use case of SFF where size and heat not power is the main issue. I figured thats why the ASUS Strix AB350 ITX was almost twice the cost because it was a power users board that kind of bucked the trend of cost savings for this chipset. I would look at the AsRock x370 ITX/ac if you are trying to start all over as a somewhat (in stock) alternative to the Strix but granted I dont have 1st hand experience with either, just reputations and anecdotal things I read here.

2nd EDIT: Wifi experts chime in here and tell me Im wrong... but both the KB and Mouse are using the 2.4Ghz channel and so is that Wifi esp. the basic version.. Am I wrong to think that getting a new card with the other channles would work better? Router being equal. Just curious..
 
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Hakaba

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I want to say that vram matter less than having two fast sticks of Ram.

Performance was really impacted if you used a single stick of DDR.

8 Gb vs 16 Gb didn’t really matter, unless you are planning to toss a GPU in it a few years down the road and use it for things other than a light gaming.

Either way plenty of videos out there with metrics to back up 2200 v 2400, vram, memory speed and single vs dual stick memory configuration.
 

Neapolitan6th

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ouch, that kinda sucks i know even basic gaming on these should really be the 2gb vram even for 1080. I saw that it was using the gig on 4k video play back
It actually doesn't suck as much as you'd think. The vram buffer is dynamic at least on these apus. Whatever doesn't fit into the dedicated buffer will overflow into any extra ddr4 you have.

The only time it makes a difference is I think when certain games see the dedicated vram limit and will be finicky in letting you choose higher texture settings etc... I think that is more a software issue that could be fixed if you forced settings in various .ini config files and what not.
 

luke51087

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It actually doesn't suck as much as you'd think. The vram buffer is dynamic at least on these apus. Whatever doesn't fit into the dedicated buffer will overflow into any extra ddr4 you have.

The only time it makes a difference is I think when certain games see the dedicated vram limit and will be finicky in letting you choose higher texture settings etc... I think that is more a software issue that could be fixed if you forced settings in various .ini config files and what not.
oh okay thanks for the info
 

Neapolitan6th

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oh okay thanks for the info
The Asus X470 motherboard has just recently been reviewed by Guru3D

Standout features being:

-bclk overclocking
-better vrms (true 6 phase?...need more info to know)
-better vrm heatsinks
-(not sure: LLC settings?)
-addition of an hdmi port for APUs

It will most likely carry a premium in price so I'd only reccomend it if you plan to invest in the platform more in the future. Say to upgrade to a higher core count CPU. Because those 2700X 8 core chips can be pretty demanding on a motherboard.
 

guytanatz

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Oct 14, 2015
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22
what wireless router are you using and where is it located in relation to the pc? also are you using G, N, or AC?

I am using the router / modem supplied by Cablevision, it's kind of garbage I'm sure and there are only 3 or 4 other 3rd party options that are compatible with their network, all garbage too.
 

guytanatz

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Oct 14, 2015
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I have experience with both the Gigabyte and the AsRock AB350 ITX. The wifi cards in these AB350 boards were the el-cheapo versions. They are limited to 433 mbits? Intel 3165 is the model. I think whereas the X370 versions got the full dual band? 866 mbits. Intel's 8265 (Sorry dont know the terminology, I just know its half as slow) I would replace that wifi card if you are having issues with speed and also look at your router. Well actually I would look at your router first and if its up to current day standards I would then check out a new wifi card. They are under $30 a pop so really cheap. I got intels latest one (the gigabit one, newer than the one included with the X370 versions) and it is much better from a throughput standpoint. I didnt have reception issues to begin with but I would assume it will help but of course I have no idea how your house wifi is set up.

EDIT:

To add, the AB350 boards were really budget boards so they really didnt beef up the overclocking and skimped on features like wifi add-in cards. As others stated you arent going to get the best overclocking from these nor should you considering the use case of SFF where size and heat not power is the main issue. I figured thats why the ASUS Strix AB350 ITX was almost twice the cost because it was a power users board that kind of bucked the trend of cost savings for this chipset. I would look at the AsRock x370 ITX/ac if you are trying to start all over as a somewhat (in stock) alternative to the Strix but granted I dont have 1st hand experience with either, just reputations and anecdotal things I read here.

2nd EDIT: Wifi experts chime in here and tell me Im wrong... but both the KB and Mouse are using the 2.4Ghz channel and so is that Wifi esp. the basic version.. Am I wrong to think that getting a new card with the other channles would work better? Router being equal. Just curious..

Are wifi cards connected inside the case or to a USB port externally? I already have more wires coming out of this thing than I wanted, it's sort of defeating the purpose of a "mini, completely wireless" gaming PC.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
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I am using the router / modem supplied by Cablevision, it's kind of garbage I'm sure and there are only 3 or 4 other 3rd party options that are compatible with their network, all garbage too.

check and see if this modem works with them(there is also a cheaper 8x4 model).. this is the one i used for a little over 2 years with comcast before upgrading to a docsis 3.1 modem. ended up selling it locally for the same money i paid for it but it was a damn good modem and worth the money especially if you're having to rent the all in one from cablevision. i had it paired with my ASUS RT-AC1900 that i got for a steal because newegg screwed up and priced it at 19.99 when it should of been 85 bucks at the time, lol. but unless you're doing insanely heavy file transferring over wireless i wouldn't waste the money on anything over AC1900 but definitely go with something with adjustable antennas.

also another thing i forgot to mention, check what bios you have on that board, i remember some people complaining about bios from asrock that had wifi issues recently and was supposedly fixed in the last 2 bios updates on some boards, not sure if that board had issues though since i really only follow threads on the x370 taichi/gaming pro.
 

wuzupfoo

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May 11, 2010
Messages
320
Are wifi cards connected inside the case or to a USB port externally? I already have more wires coming out of this thing than I wanted, it's sort of defeating the purpose of a "mini, completely wireless" gaming PC.

You want to buy the m.2 version of the wifi card. They are inside the case on a m.2 port that has antennas hookups on the rear i/o area. To replace you simply have to unscrew the bracket from below (backside of the mobo) and it will release. EZ to do but annoying because you have to take apart the whole thing to get to the underside of the mobo. So you are basically swapping them out not adding a new card per se.

Link to Intels latest on Amazon. I would shop around to make sure its the best price but this is what Im talking about. Thats Intel's latest and greatest. You can also get the older 8xxx series as well if it saves you a few dollars. I dont recommend the 7xxx series as I had two of those fail on laptops and tablets and there is quite a bunch ppl that complain about them online.
 
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