(Rant) Asrock Z370M Pro4 mATX - I hate this board...

Discussion in 'Intel MoBos' started by NoxTek, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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    This is mostly just a random rant....

    Do you ever get a board and just feel like it hates you and you're going to hate it - almost right from the first time you power it up?

    I have had this Asrock Z370M Pro4 up and running for barely over a day, and I absolutely loathe it already.

    (For the record, I like Asrock. I've had several decent Asrock boards in the past - especially for what they cost. My HTPC is rocking an Asrock H97 "Anniversary" board with a Pentium G3258 on an early BIOS that lets you overclock the HELL out of it. I love that board!)

    I know it's a 'value' board on the low end of the spectrum and I for sure wasn't expecting miracles. I was impressed by the 5 out of 5 user score on Newegg and the fact that such a low priced board had TWO m.2 slots and moderate overclocking features. For only $130? Heck yeah! So I bit. Saved me a bit of cash especially with a combo deal with an 8700k on Newegg. I wish I had listened to my gut and spent more for a Gigabyte or Asus board.

    The BIOS is laid out fairly well, especially if you choose 'Advanced View' (like most of us would). Typical Award UEFI layout that has some flair common to most current UEFIs but it's still laid out fairly logical. But the overclocking options just don't seem to do what you would expect them to. I can lock the multipliers on all cores in the UEFI, disable Speedstep and all of the usual jazz, and it will still ignore all of that in Windows. Maybe you'll get 42x (which is I think the lowest base turbo multiplier on the cores by default from Intel), maybe you'll get 47x, maybe you'll get really unlucky and get 37x (the base non turbo multiplier). It's like the overclocking options in the BIOS are merely a suggestion.

    vCore? Well, you can set vCore in the UEFI (Fixed or Offset) but good luck getting an actual core reading with any Windows tool. Apparently the Z370M Pro4 is so new, and uses such a new / odd sensor setup that none of the usual utilities are setup to read vCore. CPU-Z? It defaults to showing VID where vCore would normally be. HWInfo64 doesn't pull a vCore reading where you'd normally expect to see it (Under the motherboard in the sensor data). About the closest you can get is Asrock's EXTREMELY primitive "A-tune" software and even that doesn't seem to jive very well with what you've set in the UEFI. Seriously - I've never been a fan of software overclocking utilities, but A-Tune is pretty abysmal.

    Aside from the above the thing is generally stable. Games run great, everything is peachy on the stability front. Maybe I just expected way too much.

    I have never had a board feel like it was 'fighting' me the entire time like this one. We get along like oil and water. I finally just decided to buy the Asus ROG Strix ITX board that [H] and Dan recently reviewed and gave high marks to. It costs almost twice as much, but I guess you get what you pay for. :p This Asrock is going up on the FS/T board.

    About the only good thing I can say about it is those two m.2 slots work really nicely. BOTH support PCIE NVME which is cool - I know some boards that have two slots only support SATA on one slot or whatever. Setting up a RAID0 with dual m.2 drives was dead simple, and port remapping the m.2 slots for Intel's RST works great.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  2. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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    UPDATE:

    I was FINALLY able to get some moderate and predictable overclocking done by using that craptastic "A-Tune" software.

    The lack of any 'real' VRM cooling severely hampers OCing on this thing though. Again, $130 board - I guess any OCing at all is a bonus. But again, why even sell a Z series chipset board if you're not going to at least make an effort at OCability?
     
  3. Mega6

    Mega6 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not sure what you expected for one thirty bucks. Improvise your own vrm cooling. Probably won't get far anyways. What's your Vdroop on it? I hear it's pretty high. Have my doubts that it's true ten phase power, some chokes may be paired. Are the low quality SM4336N mosfets paired?
     
  4. somebrains

    somebrains Limp Gawd

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    Noctua DH15 time?
    Get some air swirling around the taint of the Mobo?
     
  5. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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    First I'd have to actually put some real VRM cooling on the board... it comes with pseudo-heatsinks.... on half the VRMs...

    What's funny is it actually has mounting holes around the other half of the VRMs, but doesn't come with a cooler on them.

    Again, $130 board. As someone said above, what did I expect for $130?


    I took delivery on an Asus Z370-I Strix edition today, that's going to replace it tomorrow as soon as I get time to tear my rig down again. Kinda pissed that I had to go ITX, but the micro ATX version seems next to impossible to actually get hold of. But [H] gave it good marks and I only ever use one slot for video anyway.... and it will match my Asus Strix GTX 1080. :D

    upload_2018-3-22_22-14-29.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  6. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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    UPDATE:

    Last night I pulled the ASRock Z370M Pro4 out and swapped in the ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I Gaming ... and holy crap. The difference was like night and day!

    I got farther in the first twenty minutes than I got in FOUR DAYS with the ASRock. I still wish I could have gotten hold of a uATX version of this board, but my God they sure packed lots of goodies in on this tiny mini-ITX board. And the overclocking options do exactly what you expect them to.

    The retail packaging on this thing is quite an experience too!
     
  7. Speedeu4ia

    Speedeu4ia Limp Gawd

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    Curious how that board goes, on the VRM tier list its listed as low end. Thats the only z370 itx board I can get for cheap and was considering jumping to 8700k with the ebay deals, but dont need it and would rather have the Asrock ITX board which has better VRMs so I passed. Also think the Asus board would have clearance issues with my Cooler