ASRock Fatal1ty H370 Performance Motherboard Review

Quickly to the right hardware equipment …

ASRock H370 Performance Layout, Design and Features
ASRock H370 Performance Equipment and other features
ASRock H370 Performance Expansion cards
ASRock H370 Performance Memory
ASRock H370 Performance Hard disk drive connectors
ASRock H370 Performance USB and Firewire
ASRock H370 Performance Network
ASRock H370 Performance Sound
ASRock H370 Performance ATX back panel connectors
ASRock H370 Performance PC System

Layout, Design and Features …

Here you can see a 360 degree view of the ASRock H370 Performance ATX motherboard.

  

The almost completely black ASRock Fatal1ty H370 Performance High Density glass fiber Sapphire Black PCB board makes a great impression. The motherboard features Premium 50A Power Chokes, Nichicon 12K Black Caps capacitors, 10 power phase design and 7.1 HD audio via the ALC1220.

The ASRock H370 Performance offers like the previously tested ASRock H370 Pro4 two fast Ultra M.2 slots for PCIe Gen3 x4 modules with up to 32 Gb/s connection and a simple M.2 Key E e.g. for a WiFi module. The following picture shows the six PCIe 3.0 slots and the three M.2 slots.

We have tested the H370 performance with a Plextor M8SeGN 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD.

Conventional RGB stripes can be connected to the white 4-pin 12V RGB header to illuminate the case, for example. There is even a second 12V RGB LED connector on top of the 5050, and best of all, there is now even a Polychrome RGB connector that supports individually addressable LEDs on addressable RGB stipes via the WS2812B chip.

ASRock has integrated several RGB LEDs under the chipset cooler, on the I/O cover and on the audio area of the H370 Performance, which can be controlled as desired. Here you see the three illuminated areas and two Ballistix Tactical RGB 8GB DDR4-2666 memory modules.

The RGB headers and the integrated RGB LEDs are controlled after a short firmware update…

… using the supplied ASRock RGB LED software. There you can select for example the colors in an RGB color selector and can set whether the RGB headers should be controlled separately or together with the RGB illumination under the chipset cooler, the IO cover and the audio area. The lighting can of course also be completely deactivated or used for all connections simultaneously.

In the ASRock RGB LED menu you can select many effects, e.g. if the LEDs should light up continuously, breath, randomly or to music and with the addressable RGB connector you even get completely new RGB features like Spring, Meteor, Stack, Rainbow, etc..

You get a lot of great RGB effects, which we presented in ASRock Polychrome RGB Software Video on our OCinside YouTube Channel.

Let’s get back to the equipment. Here you can see two internal USB 3.0 or USB3.1 Gen1 connectors, some Nichicon capacitors and the 24-pin ATX power connector.

The picture shows the side view of the mainboard with the small heat sink on the MOSFETs.

Here you can see again the two aluminium heat sinks which are clamped with the heat conducting pad onto the voltage regulators.

Under the heat sink of the ASRock H370 Performance the so-called Smart Power Stage area is cooled.

Here you can see again the MOSFETs, which are responsible for the power supply of the Intel Coffee Lake CPU.

Equipment and other features …

The ASRock H370 Performance has numerous features, such as the ASRock F-Stream Tool, ASRock Instant Flash, ASRock Internet Flash, ASRock Easy RAID Installer, 10 Power Phase Design, Digi Power, RGB, Polychrome RGB and ASRock FAN-Tastic Tuning.

Expansion cards …

The motherboard offers two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots for AMD CrossFireX or nVidia SLI. Additionally there are four PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots.

Memory …

The ASRock X299M Extreme4 board can be equipped with up to four DDR4 modules and can be upgraded depending on the operating system used (see list) up to a maximum of 64 GB RAM. Here you can see a picture of the four DDR4 memory slots with Quad Channel Support.

The Intel LGA 1151 motherboard supports DDR4 memory modules and can be optimized in the BIOS for DDR4-2666 quad channel modules. The UEFI offers adaptations from DDR4-800 to DDR4-2666.

Thanks to XMP support (Extreme Memory Profile), XMP memory modules can be set correctly with a mouse click in UEFI, but more about this later. Which exact RAM modules are officially supported, one should read before the purchase with ASRock on the memory support page.

Hard disk drive connectors …

The ASRock H370 Performance offers a total of six angled SATA3 ports.

The SATA3 ports support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, NCQ, AHCI and the Hot Plug function in AHCI mode (AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface and should be selected for SSDs in UEFI). Thanks to UEFI BIOS, drives with more than 2TB can also be used to install Windows 10 x64. The installation of the drivers ran without problems in Windows 10, so that the Windows 10 installation was quickly completed.

The RAID drivers can be installed via the Easy RAID Installer point in the UEFI. The drivers are supplied for 32-bit / 64-bit Windows 10 on DVD and are also available for download on the ASRock support page, whereby the Windows 10 installation is currently preferred.

USB and Firewire …

The ASRock H370 Performance has two USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen1), one USB 2.0 port and one USB 2.0 Fatal1ty Mouse Port as well as two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. The picture shows the USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A at the top and the USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port (pluggable on both sides) at the bottom.

Internally, two USB 2.0 ports for up to four optional USB ports and two USB 3.0 headers for up to four optional USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen1) are available. The 20-pin header can be connected either to an optionally available USB3.0 front panel or to a case with USB3.0 support.

For Windows 7 there is currently no Intel H370 support! You can install Microsoft Windows 7 without problems with the Intel H370 chipset, but the USB ports don’t work and there are no drivers for the USB ports. We did the tests with a PS/2 keyboard and tried different Windows 7 drivers, but without success. The problem is that the new H370 chipset has native USB3.1 and USB2.0 support and older Windows 7 drivers no longer work for the USB controllers of the Intel H370 PCH. Even if you should install Windows 10 nowadays anyway, the official Windows 7 support from Microsoft is actually only obsolete in January 2020. Whether and when there will be drivers for Windows 7 remains to be seen.

Network …

The ASRock H370 Performance is equipped with the Intel I219V, with which the 10/100/1000 network port on the ATX panel is realized. The LAN port is WoL capable, provide LAN cable detection, supports power efficient Ethernet according to 802.3az standard, PXE and more.

Sound …

The ASRock H370 Performance motherboard does not feature the simple Realtek ALC892 like the ASRock H370 Pro4, but the better Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec with Content Protection, 120dB SNR DAC, TI NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier and Creative SoundBlaster Cinema5, which supports 7.1 surround sound and outputs it analog via 5x 3.5mm jacks on the ATX panel or via the internal front panel audio connector. Furthermore there is an optical SPDIF digital output and premium Blu-Ray support. This means that an additional sound card with digital outputs is unnecessary for most users.

ATX back panel connectors …

From left to right you can see the 1x PS/2 connector for PS/2 keyboard or PS/2 mouse and USB 2.0 Fatal1ty Mouse Port and 1x USB 2.0 Port, D-Sub and Display Port 1.2, HDMI, 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 (USB 3.0), RJ45 Gigabit LAN and 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Typ-A and 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Typ-C, the not equipped WiFi antenna panel and 2x USB 2.0, optical SPDIF output and 5x 3.5mm jacks for the sound.

Test System …

Now we come to the Intel LGA 1151 CPU socket. The 8th Gen socket looks like the LGA1151 socket of the previous generation, but cannot be equipped with Kaby Lake processors like the Intel Core i5-7600K! A new Intel Coffee Lake processor must be installed for it to work on the Intel H370 board. The socket is equipped with a lever that presses the relatively small CPU evenly onto the pins in the socket. As always during installation, do not touch the contacts or even bend the contacts in the base and during storage or transport, be sure to mount the protective cap on the base. If the pins are bent and the motherboard doesn’t work anymore, we help with words and deeds in Intel Forum. We have equipped the test system with an Intel Core i7-8700K CPU.

Intel’s Core i7-8700K CPU does not support Quad Channel Mode, only Dual Channel Mode. The two memory modules are used on the Intel H370 motherboard to get dual channel support. Here you can see the two DDR4-2400 4GB modules from Crucial in the ASRock H370 performance motherboard.

For testing with the new Intel LGA 1151 processors we use the Enermax ETS-T50 AXE DFP air cooler. Here you can see the finished Intel LGA 1151 test system from above including Enermax ETS-T50 AXE DFP cooler and Icy Dock MB171SP-B Turbo Swap removable frame for quick exchange of SSD or HDD (without the MSI Radeon R9 280 graphics card for better display of the new lighting possibilities on the IO cover and audio area.

This is what the 6 cores (12 threads) of the Intel Core i7-8700K CPU look like in Windows 10 Task Manager at Prime95 full load.

And the following thermal image shows the heat dissipation of the ASRock H370 Performance Mainboard on the test system.

As you can see on the thermal image of the ASRock H370 Performance PC, the heat dissipation of the voltage regulators and power chokes through the two heat sinks is significantly better than with the previously tested ASRock H370 Pro4 motherboard. Without anticipating the next page of the overclocking test, however, the overclocking of the H370 (still?) looks bad, so that this ASRock H370 Performance is not intended for high heat emission through overclocking.

ASRock H370 Performance BIOS and Overclocking …