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The ASRock N3700-ITX is a Mini-ITX motherboard that comes with a Pentium N3700 “Braswell” quad-core CPU soldered on it. It has six USB 3.0 and four SATA-600 ports, but its highlights are actually its low power consumption, low cost, and, of course, its small size.
The Pentium N3700 is an SoC (System on a Chip), meaning it has the CPU, GPU, memory controller, and chipset in the same chip. Actually, Braswell CPUs are an evolution of the Bay Trail-D processor, manufactured under 14 nm process, and with a TDP of only 4W or 6W. Besides that, Braswell processors come with a “generation 8” GPU, more powerful that the Bay Trail-D video engine, and two SATA-600 ports (earlier generation processors come only with SATA-300 ports).
Related: ASRock N3150B-ITX Motherboard Review
The Pentium N3700 is targeted to desktop computers, has four cores running at 1.6 GHz (maximum clock of 2.4 GHz), and has 2 MiB of L2 cache. The Braswell family has other three CPUs, the Celeron N3150 (four cores, 2.08 GHz turbo clock), Celeron N3050 (two cores, 2.16 GHz maximum clock), and Celeron N3000 (two cores, 2.08 GHz maximum clock). All the models have a TDP of 6 W, except for the Celeron N3000, which has a TDP of 4 W.
You can see the ASRock N3700-ITX motherboard in Figure 1. It uses the Mini-ITX form factor, measuring 6.7” x 6.7” (170 x 170 mm).
The ASRock N3700-ITX comes with one PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot.
There is also one Mini PCI Express slot, were you can install an Wi-Fi card that uses this form factor.
We missed an M.2 slot that would allow you to install an SSD module on the motherboard.
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The Pentium N3700 CPU can access DDR3L (low voltage) 1,600 MHz memory, in dual-channel mode. According to ASRock, the N3700-ITX supports 1,066 MHz or 1,600 MHz memories, but not 1,333 MHz modules.
The motherboard has two SODIMM (“laptop memory”) sockets, being compatible with both low voltage (1.35 V) and standard (1.5 V) memory modules.
You can install up to 16 GiB on this motherboard if you use two 8 GiB modules.
Obviously, you have to install two memory modules in order to enable dual-channel access, which is recommended if you want to achieve the best performance possible.
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The Pentium N3700 CPU supports two SATA-600 ports, and the ASRock N3700-ITX motherboard brings those two ports, plus two SATA-600 ports controlled by an ASMedia ASM1061 chip.
The ASRock N3700-ITX offers six USB 2.0 ports, two at the rear panel and four available through two headers located on the motherboard, and six USB 3.0 ports, four at the rear panel and two available through one header. The motherboard uses an ASMedia ASM1074 hub chip to create four USB 3.0 ports using two USB 3.0 ports of the chipset.
The motherboard does not support FireWire or Thunderbolt ports.
The motherboard supports 7.1+2 audio format, generated by the processor with the aid of a Realtek ALC892 codec, which is a decent codec for the average user, offering a signal/noise ratio (SNR) of 97 dB for the analog outputs and 90 dB SNR for the analog inputs, with 24 bit resolution and up to 192 kHz sampling rate.
The analog audio outputs are independent and there is also an optical SPDIF output at the rear panel. Besides that, the N3700-ITX uses Japanese audio capacitors from the brand ELNA, which reduces the noise, according to the manufacturer.
The portrayed motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by a Realtek RTL8111GR chip.
In Figure 6, you can see the motherboard rear panel with one shared PS/2 connector for keyboard or mouse, two USB 2.0 ports, DVI-D output, DisplayPort output, HDMI output, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet port, and the 7.1 analog audio jacks.
Figure 6 shows the accessories that come with the motherboard.
[nextpage title=”CPU and Voltage Regulator”]
In Figure 7, you can see the Pentium N3700 chip without its passive cooler, and the voltage regulator of the ASRock N3700-ITX, which uses only two phases. Since the TDP of the CPU is only 6 W and there are no overclocking options, the voltage regulator circuit is not really critical on this motherboard.
The ASRock N3700-ITX uses only solid capacitors, and all coils on this motherboard are SMD ones.
If you want to learn more about the voltage regulator circuit, please read our tutorial on the subject.
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The main specifications for the ASRock N3700-ITX include:
- Socket: FCBGA1170 (Pentium N3700 1.6 GHz/2.4 GHz quad-core CPU soldered on the motherboard)
- Chipset: embedded in the CPU
- Super I/O: Nuvoton NCT5573D
- Parallel ATA: none
- Serial ATA: four SATA-600 ports, two controlled by the CPU and two controlled by one ASMedia ASM1061 chip
- External SATA: none
- USB 2.0: six USB 2.0 ports, two at the rear panel and four available through two headers on the motherboard
- USB 3.0: six USB 3.0 port, four the motherboard rear panel and two available through one header on the motherboard, four ports obtained using an ASMedia ASM1074 hub chip
- FireWire (IEEE 1394): none
- Thunderbolt: none
- On-board video: Intel HD, embedded in the CPU; one DisplayPort, one DVI-D, and one HDMI connectors
- On-board audio: produced by the chipset together with a Realtek ALC892 codec (7.1+2 channels, 24-bit resolution, 192 kHz sampling rate, 97 dB SNR for the outputs, and 90 dB SNR for the inputs)
- On-board LAN: one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by an Realtek RTL8111GR chip
- Buzzer: no
- Infrared interface: no
- Power supply required: ATX
- Slots: one PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, one Mini PCI Express slot
- Memory: two DDR3-SODIMM sockets (up to DDR3-1600, 16 GiB maximum)
- Fan connectors: one three-pin connector for the CPU cooler, and one three-pin connector for an auxiliary fan
- Extra features: none
- Number of CDs/DVDs provided: one
- Programs included: motherboard utilities and drivers
- More Information: https://www.asrock.com/
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 100.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this First Look article.
In summary, the ASRock N3700-ITX, is a great option for home and media applications. The ASRock N3150B-ITX, which we’ve also reviewed, is better suited for commercial and industrial applications.
Bringing the most powerful CPU of the new Intel “Braswell” low consumption family, the ASRock N3700-ITX is great by offering 7.1 analog audio, three different video outputs (HDMI, DVI-D, and DisplayPort) supporting up to three video displays, four SATA-600 ports, and six USB 3.0 ports.
There characteristics, allied to the Mini-ITX form factor, make the ASRock N3700-ITX a good option for power-efficient small form factor (SFF) desktop computers, for office or media applications.