As can be seen from the list of specifications, despite the small form factor there are still plenty of features. Central to the B650 chipset is that you have the option of PCIe 5.0 for both graphics cards and M.2 storage. For everyday use, it is mostly a theoretical advantage at the moment, but if you are building a new system and would like to future-proof it, it can be a good proposition.
A tour around the ASRock B650E PG-ITX WiFi
The small form factor of the ITX motherboard naturally means that there is limited space for accessories and unnecessary things. As part of ASRock's Phantom Gaming series, however, it is also a rather muted design we get.
The colors on the card are mainly black, but with some red elements. What takes up most of the card is the heatsink parts on the VRM part, and not least the active cooling that ASRock has chosen to include in the PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot.
The card has a 10+2+1 power design. It is partly cooled by a heatsink installed on the VRM part of the board. However, with a heat pipe, that part is connected to the actively cooled heatsink, which sits on the primary M.2 slot.
In addition to the primary PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot on the front of the card, there is also a single PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot, located on the back of the motherboard. It is not equipped with any kind of cooling. However, it should not be necessary for a PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD either.
To supplement M.2 storage, there are two regular SATA connectors on the card.
In addition to the 24-pin connector for power, there is a single eight-pin EPS connector for the CPU in the upper left corner of the board.
The one PCIe 5.0 slot on the card is reinforced with metal, so it is what ASRock calls a Steel slot.
There is room for two DDR5 RAM modules on the card. ASRock states support up to 6400 MHz speeds, on supported RAM kits. At the same time, there is support for both XMP and EXPO profiles for RAM.
There is no RGB on the card itself, but there are two three-pin ARGB connectors on the card so that external RGB can be connected.
For cooling, there are three four-pin PWM connectors for fans. However, you must be aware that one of them, as a rule, is reserved for active cooling, in the primary M.2 slot.
The internal USB options come in the form of a single USB 2.0 connector that supports two separate connectors, a USB 3.2 Gen 1, which in turn supports two connectors, and finally a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C connector.
If we jump to the external connections, there are four USB 2.0, three USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A and a single USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C. They are supplemented with 2.5G LAN, an HDMI port, audio ports divided into 3, 5mm sound in and out and a digital S-PDIF connector. Finally, there are the antenna connectors for the WiFi 6E option.
The sound on the card is provided by a Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec.
If we have to round off with one last slightly special feature on the card, then we have to look at the back of the card. Here, ASRock has placed an eDP connector. It is a special connector that can supply both power and video signal to a small display for placement in your PC. ASRock sells a small 13.3” side panel kit separately.
It consists of a 13.3" IPS panel with a 1920x1080 resolution and then a mounting solution so that the screen can be mounted on a glass side panel.
At the time of writing, I can find the ASRock B650E PG-ITX WiFi with an online price of DKK 2500. That makes it currently the cheapest B650E ITX motherboard I can find. However, it is a rather small field, as not many ITX cards are made in this class.
ASRock has made a reasonable ITX motherboard on the B650E chipset. There is a focus on the central features, and there is no unnecessary fluff or filler. If you are looking for a B650E based motherboard in ITX format that does not cost an arm and a leg, there is no better offer on the market at the moment than this board from ASRock.
If you are looking for an ITX card with PCIe 5.0 for both graphics card and storage, then ASRock is in place with the cheapest offer.
The ITX format always has certain limitations, but with the ASRock B650E PG-ITX WiFi, ASRock has put together a reasonable selection of features for normal use, and has even added some special options, such as their eDP connector.
We land with a final score of 9, for a solid B650 card for the small form factor.