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Mini-ITX motherboard shootout

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faugusztin 5th September 2012, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
An mDTX mobo would allow both an high-end sound card + a sat card to fit (XMBC box here I am :)). I'm not only focused on GAMING use (meaning a big cpu + a big gpu), computing is not only about gaming :p

Well, with current bunch of ITX motherboards it is not hard as you would think, just a bit expensive. You will lose the WiFi in the process, but there are adapters for ~60-70 euros which can convert your mPCIe slot used by the WiFi module to a PCI-E x1 slot - and here you go, your x1 sound card :).
GuilleAcoustic 5th September 2012, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Well, with current bunch of ITX motherboards it is not hard as you would think, just a bit expensive. You will lose the WiFi in the process, but there are adapters for ~60-70 euros which can convert your mPCIe slot used by the WiFi module to a PCI-E x1 slot - and here you go, your x1 sound card :).

That's a solution, I was even looking at PCIe --> MXM adapters, but can't find one. My dream of the perfect small compter is gone . Can't wait to see ITX go even further.
SchizoFrog 5th September 2012, 17:08 Quote
OK, I have a couple of questions.

First, how good is the on board sound these days compared to dedicated sound cards? Is it good enough for gaming and movies?

Also, with no other expansion slots to add in things like a TV card, how good are current dual tuner USB TV cards?
faugusztin 5th September 2012, 17:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
First, how good is the on board sound these days compared to dedicated sound cards? Is it good enough for gaming and movies?

Also, with no other expansion slots to add in things like a TV card, how good are current dual tuner USB TV cards?

I could not hear the difference, but then i am deaf when it comes to the recognizing differences between "good" and "bad" sound cards, yet having way too god hearing when it comes to background noise like fans.

No idea about the USB TV cards, but as i said before - you can still take out the wifi mpcie card, put a mpcie->pci-e x1 adapter and use your x1 TV card, of course if you have a free slot (=singleslot graphics card).
DarkFear 5th September 2012, 18:00 Quote
I saw that the Asrock board has a mSATA slot. Anyone know if it is tied in with one of the 4 SATA ports or is it on it's own channel? (meaning all 4 SATA ports still work when a mSATA card is installed)

I did the Google thing but I seem to be weak with the Googling...
faugusztin 5th September 2012, 18:05 Quote
2x SATA3 as SATA from Intel PCH
2x SATA2 as SATA from Intel PCH
1x SATA2 as eSATA from Intel PCH
1x SATA2 as mSATA from Intel PCH

It supports "Intel® Rapid Storage and Intel® Smart Response Technology", so it has to be from the Intel PCH.
fluxtatic 6th September 2012, 06:01 Quote
That daughterboard is hardly revolutionary - the first Asus board I had, a Socket A model, had the same thing. Of course, that was a full ATX, so not quite the same, but not exactly unprecedented.

The layout on that ASRock is terrible. The Sapphire ITX board I've had for a while has the SATA ports on the top right, and 2 of the 5 are parallel to the board. The EPS12V connector is reasonable close to the top, too. One downside is that it has SODIMM slots, but the layout is nice.

One thing I find massively disappointing is the lack of FM1 ITX boards. Last time I checked 'egg, there was exactly 1, an ASRock. FM1 on Mini-ITX would be perfect for the PC I plan to build my wife at some point. DIdn't seem bad, but I like having options. If I have to, though, I'll turn to the dark side and go Z77 (or whatever follows it for Haswell.)
Bindibadgi 6th September 2012, 06:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Actually, the biggest issue with P8Z77-I Deluxe is... The PCI-E socket release thingy in cases like Lian Li PC-Q08. You can't access it from bellow - it is the bottom of the case. You can't access it from the top - it is not the push down, but the push from the side lock, and unfortunately it is from the other side. You can't access it from the side - the card is in the way. In pictures :
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/7972/incase.jpg

This is something I will bring up with the motherboard team. Thanks for the info!

As for the daughterboard; yes they've been done before way back into the early days of computing, but it's not been done on space constrained mini-ITX before now :)

We had/have an FM1 mini-ITX board: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_FM1/F1A75I_DELUXE/

FM2 should be just around the corner, but I'm not sure our board list on that.
faugusztin 6th September 2012, 08:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
This is something I will bring up with the motherboard team. Thanks for the info!

That release system is not used very often (how often do you need to swap the graphics cards) , but a big push down style like on the Gene V would be much more accessible. Of course it is possible that the reason for the use of this kind of release system is the RAM module, which would collide with the bigger push down system. I found out only because my GTX680 died and i needed a graphics card for the time until RMA is processed and that's how i found out about this minor issue.
DarkFear 14th September 2012, 19:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkFear
I saw that the Asrock board has a mSATA slot. Anyone know if it is tied in with one of the 4 SATA ports or is it on it's own channel? (meaning all 4 SATA ports still work when a mSATA card is installed)

I did the Google thing but I seem to be weak with the Googling...
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
2x SATA3 as SATA from Intel PCH
2x SATA2 as SATA from Intel PCH
1x SATA2 as eSATA from Intel PCH
1x SATA2 as mSATA from Intel PCH

It supports "Intel® Rapid Storage and Intel® Smart Response Technology", so it has to be from the Intel PCH.

I really should refrain from reading reviews for products when I'm half asleep. :)

Didn't register that it's hooked into the SATA connection on the chipset rather that hooked into the actually SATA port itself. :o

That clears that up then. ;)
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