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Z97 Mini-ITX Motherboard Previews

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Dave Lister 12th May 2014, 10:19 Quote
I'll wait for the reviews but i've pretty much got my heart set on getting the MSI Z97I Gaming next month.
JCBeastie 12th May 2014, 10:22 Quote
That Asrock board does look interesting! Kudos to them and Asus for fitting the M.2 slot onto an ITX mobo.

EVGA really needs to look at what they're doing; ITX without WiFi? Plus a lack of features and a higher price than the competition, no interest in the Stinger boards from me (although they do appeal aesthetically).

Sad to see MSI sticking to that awful layout with the CPU socket too close to the PCI-E slot.
jrs77 12th May 2014, 10:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
Sad to see MSI sticking to that awful layout with the CPU socket too close to the PCI-E slot.

The MSI-boards are the only choice left imho, as they're the only ones where I can mount a decent top-blower like the Thermalright AXP-200.

A real shame that Gigabyte now uses the bad socket-placement of Asus and Asrock.
Arboreal 12th May 2014, 10:35 Quote
Nice to see an good selection of well specced boards early on.
I like the way Gigabyte have saved space by mounting the WiFi cards vertically close to the board edge - No long dangling wires.
One irrationally fussy point, the inner pedant was irritated by the fact that the Asrock board photo wasn't in the same orientation as the others on the page, making it harder to quickly assess layout.
Also, on p2, the mATX Gigabyte Gaming 5 has crept in on the board photo instead of the ITX one.
Looking forward to see how these all pan out on review, I really do have a soft spot for ITX.
ChaosDefinesOrder 12th May 2014, 10:35 Quote
If the EVGA board doesn't have an M2/SATA-E port, what's that at the bottom left of the board between the heatsinks and PCI-E slot?

Also correct me if I'm wrong, but the right hand photo of the Gigabyte GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 on page 2 looks like m-ATX and not the same board as to the left?
Combatus 12th May 2014, 10:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
If the EVGA board doesn't have an M2/SATA-E port, what's that at the bottom left of the board between the heatsinks and PCI-E slot?

Also correct me if I'm wrong, but the right hand photo of the Gigabyte GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 on page 2 looks like m-ATX and not the same board as to the left?

It's a mini PCI-E slot.

Well spotted - it now shows the correct board!
Arboreal 12th May 2014, 10:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
It's a mini PCI-E slot.

Well spotted - it now shows the correct board!

Thanks for sorting both those, it makes more sense now :D

More choice and temptation - must resist, must resist
Arboreal 12th May 2014, 11:00 Quote
Maybe following on from JRS' post, we could have a round up of suitable coolers for these boards, as we have 2 CPU placements.
Combatus 12th May 2014, 11:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arboreal
Maybe following on from JRS' post, we could have a round up of suitable coolers for these boards, as we have 2 CPU placements.

When we get each board in we'll test it with various heatsinks and report our findings - I know there were lots of comments about this on Z87 as they got more popular so we'll be looking in a bit more detail now.
Arboreal 12th May 2014, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
When we get each board in we'll test it with various heatsinks and report our findings - I know there were lots of comments about this on Z87 as they got more popular so we'll be looking in a bit more detail now.

Anthony, that's great thanks. Bring on the samples
David164v8 12th May 2014, 12:55 Quote
I'm probably being a bit dense, bit how do you put the side panel on if the m.2 ssd is put on the back of the motherboard? Wouldn't it stick out?
Dave Lister 12th May 2014, 13:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by David164v8
I'm probably being a bit dense, bit how do you put the side panel on if the m.2 ssd is put on the back of the motherboard? Wouldn't it stick out?

If they are anything like laptop ram slots, it would probably sit parallel with the motherboard when seated properly & i'd think they would be only a few mm thick.
faugusztin 12th May 2014, 13:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by David164v8
I'm probably being a bit dense, bit how do you put the side panel on if the m.2 ssd is put on the back of the motherboard? Wouldn't it stick out?

In a same way as your heatsink backplate doesn't stick out :). And in a same way it is on any Z97 board - paralel to the motherboard as Dave said. so they will stick out only 1-2 milimeters, which is enough place between the motherboard whatever you are mounting it on.
DatenThielt 12th May 2014, 13:47 Quote
Maybe I am being blind or am missing information (hopefully!) But when was the last AMD Motherboard review that was not ITX? I wish we would get a nice post about multiple mobo's for them too!
Parge 12th May 2014, 13:54 Quote
Mini ITX boards are the bomb! They look so much cooler than full ATX boards, with no spare slots and blank bits of PCB.
DatenThielt 12th May 2014, 14:10 Quote
Mini ITX looks so wrong in my HAF X Case XD I like the possibility of expansion too! but am fond more for AMD than Intel (Just a personal preference ofc)
Redbeaver 12th May 2014, 14:28 Quote
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My kind of review is coming. My next upgrade will be a Z97 mITX, so I'll be waiting with heavy breath.........

TBH, I'm very inclined to the cheap MSI board at this point. But for future-proofing, may splurge some $$ for that M.2 or SATA ports...
r3loaded 13th May 2014, 10:06 Quote
I'm surprised many mini-ITX boards don't come with M.2 slots. You'd think this connector would be ideal for an SFF system as you eliminate a chunky 2.5 inch drive and its cabling from the equation.

Speaking of the M.2 form factor, there are quite a few SATA protocol drives like the Evo and the M550, but are there any PCIe protocol drives available on the retail market? I'd rather have those for their superior speed.
Veles 15th May 2014, 10:51 Quote
That EVGA board looks nice
Redbeaver 15th May 2014, 14:30 Quote
Man I'm sold with the ASUS Z97I-Plus.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z97IPLUS/

That's some beautiful web design right there lol im such a sucker for good marketing...

http://www.computershopper.com/components/reviews/asus-z97i-plus

First review I found. M2 is nice and the board seems to have decent layout and clearance.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132122

And it's CAD$175 in Newegg.ca. Which is great.
Redbeaver 15th May 2014, 15:33 Quote
aaaand the ASROCK one got $30 MIR.....
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157504

:(

must.resist. buying. until reading reviews...
Impatience 21st May 2014, 13:41 Quote
Woah.. Blown away by the pricing of the MSI Z97I AC! It's going for £89.99 on Scan! :D
YeOldGeek 3rd July 2014, 21:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
...Speaking of the M.2 form factor, there are quite a few SATA protocol drives like the Evo and the M550, but are there any PCIe protocol drives available on the retail market? I'd rather have those for their superior speed.

Samsung and Plextor has them. Plextor's M6e is 2 lane. Samsung's XP941 is 4 lane (faster).
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