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Mini-ITX Z77 motherboard previews

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samkiller42 17th April 2012, 10:31 Quote
I must admit, i'm seriously considering using either a Mini ITX or a M-ATX board for a new build i have in mind. While i love building rigs in vast cases, the small form factor just appeals.

Sam
Parge 17th April 2012, 10:51 Quote
Given how hot Ivybridge appears to be running, an ITX motherboard (at least one without sufficient cooling) seems like a bad idea.
Ljs 17th April 2012, 11:03 Quote
I got really excited when I saw this and then opened it and noticed it said preview... :(

The ASRock is aesthetically the nicest looking board by far, I hope it performs well. Never having owned an ASRock board, I believe I read that you can have very good control over fans independently in the BIOS, which would be quite important to try and make the ITX as quiet as possible.

Can't wait to see reviews on these - I'm still yearning to shrink my computer down to ITX.

Now all I need is for someone to go ahead and start making some decent cases...
GuilleAcoustic 17th April 2012, 11:35 Quote
Nice preview, too bad that only Zotac provides a full length mini-PCIe / mSATA slot in addition to the "classic" half-length mini-PCIe (often used for wifi). This full length slot could be nice to plug a mSATA SSD as OS disk, thus removing 2 wires and a full size disk (matching the idea of reduced size).
Bindibadgi 17th April 2012, 11:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljs
The ASRock is aesthetically the nicest looking board by far, I hope it performs well. Never having owned an ASRock board, I believe I read that you can have very good control over fans independently in the BIOS, which would be quite important to try and make the ITX as quiet as possible.

ASUS has FanXpert software :)

http://rog.asus.com/78012012/overclocking/discover-the-benefits-of-fan-xpert/
GuilleAcoustic 17th April 2012, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
ASUS has FanXpert software :)

http://rog.asus.com/78012012/overclocking/discover-the-benefits-of-fan-xpert/

... and reguarding the layout (chipset between the CPU and the PCIe-16x) it gives a higher compatibility with CPU heaksink :)
faugusztin 17th April 2012, 12:15 Quote
ASRock and Zotac are pointless if you want to use anything better than stock cooler and a graphics card in the PCI-E slot at the same time. Pretty much all coolers will block your PCI-E slot in this stupid default Intel layout (every H61, H67, Z68, H77 and Z77 mITX boards use that specific layout except three - Foxconn H61S, H67S and ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe) - CPU socket pushed next to the RAM modules and PCI-E slot.

Unfortunately, i am still waiting for P8Z77-I Deluxe to be released :'(.
rpsgc 17th April 2012, 12:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
ASRock and Zotac are pointless if you want to use anything better than stock cooler and a graphics card in the PCI-E slot at the same time. Pretty much all coolers will block your PCI-E slot in this stupid default Intel layout (every H61, H67, Z68, H77 and Z77 mITX boards use that specific layout except three - Foxconn H61S, H67S and ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe) - CPU socket pushed next to the RAM modules and PCI-E slot.

Unfortunately, i am still waiting for P8Z77-I Deluxe to be released :'(.

What?


I say again... what?!


Try installing any decent HTPC / low profile cooler on that Asus, I dare you. The ASRock can fit a Thermalright AXP-140 FFS. That's a monster sized cooler.

Or do you expect to overclock an Ivy Bridge on that Asus using nothing but the stock cooler? Or a pathetic Kozuti or 1U cooler?
Noob? 17th April 2012, 12:26 Quote
brumgrunt, thanks for the link. ;)

Great preview, look tempting but I find myself looking towards the Asrock and Zotac for some reason, prefer the darker PCB personally.
samkiller42 17th April 2012, 12:38 Quote
Seriously, why are board manufactures still installing PS2 ports?

Sam
faugusztin 17th April 2012, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpsgc
Try installing any decent HTPC / low profile cooler on that Asus, I dare you.

Or do you expect to overclock an Ivy Bridge on that Asus using nothing but the stock cooler? Or a pathetic Kozuti or 1U cooler?

I plan using NH-L12, which will fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpsgc
The ASRock can fit a Thermalright AXP-140 FFS. That's a monster sized cooler.

Looking at the pictures when it is installed on a H55 board with similar layout, AXP-140 is actually an exception which should be fine with that socket placement, compared to pretty much all other coolers which are blocking the PCI-E slot with that socket placement.

The issue with AXP-140 is that it has it is the typical Thermalright availability (pretty bad sometimes) and price - NH-L12 with one 12cm and one 9.2cm fan is 49 euros, while AXP-140 with no fans is 60-70 euros. And that price makes AXP-140 pretty much pointless, you can buy Corsair H60 for that price.
dunx 17th April 2012, 12:54 Quote
I have a Zalman CNPS10X on my Gigabyte H55 mitx board, clears the PCI-E slot by 10mm. These look almost identical in layout to me.

HTH

dunx

P.S. It also fitted my Zotac H55 mitx board as well !
Bindibadgi 17th April 2012, 13:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpsgc
What?


I say again... what?!


Try installing any decent HTPC / low profile cooler on that Asus, I dare you. The ASRock can fit a Thermalright AXP-140 FFS. That's a monster sized cooler.

Or do you expect to overclock an Ivy Bridge on that Asus using nothing but the stock cooler? Or a pathetic Kozuti or 1U cooler?

As long as Thermalright commits to the standard Intel keep-out area it will fit perfectly. The ASUS VRM daughterboard is 100% within Intel socket specification.
faugusztin 17th April 2012, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
A Noctua NH-U9B SE2 should be OK too.

Not if you have the PSU directly above the cpu cooler :). NH-U9B is 125mm high, max CPU cooler height for PC-Q08 is 110mm. As i said before, for nearly all low profile coolers the socket placement is an issue, except the 3 board i mentioned.
GuilleAcoustic 17th April 2012, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Not if you have the PSU directly above the cpu cooler :). NH-U9B is 125mm high, max CPU cooler height for PC-Q08 is 110mm. As i said before, for nearly all low profile coolers the socket placement is an issue, except the 3 board i mentioned.

Depends on the case then :D ... I think there's no magic recipes when talking about ITX and SFF. You really have to carefully choose all components, but that's what it really interesting with those builds.
Ljs 17th April 2012, 13:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

ASUS has FanXpert software :)

http://rog.asus.com/78012012/overclocking/discover-the-benefits-of-fan-xpert/

Ahh good shout, although I'm pretty certain I read that people with the Gene-Z couldn't out their fans down past 60% or something? I may be mistaken however. Still doesn't change the fact that I don't like the old school blue on that board! :P
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
ASRock and Zotac are pointless if you want to use anything better than stock cooler and a graphics card in the PCI-E slot at the same time

Corsair Hydro / Antec Kuhler? Not all ITX cases will house these (or rather cater for a 120mm exhaust).
Combatus 17th April 2012, 14:02 Quote
Have to say that even though I own the Zotac Z68 ITX board, and built a custom waterblock for it, I'm seriously considering getting the Asus board at some point!
javaman 17th April 2012, 15:28 Quote
My next build I was hoping to do an itx gaming rig. Biggest issue I'm finding is space for cooling and psu. May have to bump up to matx but its aimed at LAN parties and taking up as little desk space as possible. Would rather have other things under my desk like storage than my case.
Guunkushnaka 17th April 2012, 16:00 Quote
Finally ASUS jumps on the bandwagon and gives us a supposedly good offering...Until it gets a full review ofcourse. Definitely thinking about moving to Mini-ITX with my next build, I like Dynamite in small packages...Obviously WC FTW!!!
Sloth 17th April 2012, 19:38 Quote
I'm a fan of the little mentioned fact that all three have onboard wireless capabilities. This was one thing which I felt was ignored in previous mITX reviews yet is something many SFF builds will be looking for. Obviously these manufacturers agree that wireless is worth adding!
TheDarkSide 17th April 2012, 21:08 Quote
is bit tech waiting for the release of ivy to review the new mobos?
i've been eyeing a few of them but waiting for the bit tech seal of approval!
leslie 17th April 2012, 21:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
Seriously, why are board manufactures still installing PS2 ports?

Sam

Key rollover in games.
USB allows very few simultaneous key presses, PS2 allows far more.
faugusztin 17th April 2012, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
Key rollover in games.
USB allows very few simultaneous key presses, PS2 allows far more.

6 (USB) vs no-limit, typically 12 (PS/2), but only if your keyboard is capable of it. Majority of keyboards can only handle 4-5 keys pressed at same time anyway, so that limitation is not important.
Sloth 17th April 2012, 22:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
6 (USB) vs no-limit, typically 12 (PS/2), but only if your keyboard is capable of it. Majority of keyboards can only handle 4-5 keys pressed at same time anyway, so that limitation is not important.
It's certainly nifty but I agree it's likely not the driving factor. I'd say the legacy aspect is more important, remove it and people will complain that they can't use their favorite keyboard. Going the other way not many people are going to be complaining "If only I had two more USB ports rather than that ancient PS2!". Two more USB ports, another Ethernet port, there's a couple different things you could fit in the same space but none are going to draw as many complaints for not having them as PS2.
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