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Old 27th May 2010, 12:40   #1
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Will mini-ITX lead to disappointment?

http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2010/05...isappointment/

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Old 27th May 2010, 12:57   #2
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Old 27th May 2010, 13:13   #3
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Well it depends on the shape of the HTPC market if there still is one, I'd try overclocking again for definite in the future, but I wouldn't choose to waste money on overclocking a CPU in anything but a standard case, the size below ATX would be as far as I'd go as you could still augment the cooling to what's needed, to help prevent mobo death.

It's the enthusiast version of the netbook, they've been built for one purpose - and for people not that bothered about speed - and a different group is trying to use it for something else - and want all the capabilities of something larger. So you put up with the risk of burnout, or stick to something larger.
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Old 27th May 2010, 13:24   #4
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Well, just because they're smaller, doesn't mean they must have less layers.
A smaller board should have shorter connections, so performance is not necessarily less.

Unless of course the skimp on power phases.

As everything is on board nowadays anyway, a micro or pico ATX wit just a graphicscard on it could be all you need.
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Old 27th May 2010, 14:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir View Post
As everything is on board nowadays anyway, a micro or pico ATX wit just a graphicscard on it could be all you need.
More likely a graphics card with a pico ATX board on it! The graphics card would swamp the motherboard in size terms...
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Old 27th May 2010, 14:51   #6
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There's a good few Mini-ITX boards with full fat PCI-Ex16 graphics card slots on now so there is obviously a market for running high power gaming machines in small cases.
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Old 27th May 2010, 15:09   #7
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I'm wondering why something like MSI's DrMOS wouldn't save clocking on those. It will handle whatever you want to throw at it, and it's not nearly as bi as these elaborate (and unnecessary) 12 or 24 phase monstrosities...
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Old 27th May 2010, 16:52   #8
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I'd love to have a high-end mITX board... ymmm! mITX.
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Old 27th May 2010, 17:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayinBlack
I'm wondering why something like MSI's DrMOS wouldn't save clocking on those. It will handle whatever you want to throw at it, and it's not nearly as bi as these elaborate (and unnecessary) 12 or 24 phase monstrosities...
We've blown two DrMOS equipped microATX P55 MSI motherboards that had just 3 or 4 power phases with overclocked i5-750s. They can't cut it either. 8-12 is more ideal, any more and it gets a bit silly unless you're extreme overclocking.

Jack - Zotac make one which we have already reviewed and the ECS one from last week wasn't too bad, and I have also just finished testing the Gigabyte H55N-USB3 at 4.4GHz with a Clarkdale CPU, but that too is limited to 95W.
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Old 27th May 2010, 17:53   #10
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Do people really buy mITX motherboard for performance and overclocking? If so they're better off with the standard ATX



I'd only buy and mITX for a low power media/server rig, nothing else
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:14   #11
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People who buy a mITX-board to build a full blown OC-gaming-rig can't be helped... it's totally illogical to do this, as the small sizes of the enclosures can't keep up ith the cooling needed anyways.

I've bought myself a Zotac ION ITX A, as it's the only one with integrated PSU, which makes a case as small as 200x200x100mm possible... and that includes a huge 120mm fan and a Blue-ray drive. Totally silent while watching HD-videos and even capable of playing some games at 1280x1024.
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:23   #12
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Bindi, that's real interesting. I still haven't turnd the screws on my new i7 too hard but I broke 4.0 on air with a first-run 720BE and the DrMos 5-phase handled it (board succumbed to liquid cooling accident in client's hands, not burned out 'fets) but it's possible to put what, 6 on there?

I'm not sure where the problem comes in on there, better designed/built phases always trump more, but are we now on a cost/performance issue? That would honestly make more sense to me.

Mini-ITX wouldn't seem my first choice, but I could see some amazing ideas come out of it. Just not sure what it would take to get there...
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:25   #13
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We do buy it for performance and some overclocking.

I know I'm not the only one to have built a small lan gaming system using mini itx and its a market that I see growing. The intorduction of cases like the sugo 05 and the up coming 07 means that we can fit high power graphipcs cards now so we naturally want a fairly powerful cpu to go with it.

The mostly likley group to be interested in building a system like this are also probably going to overclock it to get as much performance out of it as possible.

Yes we want it all but why not?

Personally I would like to see a form of extended mini itx (DTX is close but has one expansion slot to many) as cases like the sugo 05 and 07 already allow the space because of the size of graphics cards. This would allow more room for power phases and more room for a bigger cpu cooler around the socket.
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:36   #14
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mITX is tempting, but I honestly don't need a machine to be that small. mATX is the sweetspot for me but I have no aversion to ATX either.

Do people really need PCs to be that small? I have to admit having a PC fitted to the VESA mount behind your monitor would be kinda cool, but even for LANs I don't exactly struggle to bring a midi tower with me.
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:45   #15
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I use ITX and its fine for my HTPC, overclocking is not my focus though, course I do a bit because I can but my focus is typically undervolting and undrclocking so my machine uses between 30-40w when its idle as its always on, sitting in the front room making zero noise and just looks like a DVD player, recording TV, used for blueray. used as backup storage for my laptops/PCs etc.

I'd imagine if people wanted overclocking etc in a small form factor then surely uATX is good enough.
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:49   #16
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I think it is nice for a media center rig that you want more power for. For example my current tv computer runs an i7 920 and is total overkill (I had the parts lying around so no I really was not just buying a 920 for a tv). So I would like to make a much smaller system that uses less power but still has more umph than just a ion system. This way I know that I can play even poorly encoded video or do other tasks that come up. Also there is logically the option of running some light bonic work on there when it is not in use. This is why I like the idea of having an system so small. It is also great to take on trips and hook up at other people place.

Lastly there is the enthusiast in me that just wants to stick my 960 in there an OC it to 5ghz, just kidding. Seriously though, I like the idea of trying to build something nice that is in a small package on the cheep. I have built so many huge multi full tower rigs that bankrupt my savings it is nice and refreshing to be able to just build a nice small cheep system that gets the job done so to speak.
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Old 27th May 2010, 22:25   #17
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Id be tempted to buy a mITX board for my main PC and put a 5850 in it if someone came out with a custom PCB that was shorter (having said that i wont be buying a new system until the next gen cards are out, so then my needs may be satisfied by the next grade down which might well be shorter). The only reason i probably wont be able to is that i need 2 Gigabit ethernet ports (1 for internet sicne my house is not wifi friendly even with n rated) and one to connect my fileserver.
If someone made a mITX board with 2 ethernet ports id jump on that, put it all in a tiny case and bask in its tiny dimensions.
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Old 28th May 2010, 09:57   #18
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I always viewed the mini-ITX specifically for HTPC's and small home servers. Having said that I do feel there needs to be some overclocking options and leave it up to the user how they manage it. I would never use mini-ITX for a gaming set up however cute it is. What I'd really like to see is 2 x Gb ethernet ports and if they could some how lever it on, more pci expansion or perhaps the inclusion of riser cards with the boards.
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:04   #19
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In it's current state mITX isn't tailored to the high-end gamers/enthusiasts but if a 'gaming' board was released I'd definitely be interested in one. I've always been a fan of SFF PCs and I whole-hearted regret going from a powerful Shuttle to an equivalent configured midi-tower.

Personally I love small, well designed and crafted rigs that can offer near or the same performance as a high-end huge monstrosity that consumes half of the room it's in.

For the current time being mITX will be the lower power, HTPC based board and nothing more.
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:10   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast View Post
Do people really buy mITX motherboard for performance and overclocking? If so they're better off with the standard ATX
Well, if you buy a standart ATX and only equip it with a powerfull graphicscard (as everything else is on-board anyway), you've got a square foot of unused connections.

So why not make a smaller form faktor board that's still powerfull enough?
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