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Motherboards Dissapointed with mITX boards?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by silk186, 7 May 2018.

  1. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    I built a stupid large build a number of years ago and I regreget it every time I move. Especial moving from China to the UK. I'm planning a build for when I leave the UK and I had planned to go with an mITX build based on something like the FD node 403, TT core v1 or SS G13.

    Looking at the 370 mITX boards I'm pretty dissapointed. I'm not looking for too much I don't think, wifi, 2xM.2, full audio ports (optical out) and 6+ USB ports in the back. With this I think the platform would be viable for 6+ years. I really think that 1xM.2 is going to be limiting going forward with optane. I would like to get a fast NMVe drive and pick up an optane drive in a year or so when prices come down.

    It seems that an mATX in necissary to avoid a lot of compromises but the platform doesn't have many options. I'm hopeing the z390 will be released so but I don't expect much to change in terms of feature sets. Was mITX always so restricted in terms of ports (other than PCIe slots)?
     
  2. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    My Z270i has 8USB (4x2.0, 4x3.0 with 1 type c) full audio and 2 m.2 slots. And wifi too. The newer Z370i should also fit your requirements, as only difference apart from chipset is an addition of a usb2 internal header.
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2018
  3. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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  4. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    You'll struggle to get >6 usbs even on some ATX boards...

    the rear i/o has been increasingly stingy of late imo... possibly to force you onto the higher tier boards.
     
  5. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    If it's the number of usb ports letting you down, just buy a hub of some sort, solves one potential problem.
     
  6. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Aye, indeed.
     
  7. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    USB ports should not be a luxery, I tried a USB add-in card on an ATX board and it didn't work well. If I'm going mITX I don't want a USB hub. The Strix Z-370i looks good, I don't know why I didn't see it before.

    I normally check Newegg for parts and didn't remember seeing it.
     
  8. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    Out of interest, which 6 peripherals are you using that need USB 3?
     
  9. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    keyboard, wired mouse, webcam, xbox wireless adapter, second keyboard, external drive, blue tooth adapter, wireless mouse adapter.
     
  10. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    On a mitx board you get less rear i/o, not unreasonable the number of usb ports goes down.

    I currently use a usb hub myself as my board doesn't have enough and it works fine, do have another one that's a bit dodgy though (was cheap methinks).
     
  11. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    I don't really see how using a hub is a hardship, not like they take up loads of space or whatever, but each to his own.

    Most monitors have a built-in USB hub these days, too, or alternatively you could hook up one of the board's USB headers to an external panel (and there's always the front panel too).

    Maybe I'm lucky but my Asus Z170i board has 2xUSB 2, 4xUSB 3.0 and 2xUSB 3.1 ports on the back, plus a 2.0 header and a 3.0 header. So you could have 12 USB ports without needing a hub.
     
  12. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Reduce number of items used = reduce number of items that can fail.
     
  13. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    So 8 [realistically 7 as most ITX boards come with some form of wifi/bluetooth card]... possibly as few as 5 if you have one of the newer bluetooth xbone controllers and/or the wireless mouse is bluetooth.

    And of those only 2 at most need to be USB 3 [Webcam and external HDD]


    But 8 seems to be your limit for rear i/o on ITX, 6 [3.x] and 2 [2.0] from the ASRock Z370 and H370 offerings, the ASUS Strix has 7 [4x 2.0, 3x 3.x] + 1 Type-C...

    ...plus no doubt the 2x 3.x on your case's FP from the on-baord header.

    Only the Strix and the Gigglebyte Z370 boards have 2x M.2, but given most ATX boards only have 1 [mostly thanks to intel gimping the number of PCI-E lanes], and the cramped nature of itx, it's to be expected.
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2018
  14. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    USB hub fails, buy new hub. Motherboard USB ports fail, buy... new motherboard?

    :D
     
  15. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    12 USB ports is more than almost anyone could use if they tried. No board should have less than 6 USB 2/3 ports in the rear.
    Why a USB hub doesn't take up a load of space it defeats the small food print of an mITX build, adding wires and another power brick.
     
  16. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    The mobo can fail regardless of the existence of USB hub(s) and if it happens you will still buy a new mobo because you need something to plug the USB hub into for it to work.

    There are zero valid reasons (other than artificial restrictions to push people into higher priced mobos) to provide less USB ports on the rear i/o than the max supported by the CPU / Chipset.
     
  17. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    You hit the nail on the head, you want more stuff, pay more for a higher end model? (pretty sure that happens in most things in life)

    Also depending on the size of the hub you won't need an external power source for it, also by the sounds of it you've got lots of stuff already, adding a small usb hub won't suddenly make your mitx build too big/messy.
     
  18. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    I don't mind paying more for premium features on a higher end board.
    Premium features:
    Better caps
    better cooling and power control
    Bios reset button and error display
    Better audio and networking options.
    The addition of new high end ports
    Addional lighting features

    I don't mind paying more for an mITX board with a second M.2 slot, a better audio solution, and improved phase power delivery, but USB 2/3 ports are not a premium feature.
     
    Arboreal likes this.
  19. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    I'm not wanting to harass you here, but you can get loads of unpowered hubs that'll accommodate the likes of keyboards, mice and so on. And your mITX case might have a small footprint but the total footprint of all of your components (monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse et al) isn't going to be significantly increased by adding a hub that's maybe a couple of inches on a side.

    In an ideal world you'd just have enough ports on your motherboard, but if you need more then a hub isn't the end of the world imho.
     
  20. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    I think Slik has a point on the original OP.
    It's interesting that when it comes to M.2 very few board have 2 slots where Asrock's diminutive Deskmini has 3 PLUS a half length M.2 E keyed Wifi slot too...

    Looking at the top Asus ITX boards for example in chronological order:
    Maximus VI Impact - 4 USB 2 + 4 USB 3 in 2 stacks on rear IO
    Maximus VII Impact - 4 USB 2 + 4 USB 3 in 2 stacks on rear IO
    Maximus VIII Impact - 4 USB 3 in 1 stack on rear IO
    Strix Z270I Gaming - 4 USB 2 + 4 USB 3 in 3 stacks on rear IO
    Strix Z370I Gaming - 4 USB 2 + 4 USB 3 in 3 stacks on rear IO

    M VIII Impact could be a pain to use as some USB items block adjoining ports, meaning that you may only get to use 2 of the 4, thankfully the newer Strix models have a better layout and more ports again.
    I may look at what the other makes have been doing too
     

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