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Hardware Mini-ITX motherboard shootout

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 5 Sep 2012.

  1. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    i5-3570K at stock. Temps... It really depends with what settings. But let's do this for now with all system fans at 100% - that means 1800RPM for the 9.2cm CPU fan, 1500RPM for the 12cm CPU fan and max speeds for the 12cm and 14cm Air Penetrators i use as outtakes from the system (there is no intake in my system, air comes through the holes in bottom and back.

    With these settings CPU idles at 32C according to the ASUS tools, 30-33C according to Speedfan. GPU is at 36C, ambient temp is around 25C.

    OCCT, Large Data Set, after 3 minutes it is at 53-55C with the CPU and stays there. The primary issue is the heat the GPU can make when gaming, but that really depends on your use-case scenario. My GTX570 heats like crazy and dumps all heat in the case, so that is the wost case possible.

    The top of the case is open, there are holes on one of the side panels. I don't think you can run in cooling issues in Prodigy.

    mini DTX ? There is one Zotac Atom board, but mDTX is pretty much pointless. You get two PCI-E slots, one of them will be blocked by the dual slot card in the most cases anyway. So what is the point :D.
     
  2. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    I have an HD5870 with a 92mm blower (Asus EAH5870 V2) ... to it would help keeping the hot air outside the case :D

    I was thinking about something like the ECS B75H2-D

    [​IMG]

    It allows for a GPU plus PCIe-1x board (sound card, wifi, etc.)

    Or something like the Shuttle X79 2x PCIe-16x mobo

    [​IMG]

    2x watercooled GPU or 2x single slot GPU (like FirePro V7800 / V7800P / V7900). Is addition it has space for an mSATA + mPCIe slot, and better IHS compatibility due to wider card (24cm i/o 17cm)
     
  3. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    That should be better suited for this case then. I used the GTX570 Phantom because i already had it :D.


    Those boards are horrific. Plus what is the point of such boards, when you have no case to use them ?
     
  4. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Custom built workstation case with dual single slot workstation card ^^. Power efficient, powerfull and very small workstation.

    EDIT : Aestetic is fugly, but this is an interesting layout.
     
  5. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    If you want a Shuttle, get a Shuttle, no ? And that ECS B75H2-D is horrific, in layout sense :
    1) the PCI-E x16 slot is secondary, that means your graphics card will be pushed next to the side panel and you are unable to put any dual slot card there.
    2) a long PCI-E card will probably block the SATA ports, so you will be able to use only one.
    3) most front panel connectors will be covered by the long graphics card.

    And by the way, the reason you can't get that ECS board is simple - ECS is long gone from European market. But you could find those boards easily on the Asian market once they start selling them.
     
  6. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    That was just an example :). The idea behind the DTX, even if you can use only 1 PCIe connector, is that you have more space for components like chipset or VRM. Since the form factor exists; it would be nice to see it available. I'm aware that it's even more a niche market than ITX :D, but for an enthousiast it's a must have :thumb:.

    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

    EDIT : Shuttle cases and psu are horrible
     
  7. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    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 :).
     
  8. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    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 :lol:. Can't wait to see ITX go even further.
     
  9. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog What's a Dremel?

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    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?
     
  10. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    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).
     
  11. DarkFear

    DarkFear What's a Dremel?

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    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...
     
  12. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    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.
     
  13. fluxtatic

    fluxtatic What's a Dremel?

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    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.)
     
  14. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    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.
     
  15. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    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.
     
  16. DarkFear

    DarkFear What's a Dremel?

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

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

    That clears that up then. :thumb:
     
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