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Discussion in 'SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs' started by kleinkinstein, Dec 15, 2012.
I've been eyeballing one for an upcoming PC-Q07 build right after Xmas. Any reviews, any feedback?
PC-Q07? What are you planning to put in there? It only supports a single slot 7" card, and a normal ATX PSU will block any large heatsinks plus the case does not come with any place to mount a case fan so unless you plan to do some cutting and using AIO liquid coolers or PicoPSUs, you won't be doing much overclocking.
Here's my take on all available Z77 chipset ITX motherboards that I know about.
Gigabyte - Cheapest at around $130 and has dual LAN which can be super important for a small percentage of users, but for most of us is useless. However, no Vcore adjustments are available, which is a big FAIL for a Z77 board.
MSI - $145 and is unknown as to how well it overclocks. Has mSATA. USB WiFi is a little dongle, which IMO will not perform as well as the other solutions that use external antennas. Has Bluetooth. Lots of features at a good price, but is an unknown since it is late to the market. I am interested in learning more about this product.
ASRock - Around $150. Has been proven to overclock well and be reliable. Has mSATA slot. I have seen reports of 4.8GHz overclocks with Ivy Bridge on water. No throttling issue like with older Z68 chipset ASRocks. Available at Micro Center, so you can get a 3570K for $170 and this motherboard for $105 making it the cheapest if you live near a Micro Center. No Bluetooth. I own this product and think it is one of the best choices as long as you don't need to use a huge air cooler (I use AIO liquid).
Zotac - $10 more than the ASRock gives you Bluetooth and a POST display. It also gives you Zotac's history of iffy reliability and this particular product's lack of review/end user history.
Asus - $185-200 (I now see two versions) gets you a repositioned CPU socket and the fancy VRM card plus all the usual features including Bluetooth, but no mSATA. You do get two eSATA, which is useless for most of us but I'm sure someone out there will go "OMG that's exactly what I wanted." The fancy VRM card is the biggest selling point next to the repositioned CPU socket, but I'm not sure it has resulted in any higher overclocks. Also, in some ITX cases the VRM card blocks airflow. Has Intel NIC.
eVGA - Repositioned CPU socket is probably biggest selling point. Has POST code and mini PCIe for adding your own WiFi, though it does come with Bluetooth and Intel NIC as well as two eSATA. eVGA touts overclocking as a big feature. Outside of eVGA forums, Newegg has one end-user review that mentions BIOS issues. You should check out end-user complaints about BIOS issues on older eVGA boards. For instance, eVGA is probably the only company that never released Ivy Bridge BIOS support on older 6-series chipset boards (Z68, etc).
Decide what features you want. For instance, dual NIC means only Gigabyte. mSATA means ASRock or MSI. Intel NIC means Asus or eVGA. Big air coolers mean eVGA and to a lesser degree Asus. Long track record of good overclocking means ASRock. POST code display means Zotac and eVGA.
EVGA is IMHO over priced for the features.
I looked at the Stinger for my SFF build but couldn't justify the extra $100 savings vs the Asrock/Intel Microcenter combo. I love EVGA but they really aren't adding anything special for another $100 bucks.