mITX sanity check

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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:51 am

Actually, I'd rather not go with a tower cooler. In building up my super cheap WMC "server" I came across some interesting research about motherboards. The motherboard I got was cheap and had a fairly high failure rate. However, someone did some resarch and found that the VRM's were failing (only a 3+1 design) on the majority of boards. That's not suprising, even if it's a 95W CPU. But the interesting part was that almost all of the failures had an aftermarket tower HSF installed. The blow-down design moved air over the VRM, keeping them cool. How much of that is an issue in a Haswell CPU with much of its VRM integrated? Not much, but it's something I'll consider from now on. And I'd rather not have to rip out everything just to put a back plate on. Yup, I'm lazy, and low on time.

That CM cooler looks promising and should fit, even with the GPU. But you're right. I'll probably mock everything up then order the HSF if I cant' find someone that's already done it. Time to get my Google on!

EDIT: Google has spoken and it won't work, not with the drive cages. I did find the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus does fit without issues. So, that's on my list at the moment.
Losergamer04
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:38 am

Losergamer04 wrote:Actually, I'd rather not go with a tower cooler.....I did find the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus does fit without issues. So, that's on my list at the moment.

Contradiction.... Anyway, if you do go with a tower cooler, the Hyper 212 EVO is better than the 212 Plus.

Losergamer04 wrote:The motherboard I got was cheap and had a fairly high failure rate. However, someone did some resarch and found that the VRM's were failing (only a 3+1 design) on the majority of boards. That's not suprising, even if it's a 95W CPU. But the interesting part was that almost all of the failures had an aftermarket tower HSF installed.

1) That's why you buy a mobo with VRM heatsinks.
2) With that 120mm exhaust fan (basically) right next to the VRM, you won't have any problems.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:10 pm

I know it was a contradiction, but I could not find anything I liked that had a fan in the orientation I liked. I'll just stick with the stock one for now. It's quiet and I'm not going to OC at the moment. I'll probably do an upgrade at some point.

You're right, this motherboard has a heatsink of the VRM and they won't be working as hard as the other ones were.

Now, for the clock to strike that time so I can get home and order my new parts.
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look ma, it overclocks!

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:02 pm

random coincidence yet topically relevant

BTW, a lot of VRMs moved inside the cpu with haswell, which also increased (socket) TDP a bit.

Random rant: I refuse to touch any ITX board w/o intel nics as you have no good way to add one, which leaves higher end models from asrock and asus the only obvious choices for haswell.
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Re: look ma, it overclocks!

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:54 pm

Bauxite wrote:Random rant: I refuse to touch any ITX board w/o intel nics as you have no good way to add one, which leaves higher end models from asrock and asus the only obvious choices for haswell.


Not that I don't understand the sentiment, I definitely prefer Intel NICs wherever possible, but the lack of an Intel NIC can't really be a huge loss in the overall scheme of things. Besides, those ITX boards that include mPCIe slots for WLAN NICs will accept Intel's latest and greatest 802.11ac cards, so there is the potential for upgrade there.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:07 pm

Some lunatic in another thread wrote: $140 ASRock Z87E-ITX mini-ITX LGA1150 motherboard
This motherboard includes an Intel i217V NIC, Realtek ALC1150 audio, a half mini-PCIe slot with an included 802.11ac WiFi/Bluetooth 4.0 module and a another available mini-PCIe slot.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:43 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Some lunatic in another thread wrote: $140 ASRock Z87E-ITX mini-ITX LGA1150 motherboard
This motherboard includes an Intel i217V NIC, Realtek ALC1150 audio, a half mini-PCIe slot with an included 802.11ac WiFi/Bluetooth 4.0 module and a another available mini-PCIe slot.


That board is a breath of fresh air. A few people in the comments mentioned issues with the WLAN/BT module, but there's a number of ways to skin that cat, and I'd love to see what audiophiles have to say about the Realtek 1150 + headphone amp ASRock used when driving a decent set of cans.

And 4.7GHz on Haswell with an H80i? Hell, I just picked up a refurbished H80i at my local Fry's for $45 to upgrade my H60, which will get reused elsewhere. That's one potent little board.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:53 am

I understand wanting a good NIC. Intel is one of two companies with good Linux support for their NIC's. I'm not sure how the wireless will work, though. It's kind of hit and miss with those. I'll find out shortly!

So I ordered all of it. I went with the

1 x ($199.99) Intel Core i5-4570S Haswell 2.9GHz LGA 1150 65W Qu $199.99
1 x ($139.99) ASRock Z87E-ITX LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s $139.99
2 x ($64.99) Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM $129.98
1 x ($95.99) Mushkin Enhanced Atlas Series MKNSSDAT120GB-V mSAT $95.99
1 x ($54.99) Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Al
(NOTE: forgot the external DVD drive so I can install an OS... DOAH!)

I skimped on the power supply for now and will resuse my old one. I went with the S processor because it was cheaper. When talking to the wife about it, I honestly could not justify the extra $70 for the HSF and K CPU because I truly have no desire to OC. The power supply I bought years ago works and was pretty damn nice back in the day and should suffice. The only reason I went with 16 GB of RAM is because 1) I don't want to play RAM roullet in the future trying to match it 2) I may move my WMC into a VM and that may save some power (X3 455 isn't that efficient and it's slow) in the future. And ignored the hard drive because my WMC system has 5TB of storage and is always on. And if I move it all into one case, then it's no problem.

I'd let you know how the ALC1150 sounds when I get a chance. And thank you all for your time. I appreciate it.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:28 am

Losergamer04 wrote:(NOTE: forgot the external DVD drive so I can install an OS... DOAH!)

Installing the OS from a flash drive is WAYYYY faster.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:45 am

Good point, but I still would like an external drive. I still buy CD's, DVD's, backup, etc. Yeah, I'll just make the bootable flash drive for 13.10. It's easy enough.
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Re: mITX sanity check

Postposted on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:51 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Losergamer04 wrote: I'm guessing losing VT-d doesn't really matter much for home VM usage, does it.

I use a 3570K with VMWare Workstation running 64-bit Windows 7 and 32-bit Windows XP (for IE8 testing, *shudder*) and I don't miss VT-d at all.


VT-d is really only used when you're passing host devices through to a VM directly. Very rare. It's usable in ESXi or in Workstation with a small hack, and I personally use it to pass my Nvidia GPU through to a VM on occasion.

It's nothing to worry about, unless you're a HUGE VM addict, like me.
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