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-   -   Mini-ITX MB? (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/htpc-systems-software/17771-mini-itx-mb.html)

dcproulx May 10, 2009 10:48 AM

Mini-ITX MB?
Hi there, I'm a new member.

I bought a mini-ITX case lately for a new HTPC (Apex MI-008) but I'm having trouble finding much on ITX motherboards in the forums, a search on ITX comes up empty. :-(

Are people avoiding the m-ITX platform for some reason? Apart from cut up fingers, I mean.

I have a list that I'm researching, if anyone has any feedback on these, I would very much appreciate it! I'm looking for a "value" MB, not high end, just to allow browsing, email, and HD support would be nice too. I want low power, so any opinions on whether to go AMD or Intel would be welcome, I know Core 2 Duo would be great power wise but AM2 seems to have the edge on power consumption. The AM boards seem to be more expensive. I don't plan to add a discreet GPU.

Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX LGA775 ~$170
Jetway 780G AM2 ~$95
INTEL DG45FC LGA775 ~$150
Zotac NF610I-D-E MINI-ITX LGA775 ~$65
Zotac GF9300-D-E MINI-ITX LGA775 Wifi etc loaded ~$170
ZOTAC NF630I-F-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 7100 Mini ITX WIFI ~$100
Zotac GF8200-C-E MINI-ITX AM2 GeForce 8200 ~$140

Anyhow, I'm straining at the bit to go buy a mini-ITX MB (if I can find one) and start building!


cadaveca May 10, 2009 10:51 AM

You'll find any nV-based m-itx board quite expensive. There's very little chatter about the platform as it doesn't really provide the needs of most users here, who shun even onboard video(I don't like onboard vga either). Add in the usual max 1 pci-slot, and you've got a platform that is mini in all accounts, including functionality.

vulcan500rider May 10, 2009 11:00 AM

I went with the dual core Atom board here: NCIX.com - Buy Intel BOXD945GCLF2 MINI-ITX DDR2 945GC Dual Core Atom 1PCI Motherboard Retail - BOXD945GCLF2 In Canada.

Don't expect to game on it, but it's great for web surfing, and even HD content (1080p can be a bit sluggish, 720p is great). I'm powering mine with a 90w picopsu, and it works fine thus far. The only drawback, IMO, is that you need a separate bracket for spdif (though it does have the motherboard header) and there's no DVI connection; it's vga only.

dcproulx May 10, 2009 11:01 AM

Cadaveca, yes, I agree. But it will be perfect for my computer illiterate but very decor conscious sister who will be getting this build. :-)

Vulcan500, I did consider Atom, but I have a spare Sempron I'd like to use and I was worried about the 1080p as well. Maybe I'll give it another look though, the atoms seem to be more available and she likely won't want a blu-ray drive right now anyhow.

cadaveca May 10, 2009 11:07 AM

Well, NCIX has m-itx ATOM kits for like $160, with a case. May be worth checking out.

vulcan500rider May 10, 2009 11:27 AM

It was actually the availability (well, and the price) that sold me originally. Some of the Zotacs have better features, but the Atom is the best for ~$100, and seems easy to find (and PM).

Oh, another note, though it probably won't apply, is that if you're going Linux, a number of distros have trouble with the GMA 950 GPU on the ATOM board, specifically as it pertains to OpenGL. I tried Ubuntu 8.10, 9.04, and finally 8.04 before I managed to get it working OK. I tried the newest drivers, newest MESA, the whole nine yards, but there was nothing that would make it behave in either 8.10 or 9.04. Ubuntu 8.04 worked fine from the get go--go figure.

I can't think of any other problems off-hand, but I'll try to remember to check my build log at home and get back to you if I can remember any other negatives.

HaDeS May 10, 2009 12:10 PM

considering the price of am2 cpus... the sempron simply doesn't have enough power to run anything very well imo... 4200+ will oc to 3.0ghz with no tweaking btw.

Phobia May 10, 2009 02:24 PM

Project: AtomSmasher - RRTech...The SOURCE for Extreme Liquid Cooling

I think that board is pretty sweet, its got full lga 775, etc. What i liked is the pci-e 2.0 adapter that allows you to turn your card on its side to allow for a lower profile.

JD May 10, 2009 03:24 PM

I think mATX would be a wiser choice since there's far more choices and a whole lot cheaper. Doesn't take up that much room either depending on what kind of mATX case you buy.

Probably wouldn't end up being much bigger than any other A/V component and Silverstone makes some rather low-profile mATX HTPC cases.

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