SFF.Network M-ATX's Slow Decline Continues - EVGA Launches their Z370 Micro-ATX Motherboard

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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After MSI's mediocre X299M-A Pro launch recently, I came to the conclusion in my view that M-ATX is dying a slow, painful death. Today that continues, with the oddity that is EVGA's Z370 Micro. Selling for US$179.99 on EVGA's own webstore, this Intel Z370 based board supports LGA1151 for Intel's 8th generation Core Processors. The board is targeted at the enthusiast market, with angled power and Io connectors, SLI certification and claimed strong overclocking support.

Read more here.
 

VegetableStu

Shrink Way Wielder
Aug 18, 2016
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Yeah most Z370 boards come with two M.2 slots, but I still feel it's a little unfair to compare that to the little monster ._.
(Its saving grace being a x8/x8 board unlike most functionally-itx boards)

Also what's that coming over the hill to the lower right of the CPU socket backplate? o_o


(also LOL at the 24-pin ATX power occupying 3x the space than usual)

(also also also I'm going to hug my X99m board despite its flaws (M.2 runs at PCIe 2.0 x2 :c ))
 
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VegetableStu

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Aug 18, 2016
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Ohh okay.

The more I look at the board, the more it looks like the space between the IO and the heatsink in parallel is begging to be filled, LOL
Could have moved the components leftwards (and clipped off the right side), but I guess they didn't want to do too much to prolong the testing cycle ._.
 

Kwirek

Cable-Tie Ninja
Nov 19, 2016
186
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Yeah, its been disappointing. I thought about upgrading from z270 since I could reuse it for an other computer but I haven't found anything that didn't feel like a down-grade. I guess it is Intel and the board manufacturers way of saying "sit out a couple of them generations".

This one looks really fiddly with lots of connectors on its side. It is bad enough trying to get them on or off in the normal position, but now I'm also expected to remove the bottom fans and possibly the power-supply? And they still have the 90 degree angled USB 3 connector with its stiff cable sticking right out. :\
 

jØrd

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its fine but thats all it is, its not great or ground breaking, its just... fine. M.2 boot drive, SATA drive for games, dual PCIe for the 4 people left who still SLI, recessed power connectors, assuming you can stuff 16GB DIMMs in there than more RAM than alot of gamers are ever going to need, some USB3, some wifi, some ethernet. Everything you need to build a system that will perform just fine but absolutely nothing more. it kind of feels like they wernt trying very hard, especially at that price point.
 

TheOfficialCzex

Trash Compacter
Mar 6, 2017
39
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This is a very sad attempt by a company that should know better. It's as bare-bones as a board costing a quarter of this price, not to mention, ugly. I am sorely disappointed with this board and I sincerely hope they won't push it to production until it's gone through many revisions beyond this trash.
 

Guardsmon

Minimal Tinkerer
Nov 22, 2017
4
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A waste of time developing it, a waste of money buying it. It's all been already said, but if someone buys this its because they are either the 1 person on the planet it was built for or they don't know what they are doing and thought expensive must mean good.
I used to be an avid fan of mATX, but I don't see any benefit over mITX for 90% of cases now.
 

Esso

Cable Smoosher
Nov 23, 2017
11
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But where will I put my Optane 900P?! ;)
Oh wait, thanks U.2 ports :]
 
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parlinone

Trash Compacter
Nov 3, 2017
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For a format dying a 'slow painful death' the marketplace sure doesn't seem to agree with that assertion...

Here's what is being offered in the dutch market right now for the 4 most popular formats (figures taken from tweakers.net):
ATX: 502 products (43%)
mATX: 409 products (35%)
mini-ITX: 169 products (15%)
EATX: 80 products (7%)

And if we only look at the modern sockets (1151/2066/AM4) this is what we get:
ATX: 297 products (49%)
mATX: 237 products (39%)
mini-ITX: 59 products (10%)
EATX: 14 products (2%)

It's almost as popular as ATX and far more popular than mini-ITX with manufacturers. I don't think motherboard would offer that many if there wasn't demand from the market...or we would at least see a downward trend.

We see the opposite trend actually, towards ATX/mATX and away from mini-ITX and EATX.
 
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Phuncz

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May 9, 2015
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There are indeed many mATX boards but most of those are just lazy, low-end boards that don't offer much more than most mITX boards do.

Yet if you choose mATX board that are actually more useful than mITX, meaning Crossfire/SLI compatibility and 4 DIMM slots, you end up with 11 choices for all those platforms. Of these there are 8x Socket-1151 boards, 3x Socket-2066 boards and 0x Socket-AM4 boards.

There is really very little reason to go with mATX over mITX other then Crossfire/SLI support and 4 DIMM slots, as there already exist boards with two M.2 slots (so 2x PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe storage devices), the Realtek 1120 is a good sound solution for most people and a DAC is still a better solution for most others. If you don't need SLI but just Crossfire, that opens up a lot of options though at 62 possible mATX boards. There are 21 boards with Socket-AM4 alone that support SLI if you go with ATX though and almost 120 on the Intel platform.

So unless expandability is really a crucial point and USB or M.2 aren't viable, yes there are many options. But for most people either mITX will be more than enough or they need more RAM or dual graphics cards. There are a few people here that will still debate if you need mATX for those even with PCIe Bifurcation and the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac.

Welcome fellow Tweaker !
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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Jun 19, 2015
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sff.network
For a format dying a 'slow painful death' the marketplace sure doesn't seem to agree with that assertion...

Here's what is being offered in the dutch market right now for the 4 most popular formats (figures taken from tweakers.net):
ATX: 502 products (43%)
mATX: 409 products (35%)
mini-ITX: 169 products (15%)
EATX: 80 products (7%)

And if we only look at the modern sockets (1151/2066/AM4) this is what we get:
ATX: 297 products (49%)
mATX: 237 products (39%)
mini-ITX: 59 products (10%)
EATX: 14 products (2%)

It's almost as popular as ATX and far more popular than mini-ITX with manufacturers. I don't think motherboard would offer that many if there wasn't demand from the market...or we would at least see a downward trend.

We see the opposite trend actually, towards ATX/mATX and away from mini-ITX and EATX.
Qty of products on market does not equal popularity of said market segment. By the format slowly dying, I'm meaning more that the offerings available to end users on the high end are just.. mediocre. Middling. Missing components, connections, etc.

Comparing products on the market to popularity is like noting that there are 30 energy drink products on the market versus 5 cola products. Cola isn't outsold by 6:1!