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MSI has shown their MEG Z690 Unify ITX motherboard, and it looks like it has serious potential. Aside from supporting for the latest Intel 12th Gen Core processors, this ITX board has a full three M.2 slots.

When it comes to most typical ITX motherboards, you will usually find one or two M.2 slots. Having a full three slots opens up a lot of storage and modding possibilities that would otherwise require sacrificing storage. Keep in mind that these are full PCI-E 5.0 slots, so a single x4 M.2 slot is equivalent to a x8 PCI-E 4.0 slot, or x16 PCI-E 3.0 slot. PCI-E 3.0 x16 is still considered enough for even the highest-end GPUs. In theory, you could run additional GPUs, sound cards, capture cards, and a plethora of other devices through these M.2 slots if you use an adapter.







Or just stuff a reasonably priced extra 2TB M.2 storage drive in there instead of paying an insane amount for a 4GB or 8GB model.*

(*If you're reading this in the future, 4TB NVME drives are way more than double the cost of a 2TB drive at the time of writing. 8TB drives require signing away your first born child because daddy NEEDS his music collection that dates back to Napster on local storage, damn it! But I digress... )

The ITX Unify also features DDR5 support for up to 6800 Mhz, 105 AMP smart power stage VRMs with active cooling (fan), and an aluminum back plate on the rear of the board.

Other features include a 20Gbps front USB port, twin 40Gbps Thunderbolt ports on the rear, 2.5Gbps LAN port, four rear 4Gbps USB ports, two rear 10Gbps USB ports, HDMI out, Displayport out, and two mini-display port out connectors. Wireless support is WiFi 6E.

[gallery size="medium" ids="15864,15863,15862,15861,15860,15859,15858"]

That's a lot of features for such a small board. While the MSI product page is not yet active, you can check out the announcement video below.




Pricing and availability have not been listed as of writing.
 

Skripka

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May 18, 2020
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Neat board...as with most z690 boards, I wonder about CPU cooler compatibility. Not in the market, I'll skip this next generation I think.
 

Revenant

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Neat board...as with most z690 boards, I wonder about CPU cooler compatibility. Not in the market, I'll skip this next generation I think.

Seems like they're assuming most builders are just using AIOs at this point.
 

NinoPecorino

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Seems like they're assuming most builders are just using AIOs at this point.
I feel like all the itx motherboards from now on will be gentrified with massive aluminum condos. AIOs and 4-slot GPUs are probably going to be the standard for a while.
 

Revenant

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I feel like all the itx motherboards from now on will be gentrified with massive aluminum condos. AIOs and 4-slot GPUs are probably going to be the standard for a while.

High-end boards will be for the foreseeable future. I expect Asrock to still have good boards that don't have a massive amount of stuff on them. I will say though that it was a pain a B550 board that supports the L12S.
 
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prayogahs

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Apr 21, 2019
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What the actual fck. Was Intel drunk?
nah thats MSI own implementation so probably a limitation in the PCIe lanes of the Z690 chipset. I would assume most other Z690 ATX boards would have similar limitation too unless they increase the PCIe lanes
 

Revenant

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nah thats MSI own implementation so probably a limitation in the PCIe lanes of the Z690 chipset. I would assume most other Z690 ATX boards would have similar limitation too unless they increase the PCIe lanes

I think you hit this one on the head. Still I would rather have a 3.0 slot then nothing. I have 3.0 drives aren't exactly slow, and they're usually a lot cheaper than their 4.0 counterparts.
 

Analogue Blacksheep

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Or just stuff a reasonably priced extra 2TB M.2 storage drive in there instead of paying an insane amount for a 4GB or 8GB model.*

(*If you're reading this in the future, 4TB NVME drives are way more than double the cost of a 2TB drive at the time of writing. 8TB drives require signing away your first born child because daddy NEEDS his music collection that dates back to Napster on local storage, damn it! But I digress... )
Stares at the 4TB Sabrent Rocket Gen 3 they just bought on Friday...

I feel attacked.
 
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REVOCCASES

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www.revoccases.com
First listings spotted: USD 400,- but not yet available

 

Revenant

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First listings spotted: USD 400,- but not yet available


I spoke with the MSI reps. Availability is going to be tight for a bit as production ramps.
 

mkarwin

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Bearing in mind the front drives are covered by the aluminium or plastic slab, and the fact that the drives are mounted "back-to-back" or so it seems on this daughter board, I wonder how much space is there - as in can you put some of those M.2s with heatsink on the bottom one? What's the available space there? I've noticed that recently several shops have had the no-heatsink variants of eg. WD SN850 or Seagate Firecuda530 or Kingston Fury Renegade/KC3000 or Samsung 980 Pro at higher prices than their heatsinked ones. These thicker ones are often up to 12mm thick in the slimmer heatsinked variants... Could these slimmer heatsinked variants fit in there in the front-bottom slot?
 

Revenant

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Bearing in mind the front drives are covered by the aluminium or plastic slab, and the fact that the drives are mounted "back-to-back" or so it seems on this daughter board, I wonder how much space is there - as in can you put some of those M.2s with heatsink on the bottom one? What's the available space there? I've noticed that recently several shops have had the no-heatsink variants of eg. WD SN850 or Seagate Firecuda530 or Kingston Fury Renegade/KC3000 or Samsung 980 Pro at higher prices than their heatsinked ones. These thicker ones are often up to 12mm thick in the slimmer heatsinked variants... Could these slimmer heatsinked variants fit in there in the front-bottom slot?

MSI sent us a board, and I bought one for my personal system. The expansion boards are still designed to force the M.2 drive to touch the built-in heatsink.

 
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