SFFReview Archives

Why Use a standard motherboard in you mods

I’ve been a case modder for over a decade now, and whilst I am relatively unknown, some of my designs are not. I have made many entries into design contests around the world.   Having been involved with the casemodding world for so long, I’ve seen the community begin to stagnate. Everyone wants a feature on MPDC, CaseModBlog, Bit-Tech, etc etc. So the recipe for the old classic mods has now become the norm. Fine, I say, this is the way tech moves along. Yesterday’s supercomputer performance is today’s desktop performance, then tommorow’s smartphone performance. Same goes with most, if …
SFFReview Archives

Featured Mod – Gambo’s 2 1/2;

Here at SFFReview we support modders, from the regulars to the newbies. Over the past week, one of our newer users, Gambo, has stunned us all with the first scratchbuild he’s ever attempted, and it’s amazing! Project 2&½ was designed for surfing the net, CAD and light gaming, and it embodies the SFF spirit we all love here. Built from aluminium, and housing a Gigabyte H55N-USB3 ITX motherboard, this is a little powerhouse. Here is a brief walk through the build, the full worklog is in our forums! Gambo began with our favourite CAD tool – Google Sketchup.  The case …
SFFReview Archives

The state of SFF as we know it

Over the last couple of years, a minute part of computing history, the market and ‘modding’ communities have slowly become aware of the feasibility of smaller, more efficient computer systems. Over the course of this article, I will endeavor to decipher the current situation, as well as make a few suggestions as to where I think we as a community should be heading. As always, this is my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt! Courtesy of Wikipedia: “A small form factor (SFF) is a computer form factor designed to minimize the spatial volume of a desktop …
ITXGamer Archives

ZOTAC Previews a Z77-Based Mini-ITX Motherboard

Zotac was one of only two manufacturers who brought the overclockable Z68 chipset to the mini-ITX platform (ASRock was the other). Their attempt, the Z68-ITX, was met with decidedly mixed results. Some boards were highly overclockable and stable. Others, not so much. Not wanting to leave ITX overclockers out in the cold when Ivy Bridge drops, Zotac has added to their promised mini-ITX line up with the addition of a Z77-based mini-ITX motherboard that was shown off at CES. On first glance, the board appears to be built to live up to the large uppercase “SUPER OVERCLOCK” label printed on the PCB. The board features an …
ITXGamer Archives

Tips for Installing the Scythe Kozuti Low Profile Cooler

I’ve had my ThermalTake Element Q Llano ITX build on the back burner for a while owing to the need to find a low profile CPU cooler that would fit under the SFX power supply. Mini-ITX cases with the PSU directly over the CPU are quite common, but as most are designed to be used with Atom and Brazos motherboards, CPU heatsink fit is usually not an issue. However, for those select few who feel the need to cram a full size gaming rig into a mini-ITX enclosure, we need a better solution. Enter the Scythe Kozuti low profile cooler. At a …
ITXGamer Archives

ZOTAC Showcases H77-Based Mini-ITX Boards at CES

Once again Zotac is showing the love for the mini-ITX format. Their recent display at this years’ CES included not just one, but two, H77-based mini-ITX motherboards. These socket LGA1155 boards are based on the upcoming “Panther Point” chipset from Intel and will pave the way for the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors to find their way into our mini-ITX gaming boxes. The two H77 ITX boards showcased do not have official model numbers as of yet (dare we guess at H77-ITX WiFi and H77-ITX Supreme?) but nonetheless, we can at least have a quick look at the features that will be offered. Both …
ITXGamer Archives

First Look: Zotac’s A75-ITX WiFi FM1 Motherboard

Expected to be available this week for about $150, the Zotac A75-ITX Wifi is the second mini-ITX FM1 motherboard that we’ve previewed with built in WiFi support (the other being the ASUS F1A75-I). Clad in trademark yellow and orange, the A75-ITX is priced at the higher end of the Llano mini-ITX range, but upon first look, appears to offer the features to back up the asking price. At first glance, it appears that the FM1 socket on this board is further away from the PCI slot than the socket on any other ITX board we’ve seen. But its proximity to …
ITXGamer Archives

First Look: Gigabyte’s GA-A75N-USB3 Pictured

With a model from ASRock already on the table and a preview from ASUS circulating, it was only a matter of time before Gigabyte dropped hints about their upcoming mini-ITX socket FM1 mini-ITX Llano motherboard. Announced months ago as the GA-A75N-USB3, a few images and some specifications have begun to appear for Gigabyte newest mini-ITX gaming motherboard. Upon first glance, the GA-A75N-USB3 offers the now familiar FM1 socket for the new AMD Llano series of APU’s beside a pair of Dual Channel DDR3 DIMM slots. The standard PCI x16 expansion slot is present, as are four SATA III 6Gbps drive …
ITXGamer Archives

Apples to Apples: TT Reviews the ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT

Good reviews on mini-ITX hardware are hard to come by. Not only is the format always the last on the list for the ‘big’ sites to review, but when they do get around to reviewing, the first thing they do is compare the mini-ITX offering to larger formats and find the mini-ITX model lacking in some way. It’s rare to find a review on a ‘big’ site that actually compares apples to apples. However, there are exceptions… TweakTowns’ Shane Baxtor has recently posted a thorough review of the ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT and it’s worth the read for anyone interested in building …
ITXGamer Archives

First Look: ASRock’s A75M-ITX Llano Motherboard

I’ve taken a liking to the mini-ITX offerings from ASRock over the last year. I’ve personally used the H67M-ITX in my system and found it to be a good board for a great price. A first glance at the A75M-ITX shows that ASRock is going to use that same tactic with its new Llano mini-ITX motherboard. The A75M-ITX has plenty of good features starting with the AMD Hudson D3 chipset which offers support for the new FM1 socket Accelerated Processing Units (APU) from AMD. The board has 2 full size DIMM slots for a maximum of 16GB of DDR3 RAM at speeds …
ITXGamer Archives

AMD’s Dual Graphics: Crossfire on a ITX System?

One of the biggest shortcomings that a mini-ITX gaming system faces is its lack of ability to support multiple GPUs. Between AMD’s Crossfire and Nvidia’s SLI, hardcore gamers can rock multiple video cards in their ATX systems for huge performance gains. Sometimes, gamers can even enjoy cost savings with a multi GPU setup. Two slower cards can be paired together to get the same performance as a high-end card, but at a lower price point. However, a mini-ITX system can’t take advantage of either the performance gain or the possible cost savings due to the nature of the format and it’s single …
ITXGamer Archives

First Look: ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe ITX Motherboard

Many ITX enthusiasts are still hoping for a Z68-based ITX motherboard from ASUS. Whether or not that will happen is still a matter of speculation, but for those who are waiting for an AMD solution for their mini ITX build, ASUS has released the specs for its upcoming FM1 Llano mini-ITX board, the F1A75-I. The ASUS F1A75-I is Asus has packed plenty of features onto this board. Starting with the AMD A75 chipset and the FM1 socket for the new Llano APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), they have also included support for two 240-pin DDR3-1866 memory modules. The F1A75-I comes with …