ITXGamer Archives

Z68 Mini-ITX: Are We There Yet?

While most of the ITX enthusiast crowd (myself included) have settled on an H67-based motherboard for our gaming system, we are all still eagerly awaiting the day when we are offered a true enthusiasts motherboard that will allow us to overclock our K-series Sandy Bridge processors. It was disappointing that none of the manufacturers took a chance on a P67-based mini-ITX motherboard, but now with the imminent release of the new Z68 chipset, once again we can hope that an overclockable mini-ITX motherboard isn’t too far off. With rumours already circulating of a Zotac Z68 Mini-ITX motherboard, it appears that …
ITXGamer Archives

Gigabyte’s GA-H67N-USB3-B3 Reviewed

I’ve finally got my hands on the Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 mini-ITX motherboard after many months of waiting (thanks Aurora) and I know a lot of ITX enthusiasts have high expectations for this board. I know I do, especially given the success of its predecessor, the GA-H55N-USB3, which proved to be a stable platform and provided excellent overclocking abilities. We all know that Intel has hamstrung the overclocking on the H67 chipsets, but I’m still hoping that Gigabyte can offer up a product that can satisfy the wants of the mini-ITX gaming crowd. Unboxing: Packaging is an important part of any marketing …
ITXGamer Archives

First B3 Mini-ITX Board Reviewed: ASRock H67M-ITX

It’s been a few months since there’s been a new mini-ITX motherboard to review. We had just gotten a taste of what Sandy Bridge motherboards had to offer mini-ITX gaming when the supply suddenly dried up. The wait is over. The first of the new mini-ITX boards is now available in the form of an ASRock H67M-ITX and I’ve picked one up for a review. It won’t be the only choice for long. By the time you read this article, most of the other mini-ITX 1155 motherboards will be available. The ASRock offering does have one unique feature that sets …
ITXGamer Archives

DQ67EP: Intel’s Q67-Based Mini-ITX Motherboard

While mini-ITX enthusiast are eagerly awaiting the re-release of motherboards with the revised H67 chipset, many readers have pointed out that a new mini-ITX board has been spotted in the Intel stable. It is not, however, a revised DH67CF as expected, or even a much anticipated P67-based motherboard. Instead, it’s an entirely new mini-ITX motherboard based on the new Q67 chipset. It’s called the DQ67EP, and it has left some of our readers wondering; just what is Q67? In short, it’s another variation of the Formerly Cougar Point (that is actually the codename) platform. Intel actually has many variations of …
ITXGamer Archives

HuntKey’s Jumper 300/ R90 PSU Reviewed by AnandTech

Any of you that are looking for a PSU for your next mini-ITX build should check out the review of HuntKey’s Jumper 300 power supply on AnandTech. It’s also a good read for anyone who is still unconvinced that they can run a decent gaming system on a small (albiet high-quality) power supply. The Jumper 300 (or R90 as it’s known overseas) carries an 80Plus Gold certification, confirmed by AnandTech testing and according to the manufacturer, has enough juice to handle a GTX 460. Assuming your running a CPU with modest power use, the Jumper 300 could even handle a 560 …
ITXGamer Archives

ZOTAC Resumes Shipments of H67-ITX Motherboards

Zotac is the first manufacturer to announce that they have resumed global shipments of their mini-ITX Sandy Bridge motherboard, the H67-ITX. To differentiate the new board (with the updated H67 B3 chipset) from the previous version, Zotac has assigned it a new SKU, H67-ITX-C-E. Fans of Zotac will recognize this updated SKU for previous Zotac products. Zotac expects resellers to have the updated H67-ITX-C-E available in the next few weeks. Users who have purchases the original H67-ITX-A-E will be able to exchange their affected boards through their authorized reseller. Source: Zotac
ITXGamer Archives

How to Measure Your System’s Power Use

Several readers have asked me how I measured the actual power usage of my test system in last weeks article on power supplies. It’s a simple process that I recommend every system builder undertake at least once to get a first hand understanding of the power requirements of their systems. Here is a quick little step by step on how I did it: Go to your local hardware store and ask for a power meter. Plug the power meter into your wall outlet and switch the display to show ‘watts’. Plug the power cable from your computer (or your power bar if you want to measure …
ITXGamer Archives

The Sparkle One: A GTX 570 in a Single Slot.

A couple of weeks ago I was asking around on the forums for suggestions on a single slot graphics card for a build I was planning. The consensus was that the Radeon HD5670 would be the best bet, as I had originally specified ‘no external power required’. Now that I have a better understanding of power requirements, I was leaning toward the HD5770 as the best single slot solution. Or not… The Sparkle One has recently made an appearance at CeBIT and despite an obvious handicap (seems it’s about 13 inches long) that will prevent it from being used inside …
ITXGamer Archives

You Probably Don’t Need As Much Power As You Think!

One of the most common questions I am asked by readers is for recommendations on the best power supply for their mini-ITX gaming systems. It’s one of the more popular topics on our forums. Not surprisingly, many builders are faced with dilemma of trying to spec a power supply that will suit their builds. It needs to have enough power to run high end components, yet be compact enough to fit into their chosen mini-ITX case; two requirements that do not often go hand in hand. There is a solution, but it requires that I go out on a limb …
ITXGamer Archives

Intel Halts Shipments of Sandy Bridge Chipset

Reports are abound that Intel has halted shipments of its Cougar Point chipset for the Sandy Bridge platform and will be issuing recalls of the affected chips. Apparently, Intel has discovered a design flaw in the Series 6 chipset the affects the SATA II 3Gbps controller. Intel says that temperature and voltage will cause the link to degrade over time. They are expecting a 5% failure rate over the next three years. Enthusiasts who utilize multiple SATA ports and push heavy workloads are most likely to be affected. Intel expects motherboard manufactures to have the new silicon by February and be fully recovered by …
ITXGamer Archives

MSI Reveals AMD Fusion E350IA-E45 Mini-ITX

MSI has released the details for their upcoming E350IA-E45 mini-ITX motherboard. The board is targeted for the HTPC builder and due to its integrated AMD Fusion APU; it’s also suitable for light gaming.  MSI has also included a PCI Express x16 slot, a feature that was not included on its Sandy Bridge mini-ITX offering, but it’s limited to x4 speed. The E350IA-E45 uses the AMD ‘Brazos’ E350 Accelerated Processing Unit that combines a dual-core 1.6 GHz processor and a DirectX 11 Radeon HD 6310 GPU. Video outputs include an HDMI port and VGA connector. Memory support is provided via two …
ITXGamer Archives

Gigabyte to Release a P67 Mini-ITX Motherboard?

It’s no secret that Intel’s decision to hamstring the overclocking abilities of the H67 chipset has proved to be a big disappointment to enthusiasts. For most system builders, it means choosing between having on board video support with the H67 chipset or foregoing video for overclocking support with the P67-based boards. For ITX system builders, we have no choice. We are limited to boards with H67 chipsets and have no hope of serious overclocking. That is, unless Gigabyte makes true on their promise. A few readers have pointed us to a report out of CES 2011 from techreport.com that claims …