Need help deciding.....ITX mobo.

Digikid

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Building a Prodigy build Uses will be for a triple boot system consisting of OSX/Ubuntu/Windows 7. I need a good and reliable motherboard. Will be doing a little overclocking as well with a 3570K and will of using a Corsair H80 or H100 WITH internal BR Drive.

However I am stuck at the options of the mobo. Either the ASRock Z77E-ITX or the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe.

In case anyone wants to ask....I have no immediate plans for a mSATA drive but it is nice to have the option.

Leaning towards the Asus for the better brand and voltage but I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences with these two ITX motherboards please.
 

hdfreedom

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I've had the Asus P8Z77-I for a couple of months now with a 3770k. I've found nothing that doesn't perform perfectly and it OC's well. I'm more than happy with it.

One thing to remember though is the Digi-VRM board riser. It can be a nuisance if not put in the right case as it may interfere with other components, or block air cooling path.

If you use an SSD as the boot drive, you have no need for Msata.
 

Digikid

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Guess I should put the complete build specs in.....they are not completed yet though...

Case: Bitfenix Prodigy Black
CPU: Intel 3570K
PSU: TBD ( Corsair or Seasonic only )
SSD/HDD: 2TB WD Green/ Intel 520 120GB SSD/Vertex 4 256GB
ODD: LG Bluray Burner
One 230mm Bitfenix Pro Front Fan ( not decided on color as of yet )
Rear 140MM Spectre Pro Fan ( color undecided )
Corsair H100 or H80 ( Mounted on top )
 

illli

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evga will be coming out with an itx pretty soon. at the end of august i think
 

Digikid

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Yes I seen the thread about it but never had much luck with their mobos. Thanks though. ;)
 

crABtoad

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currently I would recommend the asrock z77e-itx, but the asus one has an easier time of fitting larger cpu heatsinks due to the socket placement.

the asus one doesn't seem to overclock any better, even with it's vaunted vrm daughterboard. I've heard it takes longer to boot than the asrock one, is more expensive, and has the same warranty.

the bios might be nicer on the asus one, i honestly haven't checked it out. the big thing that scared me away from the asus one was that i couldn't determine if it supported vt -d or not.

the evga one is an unknown currently, but expectations for an overclocking board seem to be pretty high, and it looks snazzy.

just noticed you were planning a multiboot environment, might consider the asrock board, cpu with lots of cores that supports vt -d, 16gb ram and getting into virtual machines instead. just mentioning it in passing, i don't claim to be an expert on it.
 

MissJ84

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I owned both the Asrock and Asus Z77 ITX boards, and the Asus provided nothing extra. I tested two 3570Ks & a 2600K and both boards got the same overclocks with the very similar voltages. The Asrock boots way faster (Cold boot ~14 seconds), the non cpu header controls 3 pins via voltage, AS SSD results were slightly better with the Asrock than the Asus, and it's much cheaper.
The only way I'd recommend the Asus would be if you wanted to use a cooler that was incompatible with the Asrock. I generally buy Gigabyte/Asus boards, so this is my first Asrock board and I really feel like they've stepped up their game quite a bit. Unlike prior series like Z68, they now offer a 3 year warranty on the Z77 series. I've read horrible things about Asrock's Z68 board and even Z68 ITX as a whole, such as throttling, but I've never ran into any problems with the board. That being said, I'd definitely recommend the Asrock.
 

MissJ84

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Do the all in one liquid coolers work on the Asrock board?

I'm pretty sure the Asutek coolers (Antec, Thermaltake, Intel, etc) backplate needs some kind of cut/bend/minor modification on both the Asrock and Asus. That being said, the H60 & H80 work with both boards without any modifications :)

20120504220539.jpg

22222eo.jpg
 

Digikid

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Missj48: I think I saw a thread of yours a couple months ago here regarding both of these boards. I welcome your input on this matter a lot. Thank you.
 

Synomenon

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If you use the mSATA slot on the underside of the ASRock, all backplates will need some kind of modification, right?
 

Digikid

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Hmm.....something to think about I guess. The only thing I would use the mSATA port for is a mSATA HDD and have uBuntu on it or something as a backup OS.....
 

ChronoDog

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Kind of like MissJ84 here, I've owned the Asus P8Z77-I for a few months, before switching to an ASRock Z77E-ITX as well.

Upsides of ASRock over Asus:
- Much faster coldboot times
- mSATA socket on the back
- The ability to turn the PC on using USB or PS2 keyboards/mice
- GoodNight LED (the ability to turn Power/HDD LEDs off entirely)
- A PS2 port (no ghosting at all on proper mechanical PS2 keyboards)
- Better airflow in vertical cases, no VRM board
- Requires a little less voltage to keep the CPU stable overclocked
- Some neat (and relatively light) software like AXTU and XFastUSB

Upsides of Asus over ASRock:
- The ability to mount a larger variety of CPU coolers without modifying them
- Intel LAN (a lot more control over the chip through the driver than the Broadcom)
- A cleaner, nicer-looking BIOS (a matter of personal taste)
- Nicer WiFi antennas with magnets
- USB FlashBack
- Bluetooth

The Asus also has a lot of advanced features like MemOK, for example, which I personally never saw the use for, unless it's the first time you come near a PC, let alone assemble and configure one, and require a "safety net" of sorts that will keep you from damaging any of the components during configuration and/or overclocking.
 

Digikid

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I also noticed that someone over at Tonymacx86 made a hacintosh quite easily with the Asrock as well. Another plus as I want a triple boot system.....
 
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I would definitely go for the ASUS because it has better layout and cable management would be hella easy. The placement of the connections on the AsRock seems to be scattered, making cable management a bit**.
 

MissJ84

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I would definitely go for the ASUS because it has better layout and cable management would be hella easy. The placement of the connections on the AsRock seems to be scattered, making cable management a bit**.

How do you figure? Asus barely wins out with the 8pin, while Asrock clearly wins out with the Sata ports and USB 2.0/USB 3.0 headers. I guess there may be some exceptions with certain cases, but I can't really think of any.
 
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How do you figure? Asus barely wins out with the 8pin, while Asrock clearly wins out with the Sata ports and USB 2.0/USB 3.0 headers. I guess there may be some exceptions with certain cases, but I can't really think of any.

:confused:
ASUS has 6 Sata ports in total (all usable), 4 internal and 2 external. ASUS has 6 USB 3.0 4 onboard and 2 that goes to the front panel. Asus also has 8 USB 2.0, 4 in rear and 4 more in front. ASUS wins for sure.
 

MissJ84

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I would definitely go for the ASUS because it has better layout and cable management would be hella easy. The placement of the connections on the AsRock seems to be scattered, making cable management a bit**.
How do you figure? Asus barely wins out with the 8pin, while Asrock clearly wins out with the Sata ports and USB 2.0/USB 3.0 headers. I guess there may be some exceptions with certain cases, but I can't really think of any.
:confused:
ASUS has 6 Sata ports in total (all usable), 4 internal and 2 external. ASUS has 6 USB 3.0 4 onboard and 2 that goes to the front panel. Asus also has 8 USB 2.0, 4 in rear and 4 more in front. ASUS wins for sure.

You brought up better layout and cable management and what you posted above has nothing to do with that. You also said, "the Asrock seems scattered, making cable management a bitch." All the connections, sans the 8pin, are on the edges of the board, so I'm not really sure what you meant by that lol. Your statement doesn't even make sense. The only major thing the Asus wins at is being able to utilize tower style coolers.
 
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You brought up better layout and cable management and what you posted above has nothing to do with that. The only major thing the Asus wins at is being able to utilize tower style coolers.

That is why the Asus is better. It has more USB, SATA, better layout, easy to cable manage, ability to utilize a wide range of aftermarket CPU coolers, and bluetooth all implemented in the mobo, which makes the ASUS way better, that is in my opinion.

In addition, the AsRock uses 8 pin power so I don't know why you brought up the 8 pin power. Both use 8 pin.
 

MissJ84

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That is why the Asus is better. It has more USB, SATA, better layout, easy to cable manage, ability to utilize a wide range of aftermarket CPU coolers, and bluetooth all implemented in the mobo, which makes the ASUS way better, that is in my opinion.

It's not any easier with cable management lol. This is a matter of fact not opinion. Everything except the 8 pin is on the edges of the board, unlike the Asus. Moreover, bluetooth is meaningless as many people, myself included, have replaced the wifi with an Inel 6300 or 6235 card. I would have switch to an Intel 6xxx even if I kept the Asus.
 
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WiSK

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Having more USB and Sata headers and a big tower cooler on a SFF board is only for Prodigy owners, and they should just buy a proper mATX to be honest.

Asus "easy to cable manage" is not true since every thing is in the middle of the board. It's going to be spaghetti. Whereas with the ASRock you can easily fold all cables to one side, or underneath the board.
 
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Actually it so much easier. I can't imagine how my build would look if I went with the AsRock. I'm not saying my cable management is spectacular, but with the given space in the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced and that huge Big Shuriken that is on the motherboard, the ASUS made it that much easier to cable manage and the case is able to get air in and out without all the cables blocking.

I will take some pictures when I have the time to show you what I mean.
 

MissJ84

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Having more USB and Sata headers and a big tower cooler on a SFF board is only for Prodigy owners, and they should just buy a proper mATX to be honest.

Asus "easy to cable manage" is not true since every thing is in the middle of the board. It's going to be spaghetti. Whereas with the ASRock you can easily fold all cables to one side, or underneath the board.

Exactly. This is why I always mention the exception of using a tower cooler.

Actually it so much easier. I can't imagine how my build would look if I went with the AsRock. I'm not saying my cable management is spectacular, but with the given space in the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced and that huge Big Shuriken that is on the motherboard, the ASUS made it that much easier to cable manage and the case is able to get air in and out without all the cables blocking.

I will take some pictures when I have the time to show you what I mean.

I'm not saying there may not be some exceptions with certain cases (I even said that above), but man that case is huge compared to an SG05 (19.98L vs my 10.78L). Anyway, my cabling is spectacular and having owned both boards, the Asus's Sata and USB headers made for painful cable routing. I honestly cannot think of a single Silverstone or Lian Li mini ITX case (What most people here tend to buy) that would make routing easier with the Asus. Also, I've owned both boards, so I can't understand how you're saying "Actually it so much easier." If it's about blocking that semi-useless 80mm exhaust fan in your case, then I guess that would make sense, but isn't the daughterboard on the Asus also blocking that same fan? I say semi-useless, because it's 80mm and positive pressure should eliminate the need for it. Is that thing noisy??
 
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