What features would your dream itx motherboard have?

OmenemO

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
129
Like a lot of people I've been considering the jump to SFF for a while. After months of slowly acquiring parts the only thing that's holding me back at the moment is the fact that no motherboard meets all the criteria I want.

At the moment I want:
Z series
1 * m.2 slot (2280)
Dual 10/100/1000 nics
3 fan headers (including cpu)
Thunderbolt 3 capability
2* usb 3.0 headers
6* rear usb ports (at least 2* 3.1, the rest 3.0)
2 channel audio + microphone.

The required compromises this gen have me considering waiting on Cabylake (/ Zen). I've also noticed Cabylake has an extra 4 pcie lanes. This had me considering what I'd want on my dream motherboard:

Z Series (or AMD equivalent)
2 * m.2 slots 2280
Dual 10/100/1000 nics
3 fan headers
2 usb 3.1 headers
Thunderbolt 3 capability
6 rear usb ports (atleast 2* 3.1, the rest 3.0)
2 channel audio + mic
no sata ports
4 dimms.

I figure I'm not alone in this and it's gotten me wondering what features other people would want on their dream ITX motherboard.
 

shinjinian

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
103
My ideal itx mobo would be
Z170 or x99 chipset
4 pwn case fan headers
TB3
Wifi
2 m.2 storage slots
6 rear USB (3.0 min)
4 DDR4 slots
 

Aircoookie

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
375
Yep, mine is pretty much the same, except
- no sata?? that means you can only use the two m.2 drives. sata connectors don't take too much space, but 2 of them would be enough i guess.
- 4 dimms. Physically is not going to happen because of the limited space. It is doable with SODIMM, but you'll have SODIMM then. But why do you need 4 dimms at the first place? With DDR4 you can have 32 gigs with two dimms...
 

OmenemO

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
129
Yep, mine is pretty much the same, except
- no sata?? that means you can only use the two m.2 drives. sata connectors don't take too much space, but 2 of them would be enough i guess.
- 4 dimms. Physically is not going to happen because of the limited space. It is doable with SODIMM, but you'll have SODIMM then. But why do you need 4 dimms at the first place? With DDR4 you can have 32 gigs with two dimms...

I only need the 2 m.2 drives. The space saved by eliminating sata connectors could potentially allow enough physical space for 4 dimms.

As for why 4 dimms, when I'm done with this mobo as a gaming rig, I'll be able to put a sas card into the *16 slot, and I'll make it my new server.
 

Boil

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
1,439
I would love to see a mITX spec MB that had a single x16 slot with the spacing for a SINGLE slot card AND a single x4 slot for an Intel 750-series PCIe 3.0 x4 interface / NVMe protocol / AIC (Add In Card) for the system drive… Available from 400GB to 1.2TB…

I spec SINGLE slot on the GPU connection hoping more GPU manufacturers will make their cards available to be single slot only once a full-cover water block is applied, like the R9 Nano is with the EKWB block…

This would allow the additional x4 slot without really needing to make the board any larger…?!?

I would also not care a bit if the SATA/SATA Express ports were removed…

And a dedicated Water Pump 4-pin header, that is a must as well…
 
F

Findecanor

Guest
For current mITX cases:
* DTX form factor with two reconfigurable 16×PCIe slots for dual-GPU, other card + GPU or GPU in upper slot
* All internal connectors facing up
* Bluetooth
* At least two external USB Type C ports with Thunderbolt 3

In the future, walk away from mITX to a better format:
* CPU socket closer to the edge like BTX or low-profile mITX: support lower-profile cooler
* Angled vertical MXM socket on the back for GPU
* Internal USB Type C ports replace SATAe/U.2/USB 3.0 headers
 
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EdZ

Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
773
M.2 has provision for passing through a SATA connection. With two m.2 slots and no SATA ports, an included m.2 card could be provided with either 1 SATA port (basicSATA passthrough, budget option) or multiple SATA ports (onboard SATA controller on the PCIe bus, more expensive option, no Intel RST support). This could also be swapped with an m.2 to u.2 adapter card, or just install an m.2 SSD.
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
22,079
Last time I mentioned features on a Mini-ITX board, I felt like a prophet and a year later we got the P8Z77-I Deluxe with most of the features enthusiasts needed. Granted, Asus was working on a lot of that stuff already, but it was nice to see confirmation that community requested features were finally coming. After that, they surpassed expectations with the Maximus Impact series. I hope they notice this thread and everyone else's thoughts too.


- 2 M.2 slots
- 4 SATA ports and ditch SATA Express since SATA Express is already dead and there is little market. Make the SATA ports on the edge of the board instead of forcing a cable to hop over RAM sticks or other obstructions.
- Intel Gigabit NIC's. 2 of them if room. No other brand, no Killer NIC non-sense
- 1 Intel WiFi card. I am sick of other lesser brands. There are so many complaints about the broadcom unit in the ASRock X99 ITX board.
- No legacy ports. I can think of zero reason to have a PS/2 port on an enthusiast board. PS/2 used to have a very small advantage over USB 10+ years ago, but that is long gone.
- As many USB 3.1 and USB C ports that can fit the back panel
- If it's an enthusiast chipset (e.g. Z170), then 1 and only 1 video output. Make it an HDMI for simplicity's sake. It's handy to have one for troubleshooting.
- If it's a workstation chipset then find a way to mount 4 DIMM slots. An option I haven't seen yet is taking advantage of the board's underside with 90 degree connectors (sticks lying flat against mobo similar to SODIMM).
- If 4 DIMM slots isn't possible, then someone still needs to explore 90 degree DIMM slots on the underside of the board. It could free up so much space for other things. Possibly consider just going SODIMM only. There are plenty of high capacity, enthusiast class SODIMM's available now.
- If it's an enthusiast chipset (e.g. Z170) then find a way to make a decent PWM circuit for overclocking without requiring a daughterboard. Is 10 powerphases really necessary for Mini-ITX or will 6 or 8 still cut it? After all, the latest Intel chips aren't overclocking as high anymore. Several boards have pulled this off, and I don't believe it's necessary anymore. If it's an workstation chipset (e.g. X99) and cramming as much stuff as possible onto the board is the goal, then a daughterboard would be acceptable.

And this right angle PCIe x16 slot on this side of the mobo needs to be standard:
8MIYErr.jpg


It can open up a whole other market for ultra slim case designs that don't require riser cards or ribbon cables.
 
Last edited:

silent-circuit

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
16,133
I would like it to go dual 16x PCIe for dual GPU (requiring ribbon cable risers for at least one of them, realistically) but I know I'm in a very, very small minority there.
 

Rorschach

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
194
Finally i am not alone in this !

That's why i got the Impact 7 vs the Impact 8, just because the skylake one has less options for my needs

So i see many already covered a lot of stuff.

I would want an X99 Impact, for example with:

- as musch as an overkill for the VRM phase - i mean if they opt for the daughter-board option, why not make it over the top/overkill
- 4x DIMMs or SO-DIMMS
- at least 1x M.2 4x (no SATA express) and put it like in the Asrock X99 itx so you can show it off
- at least 2x SATA 6 angled ports
- maybe an angled U.2 Port for future's sake
- Keep the EPS 8 pin, 24 pin and sata 3 front header on the same side (exactly like in the Mi7) and LED debug, vertical battery holder (not glued wherever there was space, like in the Mi8), start button, voltage check points, removable bios chip (put 2 in while they are at it)
- Integrate the audio card on the board with that LED strip separation/shielding and keep the ports/jacks illuminated like in the Mi8 for that bling effect and help you to identify them way easier)
- at least 8x SATA 2/3/3.1/Type C - total of/mixed on the back
- 1x HDMI output for simplicity and 1x Intel NIC
- 4x PWM headers on the board with full control (not like in the Mi7 where only 2 you can control on the board and the other 2 are from the add-on card "impact hub", which can't fully be controlled)
- as much as a thick PCB they can do

I only want to worry only about the price. I think something like this will be like 399 $ :D
 
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