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Why aren't Mini ITX cases/boards more popular?

StevenAlleyn

34 months ago

It's a question I've been asking myself for some time now - & maybe it speaks to my priorities as a non-gamer, but very small form-factor strikes me as a huge "plus" for a home office/entertainment rig.

What are your thoughts?

Comments

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

People think there are too many sacrifices, like lack of multi GPU support, more than 2 RAM DIMMs, cooling issues, etc.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Fair enough, but I imagine not everyone is building gaming rigs. HTPC, home office and general workhorse builds shouldn't need to worry about multi-GPU, RAM DIMMs or significant cooling issues.

I guess that's what surprises me a bit. Anyway, thanks for your input - I appreciate your thoughts!

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, but the majority of custom built systems are gaming PCs.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

There should be a lot of people building gaming rigs out of the popular big brand case companies. Think of the Nano S, Evolv ITX, the Manta, 250D, Elite 130, 380T, etc. You also see smaller brands with smaller cases like NCase, Case Labs, Silverstone, Lian Li, for example.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I like cases like the Dan Case A4 SFX, Sentry, Node 202

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Ouuu. The Sentry from Zaber, right? That one looks so good! That "Dan" looks great too. I hope these "Kickstarter" case designs gain influence from the big guys.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Not many people need such a small form factor and it is not worth doing if you don't have to due to limited size,expansion, and choices for some parts.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I personally find all of those negatives you mentioned fun reasons to build in a s.f.f. case. It's a fun challenge having to work within parameters. You have to plan out your build much more carefully. Should be much more satisfying once completed too :)

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Admittedly there's limited room for expansion, but not so limited as to make it useless or unattractive.

Thinking back to my most recent build, I put 16 GB RAM & an A10-7870k in a small InWin tower with absolutely zero cooling issues. And I have room for 3 more SSDs if I want to expand storage, there's room for a GPU if I want to add a small one (not being a gamer it doesn't really matter to me, though, as the onboard graphics are pretty solid) and the small form factor makes it perfect for the small office I share with my wife.

I mean, if I'd only put in 8 GB, I suppose it would have been a pain to have to replace the sticks instead of just adding more, but still... RAM is cheap, I don't feel too boxed in.

Thanks for your thoughts on this - I suppose the amount of expansion someone plans to do with a computer is a major factor in decision making. I guess I'm just surprised that so few people have less-than-major expansion plans.

Thanks again!

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I was originally supposed to go mATX or mITX. There's sacrifices with those form factors but I don't find them all that limiting. I doubt I'll ever crossfire/SLI or use more than 32gb of RAM. The mITX Z170 boards I looked at were "loaded" with plenty of good stuff, imo. mATX is versatile too. I hope to see way more mATX & ITX motherboard offerings. SFF cases are getting pretty popular.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree that the small form factor is really nice! I think the thing I found surprising was when I was building my most recent rig finding a good, slim mITX case was much more difficult than I anticipated!

I also hope the form factor takes off a bit more than it has - I think there's a lot of potential for smaller builds that are focused on some specific uses.

Thanks for your input!

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I've been liking those console form factor cases more & more lately. My favorite are mini towers followed by cube cases but I really like the Silverstone RVZ02 & others like it.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

The cube cases I find defeat the purpose of the SFF, so they aren't my fav, but you're right, silverstone is doing some awesome stuff. I'm actually kinda psyched to see if mini-STX takes off - seems like an ideal form-factor for some serious HTPC builds.

I got a little console-sized InWin w/ built-in 200W PS and I love it. looks gorgeous, stays super cool and wasn't such a pain in the *** to put together that I wouldn't do it again.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Many people think you're sarificing too much. I don't know.

I love my RVZ01 though

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I love ITX builds because you have to be a little more creative in your planning of the build. I think the main reasons most people don't build gaming machines with ITX is because the smaller cases are harder to keep cool, the motherboards lack feature sets, and you're limited in your expansions. For me personally, I need the additional overclocking options and room for SLI and ITX motherboards just aren't robust enough in those departments.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I ended being so frustrated with the cooling part that I had committed (or so I thought..) to a compact mid-tower, ATX form factor. It looks like you can get very acceptable temperatures with demanding CPU's & GPU's in SFF cases. Might not be icy cold load temps but perfectly acceptable & very capable rigs in small cases.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

i think another factor to what other people has said is price, as silly as it seems, mini itx isnt budget oriented, the cheapest mini itx motherboard on pcpartpicker is around £60, whereas a micro atx is near £40. cases as well are more expensive, the cheapest here is £40 for an itx, whereas you can get good micro or atx cases like a fractal core for £25 +

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

That's really fair! I hadn't considered that because they tend to be the least expensive parts of builds, but you're right - if you're dropping big money on a CPU or an SSD or a GPU, you might have a bit less room in the budget for a case or a mobo.

Thanks!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I was so sure that mITX & mATX would be cheaper than normal ATX but, as you said, it's not. If the motherboard I want doesn't go on sale, it's going to cost about $50-60 more than the deal I got on this ATX one sitting next to me. The 450W SFX PSU I want is around $20 or so more than a 650-750W ATX one. Oh well, haha.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I think we will continue to see them get more popular. I personally wonder why Matx isnt more popular. I mean literally most people do not use SLI/CF. I finally build an ITX build for myself and the thing is loaded, 32GB of ram will keep me happy till the next build haha. I have it posted in my build list here if your curious :)

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Absolutely agreed! And the smaller form factor makes things like setting up an HTPC or a "console killer" that fits under your TV, or a work computer for graphic design/video editing in a small office a lot easier. I'm super happy with my 7870k/16GB/SSD setup and it's completely out of the way! :D

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