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Micro-ATX Motherboard: expansion slot layouts Question

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by ice_v, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. ice_v

    ice_v

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    Hey guys, this next question I'm about to adress you, has been bugging me for the last couple of months now, and after some research I haven't manage to find a clear answer to it yet, so I'll post here too, in hope that someone might enlighten me.

    The question is about m-atx motherboards and their expansion slot layouts. I'm not talking about layouts in general, but about one (possibly two) layouts that are rare as...as, white pcb motherboards (?) ...:rolleyes:

    What layout am I talking about? Well, I'm reffering to a particular one that would allow the folowing hardware to be installed (all of it at the same time):

    - 1 PCIe 2.0 double slot GPU
    - 1 SSD PCIe x4 (e.g. OCZ RevoDrive x2),
    - 1 Audio card PCIe x1 (e.g.. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium)


    ...here's a pic of a Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H (2.2):

    [​IMG]

    now, say you'd really wanted to make use of that pci-e x4 slot, and maybe go for a pcie x4 SSD like OCZ's revo models, you would necessarily have to opt for a single slot GPU, right?

    but if the layout was something like this (photoshopped pics) :

    [​IMG]

    or this

    [​IMG]

    things would get interesting :cool:

    ...So here's my question:

    Is there a m-atx motherboard out there that would satisfy my request? (I was initially looking for AM3 mobos, but at this point I'd be glad with an intel mobo as well)

    If not...how come manufacturers don't make them with such layouts? I don't have any advanced knowledge on hardware engineering, but I doubt it's something impossible to achieve, tecnically speaking. So what's the excuse for not making them that way? :confused:
     
  2. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    It's not impossible, but the typical mATX user does not get a PCI-E SSD.
    Btw, layout 1 and 2 do not really differ, only layout 3 will work.
     
  3. renq

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    ASUS:
    P8H61-M PRO
    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=QcUQBkItsSA9XvuX&templete=2

    [​IMG]

    P8P67-M PRO
    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=iT2FJPCMOGBHClu4&templete=2

    [​IMG]

    MSI:

    H67MA-ED55
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MA-ED55.html#/?div=Basic
    [​IMG]

    Plus several mobos, that have 1xPCIE 16 slot and 3 pci-e x1 slots:
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MA-E45--B3-.html
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MS-E43--B3-.html
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MS-E33--B3-.html
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MS-E33.html
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MS-E43.html
    http://eu.msi.com/product/mb/H67MA-E45.html

    Gigabyte:

    GA-H67MA-USB3-B3
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3806#ov
    [​IMG]

    ...
    Can't bother anymore, there are plenty mobos that have PCI-e slots in (physical) 16/1/1/16 configuration, especially in the H67 chipset departement

    So, there are plenty of boards that fit Your requirements:)
     
  4. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    None of these mobos meet his requirements. Read his post again. He needs two 1x slots and 1 double wide 16x slot in mATX. All your suggestions have a 1x covered by the double wide 16x.
     
  5. gumpty

    gumpty

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    Yeah, but the other uncovered PCIe x16 slots can be used. You can put a physical x1 card in a physical x16 slot and it will work the same, no? :confused:
     
  6. renq

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    :banghead:
    He needs:
    ONE dual-slot 16x speed for GPU
    ONE single-slot 4x speed for SSD-thingy
    ONE single-slot ?x speed for AUDIO.

    1x/4x card can also be installed in a 16x physical slot, also 4x could be installed in a 1x speed slot PROVIDED the card fits PHYSICALLY in the slot (might require some modification of the pci-e slot bracket thingy). It still works, althoguh at 1x speed:cool:
     
  7. puma99dk|

    puma99dk|

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    Audio is PCI-Express x1 look here:

     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  8. ice_v

    ice_v

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    Well, I admit I haven't checked much on intel boards, and thanks for posting al of them but of all the boards you posted, the P8P67-M PRO should do the trick...still I would prefer AM3...anyone knows a similar solution to the P8P67-M PRO motherboard, AM3 (or AM3+) that is? Or should I just give it up and go with intel chips?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  9. majestic12

    majestic12

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    [​IMG]

    I present the MSI 890GXM-G65. Granted with the setup you want you'd have to install the video card in the lower PCIe slot, but it could work!
     
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  10. gumpty

    gumpty

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    Not very well I don't think. If a crossfire setup is used, both lanes will run at x8 speed, but the manual states that if only one GPU is to be used, it must go in the top slot - I imagine that it wont run at x16 speeds if it's in the lower slot.
     
  11. ice_v

    ice_v

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    Well since the pcie x1 will be unusable, I guess I could go for a PCI sound card (somethin like the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1)...thx
     
  12. gumpty

    gumpty

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    I might have missed it further up, but what GPU are you putting in there? There are some single-slot solutions available on some pretty quick cards. I have a feeling there is a single slot GTX 560 Ti made by someone.

    EDIT: Here it is - and even better, it's a GTX 570
     
  13. ice_v

    ice_v

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    No mean to be rude but I personally think that single slot video cards on high-end GPUs are just plain marketing crap... Some GPUs are "cold" enough to go single-slot, some others aren't, and should benefit the best vga cooler they can get, plus that card looks something like 30 cm long. And above all, a 30 cm VGA card mounted on micro-atx motherboard is possibly the worst choice ever hence the fact that these boards are basically aimed at been mounted on cases that don't have much internal space (mid towers, game/lanboxes etc).

    That said, I'm not going to use one of these on my Lanbox Lite just to make fit a stupid videocard, not to mention that I'm already happy with my MSI GTX560ti TFII OC :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  14. puma99dk|

    puma99dk|

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    if u don't have problem running ur GFX at x8 than go with the Asus P8P67-M Pro almost only board u get all the PCI-Express ports u need when u only want Micro-ATX and go for at i5-2500k, but if u want AMD u either need to get a single slot GFX or drop ur Audio if u want to use ur GFX, Audio and SSD on a Micro-ATX board or find a PCI-Express x1 Flext Riser card if that's possible, i am going to try that out on my own Asus Maximus III Gene ^^
     
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    10 Year Member at TPU
  15. ice_v

    ice_v

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    Well thx, but at this point I'm quite satisfied that I've found an AMD solution to my problem (MSI 890GXM-G65) and luckily it's AM3+ as well...not saying it will be for certain my next mobo but that's the direction I will be heading, since it should be the cheapest way to upgrade my current config...for the audio card, like I said, I could go with a PCI audio card like the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1,or something better (still have to figure out if there is something better than this one, but for now I'm not rushing).

    As for slot choice I think will definetly go for the x16 slot, since my monitor runs at 120Hz (so no screen tearing over 60 fps) and online FPS gaming requires highest fps possible for best gaming experience :D
     
  16. majestic12

    majestic12

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    You could get an external sound card as well (thus freeing up some more space)-some of the models I've seen are pretty impressive.
     
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  17. cheesy999

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    in that case don't go for fps, go for 3D
     
  18. scaminatrix

    scaminatrix

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    I can't see what's wrong with this one:
    Red = Dual-slot GPU
    Yellow = PCI-e x1 Sound card
    White = PCI-e x4 SSD

    Or have I got it completely wrong? :eek:

    Aah, got it now, you want an AMD board!
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. ice_v

    ice_v

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    Thx for your interest, could you post some examples? :)


    edit: I see only now you're from Japan... お元気ですか

    lol...why haven't I thought about that before? :confused:

    Oh wait I did...my conclusion: 3D Gaming is imho (and for now) yet another marketing crap...I could not immagine myself playing in 3D an average of 3-4 hours a day (plus some extra hours of net surfin) without starting to put money away for my future eye exams, prescriptions and eyeglasses. I don't know how much these things cost in your country, but in Italy, their kinda expensive...and that's a cost I do not intend sustaining, under any circumstances.
    Short story: Avatar 3d was nice and I enjoyed it...and hope for some more future movies that are really suitable for 3d; but that's as far as I go.

    Thx for your interest...yeah that would be another fine model, if it only were AMD :(

    It seems that manufacturers don't offer the same amount of choice when it comes to AMD boards...this pisses me off WTF :banghead:
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  20. majestic12

    majestic12

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    ^It's work living here in Japan. I get lots of strange looks (especially from children and old people) because there are only a couple non-Asians who live near me. I've gone months without seeing another visibly noticeable foreigner before. It's like being a panda bear. I will be moving back to the States in a few months. After retirement, I'll be moving back here again though. I really love it here, but work as an English teacher doesn't pay too well, at least when cost of living expenses are considered.

    Here are a few external sound card options I found:

    [​IMG]

    X-fi go! It's cheap ($40 USD) and has EAX 5.0.

    [​IMG]

    X-fi HD -This one has better audio quality, will drive headphones well, plus has a lot of inputs/outputs. It runs around a hundred bucks.

    There are other options if you're looking for superior audio quality. I only use my X-fi card for gaming, but I'm sending a digital signal to my Audio Tehnica AT-HA25D, which works as a DAC, preamp, and headphone amplifier. These types of setups cost a bit more, but sound superior to what sound cards can deliver without any external aid.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. cdawall

    cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    watercool the GPU problem solved. matx is not really going to have what you are looking for.
     
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  22. ice_v

    ice_v

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    This one looks interesting thx

    Not be rude, but on what basis (specs, detailed pics of my rig, internal space measurments, etc) did you come up with that solution :confused:

    m-atx may yet not have what I am looking for, but it certainly has all it needs to accomplish it...hopefully one manufacturer will eventually decide to go with the layout that suits my hardware config (but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one waiting for these kinda layouts). Plus, with new amd chipsets on their way (900 series) we might just get what we were looking for :)
     
  23. cdawall

    cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    Because its easy even in a matx to stuff a single 120mm rad and a single slot gpu cooler. That would remove the slot spacing problem as a whole. There are also some all in one designs out that provide cooling for them by coolit.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  24. scaminatrix

    scaminatrix

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    cdawall's right, it would be a good option to consider. It'd be easy if you got one of these:
    [​IMG]

    CoolIT Omni ALC
     
  25. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    Looks like the pump being fitted to the back of the rad blocks airflow a tad though.
     
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