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let's talk about making the best ITX motherboard

Izerous

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Ideally everything would simply be USB-C for smallest form factor possible.

Imagine a USB-C monitor with power passthrough. 1 power plug from monitor to wall, 1 USB-C cable from monitor to case. Keyboard/mouse to monitor. Speakers/headphone jack on monitor etc on monitor.

Glorified laptop approach in itx case.

Could argue things like onboard sound being almost irrelevant to a USB sound card etc depending on what your trying to achieve.
 

Entz

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1 - it's just a thought. clearing up space on the front side by having the NVMe SSD's, heck, maybe even the wifi module, could be convenient
It may be possible on the front using a daughter card or something (say 2 cards on their edge) but yeah there really isn't any more on the back. Way to many through hole through components.

With 8TB NVMe drives and a SATA port or two I can't see the need for more than 2 for now. Its a miracle there is room for 2 as is.
 

Entz

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DTX is a thought as that extra connector could / would be useful. but I can't say I've ever seen a mainstream DTX board ever made...and I can't say I've seen any of the popular mITX cases supporting anything else but mITX.
mini-DTX (mini is important) uses the same mounting as mITX, it is just a hair wider. Unless your case uses a PCI-e riser cable (sandwich style) it would fit in most of them due to fat GPUs these days.

But yes it is super rare, no real market for it. Typically you would just move to mATX.
 

Mr. Friendly

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It may be possible on the front using a daughter card or something (say 2 cards on their edge) but yeah there really isn't any more on the back. Way to many through hole through components.

With 8TB NVMe drives and a SATA port or two I can't see the need for more than 2 for now. Its a miracle there is room for 2 as is.
for when you don't want to have any 2.5" or 3.5" drives. until 4TB and larger SSD's are affordable, two M.2 slots will be needed.
 

JD

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I think this is the only recent mDTX board: https://rog.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-Crosshair/ROG-Crosshair-VIII-Impact-Model/ but I'm guessing few (if any) bought it since it runs close to $600 and doesn't seem to really offer much over a mITX board. It also ticks most of the boxes you guys are talking about here too...

On the otherhand, the random Chinese board I got off AliExpress that's also mDTX at least had a x16 and x1 slot, so it fit fine in my Fractal cube case and let me run a HBA card + NIC.

And just because a mITX case doesn't say it supports mDTX, if it has 2 expansion slots, it should. The mount points are the same as mITX.
 

Mr. Friendly

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I think this is the only recent mDTX board: https://rog.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-Crosshair/ROG-Crosshair-VIII-Impact-Model/ but I'm guessing few (if any) bought it since it runs close to $600 and doesn't seem to really offer much over a mITX board. It also ticks most of the boxes you guys are talking about here too...

On the otherhand, the random Chinese board I got off AliExpress that's also mDTX at least had a x16 and x1 slot, so it fit fine in my Fractal cube case and let me run a HBA card + NIC.

And just because a mITX case doesn't say it supports mDTX, if it has 2 expansion slots, it should. The mount points are the same as mITX.
nice looking board....but too bad that PCIe x4 slot appears to be proprietary for the Asus Wifi card.

speaking of SATA...I would drop all SATA ports...or leave just 1 for troubleshooting purposes.

I wonder how complicated it would be to have USB 4.0 with TB3 support on 5 connectors...3 on the back for onboard video out primarily with back up as an actual USB and TB connector, plus 2 on the front.
 

Izerous

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thinking more about this I think the problem is actually the ATX/iTX standards in general. I/O placement and size is already pre-determined, pci express means the board has to be at least certain dimensions just to fit into the layout and positioning. But what if not only the NVMe was mounted on the back side but why not mount 4 SODIMM slots sideways like they do in an ultrabook on the back. I/O could all be mounted on the back with USB-C slots then mount the pci express slot on the back but with a 90' adapter like they do in 1u servers etc. Being a bit more drastic like that and making better use of both sides could really shrink down the overall size while still not interfering with things like CPU cooler support. GPU and ram wouldn't even be on the same side of the board so nothing to have clearance issues with. Would almost be like taking a current iTX board and folding it in half. Mounting it and cases would be the ones needing to adapt instead of continuing to force it into the current form factor.


I realize i'm saying break the standard when I also said I hate ATX12VO but my issues with ATX12VO isn't the idea of trying to improve the standard but how much MORE motherboard real estate that starts to take up especially when PSU's don't really need to save space insternally. They have becomes surprisingly efficient as packing 750W capacity ino an SFX psu. Treating motherboards as a 3D object like a PSU instead of a single sided flat object could open a lot of options.
 

JD

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I think the server side of things has moved to 12VO, most of the embedded mITX boards I've seen there use it. They also have that OCulink interface, which I suppose is along the lines of "internal" Thunderbolt. It helps greatly with the density aspect since you could have a bunch of OCulink ports that you'd then breakout to SATA, PCIe, etc.

I'd say the big issue holding back the consumer/DIY market is the "standardized" case aspect. Intel tried to shake it up a bit with their NUC "modules" but I don't think that'll survive beyond this initial attempt.
 

Soultribunal

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I would actually prefer if we are going ITX that they opt for SODIMM configuration (Like on my Laptop) and opt for more NVME SSD SLots (even M.2242 vs M.2280.

-ST
 
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