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  • tekeffect - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Good looking board. It's nice to see so much effort being put to the ITX form factors Reply
  • hoboville - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    The editors of Maximum PC put it this way: "small is the new fashion, a big fat tower underneath your desk is no longer sexy". The context being that all this emphasis on mobile has made big power-hungry (and powerful) boxes seem old and "uncool".

    Gotta cater to the future :\, but I like my tower.
    Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    THis is funny coming from "Maximum" PC. Small and quite is always welcome, and frankly it is a lot of fun seeing how powerful a machine you can get without sacrificing near silence and a tiny form factor. At the end of the day you will never get a "Maximum" power PC in a small form factor.

    Choose Two:
    1. Small footprint
    2. Quiet
    3. Top 20% in power.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I have a 4771k at 4.7GHz, liquid cooling on cpu and gpu (one 140mm fan for entire system) 512GB SSD, 4TB 3.5". 2TB 2.5", 760TI, 80+ gold psu, bluray and an eSATA JBOD in my ITX system that is less than 1 foot cubed.

    how does that not meet all 3 of your criteria? ;)

    ITX can do anything ATX can in less space using less power.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    FT03-mini btw Reply
  • Slawwwc - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Do you think Maximus VI Impact would fit in FT03-mini? Reply
  • jihe - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    FT03-mini isn't all that small. When I think of mITX, I am thinking more of mac mini size, something you can pick up in one hand and go. Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - link

    In that case there isn't much point in buying this motherboard because you'll never get a discrete GPU in your form factor. No point in buying a "gaming" motherboard without a discrete GPU. Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    I'd be interested in seeing your build log, pics, or part list. i'm looking to build a SFF gaming pc but finding the right case has become a issue since i plan to use water cooling. Reply
  • wetwareinterface - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    let's see;

    1. small footprint - okay you got that
    2. quiet - again it seems from your description you should have noise down as well
    3. top 20% in power - this is where your mini itx build doesn't meet the criteria. top 20% in power would require that you at least have dual sli 760 or crossfire 7870 set up to meet the lower 20%, triple setups of 780/titan or new r9 290/290x for the top range. absolute top would require dual xeon 12 core and triple crossfire r9 290x in a massive case to handle the extra loops and radiator/resevoir needed to cool that beastly of a system and reign in noise. for the top crown you'd need a cosmos II or 950d sized mini fridge case to handle it all.

    yes you can build a very respectable gaming machine off of mini itx mobo's and in small enclosures. you will not ever be able to do triple sli water cooling in that space. dual socket is possible in fact shuttle had an interseting dual socket 940 opteron sff barebones a few years back with a 500 watt power supply which for the day would allow a respectable 8800 gtx to go in it. but that was the last dual socket sff i've seen so top performing is out for mini itx.
    Reply
  • chaosbloodterfly - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    20% in power would require that you at least have dual sli 760 or crossfire 7870 set up to meet the lower 20%, triple setups of 780/titan or new r9 290/290x for the top range. absolute top would require dual xeon 12 core and triple crossfire r9 290x in a massive case to handle the extra loops and radiator/resevoir needed to cool that beastly of a system and reign in noise. for the top crown you'd need a cosmos II or 950d sized mini fridge case to handle it all.

    That's more like the top 1%...
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Sunday, November 24, 2013 - link

    Top 20% means 19%-20% too, so any single 770/780/290/290X will do. There's a large performance delta between 10%->5%, and another huge jump from 5% to 1%. Remember that just because the percentage increases by 5% does NOT mean the performance delta increases by just as little. Reply
  • chrnochime - Sunday, November 24, 2013 - link

    And please, tri-fire and tri-sli? At the very top 1% it's either quad-SLI/quadfire or go home. You want to sound you're all that, at least put in the effort LOL Reply
  • Alienwarez5678 - Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - link

    I am pretty happy with my Fractal node 304 with an Impact board, 16Gb ram, 3 SSD drives and a GTX780TI at the moment runs everything. Reply
  • nichismo - Monday, April 14, 2014 - link

    uh no.

    can it do SLI? quad channel memory? can you add a raid controller? not to mention any sub PCI, PCIe or mPCIe oriented expansion device with a GPU installed?

    didnt think so.
    Reply
  • Zak - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    Anyone who thinks computers (any other inanimate objects) are sexy, needs help. Reply
  • anactoraaron - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I hate being 'that guy', but what's up with no Nexus 5 review? Reply
  • A5 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Brian and Anand do all the phone reviews. Bug them about it on twitter if you want, but Ian probably isn't going to be able to answer that. Reply
  • anactoraaron - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    That's right. Sorry about that (to Ian). To the twitters I go... Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Correction, Brian does all the phone reviews (except apple phones). The only tablet review anand has done recently is surface pro and rt Reply
  • swizeus - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    No Audio benchmark ? Reply
  • IanCutress - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Top of page 5. Reply
  • 1Angelreloaded - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Great board, with minor non deal breaking issues. This is great for LAN party setups, or mobile desktop computing where laptops simply won't due. I'd recommend this for DIY Steam Box/HTPC as well. Reply
  • just4U - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    A very nice board.. and great review. I've been curious about this one.. I am on the fence when it comes to mini itx. I haven't found a case yet that I like enough to buy.. there are some good ones out there but they all seem like micro atx cases or bigger.. Reply
  • nmm - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    You probably haven't noticed the EVGA Hadron if you're saying something like this. Reply
  • extide - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Did you see the NCASE M1? I know they aren't technically for sale anymore, but I'm sure some will be on ebay... Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    You should look into the Elite 130, a much improved version of the elite 120. Reply
  • psuedonymous - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Is Asus Secure Erase implementation just a general issuer of ATA SECURE ERASE, or is it keyed just for specific drive controllers (they must call it 'SSD' secure erase for a specific reason).
    Having to Secure Erase a lot of drives on a regular basis, Parted Magic is by far the easiest way for laptops and workstations that don't have it built in to the BIOS (which thankfully many now do). Boot it from USB, click 'erase drive', then follow the prompts.
    Reply
  • extide - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I would expect it to be ATA SECURE ERASE Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    it's ATA Secure. Every nand chip in the ssd gets cleared out by writing zeroes to the entire drive. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    That's not necessarily how it works, especially for SandForce based controllers. Reply
  • colinisation - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Could you test out an M2 SSD in the MPCie Combo card slot, I am interested to see if it chokes the SSD? Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Two questions about the overview on page one.

    First, what is the difference between using the FastBoot jumper to toggle between UEFI booting methodology and the legacy boot sequence? Under what circumstances would you want to use an older, slower boot method?

    Second, the top right button on the "Impact Control" board is labeled as Clear CMOS, but the paragraph under the picture describes it as a USB BIOS Flashback button. Is this a dual function button, or am I missing something?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Using an obsolete OS *cough*Windows XP*cough* that doesn't support UEFI would be an obvious example.

    Some people in OSS land have a massive hateon for UEFI because it's much more heavily controlled and patent encumbered by Intel and might refuse to use it for ideological reasons.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    First: When Using Liquid Nitrogen to Overclock

    Second: No it's a error. USB Bios Flashback button is found on the i/O shield and the usb stick must be in the designated port.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Hmm, okay, thanks. Reply
  • martixy - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    That moment when you discover a whole new dimension just waiting for you to play in! Reply
  • creed3020 - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Thanks so much for the review Ian! I have been waiting for this review since the ASUS Z87 lineup launched. I was floored that a mini-ITX board was joining the ROG lineup. I'm hoping for my new build to be centered around this board. Reply
  • Arbie - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link


    It's simply amazing that one can buy this much engineering, fabrication, and quality for $225.
    Reply
  • jihe - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    You can pick up an old cpu for a dime. Think about the among if of engineering and fabrication in that. Reply
  • HighOnMikey - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I have this and a BitFenix Prodigy. Beautiful combo, if you ask me. Anyway I use this as my main/gaming desktop with Windows 8.1. While an improvement, boot times are still between 12-17 seconds. Windows 8.1 also introduces several issues with stability, something I didn't experience quite as much with Windows 8. I also experienced the same issues with SonicRadar, but the FPS drop was more severe using a very similar setup with the exception of a GeForce GTX 680. Great board. Reply
  • stennan - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    How many Pcie lanes are linked to the m2 connection? will we be able to get speeds above sata3? Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    nope.avi. ASUS is retarded and put the m.2 on a PCI 1X Bus Reply
  • u.of.ipod - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Really disappointed to see no use of the M.2 slot in this review. One of the biggest reasons I want to use this board. Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Asus botched it this time around. They put the M.2 Connector on a PCI 1X Bus, which severely limits what these SSD's are capable of. Reply
  • JoanSpark - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    I thought there was a mITX review coming in? Reply
  • lorribot - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Oh look woopie woo aren'y we clever we can stick a whole bunch of stuff on a tiny board and chrge you the same as a big board.
    Er actually no your not.
    What I want is a quality ITX board with aout all the rubbish. If I buy a Z board I am going to be overclocking, do I need any video out put on the back panel? No. DO i want SPDIF? No. DO I need 4 SATA? No, just the two. DO i need Wifi, no just a standard 1 Gb Nic.
    When will a Mobo comapany actually stop trying to be clever and produce a resonably priced Z board with basics and nothing more for about a 1/3 of the price of this beastie?
    Make that I may just think you are a bit clever ASUS et al.
    Reply
  • extide - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Check out the ASRock Z87 ITX Reply
  • lorribot - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Would that be the 127GBP/$160 Z87E-ITX? The one with Wi-fi built in?
    Not exact 1/3 of the price that one.
    I would rather spend an extra £50-60 on upgrading processor or graphics card than MOBO features I never use.
    Reply
  • coolhund - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    First things first. If you want quality youre at the wrong place with Asus anyway. Their mainboards die like flies. Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    Asus RAM Disk is awesome. Think Apple's Fusion Drive with 10X the performance.

    I always load whatever game i'm playing into the RAM DISK and keep it there until i beat the game or get bored with it. And then it goes back to the HDD for archive.

    The best part is, RAM Disk will work on older boards, even x58 boards. I'm not sure if it's locked to Asus, but i was using it on my Rampage II Extreme about 4 months ago, and it worked like a charm.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    The only game i've not been able to fit on my RAM DISK is Battlefield 3 and 4. They simply are to big. I have 32GB of RAM. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    A RAM disk is not an exclusive feature of Asus. They've been around for decades. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    You are correct, RAM disks have been around for ages. However, the functionality of the ASUS package is not available on any of the free offerings one finds on the web. The junction feature of the ASUS package is found on some of the commercially available packages which cost $30 to buy. Reply
  • Hairs_ - Saturday, November 23, 2013 - link

    The market for Liquid-Nitrogen compatible >$200 Mini ITX boards is, I've heard, absolutely HUGE. Literally thousands of people waiting with baited breath on this review.

    Just as well the vast majority of people aren't interested in ~$100-$130 boards, because the lack of relevant reviews would really make them wonder whether tech sites are more interested in serving what the manufacturers' PR want than what buyers need.
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - link

    Oh, come on. AT review what they get. They don't have the budget to go and buy any damn Board they want to look at, and the low-margin board builders won't afford sending out hundreds of review samples. And for those products, AT is probably not the priority number 1. There are still lots of paper-magazines out there doing nothing but comparisons of "normal stuff", being read by people who want to have a quick help for their buying decision. These magazines are the best place to get your 80$-Mainboard reviewed in. Reply
  • aatroxed - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    How would the onboard sound compare to a dedicated sound card? I'm still rocking an older creative xtreme music - would this more than match sound quality? Reply
  • slayernine - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Part of the added value of this board was the included anti-virus. It is not a trial but a full version and helped me justify the cost of this luxurious motherboard. Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    I love good looking hardware and I must say this board looks like its worth the money, it looks awesome and whilst it shouldn't, really makes me want to own it. What I would like to see though is an ITX board with 4 dim slots so I can run 32gb ram, and the full 6sata ports, but I have no idea where they would fit, I guess they'd have to be sodimms. Reply
  • Anosh - Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - link

    Can someone please tell me which Wireless card is mounted on the motherboard?
    Is it able to run at 1300Mbps on AC?
    Reply
  • MiniItxLinux - Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - link

    When I look at this I think Thundercats...

    Must be the color scheme.

    Hoooooo!!
    Reply
  • martinot - Friday, December 06, 2013 - link

    This really looks like a great board and a perfect buy for my needs, but I really dislike that you need Java installed on your machine to be able to configure it. Besides screwing up the DPC (which is critical as I produce and DJ music) it is also the biggest backdoor and security risk you can have.

    It is almost beyond stupidity and carelessness for security and their customers that Asus forces you to install such software package with such a bad track record as Java. When almost all vendors and websites has stopped using it (for very good reasons) - Asus does the oposite and starts using it. Wierd.

    I was almost sure this was the perfect fully featured board for my mini-ITX build until I read that it needs Java installed. Too bad I have to search for another board, and I am not sure I will find anyone this such good hardware as this one (looks really awesome otherwise).

    br,
    martin
    Reply
  • Harry_Wild - Monday, December 23, 2013 - link

    ASUS Maximus VI Impact board might be the starting point for my DIY home theater PC! Reply
  • ReneGQ - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    I recently purchased an Asus Motherboard and the problems started from day 1. The drivers update never works, the same for AI Suite III (there´s a lot of updates for this model in Asus webpage). After 2 months I still can´t install BitDefender cause a clock watchdog error.
    Asus technical support is the worst, mails comes and goes with no solution.
    I will not recommend this brand to anyone. The brand has a very good Marketing but the product and the service are very disappointment.
    Reply

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