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GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5 TH LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with Dual Thunderbolt
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: lots of connectors, but physical architecture prevents usage of all of them.

Cons: despite being advertised, it is impossible to mount a 3rd graphics card that takes 2 slot because the board connectors are immediately below the 3rd PCi Express slot.
On removing the 2nd gfx card from its slot, the cheap plastic on the rear of the slot broke, including a very flimsy metal connector on the very back of the slot. Card in that slot no longer works.

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GIGABYTE GA-H61N-USB3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: this is a great pick for a mini ITX board if you want to build a HTPC or a Hackintosh mini (recommended by TonyMac86).

Cons: none really

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APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs solid HTPC case 10/19/2013

This review is from: APEX MI-008 Black Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case 250W Power Supply

Pros: This case is a good choice for a HTPC or a small workstation without dedicated GPU. With included PSU the price make this a really attractive offer. Good choice for a mini-ITX system.

Cons: As so many others have written, the PSU and CPU fans are directly opposed which makes this a heat nightmare for all components (plus not all CPU fans will fit). Expect your drives top 40c, an i3 idles around 50c ... unacceptable. This case has no fan mounts but with some ingenuity you can fit 2x 120mm fans (one left next to the drives, one right in the vertical HD slot) which lowers your temps by 15+ degrees centigrade. Otherwise your HDs will die. Even low rpm fans will do, so you can still use it as HTPC without too much noise ... you just need to establish airflow.
Theoretically you can fit a dedicated GPU, but you'd loose all hope of managing your airflow. For the same reason don't mount it vertically ... you loose half your openings. This also goes for the vertical HDD slot, but an intake fan here instead.

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Matthias K.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthias K.

Date Joined: 03/23/11

  • Reviews: 6
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 10/19/13
  • Last Review: 12/13/13
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