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ASRock H170M-ITX/DL LGA 1151 Intel H170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Internet bios flash - You don't have to be running windows 10 NSA edition to stay up to date. You will need to use a FAT32 thumb drive to get that to work tho, but it's really easy.

BIOS based case and CPU fan speed controls - You can set them just like you'd set gpu fan speeds. It's really handy to help with keeping the fan noise under control.

BIOS Boot Manager - I scoffed at this at first but I really like it now. It allows for you to assign names to drives and then choose which drive to use to boot when the system is turned on. No longer have to deal with software boot loaders, I currently use it to switch between 2 SSD's, one with Win10 (for gaming only!) and one with Ubuntu MATE for actual computer use. I have plans to throw in a Win7 SSD at some point too and make it triple boot.

Intel NIC - They are all I use, all the time, in every machine. Realtek are ok, but I've had many randomly die that I don't rely on them. This board has 1 Intel and 1 Realtek. Why it's not just 2 Intel is beyond me, but I only really need 1 anyway.

Power consumption - Most ppl don't care, but I do cause I pay the bills. This board with 3 SSDs, no external GFX and I7 6700 uses less then 50 watts when stress testing the CPU :) The CPU scales all the way down to just a few watts (800mhz) when idle which is nice for power savings. With a GTX 670 in it I've had it go as high as 170 watts. Granted the GPU maxes long before the CPU so it's not at full bore. I'm easily running the whole system with a 500 watt PS even tho nvidia says they recommend 500 watt min for the card. I will be going to 1060 mini at some point in the future tho which uses even less power then my old 670.

Cons: Memory capatibility - I coupled this board with 32GB Gskill Aegis ram and was having some serious instability issues. The MB support 2133 ram and that's what I had. I found tho that I had to reduce the ram down to 1066 to make it stable which is a serious reduction in speed. I have noticed that there has been a lot of bios updates for ram compatibilty so I'm hoping this will be addressed in the future and I can switch the ram back to full speed.

Windows 7 compatibility - I get it, MS is trying to get rid of the best OS they have ever/will ever make. MB manufacturers shouldn't help them tho. There are USB 2.0 ports on the board but they don't work like normal ports so using them while doing a Win7 install is a pain. There is a BIOS option to help with that but it's a double-edged sword. Turning it on makes the mouse work, but will mess up a USB CDRom drive/thumb drive. In the end I wound up plugging in a SATA CD drive so I could get the OS installed.

Display port - Will just call this one a gripe since the board doesn't have one. I know it's a Mini-ITX but at this point in the game they should pretty much be on boards. Not having one was the only real negative I had when I was choosing this board. I'm running an external GFX so I have one, but at some point when I move to a new board I will be left without one.

Other Thoughts: I like this board. Like I said, it should have display port and they need to increase their RAM compatibility. Other then that, it's been working just fine for me. I haven't have any crashes or instability issues, outside of the RAM timing I mentioned. It's a good board :)

ASRock Q2900-ITX Intel Pentium J2900 2.41 GHz Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Small, silent, low power, 4 cores. I decided to give this CPU/board a try after I used a J1900 motherboard in a PFSense router. I have to say that turned out to be massive overkill (the router). I was more then surprised by this board. It currently runs a Qemu VM server for me and has more then enough power to run multiple XP and Win7 VM's. I've had no incompatibility or stability problems with the board at all. I added 16GB of RAM but it almost never goes above 8GB cause Linux is just better with resource management. The best part is that underload the system uses < 20 watts and barely gets warm to the touch. Most of the time it idles for me around 9 watts (with a VM running). It also works well with a Pico PSU.

Cons: Icky Realtek LAN (Intel PCI-E x1 NIC works perfectly). Could use more SATA ports (what couldn't). It doesn't like to reboot in Linux but it will shutdown without issue.

Other Thoughts: Replacing the Realtek NIC with an Intel one would be nice but other then that I'm loving the board.

Shuttle XH61V Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Pentium / CeleronIntel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium (LGA1155) Intel Socket H2(LGA1155) Intel H61 none 1 x HDMI Barebone
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Size - It's small. Barely bigger than a Wii which makes it perfect for an HTPC.

Build - Really good quality build, especially the power button. The button does have a large blue light in the middle, but it's tolerable. The internals are also solidly built. The only part I was on the fence about is the heatsink part of the cpu cooler. It's not 100% flat and mine was pretty rough. I smashed some extra thermal compound into the gaps just to make sure there was a good bond with the thermal I put on the CPU.

Heatpipe - I like the heatpipe design and the two small fans that cool the system really are completly silent.

Case - The case itself is well designed. It's solidly built and the removeable trays that hold the DVD and HD are well designed and lock in securely.

USB3.0 - It has good USB3.0 support and can boot from 3.0 devices.

Media Center - Since this is what I use it for I might as well tell how it functions. The hardware worked perfectly with Win7 using a few drivers from the CD. I had to switch out the Intel GFX driver tho as the standard MS one doesn't support DTS-HD/MA. Once I did that was I able to play back 4k video and videos with DTS-MA easily using software decoding or hardware acceleration. I have switched tho to running Openelec for my HTPC tho as it runs fast from a USB thumb drive without an HD installed and does DTS-MA out of the box.

RAM - It worked perfectly the first time. It uses laptop ram to save space but it's just as cheap as the desktop stuff. I put in 8GB for ~$60.

Cons: RS232 - ??? I guess they aren't really a con since they are pretty much useless and I just disabled them in BIOS. They don't get in the way but I'd have preferred more USB ports.

Specs - This can't really be considered a con against the product so much as Newegg. No where on the Newegg page does it say that this case/machine has a 65 watt TDP limit but it supposedly does. The sticker on the box lists that. However, I installed a 77 watt i5-3570K CPU without issue. The power supply is only rated to 90 watts. To be fair, the CPU can hit 88 C I stress the system for a while with the Intel burn-in test but that's not normal use. Normal use is low power and silent.

Other Thoughts: Great little system. It has a lot more power than the older Core 2 system that it replaced which couldn't handle 4k videos or videos with DTS-MA streams. This machine would also be perfect to sit on a desktop. It'd need to sit flat tho since it only has vents on the sides and you wouldn't want to block air-flow.


Doug B.'s Profile

Display Name: Doug B.

Date Joined: 02/28/03

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 01/07/06
  • Last Review: 07/27/16
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