Date Joined: 08/29/03
Pros: See below
Cons: See below
Overall Review: Just wanted to reach out to Jory, who commented on the overheating problems with an i7 860:
I have the same configuration and components as you mention (including the same CPU cooler) and I DO overclock. I noticed in my overclocking attempts that when I would specify any setting that would cause the board to not POST (i.e. pushed it too far), the board automatically defaults back to the stock BIOS settings so that it will post again.
When it does this, it (for some unexplained reason) sets the CPU voltage at a specific (VERY HIGH) voltage, instead of defaulting back to "Auto"
I checked this several times to make sure it wasn't me (I rarely play with voltages) and my board ALWAYS defaulted back to a VERY HIGH specific voltage (something like 1.35v), instead of "Auto", which was causing 60-70 degC idle temps at the stock settings.
Once I figured this out and reset it to "Auto", the problem was solved and mine idles now around 30 degC.
Hope this helps you, and anyone else
Pros: True enthusiast board. NO onboard video, three SATA ports, lotsa USB ports on the back + powered eSata.
BIOS and drivers that actually work on its 1st release (Yeah, that's a stab at you Zotac). Many overclocking and general "tweaking" options in the BIOS. Acceptable fan control options.
Great general layout with plenty of room for aftermarket coolers (I am running a horizontal 120mm within the confines of the board).
Finally, a reputable company with history of good products has given us a fine board for those that want to play and work and not have a gargantuan tower.
Cons: No onboard wifi.
I'll give Zotac this, their onboard wifi setup on the 9300 ITX board is money. So good, that when I junked that board for this build, I snagged the wifi module from it and modded my case ever so slightly to incorporate it.
Overall Review: For the reviewer trying to overclock the i7-860 to 4.0GHZ, you need to read the specs and available reviews on this board! It was designed for mild overclocking, but the i7-860 running at that speed draws significantly more power than stock and it goes well beyond the designed power envelope of the board. Also, with your case, the 300W power supply is most likely the first problem that your running into when you try for that extreme (for an ITX board) overclocking. Again, check out the reviews of the i7-860 when they are overclocked, and you will see that at 4GHZ under load, the power draw can be > 250W all by itself.
I am running the SG-06 case with a Noctua 120mm fan, this MB, i7-860 (OC to 3.1 with Turbo enabled), Scythe Big Shuriken 120mm cooler, HIS ATI 5770, 4GB OCZ DDR3-1600 CL7, Intel G2 80GB SSD (boot drive) and WD Scorpio 7200RPM 320GB data drive (both 2.5" in a Startech 3.5" dual drive adapter) with an LG Slim DVD burner. OS is Win7 32bit. Runs beautifully and QUIET.
Pros: Extremely well designed and built, the mounting system is the best I have seen on a multi-fit (AMD & Intel) cooler.
Cons: Despite the overall size and heft, this thing cools no better than the stock "thin" cooler that came with my C2Q 9550. The Zalman Fan Mate 2 adjustable resistor works ok, but is dated in the day and age of PWM controlled fans. Only having one speed does not let you account for gaming vs. surfing the Internet without opening the case and adjusting the knob.
Overall Review: I was hoping that this would quiet down my Mini ITX gaming system while still providing better than stock cooling. Unfortunately, using Prime95 to stress the system, it only lasted 10 minutes before the computer locked up. The stock thin cooler made it about 40 minutes and did so much quieter.
Pros: Nice feature set (a little dated though). Easy install, adequate number of connectors (fan, USB, etc). Booted 1st time and every time since. BIOS contains some basic overclocking options.
The on board wifi works well and seems to be as strong as PCI and external USB solutions.
So far audio playback is reasonably good (though I just use my monitor's speakers).
Cons: On board wireless requires use of one of the 2 on board USB headers. This became a problem when you generally need one header for the case's front USB ports and (in my case) you need the other to connect a card reader to. Fortunately, the wireless only needs one row (4 pins) of the USB header and my card reader also only needed one row (4 pins) of the same header, so I combined the pins into one plug and all works well.
ZOTAC does not include ANY type of hardware monitoring/updating utility with the board or on their website, so if you are curious how things are running, you can either boot to the BIOS and look at the PC Health section, or you can rely on a third party software solution.
Overall Review: This is the second ZOTAC board I have built a computer with and I would use them again. I would MUCH prefer Gigabyte or ASUS, but they aren't willing to get into the Mini ITX arena.
My build includes an E7300 processor (moderately overclocked to 3.0GHZ), 4GB of Transcend DDR2-800 RAM, a 320GB 2.5" 7200rpm hdd, a pci-e (x1) firewire card, internal card reader and 5.25" DVD burner all packed into the new Foxconn Mini ITX case and it runs cool, quiet and relatively fast. You won't be gaming (AT ALL) with this chipset (it scores a 3.0 in the Vista rating system) but movies and day to day use is fantastic.
Pros: Very nice looking and seems to be well built. Room for both external 5.25" drive and 3.5" drive. Substantial Active PFC power supply.
Cons: Power supply has no molex connectors, so plan accordingly. HDD mounting is set up ONLY for a 3.5" drive (2.5" hdd in adapter requires modification to work).
Overall Review: I built mine with the ZOTAC GeForce 7100/630i wi-fi motherboard, an e7300 processor, 4GB Transcend DDR2-800 memory, an LG DVD burner, 3.5" card reader and a 2.5" SATA 7200rpm notebook hdd. Plenty of power for this setup from the power supply.
Tips: Turn the case fan around to blow air inside the case. The PS fan is on the other side of the motherboard and does a great job of evacutaing the air your pushing inside.
Clearance between the CPU heatsink and the back of the optical drive is VERY tight. Do yourself a favor and order a 90deg SATA/power adapter from the get-go (I used part #N82E16812226019).
The 4-pin 12v connector from the power supply is too short. I used a 12" extension to make life easier (part #N82E16812198005).
I tried building an AMD system in this box so I could use a more modern chipset (780G) with Blu-Ray playback. The Jetway board would fit fine (even with the stock AMD cooler), but a Blu-Ray drive (LG) is too deep and would not clear any cooler.
Pros: Makes a great OS drive when paired with a conventional hdd for data.
Overall Review: Check out the OCZ forums for tips on making your operating system SSD friendly.
Pros: This is the second 4670 I have tried, and from a technical standpoint only, this thing rocks.
3DMark06 went from 5200 (8600GT) to 8900!
Gaming is so good that unless you need the bleeding edge products, I would look no further.
ATI Drivers are vastly improved from what they were putting out as recently as last year.
Cons: LOUD! Did I mention LOUD? As I said, this is the second one I have tried and it (like the MSI) is just too loud if your computer is anywhere close to where you sit.
Overall Review: RMA'ing today to try the PowerColor 4670. I used the PowerColor 3650 with exactly the same cooler and found it to be extremely good. I am hoping the same will hold true for this one.
Pros: Fastest card I could find that DOES NOT require an auxiliary power source.
Took my 3DMark06 scores from 5200 (8600GT) to 8900!
Plays Crysis very well on medium settings at 1280x1024.
Cons: Fan looks bigger online than it really is; thus it spins very fast and makes lots of noise.
Overall Review: The 4670 is an amazing card and truly the champion of the everyday user with a budget.
Catalyst 8.10 drivers are out and finally support the 4670.
Pros: Fairly quiet, no need for extra power connector.
Cons: Only fairly quiet. Fan makes a little more noise than I would like. It is very liveable though.
Overall Review: Very good card for the money and the form factor is great compared to all of the monster sized cards on the market today. I would buy again.
Pros: Easy to set up and runs very stable.
Cons: BIOS is a little confusing, wspecially when compared with the likes of ASUS.
Overall Review: Replaced an ABIT 975X board with this one and I have been very happy. Not exactly a bleeding-edge product, but works well in my wifes computer.
Pros: Compact and does not require any extra power connectors.
Cons: Runs way too hot. Becomes untouchable after just a few minutes. I have run both ASUS and Gigabyte fanless cards with good success in the past, and this one just doesn't work that well.
Overall Review: If you have a good case fan(s) blowing over this card, I am sure it would work fine. That kinda defeats the purpose though...
Pros: Middle of the road quality in a great form factor. The unit is very thin, but with the included PCI-e riser card, MSI has made it possible to use full height video cards. Easy build and relatively quiet.
Cons: None really, so long as your not expecting the best of the best.
Overall Review: The riser card is arranged such that you can only get a single slot video card in the machine. Also, don't try for a single slot card with a big cooler on it (i.e. the cards that come factory with the Zalman or Thermaltake coolers. I ended up using a Palit 8600GT, and it fits perfectly (N82E16814260060). There is no room to use a card with an aux power requirement, because length is a big issue. The card I mentioned above leaves about 3mm clearance between it and the included CPU cooler. The board is designed to only use MSI's cooler, so don't try to get around that. It is very good, quiet and seems to cool well. I built this for my 9 year old as an entry level gaming computer and I am very pleased overall.
Pros: Cheap DX-10
Cons: With no fan, this thing runs too hot to touch. Yes, one would guess it runs warmer than one with a fan, but this is WAY hot.
Overall Review: Would only use again if I had a case that could dedicate airflow to the card. Of course, that kinda defeats the heatsink only purpose.
Pros: Loads of features! Not sure what else could be crammed onto this board.
Cons: Very limited memory support, buggy chipset, price for performance.
Overall Review: I know that lots of people are having good luck w/ this board, and I have had great luck w/ ASUS in the past myself; but... This particular board fell way short of my expectations. It is finicky, it sometimes starts up, then shuts down, then starts right back up, and sometimes, it doesn't start up at all. It does not recover gracefully from failed overclocking, although it could be worse I suppose. For the price, I expected more out of it. I am switching to the new ABIT 975 board.