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Need smallest profile mobo possible?

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October 23, 2006 2:57:17 PM

Need smallest profile mobo possible, that supports RAID i would like that as an option, and if it has onboard video is it capable of HD playback, im trying to build a low profile home theather system.

More about : smallest profile mobo

October 23, 2006 3:01:59 PM

Check the egg for microATX board. They've got wide range of microATX board there.
October 23, 2006 3:35:44 PM

might be able to use a laptop motherboard too =P
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October 23, 2006 3:48:20 PM

Believe there are even smaller form factors, like nanoBTX, miniBTX, picoBTX, flexATX, miniITX, and nanoITX.



That should help. Hard to find cases for them, though. mATX is the best for compatability versus size.

~Ibrahim~
a c 129 V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
October 23, 2006 3:51:25 PM

can you say small



but they are not fast enough for HD and most nanoitx boards lack enough expansion slots for HTPC use
a c 129 V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
October 23, 2006 3:53:35 PM

I am almost sure that a Geforce 6150 will do HD and comes on allot of MicroATX boards for AM2(AMD)...

Asus M2NPV-VM
seems to have all you want....as long as you are not playing cutting edge games this board should do....just grab some low profile TV cards...maybe and antec case....and your good to go...

I will have a quick look for an intel equiv as well

ECS P4M890T-May be a good intel alternative..i can not comment on the onboard video tho....

Also if getting an AMD one try to find the EE or EESF ones as they make less heat....for Core 2 maybe a e6300 or 6400... you wont need anymore then that....

Either way they both have PCI-E(16x) so you can add a low profile video card to suit your needs...
October 23, 2006 6:45:37 PM

well case isnt an issue, my friend who im helping with this project can weld his own case together, we plan on inegrating this into his home theater system, im just trying to find the right parts to fit what he wants to do, so anything is possible, but it looks like we might have to go microatx cause now hes saying he wants DVR which means he needs a TV tuner card. anything smaller, probably wont be as feature rich as we need it.

However big thanks to everyone for all your input and links to great resources.

Also i dont know if any of you caught this thread

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

but i solved my problem there, i was thinking about putting the same proc on a microatx board with a 1u cooler and a minor overclock to 3.33 GHZ bad idea? and i know the rpm speeds on those low profile coolers are high which = more noise.
October 23, 2006 8:04:45 PM

The Abit NF-M2 nView is the best HTPC mATX motherboard out right now, IMO. It's AMD, though.

~Ibrahim~
October 23, 2006 8:22:07 PM

well the me nor the guy im helping out is strictly intel or AMD so if the board fits the bill we can go AMD with the setup
October 23, 2006 9:17:11 PM

Yeah. And a X2 3800+ EE or EE+SFF. Passive heatsink should be fine here. If you are going to OC, and that Abit board is a great OC'er, then you might want to move to active cooling. The X2 3800+ EE is only $159. 2GB of DDR2-667 or DDR2-800. A Seagate 7200.10 HDD: 320GB should be ample enough.

What is the price range?

~Ibrahim~
October 23, 2006 9:34:50 PM

Any nano-itx boards supporting crossfire and sata raid 5?
October 23, 2006 10:01:03 PM

From my HTPC experience, I always prefer Ati X200 onboard over 6150.

And my current favourite board, for all reasons one could possibly like a uATX board, is the DFI rs482 infinity. Its a 939 board (DFI are really dragging their ass releasing products for the new am2/core2 chips), but overclocks nicely and has the x200 chipset which, again, IMHO is the best chipset for onboard graphics with TV-out in mind (hell it even has dvi-d + vga out).

Before I found this board, I did a bunch of builds with the msi version (no bios overclocking options, though good tv/out).

I've also done the a8n-vm csm and m2npn-vm, but the 6150 chipset leaves a lot to be desired in a HTPC environment (imho).

I haven't really been checking lately, but I don't know of any core2 uATX boards (atleast no 965 chipsets so far).

For HTPC cases I'm a big fan of the new antec nsk 2400. If you had the money, silverstone evolution. Both take any powersupply and look pretty spiffy. And If you really had the money, Antec Fusion....
October 23, 2006 10:13:18 PM

Bad case bad case. I dont like the finish on those Antec cases... and the front is ugly. You can not hide the front devices at all. I would recomend something else as I have had experience with these cases from Antec.

Also, case is loud, easy to scratch the finish.... and...... HUGE. This case might be a bit smaller then the full ATX case of the same shape and size, but it is much larger then a standard midtower.
October 23, 2006 10:30:59 PM

Okay, this is kinda pointless since the OP said he didn't need a case, but:

If your going to stand on your high horse and shoot down my case recommendation, how about wasting a few more seconds of your precious life and say, i don't know, list one of those cases that are superior to the ones I listed.

And 'you' might not like the 2400, but the 4 people I built them for still say thanks everytime I talk to them.

I will agree the 'stealth mod' to use the original dvd covers isn't my favourite, but it does work (velcro being the most professional method).

Plus 120mm fans can be changed...
October 23, 2006 10:43:31 PM

^^ Im sorry whats your point? I have worked with them and I find them to be horrible cases in every way I mentioned above. If this personal offends you then you need to chill out... relax man I didnt say you were easy to chip and loud... Breathe man ... breathe.
October 23, 2006 11:03:43 PM

Lol, thats funny. I thought I was the only one who knew about mini-itx.com...Comptia...your cool in my book.
October 23, 2006 11:26:14 PM

Don't mind me, I'm crRaaZeeeee

But anyway, if you're going to inconvenience electrons, why not do it with purpose (ie atleast list one case, but again, moot, he's building his own).

Though I will stand with the nsk. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (subjective). Quiet is as simple as putting in a real powersupply and better fans (I go all out on HTPC, esp since they're usually for yuppies). The finish isn't much harder to scratch then a car, and my htpc builds don't usually see rush hour action.... ie install, open after 2 years to swap fans.

And incase kukito hadn't heard: Friends don't let friends put core2 in 945.
(Hell, friends don't let friends build Foxconn, but thats just my fanboi crap)

There may come a day when Intel knows how to make a graphics card (see 965G, really go read about it, it might be hard since it died before it came out of the womb), but for now, Ati is the only company who knows how to put a computer signal on a TV (a bit IMHO, but I'd love somebody to school me with something else that is actually better.)

Plus I finally checked it out. The NF-M2 nview is a nice board, like the m2npv-vm in many ways, and (nearly) fatally flawed for HTPC for the same reason: No frickin tv-out port on the I/O bracket. Not sure what Abit charges for the expansion bracket, but Asus's wasn't cheap from my memory (though it could use a bit of an upgrade)

DFI RS482M, sure its old dead 939, and lame AMD won't make anymore chips for 939 (which they could), but unless you're building an all digital DVI/HDMI HTPC, or VGA one, SVHS/TV-OUT is something I kinda like to have onboard, brackets suck, especially on HTPCs where bracket space is at a premium.
October 23, 2006 11:27:40 PM

This Gigabyte mATX mobo uses the G965 chipset with the X3000 integrated video which supports 1080P resolution, if you just want integrated graphics. The GMA 950 used by the Foxconn board I mentioned earlier supposedly supports 1080P but I'll believe it when I see it. :)  However 720P should present no problems.

Edit: correction - replaced ASUS with Foxconn.
October 23, 2006 11:38:14 PM

Quote:
This Gigabyte mATX mobo uses the G965 chipset with the X3000 integrated video which supports 1080P resolution, if you just want integrated graphics. The GMA 950 used by the ASUS board I mentioned earlier supposedly supports 1080P but I'll believe it when I see it. :)  However 720P should present no problems.


See, now thats what I call effective use of electroncs.

I'm still not a big fan of Intel graphics, but atleast you get a real core2 chipset. Though still no TV-OUT on the I/O bracket...

(edited since I jumped to conclusions. I know, breath)
October 23, 2006 11:54:43 PM

Quote:
Though still no TV-OUT on the I/O bracket...

You are absolutely right. A video card would be necessary for DVI (and an HDMI adapter) or analog component video. Better still would be a motherboard with built in HDMI with HDCP.
October 23, 2006 11:58:47 PM

I only know of one board that has TV-Out:

DFI mATX

Not released in the US, yet, though. Only has AC '97, though.

~Ibrahim~
October 24, 2006 12:03:16 AM

Well the upgrade junky geek part of me knows its crappy advice to recommend 939 these days, but the dfi rs482 has dvi-d build in. And afaik dvi can be converted to hdmi, so hdmi from onboard is possible with that board. (then use the spdif to reciever to get your dolby audio)

Sure ddr1 ram is passe, and 939 is a dead socket, but HTPCs don't usually follow the same uber-geek principles as other systems. I don't think anybody I've built a HTPC for ever maxed out the cpu, so core2 isn't a required element, no matter how cool it is.

Atleast the 939 single core chips aren't as warm as their priced Intel competition.

I always try and keep my designs on 'live' tech, but htpc is one place I don't mind selling the 'old stuff'.
October 24, 2006 12:07:55 AM

Quote:
I only know of one board that has TV-Out:

DFI mATX

Not released in the US, yet, though. Only has AC '97, though.

~Ibrahim~


Ding Ding, we have a winner (well atleast until a core2 board comes out)

Too bad about the availability. Not even on ebay...

8 channel ac'97 through spdif isn't too shabby, but I'm still not a big enough fan of nvidia 6150 for tv-out. Maybe once they work on their software a bit more...
October 24, 2006 12:09:34 AM

Maybe..

~Ibrahim~
October 24, 2006 1:06:46 AM

I found this ABIT that has HDMI and supports Core Duo (Yonah) and Core 2 Duo (Merom). Both of those CPUs would be excellent for an entertainment system. Again the pesky GMA 950 so don't count on going beyond 720p. And it even supports RAID. Still, I think the best bet is to get even a low profile video card that supports digital HD (via DVI/HDMI) video rather than rely on the integrated graphics. Should be cheaper too. Waiting a bit wouldn't be a bad idea either although the waiting game sucks. ATI should be coming out with some killer chipsets very soon for both AMD and Intel. And ATI also has good TV tuner technology.
October 24, 2006 1:28:06 AM

Another good find on that Abit board.

And I'll agree about waiting. As usual, companies are all out will the big high end systems first, HTPC stuff is a low profit after though...

They might be launched around the same time as the next aiw (r600) cards and that would be a great 'future proof' htpc forsure.
October 24, 2006 2:08:27 AM

Quote:
And I'll agree about waiting. As usual, companies are all out will the big high end systems first, HTPC stuff is a low profit after though...

Yeah...and it shouldn't be. With HDTV surging this is the perfect time to merge the computer with the TV. And 1366x768 is fine for browsing, burning, writing, etc. in addition to video. And the panels are cheaper at that resolution. 1920x1080 would be awesome both for video and computing.
October 25, 2006 1:55:36 AM

I know that the next ATI IGPs are going to be loaded with a slightly cut-down X700...

~Ibrahim~
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