Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I just couldn't let the almighty AsRock be dissed. The fault is NOT in the mothetboard, it's in the cooler's bracket. Those problematic components on the motherboard are outside the keep-out-zone defined by Intel.http://i.imgur.com/Jms7Q.jpg
That long line on the left is the RAM, and the four pins bit to the right of that are capacitators.http://images.bit-tech.net/content_images/2012/09/mini-itx-shootout/asrock-l-4.jpg
In this picture, the RAM slots and capacitators are on the right. Note that the CPU's locking arm is also on that side.http://i.kiwi.io/8f53295a73878494e9bc8dd6c3c7104f.png
A drawing from Intel's specifications for area around CPU. In this picture, you can see the locking arm on the side which is marked as south.http://i.kiwi.io/1141938ba2c2b13f5505d7c424ebae5f.png
A drawing for the same area but from the bottom side (where the problematic components are located). Now if you look at the side which is south, you can see that there is plenty of available space for components that are "2.54mm" high at most.
Now, I can't be bothered to take apart my AsRock Z77E-ITX based rig to check how high those components are, but at least the pics prove that they are not located in the keep-out-zone. Even if the components are higher than 2.54mm, which I think is unlikely, the cooler's bracket looks like it's designed to be a tight fit with the mobo. In other words, it wouldn't allow even for 2.54mm.
Conclusion: motherboard doesn't break Intel's specifications, but the cooler bracket does.