Page 1:The Mini-ITX Market Is Small, But Growing...
Page 2:ASRock Z87E-ITX
Page 3:Z87E-ITX Software
Page 4:Z87E-ITX Firmware
Page 5:Asus Z87I-Deluxe
Page 6:Z87I-Deluxe Software
Page 7:Z87I-Deluxe Firmware
Page 8:EVGA Z87 Stinger
Page 9:Z87 Stinger Software
Page 10:Z87 Stinger Firmware
Page 11:Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi
Page 12:Z87N-WiFi Software
Page 13:Z87N-WiFi Firmware
Page 14:MSI Z87I
Page 15:Z87I Software
Page 16:Z87I Firmware
Page 17:Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
Page 18:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 19:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 20:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 21:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 22:Results: Productivity
Page 23:Results: File Compression
Page 24:Energy, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 26:Which Mini-ITX Motherboard Would We Buy For Haswell?
EVGA Z87 Stinger
While most of its competitors scrambled to find room to retain all of the Z87 Express PCH's natively-supported features using a mini-ITX form factor, EVGA made space for power and reset buttons, plus a dual-digit system status display. Dedicated to gamers, and by extension to overclockers, the company got there by focusing on the unique needs of the mini-ITX-based gaming system market.
The first thing we noticed was that the board has only four internal SATA 6Gb/s ports, which makes sense when most small cases have no more than four drive bays anyway. A tiny heat sink serves a similarly downsized four-phase voltage regulator, which also works for us since Haswell’s heat issues normally prevent it from capitalizing on the additional capacity of larger regulators. EVGA also gets rid of rarely-used connections like legacy communications ports and the TPM.
That’s not to say the board is stripped. We still find, for example, the full range of front-panel headers, including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and analog audio I/O. In fact, front-panel audio is a significant addition to the Z87 Stinger, since EVGA neglected to include it on the company's Z77-based predecessor. Also, one of the missing SATA 6Gb/s ports gets re-routed to eSATA.
EVGA even includes a decorative cover so you don't have to look at parts of the board that don't add anything aesthetically. In fact, Wi-Fi is the only feature notably missing from the Z87 Stinger compared to competing products.
The Z87 Stinger has a mini-PCIe slot into which you can drop your choice of wireless networking controller or other compatible device. EVGA even includes a place on the board's I/O shield for mounting antenna leads. On the other hand, if the company wanted to provide its customers with added configuration flexibility, it should have bundled the break-out cables that aren’t included with most mini-PCIe-based wireless modules.
The Z87 Stinger's manual is universal, and based on EVGA's other products. You'll need to rely on its additional configuration sheet to determine the location and function of various connectors, and know to dismiss anything listed in the manual but not found on the board.
- The Mini-ITX Market Is Small, But Growing...
- ASRock Z87E-ITX
- Z87E-ITX Software
- Z87E-ITX Firmware
- Asus Z87I-Deluxe
- Z87I-Deluxe Software
- Z87I-Deluxe Firmware
- EVGA Z87 Stinger
- Z87 Stinger Software
- Z87 Stinger Firmware
- Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi
- Z87N-WiFi Software
- Z87N-WiFi Firmware
- MSI Z87I
- Z87I Software
- Z87I Firmware
- Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Energy, Heat, And Efficiency
- Which Mini-ITX Motherboard Would We Buy For Haswell?