Originally Posted by cls33
My main concerns are:
1) I'm not sure I'm comfortable giving up all those PCI slots - I'm not using them now, but I like having the option in case I need to someday add a sound card, or wireless adapter... or something else.
2) This board only has 8 phase power, many of the full ATX boards in this price range have 12 phase (not sure if this matters honestly...)
3) I wish this board had 4 6gb/s sata ports instead of 2, another thing many full ATX boards have
4) Since everything is shrunk down and the components are so close, I'm wondering if cooling will be less efficient.
5) Are there any issues putting this in a mid-tower case in terms of cooling efficiency?
1) Onboard sound on this board is better than most. But if you really need those PCI/PCIe slots, get an ATX board. There is no way around that.
2) The # of power phases alone does not tell the whole story, just FYI. The component selection is important as well.
For example, look at the maximum overclock that Tweaktown reached with the GENE-Z:
Compare that to the highest overclocked they reached with the MSI GD80, a board with 12 phase power:
Overclocking with this board should definitely not be one of your concerns. It overclocks better than most ATX boards.
3) This board has 2x eSATA, 4x SATA 3, and 2x SATA 6. SATA 3 vs. SATA 6 makes no difference at all unless you're running a high-end SSD that is actually capable of SATA 6 speeds. For had drives, SATA 3 vs. 6 does not matter, period. Do you really think you'll need more than 2 SSDs in the near future?
4) The board is not really "shrunk down." It just loses a couple inches off the bottom, which is why there are fewer PCIe slots. Otherwise, the layout is pretty similar to a full ATX board. The GENE-Z's heatsinks are securely held in place by screws
, whereas most other manufacturers (I'm looking at you, Gigabyte) use push-pins that only hold the VRM heatsinks in place loosely. The VRM heatsinks on this board are beefy, whereas the ones on my last board (A Gigabyte UD3) were flimsy and very light.
5) I don't think you'll have any cooling issues whatsoever unless your case cooling was bad to begin with. But that would present a problem with any motherboard, not just this one.Edited by 996gt2 - 10/22/11 at 7:43am