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Considering options for a SFF Build - X99

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mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Hey guys. I started a post over in cases to try and pick out a smaller case since I need more room in my office. I like the Bitfenix Phenom case, which allows a mATX mobo, so that's what I've got my eye on now.

Does there exist an X99 mATX mobo that has both an M.2 PCIe X4 slot AND built-in wifi? I've been looking at the EVGA Micro 2 and the ASUS X99m WS, but these each have one or the other, but not both. My concern is that I won't have enough PCIe slots for a wifi card, GPU, and possibly my RAID card.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite X99 mATX board?
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Gigabyte GA-X99M-GAMING 5 has the M.2 slot, 3 PCI-E x16 and 1 PCI-E x1. The x1 will be obstructed by a dual-slot GPU, but you can put the wifi in the middle x16 so GPU fans aren't blocked, and RAID card in the bottom. Looks like that EVGA board is the same just with a space instead of the x1 slot. I like the Gigabyte better because it has a rear-panel place to attach antennas to. You could use an M.2 wifi card and an x4 adapter card if you want to put an M.2 drive into a PCI-E slot instead... Is there some other card beyond what you mentioned that you forgot to mention?
 
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mokrunka

mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Thanks Pettey. No, no other card I forgot to mention. I'd just like to keep the wifi card free if possible for use in another PC and also SLI if I ever decide to add another 1080. (Also, I wasn't sure how well those M.2 wifi cards would work, so I'd either use the on-board wifi if available, or use my existing card). The Asus X99m WS had built-in wifi which I thought was pretty cool. I don't think I had seen that gigabyte board though, so I appreciate you pointing it out. I'll scour around for some reviews to help me decide and compare it to the Asus and EVGA ones.

Edit: it also looks like the board you picked out has dual M.2 slots, could use one for wifi and one for ssd...
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
I'd just like to keep the wifi card free if possible for use in another PC
Edit: it also looks like the board you picked out has dual M.2 slots, could use one for wifi and one for ssd...

It does. Newegg's description text was wrong. You can get an M.2 Intel 8260 and antennas and cables from Amazon for around $35 (card and cables (and ignore that stupid "only for mini-PCI not M.2" warning - u.FL is u.FL and RP-SMA is RP-SMA and neither gives a crap how the wifi card is connected to the board)).
 
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mokrunka

mokrunka

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Joined
Dec 21, 2009
So, I'm looking back through the ASUS WS board, and it says an M.2 Socket 3, which seems to be the full 32 Gbps bandwidth (PCIe X4). AND this board includes wifi. Am I reading this right?
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
So, I'm looking back through the ASUS WS board, and it says an M.2 Socket 3, which seems to be the full 32 Gbps bandwidth (PCIe X4). AND this board includes wifi. Am I reading this right?

Not only built-in WiFi, built in 3x3 WiFi so you can actually get some decent speed out of it :)
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Roger that, I hate that... That's why I can't use my SoundBlaster ZXR on some motherboards...

These days, though, how much better is a ZxR than the board's chipset? I only use standalone sound cards anymore when the onboard ports fry themselves for whatever reason.
 
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mokrunka

mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
I'm the same way on the soundcards. I had a sound blaster something or other and it sounded (to my feeble ears) just about the same as the board stuff. So I pulled the card out and put in a RAID card instead. Much more noticeable. hahaha
 

cdawall

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Location
cypress, tx
I have the GB X99m gaming 5 personally (was free from work), it is only a 2x m.2 not that it really matters in the real world the true speed gain is from it being NVMe the rest is just numbers for a benchmark. I have an 5820K, Intel 8260 and PM951 256GB in this build, I did one for my brother using the same board he runs a 5930K/intel NVMe/7260 wifi. I will take an intel cards over whatever nonsense Asus uses. Mine holds a comfy 4.7ghz his is at 4.3ghz, both have RX480's.

proxy-php.jpg


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I borrowed his card to test xfire out with it

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mokrunka

mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Dude! Thank you for sharing! Any chance you could run a crystaldiskmark with that system so I can see the SSD performance? There will be some difference between the x4 and x2, given the bandwidth limits vs the capability of the newer drives like the 960 Pro.
 
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mokrunka

mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Thanks for throwing these up there dude. This helps a lot! What CPU cooler are you using?
 
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mokrunka

mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Ahh, nice setup! I'm going to steer clear of WCing for this build. I just ordered a Noctua DH 15 cooler. Seems to be the best as far as air goes. I miss my water cooling days sometimes...
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
mATX isn't in real so much smaller option. I was thinking about it and at the end made my gaming PC in Corsair 400c case which is small tower but still supports full ATX boards. Just measure case size and you will see. 5cm here or there isn't really saving space in the room. Saving would be if you got something like Intel NUC.
The same is with ITX. If you want high end case then ITX isn't so much smaller even though motherboard seems little comparing to full ATX. At the end most space takes PSU, cooling, storage bay(s) or any other thing.
 
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mokrunka

mokrunka

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
mATX isn't in real so much smaller option. I was thinking about it and at the end made my gaming PC in Corsair 400c case which is small tower but still supports full ATX boards. Just measure case size and you will see. 5cm here or there isn't really saving space in the room. Saving would be if you got something like Intel NUC.
The same is with ITX. If you want high end case then ITX isn't so much smaller even though motherboard seems little comparing to full ATX. At the end most space takes PSU, cooling, storage bay(s) or any other thing.

Yeah I hear you Woomack. It's all relative though. Right now I'm coming from an enormous mountainmods case, so the relative change going to a bitfenix phenom with a mATX board will be drastic. The room I have this machine in now is TiiiiiNY. So a smaller footprint will be good.