ECS' Z97I-Drone Aims For Sub-$100 Price Point

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icemunk

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Where on earth are all the cheap mini-ITX FM2 boards? That's a market with a TON of potential, but no one seems to be making anything for it. There's only 1-2 FM2 mini-itx boards out there, and they're $150+ - which is absurd. They should be $60-80. Put them in that bracket, and you'll see them flying off the shelves.
 
i agree. the layout leaves a lot to be desired.

in terms of features, the board looks very good. the price is also very good. but looking at price and specs alone would be misleading in this motherboard's case, due to how the components are laid out on the mobo. i think that the socket placement might result in incompatibility (conflict with ddr3 dimms and discreet gfx cards) with a lot of down-draft and low profile coolers as well (e.g. cm gemini) as tower coolers. water cooling or all-in-one lcs is the way to go in this case. nowadays, cheap aio lcs from cooler master, antec and corsair go for around 60 bucks so builders won't be missing much.

i think ecs changed the vrm heatsink from the computex display sample:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/8136/computex-2014-ecs-z97idrone-miniitx-motherboard-and-uhd4k60-aio
 

Dromoxen

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drop 2 or tree sata sockets and maybe the m]2 . ma add an extra pcie 1x slot ... call it dtx n clean up in sales .... 2slots in mitx ? gotta happen.
 

InvalidError

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Yup, very odd and potentially extremely inconvenient layout. Clearly not intended for significant aftermarket cooling other than liquid and most IO cables have to go all the way across the motherboard.

They should have stuck to a more conventional layout.
 

nukemaster

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I have seen many ITX boards with this type of layout.

I actually prefer the ATX connector on that side instead of in front of the memory in cases like the SG05 by SilverStone since it is less disruptive to case air flow.

This older gigabyte board fit just right with some slight heatsink mods.

http://i62.tinypic.com/2u40ahl.jpg

This is not to say I would not want t he LGA a bit further from the pci-e slot. I am just saying it is manageable.

Video card fit and all.

http://i59.tinypic.com/wloqzd.jpg
 

Junit151

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Why does it matter if you can't use some massive cooler on it, 99% of people on a super tight budget for a PC will use a stock cooler or something like a Hyper 212 Evo.

As someone who isn't in that demographic, I do agree that it sucks and is stupid, but as a person who has picked parts and built for a couple of friends, I understand priorities when it comes to a small budget.
 

ShadyHamster

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Why does it matter if you can't use some massive cooler on it, 99% of people on a super tight budget for a PC will use a stock cooler or something like a Hyper 212 Evo.

As someone who isn't in that demographic, I do agree that it sucks and is stupid, but as a person who has picked parts and built for a couple of friends, I understand priorities when it comes to a small budget.
Given how close the cpu socket is to the pci-e slot i doubt you could use a hyper 212 evo if you're installing a graphics card.
 

klrman

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CPU socket is just as close to the DDR3 slots as my ASUS H97i Plus mini itx board and it never bothered me. Does seem too close to the PCI-Express slot though. BTW, I just finished my mini itx build with the asus h97i plus board and an i3-4360 and cold boot is 12 secs with my 850 pro 128gb. That's 4 secs faster than my i5-4690 with an MSI Z97 U3 Plus board. Me liking the little board already!
 
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