mATX Rebuild

LunarMist

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I built a system about 4 years ago with a 6700K on a Z270 micro board with 16GB of RAM and a 250GB Samsung 960. The user was adamant about keeping the Windows 7, which I painfully migrated from an older computer. Now Windows 7 is obsolete and I'm thinking about the upgrade plan. There are fewer choices now in mATX and none with 4 PCIe slots like the old board. If I get the Z590M board like the MSI MPG, can I have the removable SATA drives in the BIOS as with my AMDs? (The manual is rubbish.) I was using an add-in card for the 2 bay drives in the current system. It's either that or maybe lose the internet Ethernet, sincer I need an RJ45 for one NAS. The other NAS would be on the Aquantia SFP+ controller (4x) PCIe 3.0. Are there any limitations on card use in the first slot that is usually for video? I would be using the 11700K and some kind of reduced capacity Nocturnal cooler that fits the 5' height case. Thanks.
 

Chewy509

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So how many of the following do you need:
  • PCIe x16
  • PCIe x8
  • PCIe x4
  • PCIe x1
  • PCI
  • USB 3.0 (rear and/or front)
  • USB 3.1 (rear and/or front)
  • USB 3.2 rear type-C
  • USB 3.2 front panel headers
  • M.2 slots
  • SATA ports
  • DIMM slots (or total capacity).
The problem is a lot of motherboards will trade PCIe slot connectivity for additional M.2 slots due to the limited number of PCIe lanes from the CPU and the chipset, hence why your not seeing mATX boards with more than two PCIe x16 slots. Typical mATX layout is either a single PCIe x16 and two PCIe x1 slots, or two PCIe x16 and two PCIe x1 slots, but the second PCIe x16 slot may only be 4x electrical.

Any preference for either Intel or AMD?
And is hot swap on the SATA a hard requirement?
 

Mercutio

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SATA in AHCI mode, other than the boot drive, should always be removable and there's no technical reason that you have to put a video card in a different slot, but as Chewy said sometimes motherboards do funny things if you are also trying to use nVME. If a board is keyed for m.2 SATA as well as nVME, that might not be an issue.
 

LunarMist

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The constituent storage parts are 2x fixed SATA HDD, one optical, two removable drives in a combo 2.5/3.5 bay w/ power switch and one NVMe OS drive. It is necessarily to power down the drives and replace with other drives without Windows going whack. It is also necessary to have the 10Gbe SFP+ and a GbE for the other NAS that is not shearing bandwidth with the internet. USB shouldn't be an issue. I don't want a video card. I assume that Xeremis graphics in the Intel 11th CPU should be good enough for the Eizo 2560x1440. It has to be better than whatever was in the Sky Lake.
 

Chewy509

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So, you need:
  • 5x SATA ports with at least 2x being hot-swap enabled.
  • 1x M.2 NVMe slot (assume PCIe 3.0 is fine)?
  • 1x PCIe x8 for the 10GbE adapter (assuming Intel X520 or similar)?
  • 1x 1GbE for NAS
  • 1x 1GbE for Internet.
  • Integrated gfx is fine.
So a desktop board with dual RJ45 LAN, 6x SATA ports, integrated gfx support via HDMI, a PCIe x16 slot or PCIe x4/x8 slot and an M.2 slot for OS drive.

Let me find one for you...
 

Chewy509

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It's a bit of a short list, but:

Consumer orientated boards:
Gigabyte W480M Vision W - https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/W480M-VISION-W-rev-10#kf

Workstation:
ASRockRack W480M WS - https://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=W480M WS#Specifications

Both Tyan and Supermicro have solutions, but are either based on the older 9th Gen Intel or come with embedded Xeon CPUs. (Note: Some of the supermicro boards come with dual SFP+ headers, dual RJ45 LAN, and 12Gbps SAS - like the X10SDV-7TP4F - https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/motherboard/X10SDV-7TP4F?locale=en , but they all have AST based video adapters, so will need to find a PCIe x8 GPU to work with them).

Please note, all the above boards at US$350+ and are targeted towards workstation usage.
 

Chewy509

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Thinking about it more, all you should need is a mATX board with 6 SATA (that doesn't share with the M.2 - this will be in the manual) and two PCIe x16 slots. There are quite a few boards out there... (Newegg shows at least 8 options).

It's only if you want dual 1GbE LAN on the motherboard, do your options drop down to the two options I listed earlier.
 

LunarMist

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The Gigabyte W480M seems nice with the dual LAN (one 2.5GbE) and four slots. Presumably it is built fairly well. OC is not necessary. The only concern is that there is nothing about Windows 11 compatibility.
 

LunarMist

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I must this week. I hope it does work in the BIoS but was confused about the TPM header and modulus that is not available.
What are your thoughts on the cooler? The case is small so I doubt it would handle more than a Nocturne 9 series (92mm fan), but some reviews are not so good. It seems the only choices are the 125W or 65W and not a 95W CPU as before.
 

Chewy509

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What case have you got?

If you can't fit a 120mm based HSF in there (eg max height is less than 150mm), typically, it'll be the Noctuna HN-D9L series, be quiet Pure Rock Slim 2, or something like the CoolerMaster H410R or H411R.

That's correct, current Intel desktop offers are typically 65W or 125W, and most 65W CPUs are only that way due to tuning in the BIOS in regards to power limits. For example, the Intel 11400F on an B560M with power limits disabled should be treated as a 125W CPU in regards to cooling solution.

For Intel 500-series, there should be an option in UEFI called fTPM, (aka Firmware TPM), that needs to be enabled. With this enabled you don't need a standalone TPM 2 module.
 

Chewy509

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If you're considering the Gigabyte W480M, page 33 of the manual mentions support for "Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT)", this is Intel's version of Firmware TPM, just set this (PTT) and TXT to enabled to enable TPM 2.0 support via the chipset. (That should be it for Windows 11 compatibility).

Also Page 35 of the manual mentions you can enable/disable Hot Swap support on the SATA ports as well.
 

LunarMist

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As usual the Corvid has messed up plans. All must be same supplier and delivery in a time window for the user, so the amd will be used instead. I hope not to have wasted too much of your time. She should be ok with 5700G, B550M Mortuary, 32GB crucial 3200 RAM, 10 Pro. According to the reviews a 5700G has decent video (user is not a gamer) and it has some kind of supplied cooler that should easily fit the old Aztec horizontal case. I will put the OS on the 500GB 980 Pro.
 

LunarMist

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Can I use an older power supply for testing? It is a Corsair HX650W with specs of ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92.
 

Chewy509

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The motherboard manual should list the power supply required, but in general that Corsair PSU should be fine for testing.

However confirm its age, anything that has exceeded its warranty period then should be checked first. (High Quality units should be ok for 7-8 years of usage, but beyond that I would probably get a new unit to be on the safe side). From what I can see, the HX650W was released 10yr+ ago, and has a 7yr warranty...

LTT has a PSU tier list, pretty much just stick to the Tier A or B list and you'll be fine.
 

LunarMist

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Thanks. My concern was about the ATX spec number, since I don't see anything in the mainboard manual about a minimal ATX number level.
I also found a Seasonics ss700HM, which has very little info. It is in a case with a Z97 (Devil Canyon 4790K) and probably not new back in early 2015, but I'm not sure. It was in use through 2019.
 

LunarMist

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The BIOS must have been archaic, because it would not output any video at all.
 
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