STUCK WITH INTEL
It feels weird typing that headline. Yep, I’m stuck with Intel. And I don’t want to be. I’ve had a taste of Ryzen and its crazy octo-core performance, and I’m entirely sold on the whole shebang. As I’ve mentioned before, the problem comes down to motherboards. I’m a small form factor fanatic, and there aren’t any premium microATX Ryzen boards out there. For mATX, they all fall under the B350 chipset, which lacks I/O compared to its X370 superior; the only X370 ITX mobos around suffer from throttling when overclocking, due to a lack of substantial VRMs. And with Intel’s latest X299 chipset being the monster socketed, power guzzler it is, we’ll probably see a similar situation there.
That leaves me in an awkward position. I’m itching to move back to liquid cooling, particularly inside one of Phanteks’ microATX Evolv TG cases, so I have two options: forsake my SFF fetish, and go full ATX in the standard Evolv, or stick with Intel, and grab an Asus ROG Strix Z270G.
The latter would satisfy my small form factor fancy, but it fails to address that rampant desire for more cores, and I’d need to 3D print out a rear I/O cover, too. Ultimately, this means—for the time being at least, until ITX is released from its seemingly damned destination—if I want to go with Ryzen, my only choice would be to take the ATX option.