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.

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