My desktop finally kicked the bucket, it just doesn't want to give me any video, so I guess it was time to give up that dinosaur AMD. Don't get me wrong, it served me well for the longest time, but I think I had put off updating it long enough as I kept having some video issues and it just made it tough to make any videos and the CAD designs that I have been trying to finish. So today I decided to stick with gigabyte once again. The old one I bought still works fine since I hardly turn it on but the virtual server I'm running on it hasn't' let me down. So this was a no brainer. I have used asus, msi and I can't even remember how many others, but I like the feature set you get with these. I don't play games so I don't need to spend a lot for a video card, however I did need something a bit better for my CAD. This is not a workstation board by any means, but I think it will work. I like to have everything built in nowadays since I try to keep things a bit smaller with the mini itx boards and I just don't want my system taking too much room.
One thing I should mention is that I was thinking about just getting something like a micro server, use that for the virtual server and just use my old system for my desktop. That would have been ideal, but as I looked into that option and asked questions, it seems hp went backwards with the soc on their new microservers. The old servers, well they are just a tad old and still haven't gone down in price much, at least not here in the US. The reason for this was that it would be a much better route going that way in terms of cost as it seemed to cost less vs building my own. Everything has its trade-off, but I finally decided that I wanted something that I could live with and not completely limit myself. It just seems more expensive to built your own system nowadays since there are many different system available for a bit less. I have my own 3D case which I use a bit differently so those solutions just won't work for me, at least not as long as I'm using my desktop to work on other hardware. So I do hope this will serve me well for a long time. The all in-one systems are looking a bit more interesting if you only want a regular desktop with minimal space requirements.
I decided to use the same i3 6320 that I used in my nas because it's the only one that actually supports ecc memory. My old i3 4320 I think it was on the other gigabyte board also supports ecc like this one. and I'm not using it there either, but It still works fine. I know this board does not support ecc memory, but if I ever want to re-purpose these for something else, I can at least have that option. I also looked at the new cpus and they are about the same thing minus the ecc support which I thought really sucked. Not that you need it, but I want to test those a bit more myself. So you are pretty limited in terms of built-in video with ecc support. And I like having those options even if I'm not using it at the moment. And yes, the cost will keep most away from that but it's nice to have options.
Update August 2, 2017
I finally got these pieces in the mail and got the system put together.
Now, here is a new problem I have with this new setup which I have not seen before. The fan keeps slowing down to the point that it actually stops for no reason. Other than this, everything seems to be working, but I still need to figure out what's going on here because one thing you don't want is for the cpu fan to ever stop completely while the system is on. Specially now that it's been so hot here.
I finally got most of the information up so that I can ask gigabyte questions about it. Here's the link to their support if you need help with their boards. This is my first time ever using their support so we'll see how this goes.
Update August 5, 2017
I finally got a response from gigabyte about the question I asked. They basically told me that I could change the fan to run at full speed which I had already done and it was still doing a similar thing with the cpu fan going up and down. So the good news is that at least they do check that and will answer questions. The bad news is that I already knew that and that didn't solve my problem.
I started thinking about this a bit more and since I am using a 12V 12.5A power adapter, I thought I plug in my old 250W power supply just to try that since the new Z3 PSU needs a 16-24V power supply. I have looked almost anywhere I can think to find a compatible power adapter in that range and well, I couldn't really find anything with a higher amperage in the range of 7 or 8amps to try to get as close to the wattage of this psu. After playing with my trusty ohms calculator I figured as long as it is in the voltage range, that should work. I came to this conclusion after I noticed that the fan did spun faster and was more stable with the desktop power supply which is still a 12V power supply.
I decided to check out the local fry's to see the only two laptop power adapters that came closest to what I was looking for. Even though this is not a laptop, I try to make my systems very low power sippers.
As for using the Z3 power supply, you need to make sure you get a power adapter in that voltage range which I wasn't sure about and finding them was no easy task. The other option you have is to use a 12v pico psu's, but those don't have all the plugs the Z3 has. Then you can use any of those 12V power supplies. I had never used one of these so it was a bit of testing before I found the correct one or just the one that would keep things happy. Live and learn and the good thing is that now I also have a power adapter I can test other weird parts with if I ever need to. Just because something can give you more power, doesn't necessarily mean you can actually use it.
Update August 14, 2017
I finally received my front usb 3 port adapters and man do I feel naked without these, specially when moving your camera or phone pictures to the computer.
July 2, 2018
I wanted to add this here because lately I ran into a problem with this board where it would just reboot on my first power on. I have found the problem and posted the solution so that you can read about it. The issue has to do with the bios and not the hardware itself.