Are you looking forward to buying the new ATX motherboard but confused among several options available?
Scroll down the page and get aware of all the specifications beforehand to make the appropriate choice.
There is no denying the fact that selecting the rightmost motherboard for your system might be the trickiest thing one can ever indulge in.
But don’t worry about the same; TechAmple got you covered with the list of common facts you must keep in mind while making the selection.
Want to differentiate between – ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ATX motherboards? Continue reading and determine what works best for you.
A Quick Description About ATX Motherboards
Advanced Technology eXtended, commonly abbreviated as ATX, is an ideal and foremost option for a high-end gaming rig.
Developed by Intel, the first motherboard dropped out of the standard I/O support layout by placing all the connectors directly on the motherboard.
The STX specifications were first released in the year 1995, and till then, it has revised multiple times.
The dimensions of a full-size ATX motherboard are 305 X 244mm that is ideal for several applications.
It serves as an ultimate option for gamers and workstations; however, this option is slightly expensive compared to other variants.
ATX is the largest and the widely-used form factor that comes with four memory slots.
The users can add memory up to 32GB to each memory slot, which makes it different from other GPUs and PCI-e cards.
- ATX boards come with an excellent RAM capacity.
- It can easily support multiple GPUs.
- It is ideal for installing hardware updates.
- Good for overclocking
- This motherboard is costly, and thus not everybody can afford it.
- ATX motherboard occupies more space.
- It is a bit larger than needed.
- It won’t fit inside most more minor cases.
An Introduction to Micro-ATX Motherboards
Also referred to as uATX or mATX, the Micro ATX motherboard is relatively smaller and less expensive than those with the ATX form factor.
Launched in December 1997, this motherboard often uses the same chipsets as full-size ATX boards, which allows them to use many identical components.
The maximum dimensions of the Micro ATX motherboard are 9.6 X 9.6 inches.
Do you know that it was originally designed to be backward-compatible with ATX?
The mounting points used on the microATX are the subset of those used on the standard ATX boards, and hence, these can be used in full-size ATX cases without any hassle.
Like ATX, it also features four memory slots which are enough to cater to your gaming needs.
However, its GPU support is limited to one and, therefore, if you are looking for more than one GPU, this might not be the right option for you.
- It is compact and thus fits almost in all CPU cabinets.
- It is less expensive and hence, an ideal option for budget-savvy gamers.
- This motherboard comes with a decent RAM capacity.
- An ultimate choice for average gamers who need one GPU support.
- The micro ATX motherboard doesn’t feature pleasing aesthetics.
- Not suitable for overclocking
- It doesn’t support multi-GPU setups
- It comes with fewer onboard features
An Overview of Mini-ITX Motherboards
Are you searching for a portable and compact motherboard unit for your PC?
Well, in that case, your hunt ends at the Mini-ITX motherboard.
Developed by VIA Technologies in 2001, these motherboards are mainly a low power consumption architecture commonly used in small-configured computer systems.
It offers one expansion slot and 2 RAM slots where you can install memory up to 32GB.
Keep one thing in mind: it is an ideal option for only average gamers and is not suitable for high-end gaming PCs.
It has four mounting holes lined up with the four of the holes in the ATX motherboard; therefore, they can be used in cases used in ATX and its other variants.
You need to know that these boards are not compatible with the standard PCI riser cards.
This option is an ideal choice for embedded applications and fanless configurations.
- Its smaller size is an advantage as it can effortlessly fit into any CPU cabinet.
- Looks much better than Micro ATX
- Ideal for designing compact gaming PC
- Extremely portable
- This board is not suitable for extreme overclocking.
- It won’t look great in larger CPU cases.
- It is more expensive than Micro ATX motherboards.
- Not suitable for hardcore gamers.
ATX vs Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX: Size Comparison
Since now you are aware of every single aspect of these motherboard options, it’s time to make a brief comparison so that you can make a worthy choice that fits your needs well.
|Features||ATX||Micro ATX||Mini ITX|
|Maximum Dimensions||305 X 244 mm (12 X 9.6 inches)||244 X 244 mm (9.6 X 9.6 inches)||170 X 170 mm (6.7 X 6.7 inches)|
|Total Number of PCI-e Slots||Too many||Single||Single|
|Total Number of RAM Slots||4 slots||4 slots||2 slots|
|Size factor||Large in size||Decent size||Highly Compact|
|Compatibility||Not compatible with most of the usually CPU cabinets||Can easily fit in most of the CPU cabinets||Can easily fit in most of the CPU cases|
|Performance||Better-known for offering out-of-the-box performance||Average||The performance of Mini-ITX is below average|
|Suitable for gamers||Ideal for high-end gamers||Budget-friendly gamers||Not ideal for gaming PCs|
|Good for extreme overclocking||Yes||No||No|
|Portable||No, not at all||A bit||Yes|
Which Motherboard Form Factor Should You Choose?
The motherboard form factor you should choose purely depends on your PC requirements and specifications.
If you are a hardcore gamer, then an ATX motherboard might be an excellent option for you; however, if gaming doesn’t attract you much, go for the Mini-ITX option.
So, the final choice is in your hand, and you should select the option that goes well with your system and offers outstanding performance.
Still skeptical about what motherboard form factor to opt for? Scroll down and check out some typical applications of all three options to make the right choice.
1. You want to build a high-end gaming PC
Are you a gaming enthusiast and looking forward to building a high-end PC? Well, in that case, think no more and pick ATX Motherboard without thinking much.
It is equipped with outstanding RAM capability, excellent graphics, and an ultimate processor, and that is why it enhances your in-game performance to the maximum extent.
If budget is not a restriction and you are just striving to get superior quality components, then ATX might be the best bet.
However, this is beneficial only and only if you make the use of extra PCI-e slots.
2. You want to build a budget-friendly gaming PC
Do you have an urge to enjoy cutting-edge gaming performance, but budget is hindering your path? Fret not, as you are in luck with the Micro ATX motherboard.
It is packed with high-end features such as small size, 4 RAM slots, etc.
This option serves as an excellent choice for looking for unique features without shaking the financial budget.
The only difference between standard ATX and these boards is their aesthetics. Unarguably, this option typically lacks in appearance and looks bizarre.
Apart from multiple PCI-e ports, there is not much that the Micro ATX motherboard cannot do.
3. You want to build a small form-factor PC
If compact PCs fascinate you much, look no further and go for Mini-ITX without having a second thought in mind.
With 2 RAM slots and 1 PCI-e slot, this form factor is just an ideal choice for a standard PC user.
Such systems are best-suited for average gamers who like to carry their PC all around to enjoy LAN parties.
On top of everything, it fits in all CPU cabinets and will not empty your bank balance.
The Final Thought
So, here is all about different motherboard form factors. I hope this brief comparison would help you in choosing the rightmost option for satiating your PC needs.
It is suggested to make yourself aware of every single aspect of ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards and determine what exactly makes more sense for your system.