Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX vs ATX – Read Before Buying



Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX vs ATX

We’ll tell you which motherboard to choose and which to integrate into your computer. There are many different types of PC, and the choice of motherboard depends on the category. So let’s move on to the categories and clarify which motherboard is the best.

How About Building Your Own Computer?

Choosing the best motherboard for your needs is very difficult because it is not easy to determine which type of motherboard is right for you. Looking at these motherboards, you might think it’s just a size difference, but assume it’s completely wrong.

These motherboards have a lot of differences. This article explains it. The most important factor in choosing this motherboard is the purpose for which they are needed. This Motherboard is designed for assembly purposes. Before we continue, let’s take a look at the sizes of these motherboards.

  • ATX: 305 × 244mm or 12.0 inch × 9.6 inch
  • Mini ATX: 244 x 244 mm or 9.6 “x 9.6”
  • Mini ITX: 170 x170 mm or 6.7 “x 6.7”

Looking at this measurement data, we can see that the biggest motherboard is ATX followed by Micro ATX and the smallest motherboard is mini-ITX. ATX and Micro-ITX motherboards are very similar in shape with the same width.

The only thing that is not similar between these motherboards is their length. The reason ATX cards are long is that they have a lot of PCIe slots. The installation of more PCIe cards is increasing. The Mini ATX is smaller and much cheaper than the competition.

Since the invention of the computer, the perfect combination of assembling the hardware of the computer has been a major topic. When choosing the right hardware, it covers all aspects: physical constraints, bottlenecks, connectivity, aesthetics, etc. How do I choose the perfect hardware to connect all of the components on my computer and make sure they work? Yes! We are talking about the main card. Motherboards come in different sizes, chipsets, aesthetics and are often difficult to choose from to provide a variety of connections.

As much as the chipset can lead to connection limitations, overclocking limitations, compatibility issues. The most common issue that will cause incompatibilities between chassis and hardware is physical size. The Motherboards come in different sizes: EATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini-ITX, etc. Buying EATX This is a small form factor, and I will leave it outside the description mainly because it is very complex for new buyers. Because ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ATX gamers are the preferred form factors for content creators, analysts, and tech professionals.

Build a High-performance Gaming PC

If you are planning to buy and assemble your gaming PC, there are two questions you should ask yourself before deciding which motherboard form factor is best for you. First of all, how much do you demand this equipment? Most games today can run on an excellent processor and a single high-quality GPU. But considering the price and practicality, we recommend the Micro-ATX motherboard, which has a large RAM capacity and can run 4 PCIe slots simultaneously. The only situation where Micro-ATX is not suitable is when you need a large amount of PCIe output, such as multiple GPUs for mining. I also recommend the ATX if you want to overclock heavily or just want to improve the overall beauty of your build.

Building a Computer for Professional Work

Most of the tips and suggestions for a working computer are very similar to those for setting up a game. Unless you’re using multiple tabs at the same time for a lot of photos and video editing, you don’t need to. nothing bigger than the format of a Micro-ATX card. With enough PCIe slots and ATX-like RAM, technically speaking, you can create a device powerful enough to handle your workloads.

Build a Personal Desktop Computer

If you are planning to build a home office computer, your options will vary depending on the design and performance. For example, if you want to create something sleek and understated, the Mini-ITX is the best choice. A bit pricey, but different sizes. Or if the size isn’t the main agenda, the Micro-ATX rear product is perfect

ATX Motherboard

In addition to size and installation, ATX motherboards are not only size and compatible. Its price is between Micro-ITX and E-ATX cards. The card has enough space to accommodate 7 expansion slots. The most recent and popular slots are PCI or PCIe. The standard design has a distance of 20.32mm between expansion slots. This is set by default, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can install 7 GPUs or 7 other expansion cards.

Some GPUs can use up to 2 slots, and some very large GPUs can use up to 3 expansion slots. The GPU is inserted in a PCIe slot, but no other expansion card can be installed next to it because its size is over 20.32mm. This may be of concern to some users targeting multi-GPU setups (i.e. SLI or CrossFireX). In case someone wants to install a QuadSLI GPU that takes up 2 slots each, the ATX should suffice. The buyer wants to install a Quad SLIGPU configuration for each GPU occupying 3 PCIe slots. After that, buyers will have to upgrade to E-ATX, but this is rare and most users are happy with the usual ATX capabilities. This means that this is the minimum size required to install any 3- or 4-lane ATX GPU setup.

ATX cards can use up to 8 RAM slots, depending on their size. The latest ATX type overclocked motherboards have 4 sets of RAM slots, with 128 GB of RAM footprint. The ATX card has more SATA ports, connector ports on the front panel, and M.2 sockets for connectivity. Compared to the Micro-ATX, the IO panel also has more features depending on the price and chipset.

Advantages

  • best expansion slots
  • Up to M.2 slots and connection ports
  • hardcore overclocking features

Disadvantage

  • at low price
  • Requires large PC case
  • Additional connections for most users

Micro ATX Motherboard

Micro-ATX is a preferred form factor for most gamers and developers, especially if you consider “micro-atx vs atx”, and it’s a huge boost to motherboard technology. All the functionality of an ATX card is included in the Micro – the mid-range ATX price falls between the ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. Users have high expectations for the latest motherboards with PCIe slots and M.2 slots. Its speed and reliability have dramatically increased the use of M.2 drives. Competitive gamers need a small, high-end motherboard that looks minimalist on a desktop.

Manufacturers are pushing the technology to include four memory slots on Micro-ATX cards. The use of overclocking technology has increased and overclocking capabilities have been added to RAM. Motherboard manufacturers have been able to combine current VRMs well with smaller standard ATX cards. The VRM is located around the processor RAM and CPU sockets. Micro-ATX spacing is wide and can be placed in the same VRM as an ATX card with similar performance.

Micro-ATX motherboards have up to 4 expansion slots. Like other modern motherboards, expansion slots are both PCIe and PCI types. The spacing is the same as for the ATX card, so the installation of the expansion card is the same as for the ATX card. For multi-GPU configurations, you can install up to two GPUs with a single slot expansion card in the center. Since the number of cards differs from the GPU used, a thick GPU is likely to occupy up to three slots, so the Micro-ATX function is limited to motherboards that only support one GPU. The choice of size depends almost entirely on your needs.

Advantages

  • Best quality-price report
  • Most user-related connections
  • Up to 3 M.2 slots in a compact size

Disadvantage

  • No TriSLI or CrossFire capabilities
  • Only 4 expansion slots
  • Passive cooling heating problem.

Mini-ITX Motherboard

That said, the Mini-ITX is for those who can’t afford to spend a lot of money to make the beast of computing look like an HTPC. Although the Mini-ITX has its size unlike the others, it can easily fit into an ATX case for Micro-ITX or PC. However, installing the Mini-ITX in a large PC case is tricky and economically impractical. Designed for Mini-ITX motherboards, the PC case has a compact design with minimal capacity for case hardware. This is a useful feature when looking at mini-ITX and Micro-ITX.

In such a small motherboard, the details are very important. The location of the header is very important. The Motherboard is usually low on space. This makes it difficult for companies to route internal connections from the PCB to the motherboard. The size is roughly the size of a hand. Vendors are always successful in delivering key functionality for these motherboards. Famous manufacturers like ASUS, ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte and more integrate all features like WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity into a motherboard’s built-in diagnostics.

Cable management on small motherboards has become more important. The location of the connectors has a huge impact on the cable management of the Mini-ITX Motherboard. Users should carefully evaluate each connector connection location and the cables it needs to connect. Users should also keep the PC case in mind as it prevents cables from passing through the motherboard and can restrict airflow for both passive and active cooling systems as well. Beginners should consider this carefully, as the front panel connector ports are usually problematic.

Due to the limited number of VRMs that can be installed around the CPU socket, the overclocking capabilities of Mini-ITX motherboards are limited. Casual overclockers can benefit from overclocking. Users can dramatically overclock their RAM. Due to space constraints, the Mini-ITX motherboard only has two memory slots to properly install up to 64GB of memory, which has led to dual-channel RAM support with RGBLightning. There are very few expansion slots on the Mini-ITX motherboard and only one PCIe slot. There is room for the M.2 slot. Usually, these motherboards only have one M.2 slot, but some high-end motherboards also have an M.2 slot on the back of the motherboard.

Advantages

  • Excellent compact size
  • Minimalist, suitable for HTPC
  • Supports high-end gaming PCs

Disadvantage

  • No multi-GPU capability
  • low overclocking

What to Look For Before Choosing Motherboard?

Price

You might think Mini ITX motherboards are the cheapest due to their small size and less hardware to build, but you will be surprised by the fact. In general, you’ll find Mini ITX motherboards to be the most expensive, at least in terms of the starting price. ATX and Micro-ITX motherboards typically start at around the US $ 50, while mini-ITX models start at around the US $ 100. But remember, the Mini ITX solution is only worth the investment if you are building a small gaming PC. That said, Micro ATX motherboards are generally the best budget choice because it’s easy to find high-quality Micro ATX motherboards at a lower price. If you need an additional PCIe slot, the ATX card offers the best overall value.

Size

As you can see in the photo above, it is the largest format with an ATX 305 × 244mm size. The Micro ATX is a bit short, but just behind it is 244 x 244mm. Finally, there is the mini-ITX motherboard. The minimum class size is only 170 × 170 mm. When it comes to the size itself, the only thing you need to worry about is whether the case is the right size for your motherboard. But since the recent case uses a standardized layout designed to support a motherboard that can be physically mounted inside, the case shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

PCIe slot

By the way, another very important difference between the three motherboard formats above is the number of PCI-Express slots provided. Some high-end models can carry up to five, but most motherboards have three PCIe slots, so ATX cards are the leaders in this regard. At the same time, Micro ATX motherboards usually only have one PCIe slot, but can be expanded up to three, while the mini-ITX model has only one PCIe slot.

Of course, if your goal is a multi-GPU setup, or if you’re looking to install an expansion card such as a sound card, capture card, or built-in modem, an additional PCIe slot will help. Of course, this is not as much of a concern as the number of slots, as space issues recur in this case. Most modern graphics cards are very thick, as larger coolers can block certain slots. However, for a small case, even the graphics card has the potential to block the case itself, so that’s something to be aware of as well.

RAM capacity

One of the most important differences between the Mini ITX and the two types of ATX cards is the number of RAM slots on the motherboard. That said, Mini ITX motherboards only have two RAM slots, while Micro-ITX and ATX cards typically have four. However, some high-end ATX cards can have up to 8 RAM slots. This means that if you have installed a 2 × 16 GB kit, the mini-ITX motherboard can currently only hold 32 GB of RAM. In contrast, most Micro-ITX and ATX cards support at least 64 GB, while some Micro-ITX models support up to 128 GB and some ATX models up to 512 GB.

Of course, these are extreme cases, which are only suitable for expensive high-tech motherboards. Either way, 16GB of RAM is enough to easily play most of the games currently available, but 32GB is generally overkilled for gaming hardware. However, settings that increase RAM are more aggressive in the end. Also, if you plan to use your gaming setup as a workstation, you might need at least 32GB of RAM to run memory-hungry software. Anyway, when it comes to RAM, you don’t have to worry about the capacity, because even a Mini ITX motherboard can satisfy the needs of most gamers.

Comparing the Motherboards

It is perhaps the biggest competitor of ATX and Micro-ITX form factors. To be fair, both motherboards are aimed at different groups of people. Are you a gamer and want to have high FPS in Minecraft, Fortnite, or Overwatch? There is no need for a LAN or a dedicated sound card based on a high-end amplifier in this case. Gamers generally need a PCIe slot on a single GPU. Several GPUs for this low performance/price ratio are slowly disappearing. Also, to speed up the load times of games and operating systems, you need two M.2 slots instead of four M.2 slots. Gamers also need a high-quality audio chipset and overclocking capabilities to ensure stable FPS in all of their video games.

FormProsCons
ATX• Best for overclocking
• Better for aesthetic purposes
• More PCIe Slots
• Has Higher RAM capacity
• Expensive
• Won’t fit inside most smaller cases
Micro-ATX• It is the least expensive option
• Ideal for single-GPU PC builds
• Can fit into pretty much any case
• Higher RAM capacity than mini-ITX
• Not suitable for multi-GPU setups
• Not ideal for extreme overclocking
• Typically lack in aesthetics
Mini-ITX• A good option for smaller cases
• Has Better aesthetics than micro-ATX
• More expensive than micro-ATX
• Won’t look good in larger cases
• Does not work with multi-GPU setups
• Not ideal for extreme overclocking
• Typically, only have two RAM slots

Considering the needs of gamers, the best motherboard for gaming is the Micro-ITX. There are no additional slot machines that have all the minimum requirements that players need. These slots are unused and the cost of the motherboard increases. The performance of modern Micro-ITX motherboards is comparable to that of ATX cards. RAM slots are also identical to ATX cards, so you don’t have to sacrifice memory capacity. Some streaming media, mouse, keyboard, web camera, steering wheel, and other peripherals need to be connected. Therefore, sufficient USB connectivity is also a requirement to easily meet Micro-ATX.

If you are a web developer or building a data center PC, the ATX card is your first choice. PCs that are designed to run around the clock and have the potential to connect to any expansion card are more popular with ATX. It’s big, with improved thermal transfer and seven expansion cards, there are plenty of onboard connectors for larger SATA and M.2 drives. Data storage is generally a concern for PCs in data centers and PCs of content creators. Content creators connect many devices to their PCs and need a lot of storage space. A confrontation between Micro ATX and ATX makes it impossible to have a single winner. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Micro-ITX vs mini-ITX

Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX

Micro-ITX and Mini ITX motherboards make little price difference. There are high-quality mini-ITX motherboards out there, but all of these motherboards are aimed at users on a tighter budget. Typically, these motherboards cost around $100. However, you will find that finding a micro-ATX motherboard is much simpler, as people are generally hoping for a larger case. HEDT motherboards are more expensive than mainstream motherboards such as Intel Threadripper or Extreme Series processors.

In terms of current compatibility, the Micro-ITX chassis supports mini-ITX motherboards. However, the mini-ITX case cannot accommodate a micro-ATX card. The same is true for the power supply and the other components. Typically, mid-tower chassis is large enough to accommodate most high-end graphics cards, including 3-fan designs. However, there are few options for Mini-ITX cases, so if you’re buying a great gaming system, it’s a good idea to buy a micro-ATX card and other full-sized parts. One particular difference between the two main cards is that micro-ATX cards tend to offer more SATA ports, which translates to more storage space. If you plan to buy 1 or 2 or more hard drives, it is a good idea to purchase a Micro-ITX motherboard.

Speaking of looks, Mini-ITX motherboards have their unique personality, so if you want to add a bit of fun, you should go for a mini-ITX case. Many people use custom liquid cooling solutions and single tank liquid cooling graphics cards in their mini-ITX systems. This seems good. On the flip side, buying a micro-ATX system doesn’t suit the look unless you’re buying an expensive mid-tower or full-tower chassis. The most important advantage of the mini-ITX motherboard is its portability. So if you travel frequently and do various trips, the mini-ITX system is perfect.

Mini-ITX vs ATX

Mini-ITX vs ATX

ATX cards are generally considered optimal for high-end devices. However, in most cases, these motherboards have inadequate requirements, the larger being the size. The size of the ATX board is much larger than that of the mini-ITX Motherboard, so if you plan to build a laptop PC, you need to choose the mini-ITX Motherboard first. Larger motherboards and mini-ITX chassis are not compatible.

There aren’t many mini-ITX motherboards out there in terms of usability at the moment. So a lot of research needs to be done. If you don’t, your motherboard’s overall appearance may not be what you think it is. When it comes to compatibility, when making a form-factor remote PC, even if you’re talking about a power chassis or a cooling solution, mini-ITX motherboards are typically used as small components. Additionally, mini-ITX motherboards often offer lower specs like RAM slots, PCIe slots, SATA slots, etc.

ATX cards, on the other hand, can house many components, from RAM keys, multiple graphics cards, and other items. Speaking of graphics cards, if you want to go the route of making small PCs, you have to remember that mini-ITX cases can generally accommodate graphics cards designed to work with them, and most consumer graphics cards won’t. cannot be installed in a mini-ITX. frame. However, you can use a mini-ITX motherboard in a mid-tower case, although this decreases the need for a motherboard. As for the price, high-end ATX boards are generally more expensive, but the demand for mini-ITX motherboards in the market is also high, and with the unique design in these cases, the price is a bit higher. then the cost. This is such a motherboard.

Micro ATX vs ATX

Micro ATX vs ATX

ATX motherboards are considered to be a standard within the gaming community due to their wide compatibility as well as their great features. These motherboards can be put inside most mid-tower cases this means that if would like to enjoy gaming on a regular basis with the best cooling options then it is best to purchase the ATX motherboard. The ATX motherboards generally are rectangular and micro-ATX motherboards look more of a square form. This is because of the difference in the number of PCIe slots that each motherboard has.

In terms of the availability of motherboards, most of the top-end models have an ATX form factor. However, you won’t find many high-end motherboards with a micro-ATX form factor. If you’re looking to own a premium system, it is best to choose an ATX motherboard.

In terms of price, ATX motherboards are usually higher priced than micro-ATX ones, and the reason is not just the larger size, greater amount of slot machines, as well as other features. They typically come with features such as RGB lighting, for instance. However micro-ATX motherboards are geared toward those with a tight budget who want the cheapest system. For the size, ensure you have a case that is compatible prior to buying a large ATX motherboard.

We will then discuss general characteristics. The majority of micro ATX Cases will supply the slots you need for gaming. There’s a possibility that you won’t be able to install a dedicated audio card or LAN card as well as other PCIe devices because there are only two slots available on the micro-ATX motherboards typically. However, there are many options for PCIe. ATX motherboards have plenty of PCIe slots as well as the ability to the NVMe card and sound cards Bluetooth cards as well as other gadgets that are compatible with an ATX motherboard.

Future of Motherboards

As mentioned above, the ATX is an obsolete specification. In the tech world, it’s hard to rule out something lasting (see Windows XP). Intel tried to introduce an ATX alternative called BTX in 2004, but it wasn’t popular. However, computer makers are still experimenting with ATX alternatives. At Computex 2019, ASUS showcased the concept of a high-end motherboard called PrimeUtopia. It looked so cool, it’s completely different from what we have now. This is a double-sided board with a voltage regulator module (VRM) on the back, which facilitates cooling and increases performance. The graphics card is placed in a dedicated chamber on the back for a high cooling effect and is installed vertically for added stability.

ASUS makes I/O ports modular. That said, if you plug in what you need like an extra Ethernet port and a bunch of USBs, you can destroy the mic and headphone ports completely. The Utopia is also equipped with 4m.2 slots, as the graphics card on the back frees up a lot of space and reduces heat dissipation issues. Concepts like Prime Utopia are cool, but the ATX is unlikely to change shortly. For decades, ATX and associated specifications have served the PC enthusiast community well. No one knows them and has established best practices for building, maintaining, and cooling their PCs.

Disclosure: Elife PC is supported by its audience. When you purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Owen Goodwin

Owen Goodwin is fond of computer hardware, and software. He has deep knowledge of computer peripherals. Owen spends most of his time reviewing the latest hardware on the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.