ATX vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX | Best Guide 2023

When creating your PC in 2023, it’s critical to select which motherboard to buy: ATX, Micro ATX, or Mini ITX. Some users choose other components first, such as the GPU and the CPU, and then hunt for a compatible motherboard. Others begin with the motherboard, making certain that it is as future-proof as possible and capable of supporting several hardware updates.

There are justifications for each of these strategies, but that is not what we will discuss today. Instead, we will focus on another subject. What size motherboard or ITX motherboard should you use?

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After all, motherboards come in a number of forms and sizes; we’ll only be focusing on the three most common alternatives for PCs, which are ATX, micro ATX and mini ITX, but size isn’t the only difference between them. So, we’ll look at everything that distinguishes these motherboards in order to determine which ones are most suited.

Let’s do a look at the dimensions of these motherboards before we go any further.

  1. ATX: 305×244 mm or 12.0” x 9.6” (inches)
  2. Micro ATX: 244 x 244mm or 9.6” x 9.6” (inches)
  3. Mini ITX: 170 x 170mm or 6.7” x 6.7” (inches)
ATX VS Micro ATX vs Mini ITX Comparison
ATX vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX Comparison

ATX vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX Sizes:

We know we’ve just said that size isn’t the only thing that sets them apart. But it’s definitely not something that should be overlooked as you might imagine ATX is the largest of the three measuring at 305 by 244 millimetres. Then there’s micro ATX which is just as wife and a bit shorter with 244 by 244 millimetres. Finally there’s mini ATX with only 170 by 170 millimetres.

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That said the only reason why size should ever take precedence over the other more important aspects. If you’re looking to build a portable PC in this case you’ll definitely start by considering the size of the motherboard and work your way up from there. On the other hand you should never have to worry that your computer case is too big because the cases that are big enough to support all of these atx sizes will support all of them a much.

Mini vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX RAM Capacity:

The more important thing to consider for most people is the RAM capacity. Now, this is where the bigger differences start to kick in micro atx vs mini itx vs atx motherboards that can support up to 4 RAM modules. But mini ATX can support 2 granted you can still pack as many as 32 Q bytes of RAM should you use two 16 gigabyte sticks.

If you want to differentiate between Atx Vs Itx, it can be easily said that they differ in size, PCIe lane configuration, and RAM capacity. These distinctions, in turn, dictate the sort of PC case you may utilise for your motherboard. For example, VIA Technologies designed the ITX motherboard to be used in small-configuration computer systems, and thus has less RAM than other motherboards.

So, it’s not like this makes mini ATX unfit for gaming in fact even 16 gigabytes is more than plenty for gaming. If you’re professional then this is definitely something you should keep in mind, so that you can keep up with all the RAM intensive software.

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PCIe Slots

The second thing we have to look at performance-wise is how many PCI Express slots each of these motherboards is sporting. When it comes to RAM capacity we could say that mini ATX was the runt of the litter with a 32 gigabyte cap.

The other two were standing on equal ground with both doubling the minis maximum capacity. But this isn’t the case when it comes to PCI Express slots in this regard, they’re all different. Its ATX motherboards hold elite here as they can have as many as seven PCI Express slots. Micro ATX motherboards can have a maximum of four PCI Express slots while many ATX only has one slot.

These slots are used by both graphic cards and expansion cards like sound cards internal modems and such so knowing. How many of these thoughts you’ll be needing is paramount in deciding which motherboard is right for you.

One of the problems with mini ATX motherboards aside from the fact that it only has one of these slots is the fact that it’s placed at the very edge of the motherboard. So, if the motherboard itself is a tight fit for a certain case then any serious graphics card will definitely not fit without some extra space.

Difference Between Atx And Itx

ITX and ATX differ in size, PCIe lane configuration, and RAM capacity. These distinctions, in turn, dictate the sort of PC case you may utilise for your motherboard. For example, VIA Technologies designed the ITX motherboard to be used in small-configuration computer systems, and thus has less RAM than other motherboards.

Difference Between Atx and Micro Atx

The Micro-ATX board is normally 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches, whereas the ATX board is 12 inches by 9.6 inches. Micro-ATX features fewer SATA connections and M. 2 slots than ATX, making it a poor choice for customers that want a lot of storage.

Price

As always performance isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, the price of the product will always play a great role in your decision to buy it or not. Here at Being Know we’re always looking to see what the most cost-effective solution is. You might think that the smaller the motherboard the cheaper it would be because it takes less material to manufacture but this isn’t the case.

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It’s the quality of the materials that will dictate the price so don’t be surprised if you find a mini ATX that’s more expensive than a regular ATX. But in general, you’ll usually find micro ATX motherboards to be the cheapest ones because they’re in such high demand.

ATX Motherboards

ATX Motherboards are the most common choice for PC builders today. They are the largest type and provide the most expansion options. Compared to Micro-ATX, the ATX form factor offers many more features but is more expensive.

However, Micro-ATX boards offer a variety of options and are more cost-effective. Gigabyte’s B450M board provides a wide range of packed micro-ATX options.

Typically, the ATX format is 12 by 9.6 inches and includes two to four RAM slots. The standard ATX board has onboard controllers for up to four hard drives and multiple expansion slots. Extended ATX motherboards are larger and include more features and can be more difficult to install in a standard ATX tower case. You will need to purchase an extra power supply to use these types of boards. The price of a mini ATX motherboard is comparable to that of a full-size ATX board.

If you want to know the different between Itx Vs Mini Itx, it’s the fundamental distinction is one of expandability rather than pricing. As of today, I notice ASUS gaming motherboards that are more costly in the mini-ITX configuration and Gigabyte gaming motherboards that are less expensive. However, performance will be driven by expandability. The mini-ITX has no dual graphics card and only half the installed RAM.

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The form factor of an ATX motherboard is the first type to be introduced on the market. This form factor was invented by IBM and is referred to as Full-AT and Baby-AT. They are the largest size for a PC’s motherboard and were originally used for Intel 80386 processors.

They also had some drawbacks, but their increased flexibility made them the most popular choice for computer builders. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between ATX and x86-compatible motherboards and the advantages they offer.

Pros

  • With more PCIe slots.
  • Offers High-End and Great Performance.
  • It has 4 RAM slots.

Cons

  • A lot of space
  • Expensive to buy Compared to the Competitors

ATX VS MINI ATX

The Micro-ATX board is normally 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches, whereas the ATX board is 12 inches by 9.6 inches. Micro-ATX features fewer SATA connections and M. 2 slots than ATX, making it a poor choice for customers that want a lot of storage.

Micro ATX Motherboards

There are two types of motherboards: Micro ATX. Both of these are smaller than their counterparts and are designed to save energy. However, both have their pros and cons. While the former has more memory space than the latter, both have the same number of PCIe slots. The latter does not have the same amount of storage space. That means that you will have to sacrifice storage space if you want to use an ATX board.

The price of the micro ATX motherboard is significantly cheaper than that of the ATX motherboard. Since micro ATX motherboards do not have much additional space, they are more affordable for most computer users. While some mATX boards have as many as four RAM slots, most don’t. Also, they have fewer PCIe slots. So, while you can save money on micro ATX motherboards, it is still best to upgrade your hardware.

One of the major differences between micro atx vs atx motherboards is the amount of memory available. The larger ATX motherboards can support up to seven PCI-E slots and up to four RAMs. The smaller Micro ATX motherboards can support up to four PCI-E slots and up to two RAM slots. The smaller Mini ITX models offer one PCI-E slot and two RAM slots. Some models even have in-built wireless and Thunderbolt.

Pros

  • More RAM Slots Available
  • Budget Gaming Motherboard
  • Cheapest and Most Desired Motherboard
  • Fits in All Cases

Cons

  • No Multi-GPU Support Inside
  • Few Slots for Pro Developers

Mini ITX Motherboards

Now in 2023, Mini ITX Motherboards are smaller versions of full-sized ATX motherboards. They can fit in a standard ATX case and have a single heatsink for cooling. The mini-ITX motherboards also include the power supply and memory. While they are smaller than full-sized ATX boards, they can still handle various computing tasks. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of mini-ITX motherboards is important when shopping for one.

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Mini ITX motherboards are more compact than traditional ATX boards, and are equipped with two RAM modules. If you’re looking to upgrade your memory to 32 GB, you should look for one with two 16-GB memory kits.

Despite their smaller size, mini-ITX motherboards are packed with all the components needed for an efficient computing experience. Because the new architecture is compact and features dual-channel memory support, mini-ITX motherboards can handle various types of software and tasks.

The Mini ITX motherboard is perfect for small computers. It is small enough to fit inside a desk or a cabinet and is lightweight. This allows for easy storage and basic computing, while saving energy and keeping utility bills low.

In addition, the small size makes it easier to carry around and store in a tight space. If you’re looking to purchase a mini-ITX motherboard, the MSI EPIA 5000 and MSI EPIA 800 are both excellent options.

Mini ITX is the finest motherboard for many gamers that seek a portable PC.

Pros

  • Low Power Consumption
  • Less weight => smaller size
  • Carry it Anywhere
  • Latest Technology
  • Newest Motherboards

Cons

  • 1 PCIe Slot
  • It only has 2 RAM slots.
  • Costly

ITX vs ATX: Which One Should You Choose?

We know what the specs of each of these ITX vs ATX motherboards are how can we go about determining which one is the best. The answer to this question will depend on the type of PC you’ll be using and how many PCI Express and RAM slots you’ll need. To simplify this we divided all pcs into three wealth categories Gaming PCs, Workstations, and Desktop PCs.

Will a Mini ITX Fit in an ATX Case?

From a technical perspective, it is possible to fit a motherboard of any size into a larger case. It is possible to fit normal, medium, and even compact motherboards inside even large cases.

However, placing a mini-ITX motherboard in a large case may not be the best idea from an aesthetic standpoint. This is because the components of the motherboard may appear to be crammed into one side of the case.

Although it is feasible to place a motherboard designed for a smaller chassis into a case designed for a larger one, it is vital to note that the opposite cannot be done. It is not possible to install standard-ATX motherboards in micro-ATX cases, and it is also not possible to install standard-ATX, micro-ATX, or mini-ITX motherboards in cases designed for mini-ITX form factors.

Motherboard for Gaming PCs

We already said that mini ATX RAM capacity isn’t really an issue for gamers. But would still advise against it on account of it having just one PCI Express slot and such a terribly placed one at that the only reason you should consider getting a mini ATX motherboard.

If you’re building a compact and portable PC for obvious reasons just remember that you’ll also need a good airflow and advanced cooling to stop the small case from heating up too much. This goes double for powerful configurations our advice is to go with the micro ATX for most gaming rigs and only use the ATX if you’re billing something truly high-end.

A micro ATX motherboard simply has the best value it has more than enough 4 M slots to support even dual GPU setups and still leave you some free slots for any additional PCI Express expansion cards. The only reason to go with an ATX motherboard is if you’re really planning on putting the extra PCI Express slots to good use.

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Motherboard for Workstations

We’ll be using the term workstations to refer to pcs that professionals use and even though these professionals will have high-end performance requirements. Many of the things we said for gaming pcs would still hold true for workstations. Micro ATX is still the best option unless you’re planning on making full use of the extra PCI Express slots that ATX motherboards provide.

You should definitely give mini ATX a hard pass if you’re building a workstation. These species often need greater Ram capacities than gaming ever will. So, the 32 gigabyte cap might be worrisome and what’s even more discouraging is the heat. Workstations place a lot of emphasis on CPUs so you would need a superb cooling solution to stop the small case from overheating especially if you’re planning on overclocking the CPU.

Motherboard for Desk

When I say desktop PCs we mean computers that will mostly be used for internet browsing multimedia and some office work. We have to go with the micro-atx is the optimal solution but this time solely because it’s the cheapest option of course.

If you want a small and inconspicuous PC then by all means go with the mini ATX it’s more than capable of running these kinds of computers. There is absolutely no reason to even consider ATX for internet surfing and there you have it the specifications of these motherboards and the ideal ways to use them.

We hope that we made this decision easier for you, let us know which of these three you opted for down in the comments and as always we’ll see you in.

🌟 Check out our expert-recommended What Is The Best Way To Test a Motherboard?

Conclusion

We hope that after reviewing the specifications and comparisons of all of the motherboards listed above, you have found the best motherboard for your needs in 2023. After that, you will have determined which motherboard best fulfils your requirements while remaining within your budgetary constraints.

You have already discussed the merits and downsides of each, which has helped you determine which motherboard is the best. If we were to have a little interview with each motherboard in order to clarify things once more, the first would be the ATX, which is available in greater sizes.

It is primarily employed in high-end gaming. The second type of motherboard is the micro-ATX motherboard, sometimes known as the economy motherboard, which can be virtually as powerful as an ATX motherboard but has significantly less features. Finally, the so-called tiny ITX motherboard is designed particularly for use in the construction of a portable feature PC.

Because of this, why are you late now that all is known? Select the motherboard of your choosing right now and put it to use for gaming as well as your professional and development activities.

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FAQs for ATX vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX

Is Mini ITX a Good Gaming Computer?

Whether or whether the Mini ITX motherboard is ideal for gaming is one of the most commonly asked issues, and the answer today relies on your specific configuration and requirements. So the short answer to this question is that it is not as good for gaming as motherboards with Micro ATX or normal ATX connectors.

What Do the Letters ATX and ITX Mean?

The letters ATX and ITX stand for Advanced Technology Extended and Information Technology Extended, respectively.

The distinction between ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX is explained here.

One of the most effective and straightforward ways to distinguish between ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX motherboards is their size. The ATX motherboard has dimensions of 12″ x 9.6″, the Micro ATX motherboard has dimensions of 9.6″ x 9.6″, and the Mini ITX motherboard has dimensions of 6.7″ x 6.7″. After looking at these measurements, you should be able to tell the difference between each motherboard.

Is Mini-ITX an Exorbitant Investment?

Everything you see within these motherboards is modest in size and is referred to as “special goods” because of their rarity. As a result, they are more expensive than Micro ATX and ATX because they are not distinguishable from one another.

Mini ITX vs Micro ATX | What is the Difference?

Micro-ATX motherboards are comparable to standard ATX motherboards, but they are shorter by a few inches. The benefit of micro-ATX motherboards is that they can fit into smaller form-factor cases if necessary.

Mini-ITX motherboards have a shorter length and height than both micro-ATX and standard-ATX motherboards. The micro-ITX motherboards typically feature a single PCIe lane and are compatible with a plethora of small form-factor cases.

Will a Mini ITX Fit in an ATX Case?

Technically, you can fit any size motherboard into a bigger case. Motherboards ranging in size from standard to medium to small can all fit in cases of this size. But from an aesthetic sense, you may not want to place a mini-ITX motherboard in a big chassis because the components may look too crowded.


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Anthony
By Anthony

Anthony knows a lot about computers. He grew to love writing reviews of the newest tech products. He likes to talk about everything Hardware. If you have any questions about Tech Products, feel free to ask.



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