Motherboards: ATX Vs Micro ATX Vs Mini ITX – Which You Should Choose?
Motherboards come in a variety of sizes and formats, but there are three that are the most popular for desktop PCs: ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX.
They differ not only in size but in other aspects also. In this article, we’ll take a look at ATX Vs Micro-ATX Vs Mini- ITX, each of these motherboard has types and ultimately decide which is best for whom.
ATX Vs Micro-ATX Vs Mini-ITX
ATX is the largest format available at 305x244mm. Further downward, the micro-ATX is 244 × 244 mm, and the mini-ITX is the smallest, the dimensions of which are 170 × 170 mm.
When it comes to size, it should only concern you if the system block size is smaller than what is required for a particular format. Conversely, there is no need to worry about the case being “too big” for the motherboard, as each system unit has a standardized layout designed to accommodate any motherboard that can physically fit inside.
One of the big differences is the number of RAM slots built into the motherboard. While ATX and micro-ATX boards support up to four RAM modules, mini-ITX can only support two.
However, a mini-ITX motherboard can hold up to 32GB of RAM if the 2x16GB kit is installed. ATX and Micro-ATX, respectively, can support twice the memory.
However, this is not very critical for gamers. Even 16GB of RAM will be more than enough for a gaming PC today. However, professionals who use heavier software may be tempted to buy a motherboard that not only supports a higher total capacity, but also offers the option of installing four RAM modules.
An even bigger difference between all three motherboards is the number of onboard PCIe slots. ATX motherboards take the lead in this section as they can have up to 7 PCIe slots. The other two kinds are more limited, micro-ATX has up to 4, and mini-ITX motherboards only have 1 PCIe slot.
Obviously PCIe slots are used by video cards, but can also be used by others: sound cards, internal modems, etc. However, you should consider this when choosing.
A problem that can arise with Mini-ITX motherboards, in particular, relates to the placement of the PCIe slot at the very edge of the board. Thus, if the motherboard itself sits snugly in the system unit, any serious video card may not fit without additional space.
Finally, there is the issue of price. You might think that mini-ITX motherboards would be the cheapest due to their small footprint requiring fewer manufacturing materials, but you’d be surprised to learn the truth.
Most often, micro-ATX motherboards are the cheapest because they are in higher demand. In addition, it is the quality of the components that determines the price tag of the motherboard, so there may be mini-ITX boards that are more expensive than even ATX.
For Gaming PC:-
If you are building a gaming PC, we would suggest using a micro-ATX motherboard for the typical configuration and only consider ATX for truly high-performance computers. A micro-ATX motherboard would be the best option. It has more than enough RAM slots and can even support quad-GPU settings, leaving some of the slots free for any additional cards.