ATX vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX: Best Choice?

Perfect computer hardware is an elusive goal. From physical constraints to connectivity and aesthetics, everything has been discussed when selecting the proper system for your needs. Motherboards come in different sizes with various chipsets that offer varying levels of compatibility; they also have a wide range of aesthetic preferences which makes them tricky to choose among all these options!

Motherboards come in different sizes, namely EATX (the least bought form factor), ATX, and Micro-ATX. Motherboard size is a key difference when it comes to compatibility issues with chassis or hardware because not all motherboards are compatible at large heights for sockets that they’re installed into due to their physical limiters on how much space there can be inside these small boards without compromising functionality from other components.

Form Factors


Motherboards and monitors come in different sizes, which are standardized to ensure compatibility with the computer case. The mounting screws on a motherboard can be equally spaced and there is enough space for them all within its fixed outer dimensions; this helps PC manufacturers design standard-sized motherboards that allow installation without any problems by way of standoffs or screw holes provided your chassis allows it! Most cases also accommodate more than one form factor including ATX (large), Micro-ATX (medium) & Mini-ITX (small).

ATX: 305 x 244 mm or 12.0” x 9.6”

Micro ATX: 244 x 244mm or 9.6” x 9.6”

Mini ITX: 170 x 170mm or 6.7” x 6.7”

The most interesting thing about the dimensions of ATX is that they are similar to Micro-ATX and larger than Mini ITX. The taller, wider shape means it can fit more components and CPU inside an enclosure without any problems with compatibility between sizes; however, there will be cases where you cannot use certain motherboard types due to their size limitations (for example if both boards have full-sized signal traces).


Installing a motherboard inside of a computer chassis can be complicated if you don’t know what to do. There are many different requirements for the size and shape that will fit with your rig, but luckily there’s an extension called ATX which ensures compatibility between components like power supplies or cases by regulating how they’re structured internally so all installations work together as one unit even though each part may have been designed differently than others on either side (ATX-based). Mini-ITX is another type we should mention; it was developed by VIA technologies while still remaining small enough.


The Mini ITX vs Micro ATX argument is nothing new. The size of a motherboard dictates how many slots it has and what chipsets can connect with other components on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

A smaller board may only have one PCIe slot, which limits its connectivity options in terms of wired devices like networking or storage device connections; while WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities also become limited as well since these require more power than standard componentry provides to operate them at full capacity without needing additional infrastructure such as an extra network switch nearby for example – something not always feasible when building out your own home office space!

Heat Transfer and Cable Management

ATX and micro ATX motherboards both have their pros and cons. On one hand, larger boards allow for better heat transfer because there’s more space on the VRM (voltage regulation module) as well as chipsets which can be important when overclocking your CPU or GPU.

The cable management is also easier with large sizes since it allows manufacturers to place headers strategically around them so you don’t need to worry about tying up excess wiring inside of your PC case! However, this comes at a price: bulky designs that take up the extra room due in part to having an AIO cooler installed within; not only does this increase noise levels but limits installation flexibility too.


ATX is the largest format of all, measuring 305 x 244 mm. It’s an excellent size for most tasks and can accommodate more than enough components in its spacious interior while still leaving room to spare on either side without feeling too crowded or cramped up tight!

Micro ATX comes next at a much shorter distance between the motherboard AND Components but doesn’t skimp when it comes down to how many slots are left open inside–it provides us with plenty before closing things off again; Mini ITX follows suit by being just about as expansive everywhere except where mount holes need attention (170x170mm).


One of the most important differences between Mini ITX and ATX motherboards is in regard to RAM slots. On average, a Micro-ATX or Standard AT board has four available slots for memory modules whereas there are only two on mini ITX boards. High-end ones can have up to eight total ram spaces which will be occupied by some expensive high-speed DDR4 Ram chips if you find them within your budget!

One of the downsides to Mini ITX motherboards is that they only allow for a maximum of 32 GB. In contrast, Micro ATX and larger boards can support up to 64 or even 128GBs depending on which board you have installed in your PC case!

16 and 32GB of RAM are both enough to run the vast majority of games available, but those who also plan on using their computer as a workstation might need more than that. Future-proofing is important because it will save you from having an outdated setup with less memory space needed for running software or programs that take up all your hard drive space at once!

PCIe Slots

The number of PCIe slots on a motherboard is one factor that can affect your gaming performance. ATX motherboards come with three, but some high-end models have as many as five. Meanwhile, Micro-ATX boards only offer one slot and Mini-ITX computers are stuck having just their onboard networking capabilities in addition to the standard DDR4 memory support for system RAM – which may be lacking when compared against other more advanced formats like DDR5 or Intel Optane Storage cache technology!

You might have heard that video cards are getting bigger and more powerful. Whether you’re interested in slotting your graphics card into an external enclosure or not, there’s always some consideration to take when it comes down to what kind of case-slot configuration will work for both the utility of space available inside said system as well anything else unique about its design which could potentially get in between two components trying fit together properly without causing an obstruction on either end due their size difference/obstructing airflow while installing one component atop another (which would lead us back towards potential problems).

Specs Of Each Motherboard

ATX Motherboards

ATX motherboards come in two different sizes: AT and Micro. The size of an ATX motherboard affects not only its compatibility with certain components but also how much space it provides for your system configuration – six slots if you go smaller than 20 inches (51 centimeters) or 8 ports on a 24-inch (61 cm) board! While this standard spacing doesn’t necessarily mean every single one will fit the bill as there are other factors at play such as graphics card length limitations which can make installation awkward without modification; however those looking to build large systems involving multiple GPUs may find having extra slot available useful when planning ahead so no component gets left out due

Some people are looking for higher performance than what the stock graphics card can offer. If this is you, then it’s time to upgrade! The next step up from single GPUs is SLI or Crossfire X dual-card configurations – which take up two PCIe slots on your motherboard (but not more!) To go with these larger cards that will use all four expansion slots available in some cases; an E-ATX form factor case may be necessary since they provide enough space required by modern high-end video game technology requiring tons of PowerVR +CUVID 2

ATX motherboards are the best for RAM installation. They have more SATA ports, front panel header slots, and M2 slots for connectivity with IO panels that offer different features depending on the price or chipset being used in your PC build.

Mobo size allows up to eight sets of memory modules while smaller designs only allow four sets however this does not mean you can’t get any higher than 128GBs max capacity per slot without MLB Jammerz installed which are illegal because they reduce clock speeds below-advertised values but usually at reduced performance levels anyways.


  • Optimal Slots
  • Maximum number of Connectivity Ports
  • Highest overclocking available


  • Low value
  • Requires large space

Micro-ATX Motherboards

Micro-ATX is the preferred form factor for gamers and developers, especially when considering micro vs ATX. The technology of motherboards has improved significantly; all that an ATX motherboard offers are already included in Micro-ATX dimensions. They have a price tag between $50-$100 less than both Mini ITX or full-size ATXPcs boards users can find on Amazon which makes them cheaper options if you’re looking to build your own PC gaming system without breaking bank accounts! With PCIe slots as well as M2 drives available – competitive gamblers will want nothing else but high-end components supporting this small-sized (17 x 17 inches) body dimension due to its durability while also providing him/her flexible added storage capacity where they need it most.

Motherboard manufacturers have had to push their technology in order for it to be able to accommodate the need for more complicated systems. To do this, they implemented four memory slots onto a Micro-ATX motherboard which can house up an impressive amount of RAM at one time along with additional VRMs around processor sockets like standard ATX ones; these allow them not only to perform similar functions but also take up less space than before!

The new trend is called mini ITX because its size makes room for motherboards that are smaller than full-sized versions (they’re still quite large) while sacrificing nothing else except perhaps aesthetically pleasing looks–though there was never anything appealing about regularity at first glance anyway.

If you’re looking for a micro-ATX motherboard, then your options are limited. Micro boards have four expansion slots and PCIe/PCI type spacing with the same size limitations as an ATX board–less than one slot per GPU or multi-GPU setup because of their thicker dimensions that make them more difficult to install in these smaller regions compared to regular PCI-E cards which only sit lengthwise between two adjacent PCI Express Expansion Slots on any given Motherboard—though most people will likely use at least three if they want room enough around each Graphics Card respectively when using SLI Bridges.


  • Amazing price ratio
  • Relevant connectivity
  • Three M.2 Slots


  • No CrossFire capability
  • Heating issues

Mini-ITX Motherboards

Mini ITX is the perfect size for HTPCs. It’s also great if you want to build an inexpensive, compact system that can be installed in smaller cases than ATX or Micro ATX-sized computers would allow without sacrificing functionality! That said though – installing one into your larger case might look awkward and isn’t really cost-effective either way so I recommend picking up this worthwhile gadget: The PC-CFA001 Mini Case Fan Add-On Module which allows him (or her!) access ventilated air while still keeping all their hardware safe inside its tight confines.”

Motherboards are usually small, but these particular ones have been designed for miniaturization. The header placement and space on the board make it hard to route internal connections without cutting corners. Luckily there are still plenty of features- WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity as well as onboard diagnostics by big-name brands like Asus or ASRock. Small size doesn’t mean lackluster components – this motherboard packs all sorts of goodies including IEEE 802.11 ac wireless technology with transfer speeds up to 5 Gbps.

When it comes to cable management, the headers on a smaller Mini-ITX motherboard have more importance. The placement of the header impacts how you plan out your cables and what devices they go into or receive power from for that matter. You should consider carefully where each connection will be placed before installing anything so nothing gets in their way later down the road when building systems bigger than just yourself!

The overclocking capability of the Mini-ITX motherboard is limited because it only has one PCIe slot. The expansion slots are also minimal, with space for M.2 SSDs and no availability to install three storage drives at once like on other motherboards which can increase performance by up 70%. A casual over-clocker will still be able to enjoy all these perks due to its low price point but if you’re looking for serious gains then this might not be the right fit compared with other boards.


  • Compact size
  • Suitable for HTPC


  • No Multi-GPU attachment is available
  • Expensive


ATX vs Micro ATX

These two motherboards are targeted at different audiences, and you’ll want to make sure that your system can handle what the board has in store for it before making any decisions about which one is right for you! Gamers usually need a PCIe slot with room left over (or replaced) so they may install their single GPU; multi GPU isn’t as great anymore due to its meager performance/price ratio – no matter how many GPUs there are on offer nowadays gamers still only get around 30fps max). They also require two M.2 slots instead of four if we’re talking gaming rigs here because those faster booting times help us out during intense battles royal sessions.

Gaming motherboards are not like standard ones. They need to be smaller, cheaper, and have all the slots that will ever matter for gamers in one package – no unneeded ports here! The RAM slot should also match what’s needed by an ATX board so there is no chance of compatibility issues between components or functions on your computer systems while connecting them together with USB devices such as keyboards/ mice etc., which can sometimes get confusing when shopping around otherwise looking at different models from various manufacturers who might offer similar options but differing specifications.

If you are a PC builder, it’s recommended that the size of your motherboard matches what will be installed in the said machine. For those who create content or maintain large data centers with many servers- go for an ATX board as these have larger sizes to ensure better heat transfers and allow plenty of room for expansion cards while still including onboard SATA/M2 slots if needed!

Micro ATX vs Mini ITX

The Micro ATX vs Mini ITX debate is not the fiercest of competition. They each serve their purpose well enough, but it can be difficult to decide which one you want for your computer because there are so many different features available in both micro and mini form factors that have varying levels of importance depending on what kind of user they’re aimed at – gamers who don’t need anything else than high-performance gaming rigs with little room left over; average users looking instead towards more versatility through expandability options without having too much trouble fitting everything into tight spaces as long as quality components like graphics cards fit comfortably within specifications limits (though this may mean spending extra money).

A lot of people might think that micro ATX is the best choice for performance and price ratio. Although, mini ITX can still offer excellent value when it comes to enhancing your gaming or video editing needs because these computers are designed with compact size in mind; they’re easy to use without cluttering up space under a desk. The less heat transferred from components means better graphics rendering speeds which translate into an overall better experience! On top of this advantage there’s no need for bulky heatsinks so you won’t have any cable management issues either – just cleverly hidden ports behind Tough Button Covers (patent pending!).

The Micro ATX vs. Mini ITX debate is a tricky one to figure out because, while both have some advantages over the other in certain aspects of design and compatibility with motherboards or components- there can be too much going on for what you want if your PC runs into any problems down the line due to an inadequate amount of connectivity options on either side!

The larger “Mini” version might be better suited for users who are looking at increasing their power by adding multiple graphics cards without upgrading past two PCI slots which would require more expansion card space than necessary within its small enclosure frame size limit – but even then it comes down personal preference.


It is important to note the difference between Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards. The former can handle gaming needs, but might not have enough bandwidth for higher-end tasks; conversely, mini form factor boards are often more expensive because of their size limitations which make it difficult if not impossible in some cases (like HTPCs) where you would like both compactness AND compatibility with other components such as power supply units or graphics cards. What this ultimately boils down to: do your research before buying anything so that there aren’t any surprises later down the line!

If you want the best performance from your computer, make sure to pick up an ATX motherboard! It will help keep it cool and protect against crashes. If the size is a constraint for any of these features (e.g., more PCIe slots) then look at other brands like Micro-ATX or Mini LP2 depending on what type of system case installation would require.


Is ATX better than micro ATX?

ATX and Micro ATX motherboards have differing opinions. The majority of people go with the former, as it is better for most users in terms of form factor size requirements; however, gamers will be satisfied by their 7 expansion slot layout instead of 4 slots on a micro ATX board which can also handle overclocking more effectively than its larger counterpart due to superior heat transfer capabilities making this an ideal choice if you plan on gaming away from your desktop PC all day long!

What is the difference between a micro ATX and ATX motherboard?

The difference between a Micro ATX and an ATX motherboard is that the former has fewer expansion slots. This can be beneficial if you’re looking for something with limited connectivity or just want to save on space, but it’s not so great when trying to build your dream gaming PC! The limiting factor here will depend upon what PCIe x16 slot type(s) are installed in one of these motherboards – some may only support Multi-GPU setups of up to three GPU cards at most before running into issues due to their design limitations (more about this later).

Will Micro ATX fit in the ATX case?

A Micro ATX motherboard can easily fit inside an ATX case. However, most people do not prefer this configuration because it’s not economically feasible due to the pc case. The more significant PC cases remain empty from within which allows better airflow but at the same time won’t transfer heat effectively- leading you to lose the functionality of your fans instead improving conditions for cooling components!

Is micro ATX worth it?

Micro ATX is the motherboard of choice for micro-ATX chassis. It can house everything from strong RGB lighting capability, Multi-GPU configuration, or even four RAM slots while still managing to have wireless connectivity and a high-end audio chipset at a low price! The tabletop footprint makes these motherboards aesthetically pleasing in compact cases that are available on store shelves today.

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Fahad, Mohammad.
Fahad, Mohammad.

Hi, I am Fahad, Mohammad. I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science, a researcher, a die-heart entrepreneur, a blogger, and an affiliate marketer. I have many research articles published in reputed journals of the world. I also love to write about technology after my 20 years of experience in this field. I hope you will love this blog.