If you wish to build a custom pc on your own, then you need to have above rookie knowledge of stuff involved in it. From supply cables to motherboards, every detail is crucial. To have the best experience from your PC, the Motherboard of your system needs to be according to your needs. You may not find any difference in three different motherboards apart from the size at first glance but there is a lot more to know about each one of them.
There are differences that each motherboard has and it totally depends on your needs and interests why you need them and for what purpose you need them. Each motherboard is designed for specific usage. In this post, you will learn about the three different motherboards, their usage, and their pros and cons and this will help you find and choose that matches your preferences.
Three types of motherboards have different sizes. Let’s have a look at the dimensions of each motherboard
- ATX motherboard is around 305×244 mm or 12.0” x 9.6”
- The size of Micro ATX is 244 x 244mm or 9.6” x 9.6”
- Measurements of Mini ITX are 170 x 170mm or 6.7” x 6.7”
The biggest among them is ATX. The micro ATX is a bit similar to ATX because of the width and appearance but it has a smaller length and the mini ITX is the smallest among these.
The main difference is the length of these boards that differs them. The length is greater because it has more PCIe slots than the rest of these and this allows users to install more PCIe cards in it. The mini ITX on the other hand is the smallest and cheapest as compared to the two types.
Let’s dive into details about each board’s uses and their pros and cons.
As mentioned earlier, everything goes around your needs and the purpose of buying a motherboard. If you want a high-end gaming pc or a workstation then you should choose ATX motherboards as because these are equipped with four ram slots allowing users to expand their PC’s memory. Each slot allows a 32GB ram.
This a great amount of ram for a gaming pc. Users have claimed that there is no much difference between 8GB ram and 16 GB ram as because they give the same amount of FPS. But on the other hand, if you want a workstation and want to run Heavy-duty apps and software, probably 32GB ram may not be sufficient. Developers, Designers often get annoyed with slow PC because of Ram’s extensive apps.
Another major feature that this motherboard has is the 7 PCIe slots, enabling a user to install Multi-GPU and along with the addition of other PCIe cards like an external sound card. This feature isn’t available or available in a limited number in other ones.
Here’s a quick look at the Pros and Cons of ATX motherboards.
|✓ More PCIe Slots
|✗ Large in Size
|✓ High-end Performance
|✗ Most Expensive Motherboard between its competitors.
|✓ Up to 4 ram Slots, enabling users to use Ram extensive apps
Micro ATX Motherboards
If you are on a budget and want to build a gaming PC that matches your expectations then the Micro ATX is the motherboard you should look for. As both Micro ATX and ATX have similar names and widths, they also share the same features except for some. They are different just because of their size and the number of PCIe slots.
This motherboard also has 4 slots that can easily fulfill your needs regarding ram. The best thing about this motherboard is that it is way cheaper than the other two. Micro ATX is widely used by consumers and it has all the features allowing seamless gaming.
This type of motherboard lacks the support of Multi-GPU and if you are looking for a pc with more than one GPU, you should consider ATX rather than Micro ATX. The size of this motherboard allows it to get fit into every case and the smaller size gives more space for further customization needs fulfillment.
Now let’s look into the pros and cons of Micro ATX:
|✓ Ram Slots Availability
|✗ Does not supports Multi-GPU setup
|✓ Best for Budget gaming
|✗ Fewer PCIe Slots, making it difficult for a user who needs to add more PCIe components like Sound cards, etc.
|✓ The price is relatively low and the demand is higher than the other two
|✗ New models of Micro ATX do support Multi GPU but are very expensive as compared to the distinctive Micro-ATX motherboard.
|✓ Size: This motherboard is capable of fitting in every case especially in tower case
Mini ITX Motherboards
The Mini ITX motherboards are the smallest in terms of size and suitable for people who want to have a PC that is portable and easy to move with them. It supports only two ram slots allowing users to get a maximum of 32 GB ram, 16 GB in each slot.
This is still enough for a gaming PC but it is still not suitable as a workstation. The single PCIe slot is another drawback that only allows users to run a Single GPU on this motherboard. The size may matter to some gamers but this motherboard is not meant for high-end gaming.
The price of this motherboard may amaze you because it is expensive than the Micro ATX. Even though the Micro ATX have almost double features but the size has some demand making it expensive than the Micro ATX. The component of this motherboard is different from the other two types.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons and then you can decide whether you want it or pass it.
|✓ Less Power Consumption
|✗ Only 1 PCIe Slot
|✓ Increased Portability: Smaller in Size means less weight and more ease to carry.
|✗ Only have 2 RAM Slots
|✓ Latest Technology: Many new processors come with the support of the ITX motherboard as they are new gen motherboards.
|✗ Looks Odd in typical PC cases
Which Motherboard You Should Choose?
In this section, you will learn about different categories and the motherboard best for the particular category. Let’s dive and see what motherboard will suit you the most.
Motherboard for Gaming Computer
If you are a gamer and love to play the latest games on your pc and currently looking for a PC that can fulfill your gaming needs. The motherboard we suggest is the Micro ATX motherboard. Not only the size of this motherboard is ideal to fit in every case but also, it supports all the upgrades and components that new games require. With four ram slots, you can get up to 64 GB of ram, which is far more than the need.
As mentioned in the above sections, this is the cheapest among ATX and Mini ITX. These motherboards can support every other component that you will need to complete your set-up. However, if you are more into High-End gaming with VR support and every other modern technology then the best is to buy an ATX motherboard as it allows you to install Multi-GPU. Although this may hurt your wallet but to experience the best you need to get out of your budget.
Motherboard for WorkStation
A workstation is mostly used by professionals as they have to do high-intensity work on their systems like developing, if so then you should buy an ATX motherboard. The modern-day graphic rendering requires a huge amount of Ram and Graphical Memory and this is where only ATX can help. This motherboard brings a complete solution with 4 Ram slots for Ram needs and 7 PCIe slots to fulfill all your needs.
You can install a pair of GPUs to have enough graphical memory and with ram slots each supporting 32 GB allowing no ram-related issues. Buy this if you want to use more than 2 PCIe slots and if not then you
Motherboard for Desktop Computer
If you require a small-sized, convenient, and lightweight PC that fits well in your daily simple and personal use, you should consider Mini ATX. However, the Micro ATX has more features than Mini Atx but the size of the motherboard is big and eventually, the Pc would be big and bulky too.
The PC with ITX motherboards mainly looks slim and sleek in appearance. Also, the portability of the PC is higher than the other two means you can take it anywhere without any hassle. It has two ram slots and 1 PCIe slot which is quite enough for a normal desktop computer. ITX can fit in every case while the other two may cause some inconvenience.
The price of ITX is relatively high and if your budget is low then you have to buy the Micro ATX. The portability will be low as Micro ATX requires a Tower case to fit into.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
People usually have questions according to their experiences. We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions to answer them to create a better understanding of PC for you.
Note: there are a lot of other questions too but these are picked because of the frequency people ask these questions is higher than any other.
Here are some of the most common questions people ask:
A micro-atx motherboard will fit into a case that follows what minimum standard?
Micro ATX is a standard motherboard. If you have a case that can fit ATX then micro ATX will fit in that too. However, there are some cases in which a Micro ATX can it fit in. Mostly fits into a tower case.
What is a mini itx motherboard?
Mini Itx is a motherboard form factor that is 17cm in width and 17cm in length. This motherboard is way smaller than ATX and its variants and can be fit into any case. It has fewer features as compared to ATX but has a reasonable size that is ideal for desktop PCs. It has 1 PCIe slot and 2 ram slots.
How big is a mini itx motherboard?
The dimensions of Mini ITX motherboards are 6 inches in length and 6 inches in width, means it is a rectangular shaped motherboard which is relatively quiet smaller than ATX boards. It has one expansion slot and supports two ram slots each with 16 GB support.
What are the differences between ATX VS Micro ATX?
ATX motherboards are widely known because of the great features and wide compatibility. These motherboards are average-sized and can fit into most mid-tower cases, this means if you are looking forward to doing mainstream gaming with good cooling solutions then the best choice is to buy an ATX. The ATX and Micro ATX has a different shape, simple ATX is rectangular in shape while the Micro ATX is square in shape due to lesser PCIe slots.
The price comparison between the two differs because of some certain factors involved. The micro ATX is cheaper because of the smaller size and less number of slots that it offers and some other features. The ATX is bigger and has more slots and if you are choosing it then you need to get a compatible case according to the size.
If you are looking for a gaming compatible motherboard while on a budget, then ATX is probably the best because it still has enough slots for gaming purposes. Still, there are some drawbacks like you won’t be able to install a sound card, LAN card, or any other PCIe device because there are only two slots available in a Micro ATX usually. On the other hand, there are more slots in ATX that allow users to add-in NVMe cards, sound cards, and many more other devices.
In this article, you have learned about three types of motherboards for different needs. All the three types are different from each other corresponding to their sizes, prize, and features. You are now able to buy one according to your preference.