Whereas motherboard sizes are principally standardized because of the ATX customary, motherboards nonetheless are available a number of sizes. All these sizes are standardized, however as somebody new to PC constructing, you may be left a bit of confused by the distinction between motherboard sizes and whether or not there are another variations fairly than simply measurement.
Whereas a number of sizes are on the market, most individuals solely care about three: ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX. How massive of a distinction between all three is there, and which one must you get?
ATX: The Large and Daring
ATX was the unique customary that changed AT and Child AT in 1995. It was developed by Intel and shortly took over everybody else, rapidly turning into the reigning motherboard customary.
The usual ATX measurement is shut in dimensions to the older Child AT format, however not fairly. Whereas Child AT is 8.5 inches by 13 inches, ATX is barely shorter however wider, at 9.6 inches by 12 inches. An ATX motherboard can match many parts, resembling one CPU socket, as much as 4 RAM slots, and a number of PCI Categorical slots, in addition to all the mandatory energy connectors out of your energy provide (that are additionally a part of the ATX customary because it’s made to suit these motherboards).
ATX motherboards sometimes match finest inside both a half-tower or a full-tower, however they won’t slot in smaller circumstances, one thing it’s good to think about when buying. Available in the market, this measurement is often principally reserved for mid-range to high-end motherboards because it has sufficient measurement to accommodate every thing a median PC consumer or fanatic would want.
Micro ATX: The Center Sibling
Whereas it is a variation of the unique ATX measurement, Micro ATX would possibly really be a extra frequent sight than customary ATX. Micro ATX is a extra prevalent sight on workplace PCs and non-gaming pre-builts. However do not let that earlier assertion idiot you—there are nonetheless loads of gaming-oriented Micro ATX motherboards as properly, with some caveats that we’ll point out later.
Micro ATX is analogous in measurement to an everyday ATX motherboard, eradicating some vertical measurement, sitting at 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches. So whereas ATX is a rectangle, Micro ATX is square-shaped. You’ve gotten most of the similar commodities ATX has, together with 4 RAM slots, however you’ve gotten fewer PCI Categorical slots because of the diminished area. Other than much less expandability, although, you possibly can count on Micro ATX boards to be similar to their ATX counterparts.
Micro ATX can slot in all of the circumstances ATX can slot in whereas permitting you to go barely smaller. This measurement is generally reserved for low-end to mid-range boards, and high-end motherboards are literally a uncommon sight. There is no technical obstacle retaining producers from making Z690 or X570 Micro ATX boards, however you most likely will not discover them from main motherboard makers. If we glance deeper, it is most likely a requirement concern—for those who can afford a high-end case, you are most likely both going all in with a case that may match ATX, otherwise you’re going full SFF with Mini ITX.
Some gaming PCs use Micro ATX, however they’re going to sometimes be lower-end or mid-range. It is also a standard sight on workplace PCs since they’re extra modestly sized fairly than being an imponent tower.
Mini ITX: SFF Fever
We simply talked about Mini ITX within the final part, so let’s break it down. It is the smallest type issue on this checklist by far, however many gaming PCs are powered by motherboards this measurement.
Initially, they had been a distinct segment type issue developed by By way of Applied sciences in 2001, however they gained steam a number of years later. They’re 6.7 inches by 6.7 inches, so they seem to be a good chunk smaller than Micro ATX. This measurement begins to come back on the expense of some options. Most Mini ITX motherboards include solely two RAM slots and one single PCI Categorical slot with 16 lanes.
They gained steam because of small type issue (SFF) PCs turning into in style over time. Some PCs are constructed to be roughly the identical measurement or barely greater than a sport console, and whereas constructing problem varies as you go smaller, a Mini ITX case is a should. For that motive, they’re accessible for every thing from low-end to full high-end.
Are There Different Motherboard Sizes?
Whereas we already talked about the three commonest motherboard sizes, there are many others that you may want to pay attention to. Sadly, these usually are not generally seen exterior super-premium, server, or in any other case area of interest PCs.
E-ATX is brief for Prolonged ATX, and it is really the most important motherboard measurement on the market. They’re 13 inches by 12 inches—the identical vertical measurement as ATX however significantly wider. On these motherboards, it is common to seek out greater CPU sockets that may accommodate server/fanatic chips, in addition to as much as eight RAM slots.
You would possibly see these in a server/tremendous fanatic context greater than something.
When it comes to measurement, Flex ATX is definitely someplace in between Micro ATX and Mini ITX, sitting at 9 inches by 7.5 inches. You will not actually discover lots of Flex ATX motherboards on the market, however you would possibly sometimes see one within a low-end, prebuilt PC for one thing like an workplace.
Lastly, we’ve got the smallest measurement on this checklist: Mini STX. This customary was developed by Intel and sits at 5.8 inches by 5.9 inches. So whereas it manages to undercut the scale of Mini ITX, it does so at the price of expandability. You haven’t any PCI Categorical enlargement (a few of these motherboards will embody an MXM port if it’s good to plug in a PCIe peripheral), and the RAM slots are downgraded to laptop computer SODIMM slots, of which you continue to solely have two.
Know Your Totally different Motherboard Sizes
There is a motherboard measurement for everybody. There’s actually no unsuitable selection, as all of them will carry out and performance the very same. The one variations are within the measurement and the options they embody.
Make a selection, decide a case that may match it, and you will be good to go.