Until recently, a Micro ATX motherboard was the smallest form factor available for desktop computers, but due to the mini-tourism of components and the evolution of technology, they were pushed into the background by new motherboards. Has gone
In this article, we will look at whether micro ATX boards still have a place or if they have moved to second or third place for sure. If you are thinking of buying one of these, we hope we can dispel your doubts here.
Motherboard sizes are available.
There are currently basically four motherboard sizes available, and two of them are of interest to us. Will they be compared to older sisters?
- E-ATX Plates, Largest: Saving distances from server plates and other custom plates, it will be the largest, measuring 300 x 330 mm. Motherboards, where most components fit, are almost always used for X299 and x399 chipsets with 8 DIMM slots and several expansion cards.
- ATX Plates, Standard Size: These are the most common, and measure 305 x 244 mm. About 90% of the chassis sold in the market are compatible with this type of plate. They have 4 DIMM slots and space for at least two graphics cards.
- Micro ATX Boards – Next on the list in terms of size, 284 x 208 mm for the Mini ATX and 244 x 244 mm for the Micro ATX. These boards are compatible with practically all chassis in the market that supports ATX, so we have the advantage of having enough space for them.
- ITX or Mini-ITX boards: They are the smallest for desktop PCs, saving space with boards that incorporate mini-PCs, including their own for their hardware and CPU. Are customizable. These plates are generally compatible with many of the chassis mentioned above, although obviously, it doesn’t make much sense to fit them on these larger chassis.
Micro ATX vs. ITX hardware capability
Given the size, we have to assume that the smaller the motherboard, the fewer components it has inside, and that’s exactly right because there are obvious technical hurdles that size can’t overcome. Although many of the micro-ATXs on the market are somewhat surprising compared to others.
To compare as much hardware as they can afford, we’ve examined the market to see if they can offer us more in their range. Let’s see what each of these offers us:
CPU and heat sink support.
In this regard, the features of both boards are similar, since we will have ITX and Micro ATX models that are capable of supporting Intel Core processors of socket LGA 1151 and processors of AMT Ryzen socket AM4, so we for example Core i9-9900K No problem in both motherboards.
This is very interesting for users who want to build a small gaming PC with powerful hardware. Also, another detail to consider is that both boards have support for extremely powerful chip sets from both manufacturers, we mean the Intel Z390 and AMD X470.
One detail we don’t miss is the space available for the heat sink. Do we want to insert Scythe Ninja 2? Well, we can do both, because the space left in the socket will be standard on all motherboards. We can ride a heat sink without problems, bigger than the board itself.
RAM memory support.
In a short time, RAM capacity has reached a new level, as manufacturers are already making 32GB DDR4 modules at an incredible pace.
Physically, the Micro ATX has an undeniable window here and it, like the ATX, has almost all 4DIMM slots capable of holding 64GB of DDR4 RAM. However, as we say, with the 32 GB module it will soon be 128 GB.
For its part, a Mini-ITX board will have only two DIMM slots in all cases, which in that case can support 32 or 64 GB of RAM. Therefore, in this respect, a micro ATX gives an additional capability.
In terms of speed, in both cases, it will depend on the strength of the board and the JEDEC profiles that the manufacturer has decided to support via the BIOS. So we will have both ITX and Micro ATX boards that support clocks with a frequency of more than 4000 MHz.
The third important factor when looking at the motherboard is the storage capacity. Theoretically, having the same chipset, both boards should support the same amount of storage, as the usual size mini can play against ITX boards.
Let’s start with an advanced ITX board, in its features we see two M.2 slots compatible with both SATA and PCIe. On these boards, there is usually not enough space in the front for two slots, so manufacturers place the other slot just behind. By the way, we will have a total of 4 SATA connectors on all such boards.
Micro ATX boards have enough space for 2 S.2 ports as well as 6 SATA ports. So, theoretically, the storage capacity in the Micro ATX can be increased a bit more, but it will depend on the manufacturer, and we know that with two M.2 slots we will have more than enough.
The next distinguishing factor and no doubt here is who wins the expansion card connection capacity in PCIe slots.
At ITX, we’re going to end up fast, because they only have a PCIe x16 3.0 slot for connecting graphics cards, which is the size and power, yes. We won’t have a PCIe x1 or x4 slot, so we won’t be able to add anything extra, such as an external Wi-Fi card.
In the Micro ATX, we also have space for Nvidia SLI and CrossFire thanks to two PCIe 3.0 slots. In addition, there will be enough space to introduce two more PCIe x1 slots, making a total of 4. Of course, it will be up to each manufacturer to customize.
Peripherals and network connectivity.
This is something that both motherboards are practically identical to, almost every manufacturer wants to distribute with 18 connections. We may have 6 common audio connectors, two USB 2.0 ports, another 4 or 6 USB 3.1 gen1 / 2 / Type-C ports, HDMI and DisplaPort ports, and an RJ-45 network port.
The second section that almost always stays the same is network connectivity, especially wireless. Manufacturers know that if we want to buy a micro-ATX board and above all ITX, it is because we want mobility, so at least in ITX we can demand that I have a pre-installed Wi-Fi card. We don’t usually have a built-in Wi-Fi option on the cheap Micro ATX.
By that, we mean USB headers, fans, and RGB lighting. If we have modern and gaming-based motherboards then surely both fans + will bring at least two or three headers for the water pump, one RGB header, and two connectors for USB.
Of course, we’ll have more space in the Micro ATX, so each one weighs the number of headers that Hansen lacks. For our part, two plates work in this regard.
Which is beneficial when it comes to assembly.
Well, that would be a distinguishing feature in favor of the ITX board, given the simple fact that installing a mini PC is really useful.
Although a micro ATX board will need a tower that is practically as big as an ATX, an ITX will have its own chassis, some chassis that is, yes, let’s assume they have cooling and There is little space, but at least their appearance has been careful and they can be placed wherever they want.
In addition, we can install a 120mm cooling system in many ITX chassis. Or if we want more space, let’s move on to a MATX board that has more capacity and take advantage of that space. Personally, I think it is worthwhile to buy a mini-ITX board and then put it in a big tower.
Summary and what to use in each.
Well, we’re going to look at a summary of all the pages we’ve said before so that everyone has a clear idea of what we’re talking about.
Mini ITX board
Undoubtedly, this board would be ideal for building a portable team. They are small but complete plates in terms of peripheral connectivity and at least we should make sure they have built-in Wi-Fi. It will come in handy with an ITX chassis that decorates the room and has a nice design for cooling.
We can mount a multimedia PC with very powerful and cheap processors, or vice versa on a powerful gaming PC, as they have advanced chip sets and the ability to install graphics cards.
Micro ATX board.
If we want a medium plate for a tower that is neither big nor small, then go ahead, but there is no point in buying a micro ATX to mount it on an ATX tower, unless it is for money. Be
This format has very powerful gaming boards and also with Wi-Fi and it supports many GPUs. If you find a good opportunity in the market, it will be as accurate as ATX, but the truth is that it is not as extensive as ITX or ATX.
Recommended model mini-ITX boards
Finally, let’s look at the models that, in our humble opinion, are the most recommended.
We start with the B550 chipset board for mid-range Intel processors. It has RGB lighting, Wi-Fi connectivity, Realtek 7.1 AC892 sound card, and just what we talked about above, two DIMM slots and a PCIe 4.0. In addition, we will have two regulatory M.2s so that there is no hassle in storage.
More interestingly, this ITX board with Z390 chipset can install an advanced gaming PC a few centimeters away from our home. We’ll have advanced functions to get our hardware into an extra, Core Boost, DDR4 Boost, and VRM with at least 10 steps. It has two M.2 PCI-E x4 slots, USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Gen2 connectivity, and of course Wi-Fi. This plate is worth it.GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi
Another on the list, in this case, it’s an AORUS of around 190 euros which gives us a heat sink for one of its two M.2 slots in the front area. It doesn’t support 64GB of RAM in principle, but we do have Intel CNVi 2 × 2 chip with 1.73 Gbps and RealTech ALC1220 chip with high sound WiFi connectivity with a high sound card. If you want to build a gaming PC, AORUS needs you.B450M Bazooka MAX WiFi
Let’s take a look at a board that aims to enhance mid-range AMD Ryzen CPUs with the B450 chipset. It’s at the same price we saw earlier with Intel’s B360 and the truth is that they are the same. The capacity of two M.2 drives, 1 × 1 AC Wi-Fi connectivity, and a good Realtek ALC887 audio card are its assets. We have everything you need and at a good price for our resin.
Recommended Model Micro ATX Board.
And now we go with the MATX motherboard models.ASUS TUF B450M-PRO
We see the B450M chipset as the best option for the Micro ATX in terms of quality/price, even though we don’t have Wi-Fi connectivity. The TUF range features quality components, although we also have an M.2 PCIe slot and two USB 3.1 Gen2s.GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO
Well, with the last one we came up a little bit, we’re going to see a little cheaper gigabyte. This is a new generation board with 128GB RAM with 4DIM, 2M2 PCI slots, support for crossfire 4V or 2V, although it does not have integrated Wi-Fi connectivity.GIGABYTE B450 AORUS M
We now turn to a very good cheap AORUS gaming motherboard with a B450 chipset for AMD Ryzen. This is the same as seen before for the B360, as it has no Wi-Fi connectivity and an M.2 PCIe slot.EVGA X299 MICRO ATX 2
We also wanted to have this EVGA, as it is one of the few micro ATX boards available for the Intel X299 workstation platform under the LGA 2066 socket. Of course, it has Wi-Fi, two M.2 slots, 2 ports in U. quad-channel, and 4 DIMM slots. In addition, support Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire in its two PCIe 3.0s.
Well, this is the article that talks about the key differences of what is ATX motherboard and similarities between ITX and Micro ATX boards. We hope this information helps you determine which motherboard you need for your computer.