There are two major players when it comes to choosing the right compact motherboard for your computer: the Micro ATX and the Mini ITX. Depending on your needs, the choice between the two can make a major impact on the speed, performance, and versatility of your computing. We will discuss in great detail the micro atx vs. mini itx.
What Is A Micro Atx Vs. Mini Itx?
Before we define any terms, let us first look at the terms and abbreviations themselves. Firstly, ATX stands for Advanced Technology Extended. ITX, on the other hand, stands for Information Technology Extended. A mini ITX is one of the motherboard form factors developed by VIA Technologies. Most commonly, they are used as a small form factor P.C. for use in cases designed for ATX, micro ATX and other small-configure variants.
While looking at mini itx vs. micro atx, we have to discuss both forms. Therefore, ATX is a standard for motherboards. A micro ATX is smaller than a full-sized ATX motherboard. They are great at saving space, cheaper, and overall great for gaming P.C.s. Additionally, apart from lacking a few expansion spots (they only have three), they are just as functional and durable as a fully formed ATX motherboard.
Keeping all that in mind, you should try to be careful when selecting your motherboards ATX vs. Micro ATX. Additionally, if you have a gaming P.C., then there are considerable factors should you choose to use a micro ATX vs. mini ATX ITX. Lastly, in this article, we discuss ATX and micro ATX: what’s the difference. In the general sense, the differences between mini ITX, micro ATX, and ATX is the physical dimensions as well as functionality.
The Short Answer
The short answer is – if you are looking for a device that will carry more RAM capacity, PCIe slots and multiple expansion cards, then the Micro ATX will be the best option. Conversely, if you are looking to build a smaller and more condensed computer that requires a smaller motherboard and fewer inputs, then the Mini ITX would be the best option for you.
Micro ATX vs Mini ITX which one is better?
Micro Atx Vs. Mini Itx Motherboard For Gaming
1) AORUS B450M Micro ATX
GIGABYTE B450 AORUS M (AMD Ryzen AM4/Micro ATX/M.2 Thermal Guard/HDMI/DVI/USB…
This gaming micro atx motherboard is great for gaming, and here is why. Firstly, it supports AMD 1st & 2nd Generation Ryzen or Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors. Furthermore, It offers support for Windows 10 64-bit and Windows 7 64-bit. However, to support Windows 7 64-bit, you must install an AMD Pinnacle Ridge and Summit Ridge CPU. Either way, you will be very happy with this micro atx motherboard. It also has high-quality audio capacitors and an audio noise guard that is perfect for gaming.
2) MSI Performance Gaming AMD Ryzen Mini-ITX
MSI Performance Gaming AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 HDMI Display…
This is one motherboard that is good for gaming. It has certified 24 hours on and offline game and motherboard testing by e-sports players. This mini itx system is always V.R. ready. In addition, it automatically optimizes your system for V.R. usage, pushing for maximum performance. Furthermore, it also supports 32 G.B. dual channel ddr4 memory. It also supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation and Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors for Socket AM4.
3) ASUS Prime Micro ATX Motherboard
ASUS Prime B450M-A II AMD AM4 (Ryzen 5000, 3rd/2nd/1st Gen Ryzen Micro ATX…
With a DDR4 RAM, this micro ATX motherboard is compatible with Ryzen 5000, 3rd/2nd/1st Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs. It is a motherboard for gaming computer as well as a motherboard for a desktop computer. Additionally, it is designed for speed: It has a USB 3.2 Gen 2 with 10Gbps ultra-fast transfer speed. An onboard M.2 support, 4xDIMMs support up to 128GB DDR4 with 4400 (O.C.) performance, HDMI 2.0b/DVI/D-Sub. Micro ATX boards, specifically this one, is PC DIY Friendly. It is equipped with BIOS Flashback and ASUS exclusive UEFI BIOS. A micro atx motherboard is perfect for gaming, especially with the custom liquid cooling solutions.
4) ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-Mini ITX
ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 Mini ITX Thunderbolt 3 AMD Motherboard Model…
Of course, there are differences between mini Itx and micro Atx or mini atx. The Phantom gaming motherboard form factor Supports DDR4 4533+ (O.C.) RAM and it has a creative sound blaster cinema 5 with 7.1 CH HD Realtek audio. Additionally, this mini itx motherboard supports PCIe slots. Furthermore, it delivers smooth power to the CPU, and the best part is that it is compatible even with a budget friendly gaming P.C. Additionally, the giveaways reader interactions comments are mostly positive for this budget friendly gaming PC.
5) MSI MAG A520M Vector Gaming Motherboard Micro ATX
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Atx motherboards are usually different. Motherboard form factors can determine, let’s say, the number of PCIe slots micro atx. There are also cons of each form. Additionally, this gaming motherboard supports DDR4 Memory, up to 4600(O.C.) MHz’s. Furthermore, the PCI-E Gen3 x4 maximizes performance for NVMe based SSDs. 3rd generation AMZ Ryzen. Standard atx motherboards are also capable of supporting DDR4 memory. They also keep you one step ahead because of their superior micro atx capabilities.
Factors To Consider Before Selecting A Motherboard
As the previous sections have shown us, there is a definite difference: micro ATX vs. Mini ITX. Consider each and every factor should you choose to pick one instead of the other or vice versa. Micro ATX motherboards vs. mini ITX motherboards are both targeted towards budget users. Standard ATX motherboards can be quite expensive. However, standard ATX motherboards have more space. Let us now look at the different ATX motherboards and ITX motherboards and factors you should consider.
1) What’s Smaller – Micro ATX or Mini ITX?
Mini ITX vs. ATX a size comparison: When looking at the sizes of the ATX and ITX, the Micro ATX is slightly larger than the Mini ITX with dimensions of 244×244 mm compared with 170×170 mm, respectively. Mini ITX motherboards are the smallest high-end motherboards currently available on the market. The only time you should be worried about the sizes of these pieces is if you are working with a smaller computer case that will only fit one of the motherboard dimensions described above. However, you do not normally need to concern yourself with this because the Micro ATX and Mini ITX will fit inside of most standard computer layouts.
When it comes to feeding the mother board’s power supply, it is also important to consider which one will be able to better fit inside of your computer. There are some occasions where the Mini ITX can be powered by a standard power supply, but in most cases, it must be powered using a smaller supply without any modular cables. The Micro ATX will be able to use standard powering, however, it will also take up more space because of this and make it more difficult to handle.
2) ATX vs. ITX: Performance
The Micro ATX is best when it comes to performance. With the capability of fitting up to four PCIe slots, the Micro ATX allows for many more ports than the Mini ITX, which only has one. In addition, the PCIe slots on these motherboards can be used for sound cards, graphics cards and internal modems. So if these are additions that you would like to make with your computer, that is a reason why the Micro ATX would be more suited for you.
The Micro ATX also outperforms the Mini ITX when it comes to available RAM. This is because the Micro ATX can hold up to four RAM modules at once, whereas the Mini ITX can only hold two. This means that the Micro ATX is potentially capable of holding 64 G.B. of RAM compared to the Mini ITX at 32 G.B. This would be most important to you only when using programs that require high levels of RAM capacity. That being said, standard video games require little more than 16 G.B. on average, so that the Mini ITX would suffice the minimum RAM quantity for that purpose.
3) Micro ATX vs. Mini ITX Price
The ATX has been around for longer, so there is a larger diversification of shopping options. Because of this, it is generally easier to find a Micro ATX for a cheaper cost between the two. Most Micro ATX’s are going to cost you anywhere between $50-$100, depending on the level of quality you are looking for.
Of course, if you really want to get the highest end motherboard out there in this class, it can cost you upwards of $200. On the other hand, the Mini ITX is much newer and, because of this, maintains a little higher pricing power. Most Mini ITX’s are going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-$300 dollars, so when it comes to costs, it clearly depends on the budget you are working with.
As discussed above, the Mini ITX only has two RAM slots and one PCIe slot, as compared to the Micro ATX, which has four PCIe slots and four RAM slots. This obviously has a large impact on the future customizability of your computer. If you want to use the Micro ATX, then maxing out the RAM slots will prove a less expensive task, as you can purchase multiple 4 G.B. sticks, as compared to spending higher amounts of 16 G.B. sticks for the Mini ITX.
Even though the Mini ITX only has one PCIe slot, it still cannot fit all sizes of graphics cards due to size restrictions, so this would limit your final choice on which cards you would like to have on your mother board in the future. However, since the Micro ATX gives you more options for PCIe additions, you would be able to add more USB ports, adapters, sound and graphics cards, and SATA extensions. So if you want to have a computer with dual-graphics and quad-channel memory configurations, then the Micro ATX would be the correct choice.
Advantages Of ATX And ITX Motherboards
The micro ATX vs. mini has been a debate for a long time. Of course, both have their own merits, and we will look at them in the next section. First, let us look at the mini ITX vs. ATX and mini ITX, ATX vs. Micro ATX. For anyone who picks micro atx vs. other atx and itx series, there are advantages and vice versa. These motherboards are also small form factor pc and for gaming PC.
Micro ATX motherboards have a lot more room for expansion. The motherboard is a hardware device. Hardware prebuilts monitors, peripherals and other devices. Therefore, it has allocated slots which motherboard form other additions. This is especially suitable for any gaming P.C. because you can expand the storage capacity, even on a mini ATX motherboard. High end ATX motherboards also have additional RAM slots, and in some cases, an external GPU primary sidebar. ATX models are versatile.
On the other hand, while mini ITX motherboards don’t have much room for expansion, they make up for it in having a variety of products. This means that, for industrial and embedded functions, these types of motherboards are unparalleled. Apart from the mini ITX cases, they are mostly sought after for their power. Furthermore, they are also awesome on a gaming P.C.
b) Small Sizes Equals Space Saving
On the mini ITX vs. ATX front, when it comes to size, micro atx motherboards are slightly larger (albeit smaller)than their counterpart. Furthermore, a micro atx motherboard is larger, which features into the extra storage space and room for expansion. Reader interactions comments leave positive reviews about the expansion allowance. However, some different models of motherboards, for example, x 9.6 mini ITX and x 9.6 micro ATX, measure the same.
On the other hand, however, the very small factor of a mini ITX motherboard is a big bonus for embedded applications. Therefore, on the ATX vs. micro ATX front, the ATX motherboard is still larger. Additionally, Micro ATX motherboards are perfect for high powered processors. Mini ITX motherboards, on the other hand, prefer embedded functions.
Apart from the technical aspect of ATX vs. Micro ATX vs. Mini ITX ATX, we especially love the small sizes because they are super easy to move around. They are easy to use and easy to install. Overall, they are a good investment if you need to save up on desk space or just space. Micro ATX motherboards come with micro ATX cases so that you don’t need to try and find it yourself.
Is the Micro ATX Better than the Mini ITX?
To reiterate, it is not a matter of which motherboard is objectively better; it’s a matter of which motherboard is best for you. If you are someone looking for many upgrades, high RAM slots capacity without size limitations, then the Micro ATX is better for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a compact computer that can be taken on the go with minimal bulk, or you are only looking for enough RAM slots for gaming or less demanding programs, then the Mini ITX is the best motherboard for you.
Additionally, if the space isn’t too strict, then you should consider ATX models. They have a high power, and high end models even have a GPU primary sidebar build. Furthermore, ATX motherboards allow room for expansion. You might need expansion if you game regularly. Consider ATX motherboards. If you don’t have much space, then consider ITX motherboards.
A mini ITX motherboard, on the other hand, is the perfect addition to a desk or gaming pc. They are mostly fan-less, take little space, don’t need a lot of power to function. If you have limited power or power restrictions, then this motherboard is for you. Did we mention these motherboards last for decades? Yes, they do.
The Bottom Line
We have discussed at length the two powerhouses of motherboards. Our top 5 list should be a guidance to you because we have selected the best in the market. You can find the links on our site to view the prices, customer reviews, and how the motherboards look like. Our buying guide is also a perfect way to ensure you purchase the right thing for your gaming P.C. setup.
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