How Different Motherboard Sizes Compare: A Comprehensive Guide
If you want to build a PC in 2023 for gaming or work, you probably noticed that different motherboard sizes and PC component sizes (and shapes) can be confusing for newcomers. Sizes for motherboards are the same everywhere. In fact, if you look around a bit, you’ll find that many parts work together. The process of putting together a personal computer is much, much simpler than one might anticipate once you have decided on a CPU and motherboard pair with the same type of socket (such as AMD’s AM5 socket) and the necessary RAM for the motherboard. Some people even say that it’s like playing with a LEGO set. In light of this, let’s examine the various motherboard sizes, their advantages and disadvantages, and the size that best suits your requirements.
Most likely, you are already familiar with the term ATX, which is frequently used to refer to motherboards. But what exactly is ATX? The acronym ATX, which stands for Advanced Technology eXtended, was developed by Intel. It refers to a standard for motherboard and power supply compatibility in the industry and has since expanded to include PC cases. The PC market became more diverse and more accessible to a larger audience by requiring all manufacturers to use the same standard form factor when producing components.
There are currently a lot of motherboard sizes that are used in the industry, and each one has the same features, benefits, and drawbacks. First, let’s look at the most popular form factor, the ATX.
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A full-size ATX board measures 12 x 9.6 inches in width and height, or 305 x 244 mm. If you are purchasing an ATX motherboard for your build, you should pair it with a PC case that is compatible with ATX. These can either be super-towers, full-towers, center pinnacles, or smaller than normal pinnacles. The board will fit ten times out of ten if the components are designed to work with the ATX file format.
The ATX board is designed to run a wide range of systems. It can support dual or quad-channel memory with at least four RAM DIMMs, giving the user better performance in certain applications than a board that does not support this configuration.
If your case and power supply are capable of powering and housing such a system, you will be able to use up to four GPUs with Nvidia SLI or AMD Crossfire thanks to their seven expansion slots on ATX boards. In addition, users are able to install quality-of-life upgrades like a better network card that can even support WiFi, Bluetooth adapters, sound cards, USB hubs, and more thanks to the large number of expansion slots.
You will have a better experience as a result of the additional SATA and USB header connectors, larger rear IO, and intricate VRM (voltage regulator module) space provided by this type of motherboard to manufacturers.
You are able to run high-end processors and even overclock the processors on unlocked motherboards thanks to their 24-pin power connector and 6-pin CPU connector. P
Have a total IO
A lot of space for heatsinks
Great VRM contrasted with the more modest sheets
Can’t squeeze into reduced structure factor cases
More costly than mATX and little ITX motherboards
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Extended ATX (EATX)
Broadened ATX sheets are marginally greater ATX sheets – I know, sort of paltry. These boards have more connectors because they are slightly larger, measuring 305x330mm (12 x 13 inches as opposed to 12 x 9.6). They once in a while have double attachment support, permitting you to run two computer processors utilizing a similar board, however that is not generally the situation.
Fewer products on the market
Can’t fit in some PC cases
More expensive without adding any real value
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Unlike the other featured motherboard sizes, XL-ATX boards do not adhere to a standard height and width.
However, some support dual sockets and others have more RAM DIMMs and connectors. Only a few manufacturers have released XL-ATX boards in the past decade, making them extremely uncommon. Similarly as with the Drawn out ATX items, they enjoy no unmistakable upper hand over their more modest ATX cousins, other than more memory DIMMs (up to 8) for building strong workstations. So, XL-ATX motherboards are gradually vanishing from the market, so it’s really impossible that you will run into this organization at any point in the near future.
Micro ATX (mATX) boards have a square shape and measure 244x244mm (9.69.6 inches). However, they are expensive due to their obsolescence and low production. They support more memory. They have up to four expansion slots, allowing you to run dual-GPU systems in a few cases, and typically have between 2 and 4 RAM DIMMs, which is great if you want a powerful PC in a small case. You will have sufficient IO to get by. This kind of card often comes with additional features like built-in WiFi, so you won’t have to use one of the few expansion slots to get such a feature.
For about the same amount of money, you can find boards with build quality comparable to that of high-end ATX boards. While you lose a few data sources and results, you gain a more modest structure element and you’ll approach an entirely different setup of PC cases to work in. It is essential to devote sufficient time to cable management for improved airflow when building in a small form factor case and to invest in the appropriate components for a cohesive, well-thought-out rig.
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Mini-ITX boards are the smallest type of board that can still run full-sized PC components and measure 170x170mm (6.76.7 inches). They retain most of the features of ATX but are smaller. They can be included in smaller cases. While mini-ITX boards are more of a compromise, the mATX board can still function in most ways like an ATX board.
On the typical mini-ITX, there are only two RAM DIMMs and one expansion slot. With no help for multi-GPU designs and insufficient ability to run very good quality processors, since the majority of them are controlled utilizing a 4-pin connector, restricting the kind of equipment that you can run productively on such a motherboard. That being said, computer processors are more power-proficient than any time in recent memory, so you can in any case find a lot of loads up that will permit you to overclock, you’re simply not going to arrive at exceptionally high qualities with the restricted VRM and cooling choices.
Mini-ITX Motherboard Mini-ITX Motherboard
Can still run a full-fledged PC
Power delivery is not ideal for high-end components
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What Is the VRM and Why Is It Important for a Well-Built Motherboard?
MOSFETs, chokes, and capacitors make up its components. The distribution of power from the motherboard to the various components is impacted by each of them.
Metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) is its acronym. Although it may seem uninteresting, maintaining a steady current is crucial to the effective operation of your processor. The MOSFETs also amplify or switch the electronic signal to meet the requirements of a specific component, just like the power supply converts alternating currents to direct the current. The gags are inductors that are utilized to restrict the passing DC to a specific recurrence, further guaranteeing a steady voltage while driving your central processor. The way that transistors work is similar.
You should always buy a product with a complex VRM, whether you want to buy a high-end gaming motherboard or snag a good deal on a model that looks good and is made by a business. The higher the number of transistors, chokes, and MOSFETs, the better the performance and reliability.
Ultimately, ensure that your future motherboard has strong state semiconductors. Fluid-based transistors can explode, destroying your components, causing damage to the circuits, and cutting off power to several board sectors.
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What Kind of Board Do You Need?
When it comes to motherboard sizes, it all comes down to personal preference.
A small form factor PC is a great option if you have limited workspace at home or in the workplace. A powerful CPU-GPU combination on a mini-ITX board lets you run demanding software in a small package. Inexperienced PC builders will struggle to obtain good cable management, resulting in poor airflow and high temperatures during larger workloads, even though components for a compact system can be easily sourced. Due to the limited size of the fans, this kind of system will be louder.
I believe that an ATX-based PC is the best option if space is not an issue. You will always receive more features, a better VRM, and improved cooling the majority of the time. You can utilize the development openings to additionally alter your assemble, and you can run strong equipment at incredible temperatures. Middle-tower and full-tower cases support air, hybrid, and water-cooled builds, and the entire building process is much more user-friendly, so cooling will never be a problem.
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