ITX motherboard form factor

ITX motherboard form factor

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ITX motherboard form factor

MI995 Mini-ITX Motherboard form factor
MI995 Mini-ITX Motherboard


VIA Technologies introduced the ITX motherboard form factor in November 2001 as the Mini-ITX, which stands for Information Technology Extensified. Its main purpose is to enable the use of computers and computers that are smaller, more compact. There have been subsequent versions of ITX, including the Nano-ITX that was released in March 2003, the Mobile-ITX that was released in March 2004, and the Pico-ITX that was released in April 2007. ITX motherboards have a small footprint, which makes them suitable for small setups, like cars, network devices, set-top boxes, and other devices. As you can see below, VIA has a wide range of ITX motherboards, so let’s take a look at the picture and comparison.

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Mini ITX 

As someone who is new to the world of small form factor computing (SFF) and industrial computing, you may be wondering what Mini-ITX is. Mini-ITX is a compact motherboard that measures 170 x 170 mm (6.7 x 6.7 inches). A Mini-ITX board has been specifically designed to support computers that require full-featured capabilities in a compact size. They have proved to be popular in both consumer and industrial computer systems for decades.

For the purpose of showcasing chipsets and processors in 2001, VIA Technologies developed the Mini-ITX standard. Industrial hardware builders were especially interested in this form factor because it provided many of the same capabilities and connectivity options as larger boards while using less power and consuming less space. Due to their ability to cool fanlessly, mini-ITX boards are ideal for industrial and embedded applications requiring high reliability in challenging environments. When Mini-ITX boards were first introduced to the US market in 2003, OnLogic was among the first companies to make them available. 

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Mini-ITX Motherboard Size Comparison

A Standard-ATX motherboard measures 305 x 244 mm (12 x 9.6 in) and is commonly used in consumer and enthusiast PCs. In industrial installations where space is at a premium, ATX boards are prohibitively large due to their not-so-small size. Due to the number of components on ATX boards, they require a lot more power and, therefore, cooler. 

As you can see in the image below, Micro-ATX boards are a relatively common alternative to ATX boards, as they have a smaller size and fewer expansion options.

It is generally agreed that Mini-ITX motherboards are an ideal combination of performance, size, cooling options, and power consumption. However, if space savings and low power consumption are even more important to you, there are also a number of even smaller motherboards available.

It met with some early adoption, particularly in digital entertainment, as VIA Technologies introduced the Nano-ITX form factor in 2003. Nano-ITX motherboards measure 120 x 120 mm (4.72 x 4.72 in). 

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NUC compute

A NUC computer or motherboard is a small and powerful computer that weighs about 16 ounces (4.4 lbs) and measures 101.16 x 101.16 mm (4 x 4 in). NUC computers and motherboards continue to be a popular choice for consumers and businesses alike.

In 2007, VIA Technologies introduced Pico-ITX motherboards. Because of their size, they are often used in embedded applications.

The Raspberry Pi, another example of a single board computer (SBC), is a combination of a motherboard as well as storage, memory, and other onboard processing in a single piece of plastic. There are many other motherboard sizes and single board computing (SBC) solutions.

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Advantages of Mini-ITX

There are several advantages to mini-ITX over its larger (and smaller) counterparts. The Mini-ITX form factor is unique for every application, so you will need to determine which form factor best matches your requirements. But here’s a look at what Mini-ITX motherboards offer.

In applications where space is limited, Mini-ITX PCs are ideal.

High performance while being power efficient: Low power processors generate less heat, enhancing the lifespan of the computer, while still providing high performance, particularly when coupled with the latest onboard graphics modules.

A Mini-ITX board that is manufactured off the shelf is a cost-effective and fast way to get to market: Mini-ITX boards are ready-made to be quickly adapted to a wide range of needs.

The Mini-ITX platform has been in existence for over two decades, and there are hundreds of boards and enclosures to choose from. This offers a wide range of suppliers and an established ecosystem that makes Mini-ITX a very cost-effective platform.

Industrial solutions are available as well: It is because of the manufacturers’ flexibility that they are able to offer boards in various temperature ranges, rugged designs, fan-less varieties, and options with long lifecycles.

Thanks to the capabilities of solution providers like OnLogic, a Mini-ITX motherboard can be configured in a highly customized manner due to its modularity and selection of pin headers.

The above information should answer any questions you have regarding Mini-ITX and its comparison to other motherboard sizes. If you would like to see what systems we offer using one of these small form factors, please browse our full selection of Mini-ITX systems.

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Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX vs ATX: A Size Comparison

A micro-ATX (mATX) motherboard has a smaller footprint than a mini-ITX motherboard, according to its dimensions:

Standard ATX: 12.0″ x 9.6″

Micro-ATX: 9.6″ x 9.6″

Mini-ITX: 6.7″ x 6.7″


The mATX motherboards are the same width as the standard ATX motherboards, but they are just a few inches shorter, making them more suitable for multiple PCIe devices and multi-GPU setups. Because of this size advantage, standard ATX motherboards are able to offer more PCIe lanes.

As opposed to micro-ATX motherboards, mini-ITX motherboards are shorter in height and width. As opposed to standard ATX and micro-ATX motherboards, these motherboards are typically smaller in size. They usually only feature one PCIe lane. They are typically compatible with smaller form-factor cases as well.

As a result of the sizes of the motherboards, you will mostly be limited to the PC case you can use.

The possibility of using a micro-ATX motherboard in a small form-factor gaming computer is particularly high. The same applies to standard ATX motherboards.


In contrast, if you opt for a larger case, almost any motherboard will fit into it, as most medium to large cases will accommodate motherboards that have a smaller form factor. The components of your mini-ITX motherboard will look scrunched up in the top left corner of the case, so you may not want to put it in a larger case from an aesthetic standpoint.)

I think it is important to note that this isn’t always true, since a standard ATX or mATX motherboard normally cannot be used with a mini-ITX case, or a standard ATX motherboard can’t be used with a micro-ATX case.

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The Pros and Cons of Each Form-Factor

Perhaps you are thinking, “Isn’t bigger better when it comes to motherboards and cases?”?”?

This article discusses the three most popular motherboard form-factors. Each form-factor makes more sense in different scenarios than the others.

The purpose of this section is to give you a better understanding of each form-factor’s advantages and disadvantages.


ATXThis model is better suited for overclocking • It is more aesthetically pleasing • It has more PCIe lanes • It has a larger memory  capacity• Expensive • Not compatible with most smaller cases
Micro-ATX• It is the least expensive option when building a PC with only one GPU
Small size allows it to fit into pretty much any case. Larger RAM capacity than mini-ITX models
• Cannot be used with multiple GPUs
• Typically lacking in aesthetics and not suitable for extreme overclocking
Mini-ITXCompared to micro-ATX, it has better aesthetics.• Not ideal for extreme overclocking •

 More expensive than micro-ATX •

 Not a good fit in larger cases

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