Know the most important facts about a motherboard. Learn about the different types of it like – ATX, m-ATX, Mini ITX & E-ATX, and their specific features.
Choosing the perfect motherboard for your PC is not easy. It depends on various essential facts such as the number of expansion slots, hardware support systems, etc. Before selecting a motherboard you also need to consider its working capabilities and limitations. In addition to that, the external physical size and shape (form factor) of a motherboard also play a critical role when choosing it. Hence, in this article, we’ll present to you the four types of motherboards- ATX, m-ATX, Mini ITX & E-ATX.
Before that, let me share with you a quick tip… Do you know motherboards come with different types of chipsets, such as B550 and X570 for the AMD RYZEN 5000 platform and Z690 chipset mobo for the Intel 12th gen platform? So, before selecting a mobo, you must select CPU and then select which types of chipset-based motherboard you want.
Types of Motherboard Form Factors
Whatever motherboard you choose it’ll greatly affect the performance of the PC. And this article will provide you with information about different types of motherboards and their usage.
The first one to start this discussion among these motherboards is ATX. Because of its perfect features, it is preferred as the first choice by many PC builders. The size of these motherboards is around 12” x 9.6”, with 2 to 4 PCle slots for multiple graphics cards and video carts. Since the ATX motherboard is widely used by most PC builders, it is more easily accessible than any other option. Moreover, the RAM slots of ATX motherboards come with 4 DIMM slots to support dual and quad-channel memory.
- ATX motherboard is best for multiple GPU cards
- An IO section with several ports
- Chance of expansion
- Not the best choice for a small PC building
- Expensive than other motherboards
An m-ATX motherboard is literally the smaller version of ATX with the same benefits. It also supports the same hardware components as well. But since it is smaller in size it has fewer slots such as 2 PCle slots and 2 RAM slots. Besides that, compared to ATX motherboards, it has fewer chances for future expansion. However, this motherboard is more affordable and because of its convenient size, you can use it even on smaller PCs.
- Affordable than other models
- Best choice for small PCs
- Compatible with ATX models as well
- Less room for expansion
- Not preferred for overclocking
Just as the name suggests it is the smallest motherboard around the corner for standard-size hardware components. With around 6.7” x 6.7” in size, this motherboard can only afford 2 RAM slots. Additionally, with these motherboards, it is not possible to build a multi GPU setup as there is only one slot for that. However, mini- ITX motherboards are cheap in price and can easily fit inside any small size PC.
- Helps in compact PC building
- Works on standard-size hardware components
- Fits well on small cabinets
- Low performance on VRM and heatsinks
- Not good for overclocking
E-ATX motherboards are slightly bigger in size as compared to ATX motherboards. It is basically the extended version of ATX motherboards with around 12” x 13” in size. It works the same as the ATX motherboards, but it has a few more expansion slots and heats sinks since it’s bigger in size.
Moreover, an E-ATX motherboard can have up to 8 RAM slots and 2 CPU sockets for a high-end performance of your PC. You should pick E-ATX motherboard if have are buying a big GPU and high-end processors such as i9 12900K, Ryzen 9 5900X. You must have a look at the pick of the i9 12900K motherboard. If you ask me what type of form factor I prefer, then my answer will ATX. But, it depends on various factors such as PC case size, GPU, CPU and cooler.
- Can support dual CPU socket
- Availability of more RAM slots
- An abundance of expansion slots
- Difficult to find
As I have talked about the most popular common types of motherboard sizes. If you are an enthusiast PC builder, then you must try the ATX form factor motherboard or E-ATX.