Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX: What You Should Know About Each

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When you’re building a computer, one of the most critical pieces is the motherboard. In your search for which parts to use, you'll discover that there are two main motherboard formats, the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX.

When comparing the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, you may have many questions about the differences. These questions are probably why you’re searching for information comparing the two.

Building a computer is a complicated process, and understanding what each part you purchase does is vital. When looking at the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what each does. Most importantly, make sure you know the answer to the question, what are the Mini ITX and Micro ATX, and what do they do?

What Is The Mini ITX?

To compare the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, we need to know what a Mini ITX is. A Mini ITX is a compact motherboard designed to support relatively low-cost computers in small spaces.


This type of motherboard is in automobiles, set-top boxes, and network devices. As it’s meant for small spaces, it’s incredibly tiny, measuring 6.75 inches by 6.75 inches. The power supply is less than 100 watts with the processors running on very low power.


Video, audio and local area network (LAN) connection are built into the Mini ITX. It also comes with two Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports.


Additionally, it comes with a serial and parallel port, audio input and output, and a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slot that can support up to two devices.

A computer built with a Mini ITX could be for simple everyday tasks.


Anything beyond email, browsing the internet, and using basic programs would likely be too much for a Mini ITX computer to handle.

What Is The Micro ATX?

To accurately compare the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, we need to know precisely what a Micro ATX is and what it does. A Micro ATX is the type of motherboard that has become the standard for computers. First introduced in December of 1997, a Micro ATX is generally 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches. However, some are made to be slightly smaller.


Most modern Micro ATX motherboards have a maximum of four peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slots. To conserve expansion slots and space inside the case, many manufacturers produce Micro ATX motherboards with a full range of integrated peripherals. For example, features such as integrated graphics, HD Audio, and Ethernet are integrated into the motherboard to conserve space and free up expansion slots.


Micro ATX computers can be for gaming as well as everyday tasks — these motherboards most commonly used by those building gaming computers. Their popularity comes from their balance of performance, size, and price.

What Does A Motherboard Do?

A motherboard is a printed circuit board that allows the CPU, RAM, and all other pieces of the computer to communicate with each other. It’s like the spine of your PC, and it’s the link between all the different components inside the computer.


There are vast differences between the motherboards of different brands. For example, the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX is very different in size and number of expansion slots.

A motherboard from one manufacturer will support a single type of CPU and a few different types of memory.


Other peripherals such as video cards and hard drives may not be compatible. As a result, when building your PC, it’s essential to make sure that all the parts you’re buying are compatible.

What Factors Should You Consider When Purchasing A Motherboard?

motherboard

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The motherboard is arguably the most critical component to consider when building a PC. Everything runs through the motherboard, so even if the rest of your ingredients are high caliber, if the motherboard is terrible, the PC will run poorly. As a result, it’s essential to make sure that you purchase a high-quality motherboard.


When looking for a motherboard, there are six main factors to consider: form factor, processor socket, random access memory (RAM), PCI slots, features, and SATA. As a result, when comparing the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, it’s vital to consider these factors.

Form factor

Processor socket

RAM

PCI slots

Features

SATA

Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX

ASUS ROG Strix B450-I Gaming AMD AM4 (3rd/2nd /1stGen Ryzen ITX SFF...
  • Powered by 2nd generation AMD Ryzen AM4 processors to maximize connectivity and speed with dual NVMe M.2, USB 3.1 Gen2,...
  • 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and Fan Xpert 4 automatically tailors overclocking profiles to your unique build for...
  • Aura Sync RGB lighting plus 2 additional RGB headers provide a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to...
Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming (Intel LGA1151/Z390/Micro ATX/M.2/Realtek...
  • Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel Core processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4
  • New 10+2 Phases digital PWM Design
Comparing the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX is a challenging task. Each has its benefits and detriments. As a result, the best way to compare the two is to look at the pros and cons.

Pros of the Mini ITX

Pros of the Micro ATX

Cons of the Mini ITX

Cons of the Micro ATX

Mini ITX Vs. Micro ATX: Which Is Better?

When comparing the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, it’s essential to consider that each is designed for different types of computer builds. However, with that in mind, Micro ATX motherboards are more versatile and are more popular for a reason. They have more processing power, with more expansion slots, while still being relatively small.


A Mini ITX motherboard is generally only used for the most compact of computer builds. Additionally, they’re more expensive without being able to provide the same features as a Micro ATX motherboard.


Ultimately, however, when comparing the Mini ITX vs. Micro ATX, we can’t tell you which motherboard is better for you. Each has their strengths, and their weaknesses, and which is better for you depends on what type of PC you want to build.


Are you building a computer on your own for the first time? What motherboard are you leaning toward buying? Let us know in the comments!

Janice Friedman

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