Micro ATX vs Mini ITX: Which is the Best Form Factor

If you are a person who loves to play games on their PCs then you must understand that the motherboard is the base of your Central Processing Unit (CPU). The motherboard has the capacity to decide what type of hardware can be connected to your PC. 

Micro ATX VS Mini ITX

There are a number of sizes and formats available in the motherboards but few are important and significant. There are two most known important formats and sizes named; Micro ATX and Mini ITX. 

This is not enough that you came across these two new terms regarding your motherboard. It is not easy to decide which one is to be selected for your motherboard to have the better and smooth working of your PC. 

That is the reason that today in this article you will get a chance to go through the comparison of these two significant items. Furthermore, at the very last of this reading, you will be provided with the recommendation given by deep research. 

Just without wasting any second, let us begin with the main goal of this article. Down below is the comparison between Micro ATX and the Mini ITX which will guide you best. 

The difference between Micro ATX and Mini ITX can be found by knowing about the pros and cons of both form factor motherboards.

Micro ATX

Micro ATX comes with some benefits and a few disadvantages when it is compared with its counterparts. 

Pros
  • Micro ATX is best made and it fits in any case due to the perfection of its size.
  • It takes less space and if you want the PC to acquire less space Micro ATX is the best.
  • This is best for the high powered processors.
  • Micro ATX has more RAM slots and capacity than Mini ITX.
  • Micro ATX have greater expansion
Cons
  • If ATX is needed to attach with Micro ATX, unfortunately, there is no room for this.
  • They are less in demand then the Mini ITX.

Mini ITX

Similarly. Mini ITX is in high demand when it is compared with Micro ATX. The benefits it has over the other competing formats are as under.

Pros
  • Mini ITX has a higher variety of products that makes it unique among others.
  • It has a longer life cycle that increases its demand.
  • Its small size makes it very convenient and easy in mobility.
  • Mini ITX is fanless and they have rugged specifications.
Cons
  • The very common known issue with Mini ITX is that it has very little Input and Output ports.
  • With mini ITX you have to buy an SFX power supply that is too expensive.

Quick Summary

Micro ATX Mini ITX
It is larger in height and widthIt is smaller in height and width
It can feature 4 PCIe slotsIt can only feature a single PCIe slots
It is not compatible with the small form factor casesIt is compatible with the small form factor cases
It is larger at 244 by 244mmIt is smaller at 170 by 170mm
It can support up to four memory slotsIt only supports two memory slots
Its power supplies are smallerIt is supplied with SFX which is expensive
It is more affordable when it comes to priceIt is expensive due to power supplies that are not affordable.

Qualities That Differentiate Micro ATX and Mini ITX

The following are the qualities that differentiate both Micro ATX and Mini ITX. 

Shopping Options

 ATX and Mini ITX shopping option

When it comes to shopping the best size and format for the motherboard, this all depends on your priorities and needs. Just take it as an example that you are looking for something compact, Mini ITX is the best as it has got more attention from enterprising modders and case manufactures. Furthermore, Mini ITX is also known for its more frequent gaps. 

Micro ATX, on the other hand, is a mature and fine technology with a wider board range. If you are among those who just want to have a tower then Macro ATX is the best option to go. In short, the option to shop the best from Macro ATX and Mini ITX depends totally on your needs and as per your needs, you have to shop one. 

Price

Micro ATX vs Mini price

Micro ATX has more cost than Mini ITX because the cases and the motherboard are big in the case of Micro ATX. This simply reflects that more raw material is used in the manufacturing process and makes it a bit difficult to manufacture.

But Mini ITX has a low cost in comparison to Micro ATX. The motherboards and cases are small in sizes that reflect that they use less amount of raw materials. This makes it easy in manufacturing. The issue comes when it talks about the usage of the power supply. The Mini ITX uses a PSU known as SFX. This power supply is more expensive and Mini ITX results in more cost. 

Design

Motherboard Design

AS the sizes are different the design of both the Micro ATX and Mini ITX has remained slightly different. Micro ATX design provides not enough space for attaching any other vital part to the motherboard. While in Mini ITX it has enough room for other parts to be connected. 

Mini ITX has less clearance because it is usually small without modular cabling. Just take an example of Cooler Master 130 Elite, it takes a normal and regular-sized PSU. Whereas the Micro ATX such as Corsair 350D, a tower-like, has accessible fan mounts, tower drive cages and motherboard connectors. 

But Micro ATX has been designed with 4 PCIe slots that are important as they provide the opportunity to connect graphics card, peripheral device card, sound cards, and Internal Model. Whereas, Mini ITX is only made with one PCIe slot that minimizes its benefits.   

Size

motherboard sizes

When it comes to the size of Micro ATX, it is bigger and takes more space. While the Mini ITX is by name representing its size and it provides room for connecting other important hardware. Micro ATX is made with standards for motherboards size and it is 9.6 × 9.6 that is to say 244 by 244mm. 

Mini ITX is the smallest size for the motherboard and it has less space for other tasks as well. The standard size of Mini ITX is 17 × 17 cm that is 6.7 × 6.7 in. The size of a Mini ITX in mm is 170 by 170. 

Performance

motherboard Performance

Micro ATX has a very excellent performance that it provides at a very low price. In Micro ATX if you want to run more video cards you have that option. 

Whereas, Mini ITX provides per square inch of your PC with better performance. Mini ITX has the capacity to overclock by giving extra voltage-regulation on a riser card. 

RAM Capacity

RAM Capacity

Those who love to play games on their PCs know this better than the more the RAM is installed the more the better performance will be. In comparing both Micro ATX and Mini ITX we found that out of the two Micro ATX has 4 RAM slots that make the motherboard and your PC work faster than Mini ITX. 

Mini ITX, on the other hand, has two slots that only accommodate a RAM of 16 GB. This means that if you want to install one more RAM and you desire to have your RAM to be 32 GB you cannot afford it in your PC with Mini ITX. Well, the good thing to ponder here is that the games in the present era require only a RAM of 16 GB.   

PCIe Slots

PCIe Slots

PCIe slots are capable of connecting more cards such as sound cards, peripheral device cards, graphic cards, and internal models. This thing has its own importance for gaming PCs. While comparing the Micro ATX and Mini ITX it can be summarized that Micra ATX is better than the Mini ITX.

Mini ITX comes with 1 PCIe slot that makes it to attach only two cards and the rest of desire cannot be attached. Besides, Micro ATX is loaded with 4 PCIe slots. That enhances their capability to install more cards and this makes it faster, stable, and capable.  

Compatibility

The compatibility of Micro ATX and Mini ITX can be understood easily by comparing the above-mentioned qualities such as RAM slots, PCIe slots, price, size, and shopping. 

Finally, after comparing the above-mentioned qualities we come to this conclusion that Mini ITX seems to be cheaper but it is not true as Mini ITX requires a power supply that is SFX. Power supply SFX is expensive and this increases the price of Mini ITX. Whereas, Micro ATX is cheaper and better compatible with its overall performance and qualities.   

Dimensions 

For describing the dimensions we need to look towards the sizes of both Micro ATX and Mini ITX. The size of the Micro ATX is 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm and the Mini ITX is 17 cm x 17 cm. Mini ITX comes in square design and Micro ATX is also square in design.  

The biggest difference can only be easily understandable from the above-mentioned dimensions. These dimensions best explain which motherboard can feature more PCIe slots. This can help those users who use Multi-GPU setups. 

Updating Options

Many gaming players and computer builders love to expand their system from time to time for having all the new features. 

However, the use of Mini ITX cannot offer the option for future expansion and the user has to rely on the outdated system until he goes to buy the new one. 

Here it is recommended to use Micro ATX motherboard so that you can enjoy four RAM slots and can expand your system accordingly. 

Also, the Mini ITX has only one slot for cards. In this case, you remain unable to add more USB slots and sound cards and have to rely on the slow and poorly working system. 

Which One You Should Choose

The type of the form factor motherboard depends on the type of PC which you select for your system. First, decide clearly about building the type of computer system and then go for purchasing the right motherboard that can meet all the requirements. 

For Desktop PC

When you want a computer system for watching movies, browsing, and occasional office work then you must go for Micro ATX because it performs the functions perfectly. 

It provides you with comfort while making it compatible with motherboards with big dimensions. In addition to this, it is available at an affordable price and you can easily buy it from the market. 

Moreover, the ready-made CPU for desktop also has a Micro ATX motherboard to perform the functions effectively. 

However, when you want to assemble it separately then you can go for Mini ITX motherboard of your desired size. 

For Gaming PC

For those people who love to play games on their computer system, Micro ATX motherboard is the best option because it allows them to integrate more RAM to make the system smoothly functional. 

Moreover, Micro ATX is the best option for having a Dual-GPU setup. This is the best option because it can provide you with extra empty PCIe slots for future expansion. The computer system can be upgraded later.

However, the question of the space is more critical as it can change your decision. When there is a small space and you cannot expand it then you must go for a Mini ITX motherboard. 

Furthermore, the size of the graphic card is also essential to consider because it takes up space. So it must be small in size. And the slots are to be towards the edge to make the task easy.

In this way, the airflow can be made easy and smooth for the proper running of the system. This is essential for keeping your system with the use of a cooling system. 

Therefore, Micro ATX is best for the gaming PC. 

For Workstation

When you want to build a workstation, then it is recommended that you must go for Mini ITX because it does not need high RAM and can easily fulfill your requirements.

Moreover, the use of Mini ITX for your workstation does not need an extra graphics card for gaming and heavy workload, but it works best with all its features. 

Also, the Mini ITX requires a small space and you need not worry about the placement of it. 

Heat dissipation is another factor that makes Mini ITX best for the workstation so that your system could not get warm during playing the games or performing the heavy tasks. 

Conclusion

When you want to know about the form factors in motherboard then this article is all-in-all for you to guide in the right direction. By reading the above detail you can know each and everything about the two main types of factor forms of the motherboard.

Whether you are looking for a home desktop or fond of a monster gaming ring, these factor forms serve best to fulfill your needs in the right way. Furthermore, you can also know other details by reading the FAQ section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many customers have numerous questions before buying the form factor for their system. Some of the questions are answered below to assist you and all such customers in the right way.

Can Micro ATX fit in a Mini ITX case?

No, it is not possible to make Micro ATX fit in a Mini ITX case. It is due to the varying size of both cases.

Micro ATX is slightly larger than the Mini ITX and the inner space of both the cases is also different. So it will be hard to close and fix the case after placing all the essential components.

Is Micro ATX suitable for gaming?

Micro ATX cannot be taken as the best option for Gaming because it has a limited expansion space.

However, the ATX form factor motherboard can be a better option because it provides the space of four RAM slots and makes it easy to expand the system in the future while maintaining the previous data on the computer.

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