Difference Between ITX and ATX: ITX vs ATX Motherboards

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ITX vs ATX Difference

If you want to build a new computer, you should know what does ATX and ITX stand for. Both are motherboard form factors that vary in size and features. Which should you opt for: mini ITX vs micro ATX?

By learning the difference between ITX and ATX, you can get an idea about which form factor will suit you best for your computer build. The size that you choose will decide what PC case you can use, as they vary in dimensions.

Some people might want to opt for a standard motherboard size, thinking that bigger is better. But the truth is that each of these form factors can make a better choice in given scenarios. Let’s get into the ATX vs ITX differences to know which one suits your needs.

Read: What is the Difference Between Frequency and Bandwidth?

Difference Between ITX and ATX Motherboards?

ATX Motherboard

ATX is short for Advanced Technology Extended. There are different variants in ATX motherboards.

  • There are the mini ATX, Micro ATX and Standard ATX formats.
  • The standard format has dimensions of 12 inches by 9.6 inches.
  • Mini ATX has a footprint of less than 11.2 x 8.2 inches.
  • Micro ATX are much smaller at 9.6 x 9.6 inches.

ITX Motherboard

It is short for Information Technology Extended and is a smaller form factor of motherboards.

  • It was first introduced in 2001 by VIA Technologies, beginning with the MIni -ITX.
  • Later, there were other versions, known as the Nano-ITX, Mobile ITX, the Pico ITX and the micro ITX.
  • The Micro ITX measure 9.6 x 9.6 inches.
  • The Mini ITX measures 6.7 x 6.7 inches. The Nano ITX measures 4.7 x 4.7 inches, The Pico ITX measures 2.8 x 3.9 inches and the Mobile ITX is 2.4 x 2.4 inches.

Comparing ITX and ATX

Difference ATX and ITX Motherboards
Source: gaminginmydna.com
  • As can be seen, ITX motherboards come in smaller dimensions compared to ATX ones.
  • Mini ITX motherboards are small in height and width when compared to Micro ATX ones.
  • MIni ITX motherboards come with only a single PCle lane.

However, the advantage with smaller motherboards is that they offer compatibility with many form factor cases, as compared to the standard ATX or micro ATX ones.

The size of the motherboards is important for determining the PC case that you can use with them. For instance, if you wish to build a smaller form factor computer, you cannot use the Standard ATX or even the micro ATX.

Comparing the Benefits of ATX and ITX Motherboards

Standard ATX or Full ATX Boards

  • Standard ATX is well suited for overclocking.
  • It is also a better choice if you are looking at aesthetics.
  • It has more number of PCle lanes and will need full-size ATX cases.
  • The RAM capacity is higher in this case.

If you want to overclock the processor or build a computer with several graphics cards, you need to go in for the high end, Standard ATX motherboard.

Micro ATX

  • It is a cheaper option as compared to the Standard ATX.
  • It is suitable for use in a single GPU computer build.
  • It can be easily fitted in many cases.
Micro ATX vs Mini ITX
Image: picochip.com
  • The RAM capacity is less than Standard ATX but more than the mini ITX.
  • It is suitable for building a budget friendly gaming computer. They have all the features that are present in the Standard ATX, but come with fewer PCle slots and the aesthetics are less pleasing.

Mini ITX

  • It is a suitable option in case you are using a smaller case.
  • The aesthetics are better as compared to the micro ATX.

However, the advantage with smaller motherboards is that they offer compatibility with many form factor cases, as compared to the standard ATX or micro ATX ones.

If you want to overclock the processor or build a computer with several graphics cards, you need to go in for the high end, Standard ATX motherboard.

Micro ATX vs Mini ITX

The Mini – ITX and Micro – ATX both have a small form factor and offer plenty of features.

  • A Mini ITX motherboard would cost less compared to a Micro ATX system. This is because the former needs a smaller case, so all costs are reduced. The components of the Micro ATX are also more exotic as compared to the Mini ITX.
  • When comparing the Mini ITX vs Micro ATX size, as can be seen above, the Micro ATX is larger in size.
  • As for performance, Mini ITX have the upper hand here. Mini ITX boards are easily able to overclock a full sized ATX motherboard. They can easily handle massive and graphics intensive games.

The size of the motherboards is important for determining the PC case that you can use with them. For instance, if you wish to build a smaller form factor computer, you cannot use the Standard ATX or even the micro ATX.

  • Micro ATX boards have been around much longer than the Mini ITX boards. Hence, you have many options based on your preference and price range. There is a shortage of variety in case of Mini ITX boards.

Also See: Difference Between ASCII and Unicode: Unicode vs ASCII

Wrap Up – ATX vs ITX Motherboard 

When building a computer, one of the most fundamental pieces of hardware you will need is the motherboard. There are different types of motherboards based on their dimensions and features, such as ATX and ITX.

A case that is designed for one motherboard variant might not be suitable for another motherboard. The case that you use for your computer has to match the form factor of the motherboard.

Of course, there are some cases that could accommodate various form factors, but it is better to check before building a computer.

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