ATX, Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboards? The differences
Published : 11/09/2022 10:00:00
The configuration of an industrial PC requires the selection of many components, including CPU, graphics card, RAM memory and motherboard: the set of printed circuits that form the basis for installation of all the hardware parts of a computer.
Installing a motherboard is not so complicated but it is not so simple choosing the most suitable motherboard: among the factors to be evaluated are the size of the case, the type of power supply, the form factor and the RAM and PCI Express details.
Motherboards, in fact, are available in a wide variety of formats and the 3 most common are the ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards. The difference between the 3 types is not limited to the physical size: so let's compare in detail ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX.
ATX motherboards: the characteristics
ATX is an acronym developed by Intel, which stands for Advanced Technology Extended: a standard designed to ensure compatibility between all ATX-based components. The dimensions of the ATX motherboards exceed those of the Micro ATX and Mini ITX, measuring 305 x 244 mm or 12.0″ x 9.6”. In addition to this, 4 to 8 RAM slots can be present in an ATX motherboard, with a maximum memory capacity of 512 GB.
When it comes to PCI Express slots, ATX motherboards have the advantage of offering at least 3 PCIe, although some high-end models may have up to 5. The pros of an ATX motherboard we can therefore note a high number of PCIe slots, with the possibility of dual GPU and a more RAM memory than other motherboards. On the other hand, ATX cards tend to cost more and the chassis must be large enough.
Micro ATX Motherboard: the specifications
Also in line with the ATX standard, a Micro ATX motherboard has slightly smaller dimensions than an ATX motherboard: 244 x 244 mm or 9.6″ x 9.6″. Square in shape, Micro ATX motherboards typically have 4 RAM slots and support at least 64GB, although some models can go as high as 128GB. Micro ATXs usually have only one PCIe slot and only in some cases up to 3 slots.
The Micro ATX is the type of motherboard that generally is cheaper and offers more, is compatible with most cases and provides excellent memory performance. Among the disadvantages, however, we mention the limited expansion capacity, both RAM and PCIe.
Mini ITX format cards: the properties
The abbreviation ITX instead stands for Information Technology eXtended, a protocol developed by VIA Technologies that is similar to the Intel ATX standard. Mini ITX motherboard are the smallest of the 3 form factors, with compact dimensions of 170 x 170 mm or 6.7″ x 6.7″. They have one or two RAM slots and can accommodate up to 32 GB of memory, if configured in a 2 x 16 GB RAM kit; they also offer only one PCI Express slot.
The ITX motherboard has the advantage of adapting to all cases on the market, allowing you to assemble a complete PC in small spaces; on the other hand, the presence of limited PCI Express slots and RAM memory does not make ITX motherboards suitable for overclocking.
ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX: the Digimax comparison chart
The ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards have different pros and cons, as well as they can be adapted to different uses. To facilitate the analysis between ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX, discover the Digimax comparison table and explore similarities and differences:
The choice of motherboard depends on many factors, first of all the use made of it on the assembled computer: it is the decisive component especially in an industrial PC!
As expert distributors of industrial PC components, you can find the motherboard that best suits your needs in a catalog of over 500 industrial motherboards, fully configurable in form factors, sockets and chipsets, RAM modules, on-board peripherals, expansion buses and much more.
Contact Digimax for advice on motherboards and industrial PCs for automation!