So you are planning to buy a new motherboard and don’t know if that would fit in your PC case or not, right? As you know that motherboards come in sizes also know as form factors. Picking the right motherboard is an integral part of a PC building process. Also, it’s the form factor of your motherboard that decides the number of components that you can install on it later on.
Basically, motherboards come in three different sizes or form factors.
ATX motherboards are meant for spacious PC cases whereas the Micro and Mini-ITX boards are specifically made for smaller cases.
Diagram and Sizes of Motherboards
ATX or Standard-ATX
The ATX is a standard-size motherboard you will find in the market. This type of motherboard is 305mm in length and 244mm in width. If you are concerned about adding multiple components to your computer, then going for an ATX motherboard is the best option.
Standard ATX motherboards are highly compatible with full or mid-tower PC cases. ATX motherboard gives you plenty of headroom for upgradability as compared to Micro and Mini-ITX mobos.
The Micro-ATX mobo is a bit shorter (2.4 inches shorter) as compared to the standard-ATX motherboard. It’s is almost equal in length and width from all sides (244mm L x 244m W). Micro-ATX motherboards can easily fit in micro-ATX PC cases without any hassle.
Mini-ITX or Small Form Factor
Mini-ITX motherboards are compact and smaller in size as compared to ATX and Micro-ATX boards. These types of motherboards can easily fit in small form factor PC cases, mid-tower, or standard ATX PC cases. There is limited room for upgradability in these mini-ITX boards. You can install a maximum of one graphics card and a limited amount of ram (if extra slots are available).
The table below can give you a better idea of which type of motherboard fits in what kind of PC case:
|Motherboard Form Factor||Type of PC Case|
|Standard ATX||Full ATX & Mid Tower|
|Micro-ATX||Full ATX & Mid Tower|
|Mini-ITX||Full ATX, Mid Tower, and Mini-ITX Cases|
Keep in mind that the Standard ATX motherboard cannot fit in mini-ITX cases. However, mini-ITX can easily fit in a full ATX, mid-tower, or mini-ITX PC case without any problem.
How Much to Spend on a Motherboard
The budget you spend on a motherboard will decide the performance of your PC and room for upgradability. Here’s a rough idea of how much you should spend on a motherboard
Well at this price you can expect an AMD chipset with overclocking ability. However, you cannot expect a reliable Intel motherboard under $100 that can let you overlock your CPU. But under this budget, you can expect a motherboard to be equipped with everything you need for gaming i.e GPU slot, enough DIMM slots, onboard Wi-Fi, etc
Up to $150
At this price range, you can expect some of the best motherboards with the Z390 or Z490 chipsets. At this much budget, you can expect a motherboard to overclock a high-end CPU like Core i9 9900K. Also, you can get your hands on an X570 chipset from AMD that comes with RGB lights, more DIMM slots, and other PCIe expansion slots.
Between $200 to $250
Now you will come across a motherboard with a premium look, tons of RGB lightings, and better VRMs to squeeze more juice in overclocking. Also at this price level, you’ll find USB 3.0 or 3.1 Gen 2 slots. Also, in this category, there’s plenty of headroom adding more peripherals.
This is where you get the mainstream motherboards in the industry. By spending over $250, you get a motherboard with plenty of expansion slots, high-quality MOSFETS, beefy heat sinks, RGB lights, and extreme overclocking abilities. High-end motherboards usually come in standard ATX form factor.
You now have enough knowledge about motherboards and their compatibility with respect to different PC cases. Usually, when you buy a new motherboard there’s everything mentioned on the box. Knowing about the form factor of your motherboard can help you choose the right PC case for it.
Hi, my name is Masab, the founder and senior author of Computerzilla. I fell in love with computers in 1997 when I visited a computer lab in my school. My first PC was a Pentium 1 clocked at 133 MHz, and believe me that old mate taught me a lot of things. Yes, it was hard to play games on that old PC, which forced me to learn more and more about upgrading a computer. So here I am to answer all of your queries related to PC equipment, laptops, common windows errors, and whatever I know the best.