Mini-ATX, Micro-ATX, and ATX are three form factors used for motherboards. These form factors determine the physical dimensions and layout of the motherboard, which in turn affects the size and compatibility of the computer case. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between them:

  1. ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended): ATX is the standard and most common form factor for desktop motherboards. It typically measures 12 x 9.6 inches (305 x 244 mm). ATX motherboards offer a larger surface area, allowing for more expansion slots, memory slots, and connectors. They are suitable for high-end gaming or workstation builds that require multiple graphics cards, multiple storage drives, and other expansion options. ATX cases are typically larger to accommodate these larger motherboards.
  2. Micro-ATX (mATX): Micro-ATX is a smaller form factor compared to ATX. It measures 9.6 x 9.6 inches (244 x 244 mm). Micro-ATX motherboards usually have fewer expansion slots, memory slots, and connectors compared to ATX, but they are still capable of supporting a decent range of components. Micro-ATX is a popular choice for compact or budget-oriented builds, where space-saving is a consideration but some expansion capability is still desired. Micro-ATX motherboards can fit into both Micro-ATX and ATX computer cases.
  3. Mini-ITX (mITX): Mini-ITX is the smallest mainstream form factor, measuring 6.7 x 6.7 inches (170 x 170 mm). It is significantly smaller than both ATX and Micro-ATX. Due to their size, Mini-ITX motherboards generally have only one expansion slot, limited memory slots, and fewer connectors compared to larger form factors. These motherboards are commonly used in small form factor (SFF) or compact builds where space is a premium, such as home theater PCs or mini gaming rigs. Mini-ITX motherboards require specialized Mini-ITX cases designed to accommodate their smaller size.

In summary, the main differences between these form factors are their size, number of expansion slots, memory slots, and connectors. ATX offers the most expansion options, Micro-ATX provides a balance between size and expandability, while Mini-ITX prioritizes compactness at the cost of reduced expansion capability. The choice of form factor depends on the specific requirements and constraints of the build, such as available space, desired functionality, and budget.

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