The most difficult task in buying or building your own PC is choosing the individual parts for your rig. These, in turn, depend upon the purpose of building/buying your PC and the size of PC that you desire: do you want it for your professional work or it to be a beast of a gaming machine? Are you confused about the Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX? Which one is better?
Then comes the question of where to place it. Do you want to put it in your living room alongside your consoles for a cool look, or are you willing to put up the behemoth of a rig on top of your gaming table, where cooling and more PCIe and M.2 slots are more important than aesthetics?
Say you’ve decided what you’ll use your PC for. But what about its components? Specifically, the motherboard, the key to powering it all up. You have to choose between AMD and Intel motherboards.
The different uses between the two
Depending on the CPU manufacturer, you might want to switch things up because certain types of sockets only work with either of the two companies dominating the CPU market. Then comes the question of choosing motherboards. What form factor will you choose – the all-purpose, budget-oriented Micro-ATX or its smaller, portable Mini-ITX?
Micro-ATX: bridging the gap between the tiny Mini-ITX and the good ol’ ATX
If you’re a beginner who’s looking into the big, wide world of PCs and confused between Micro-ATX vs Mini-ITX motherboard, here’s the bottom line. An ATX motherboard may not be the best choice for you. Sure, it’s the most used form factor and plenty of gamers have it in their system, but it’s also rather large for someone taking their first steps into the PC aisle.
Heck, if you want a system for your office work, you’re better off not going with an ATX motherboard. Furthermore, it’s also expensive and too clunky looking to belong on an office desk. Enter the Micro-ATX form factor.
With its easy-to-fit and less power-consuming design, Micro-ATX motherboards are the best if you wish to wish to go with a budget-friendly option. While a Micro-ATX motherboard may not possess as many PCIe slots as an ATX board, they are ideal for any enthusiasts who have no use for an enormous amount of PCIe slots.
In fact, multi-GPU setups are non-existent since Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture, and the only demographic that uses such setups, miners, has no use for either of the three aforementioned form factors. This makes Micro-ATX motherboards the best bang-for-your-buck option in today’s hardware market.
Mini-ITX: Build your pixel-crushing PC in an inconspicuous form factor
Moving on to the motherboard type with the smallest dimensions, the Mini-ITX may not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to selecting your motherboard. It comes with limited RAM slots and a single PCIe slot for plugging in your GPU, yet it’s pricier than the other two.
However, it more than makes up for its flaws with its small design that can fit into the smallest cases you will find in your nearest hardware store. Not to mention, with its portability and compactness, you will be surprised at how simple and convenient it is to carry one with you when you need the horsepower of a PC to get things done.
— Development Information (@development_rt) February 3, 2022
Consider the following scenario: Your group of friends has decided to hold a LAN party for a local co-op session in a multiplayer game. A laptop won’t quite cut it for you in this scenario. You’ll need something that’s compact and portable enough to fit in the back of your car without the bottlenecks of a laptop.
The best solution, in this case, is to put together a system with a Mini-ITX motherboard as the heart of the PC. Similarly, in case you wish to play games in your living room and don’t the computer to stand out, the Mini-ITX will be the perfect form factor for you.
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been taken by Alexandre Debiève.