If you are planning to build your own computer, knowing the differences between the various motherboard sizes available is extremely important. I didn’t know that when I first build my first PC many years ago and the result was disastrous.
But today I am here to help you get that sorted and understand what are the different motherboard sizes available today with an easy to follow motherboard size comparison chart.
We’ll have more details on this matter in this article, but let’s get started with the main thing you came here to see: the actual motherboard size comparison chart!
|ATX||12 inches||9.6 inches|
|Micro ATX||9.6 inches||9.6 inches|
|Mini ATX||11.2 inches||8.2 inches|
|E – ATX||12 inches||13 inches|
|WTX||14 inches||16.75 inches|
|FlexATX||9 inches||7.5 inches|
If you prefer a visual look instead, check out the image below:
If you want to learn more about the sizes, the role of the motherboard in a desktop system and much more – read on! You’ll be a motherboard expert in no time!
What is a motherboard?
The motherboard is one extremely important part of a computer. It is the central communication hub of the computer or laptop. You can also see it called a circuit board, mainboard or logic board.
Technically represented by a printed circuit board which offers the connectors and components for the device it is used on.
It basically allows the electronic components of the computer to communicate and operate as a whole, basically laying the foundation for your computer.
These components include the processor, connectors, RAM memory, graphics card and so on.
What are the different sizes of a Motherboard?
As you saw in the chart above, there are 6 main motherboard sizes:
- FlexATX (9″ x 7.5″)
- MicroATX (9.6″ x 9.6″)
- Mini ATX (11.2″ x 8.2″)
- ATX (12″ x 9.6″)
- EATX (12″ x 13″)
- WTX (14″ x 16.75″)
Is this size important? It definitely is!
Depending on the size of your motherboard, you will be allowed to have more or fewer components installed.
For example, a standard ATX motherboard has a maximum of seven PCI or PCI-Express expansion slots, while a MicroATX only has four.
Generally speaking, a larger motherboard offers more slots than a smaller one. However, most of them are compatible in terms of mounting points. This means that a computer case that fits an ATX motherboard will also fit a MicroATX.
And getting the smaller one is not always a bad idea. If you don’t really need to build a super-computer and you don’t really need all the extra slots, there’s no point in spending more for a larger motherboard.
So when deciding to build a computer, it’s always good to start by deciding what size of a motherboard you want or need, and only afterwards decide upon a desktop case and all the other components.
What are the basic components of a motherboard?
We’ve learned that a motherboard will offer more slots depending on size. The actual offering can vary from model to model, but all motherboards need to offer support for these basic components:
The processor is equipped into this socket directly. This is one of the most important parts of a computer or laptop. There are various sockets available on market, and each processor requires a certain socket type.
So in order to make sure that your motherboard is compatible with your processor, check the socket type it offers – as well as the one that the CPU requires.
There are different types of slots in a laptop and they are specifically designed for various components. We’re talking about modem card slots, audio and video card slots, as well as a network card slot. Here we will have various ports for the storage options (HDD or SSD)
Most modern motherboards – especially those created for gaming – will offer more GPU slots, for example, so that you can completely customize your product.
Make sure to double check the design and the placement of the slots – it’s not uncommon for some graphics cards to come with a huge fan that will simply block the additional GPU slot that a motherboard might offer.
Depending on the model of the motherboard, you can have anything from two to 8 RAM slots for your computer’s RAM.
BIOS and CMOS
All of the motherboard’s information and settings are stored in the BIOS (Basic Input Output System).
The CMOS is actually responsible for storing and saving the data when the laptop or computer is turned off.
Input & output ports
These are the places where you will insert various cables and peripherals, like your sound system (if you don’t have a dedicated card), the ethernet cable, mouse and/or keyboard.
This is where you connect the power switch, as well as any potential front audio and USBs. These connections are critical to ensuring that your computer works as intended.
We’re talking about the large ATX connector which basically feeds electricity to the motherboard in order to keep the system running.
This would be all about motherboards today. Hopefully you found our motherboard size comparison chart useful and you know now everything about the different sizes of motherboards available to purchase.
In this case, we can say that definitely “bigger is better” – a larger motherboard will give you more options to connect more peripherals and components, so if you want to upgrade sometime in the future, it’s a lot easier to do so if you have a larger one.
But even smaller ones – like the popular microATX can be used with ease to create some really powerful, custom-made gaming PCs.