Micro ATX vs ATX – Which One Will Work For You?

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Building your own computer can be a great way to get exactly what you want from your machine, of course there are always going to be controlling variables that must be taken into consideration beforehand. You can’t just go shopping and hope for the best everything you purchase will have a limiting variable like budget, size, capacity and compatibility are the main considerations. Be sure to research and check what your buying will give you want you want as well as complying with your limiting variables. In this piece we will be looking at Micro ATX and ATX to see what is going to work best for you.

Building Your Own Computer

When building your own PC there are many considerations on how to build it, there are many pros and cons on how and why you would do it a particular way. Some people decide on the GPU and CPU first and then look to find a compatible motherboard. Others will look to get the motherboard first to try and make it as future proof as possible and then get the complimenting GPU and CPU.


Size will always matter when it comes to computing as you may have gathered ATX is larger at 244mm by 305mm and the Micro ATX is smaller at 244mm by 244mm. When looking at size you need to know will it fit? Well this depends on what you want from your computer. Where will it be and how much space can you afford for it to take up. There isn’t an answer that works for everyone so build it for your standards. Most computer cases that are designed to be static will support both but depending on what else you will be adding to the motherboard is what will be making the difference inside your case. The best micro atx cases provide the perfect chassis for both hardcore and casual gaming.

RAM Capacity And PCIE Express slots

Both ATX and Micro ATX can support up to 4 RAM modals, depending on the GB sticks you are using you can still achieve the desired result so generally regarding RAM these are equal. Now PCIE express slots are where you will be noticing the larger differences ATX motherboards can have a maximum of 7 PCIE slots whereas the Micro ATX have a maximum of 4 PCIE slots. These slots are used for expansion cards such as graphics cards, sound cards and internal modems. Knowing how many slots you are going to need or want will be one of the major deciding factors when purchasing your motherboard.


Budgets are another one of our limiting factors or variables when buying almost anything of course you can look for something on sale and see who’s doing the cheapest deal for the same product. You may think that the size of the product will relate to the price, but this isn’t really how it works. It’s the quality of the materials used that really dictates the price of the product. In general, you will find an ATX and Micro ATX of the same quality to be priced slightly differently as there is a higher demand for micro ATX making them cheaper for the same quality materials.

Which One Will Work For You

The big decision on deciding which one is best for you depends on what kind of PC you will be using and how many PCIE slots and RAM cards you want. For gaming PCs, the best bet will be the Micro ATX as is slightly more affordable and takes up less room, unless you want to make something really special and very high end then look to the ATX. Workstation PCs that professionals use are very much like the gaming PCs, but you need an even higher amount of RAM so the Micro ATX would still be the soundest option unless you really need to utilise the Extra PCIE slots. Workstation PCs will need a very efficient cooling system to make sure nothing overheats whilst running.

Final Thoughts

When deciding on you Motherboard if money is not one of your limiting factors and you want the very best, can accommodate the ATX and its PCIE slots then go for the ATX. Otherwise there isn’t really anything the Micro ATX cannot do but it is more affordable and will be able to fit in the smaller housings. Once again building your own computer is a very personal thing, so really the choice is down to you. Make sure you consider everything before splashing the cash.




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