It is an undeniable fact that a motherboard is one of the major components of a computer. Therefore, if you truly want to ensure that your computer is delivering the best and most optimized performance, you need to pick the right motherboard for your system.
When comparing motherboards and determining which one would be the best fit, people often inquire about whether ITX or ATX would be the better choice. Both motherboards are top notch but each of them has its own pros and features. Therefore, in order to truly determine whether you should opt ITX or ATX, you need to know in detail about the features of both.
The aim of this article is to provide a detailed insight into the features and purpose of both ITX as well as ATX. We will compare the features of both and then also list down their pros and cons so that you can determine which one would be the better fit for you according to your needs and usage.
ITX vs ATX. Comparison
Both ATX as well as ITX are motherboards that have been designed to be used in small sized computers. Therefore, they are classified as small form motherboards.
They do not come with an extensive set of features and rather offer the bare minimum functionality that is required to run a computer. These small form motherboards are not only used in computers, but are also a major component of some other electrical appliances like home theatre systems, media devices and even smartphones.
ATX as well as ITX enjoys a great reputation in the market and are two reliable and trustable options. Here is a breakdown of the features of both these options, compared with one another.
As already mentioned, both ITX, as well as ATX, are small form motherboards. Therefore, they are not bulky or too large in size. But still, you will find that the ATX motherboard is slightly larger in size in comparison with the ITX motherboard. The size of the motherboard does not really have any impact on its performance or efficiency. When picking a motherboard, you only need to consider size so that you can be a hundred percent certain that it will fit within the case of your CPU.
Therefore, if you are someone who has a small case, opting for the ITX would be the best fit for you. But if your computer can easily accommodate a motherboard that is slightly larger in size, you can surely go ahead and pick the ATX motherboard.
An important factor that one has to bear in mind when picking a motherboard is it’s RAM capacity. You have to check the total number of RAM slots that the motherboard features. In this regard, the ATX motherboard surely takes the lead. It features a total of four RAM slots, whereas you will only find half of that i.e. two RAM slots in the ITX motherboard.
Considering the number of RAM slots offered, the ITX motherboard can support a memory of 32 GB in total whereas this number will go up to 64 GB in case of the ATX motherboard. If your computer usage is not quite extensive, or the games you run can easily be accommodated within the 32 GB mark, there is no reason why you should be going for ATX. But if your usage is quite extensive and you do need extra memory, then ATX would undoubtedly be the better choice for you.
The number of PCle slots is also different in both ATX and ITX motherboards. The ATX motherboard comes with a total of three PCle slots. The number of PCle slots is important and is a factor that has to be taken into consideration by the people who are looking for a multi GPU setup. They are also important if you wish to install multiple cards on the motherboard. The ITX motherboard does not have a lot of PCle slots and comes with only one PCle slot. Therefore, it is only fit for basic use. If you are someone who is looking for a multi card setup, the ITX motherboard will not be able to fulfill your needs.
Since the ATX motherboard also comes with more space on the motherboard itself, therefore, the motherboard will easily be able to accommodate even thicker cards. But due to the lack of space on the motherboard, this will not be the case with the ITX motherboard. The comparison makes it clear that ATX is fit for multi purpose use and should be the first priority for people who are looking for a complex setup. But if you have basic needs and do not need to use a GPU or install a handful of cards on your system, the ITX motherboard should suffice.
Other than the specifications and performance metrics, one also has to check the price tag of the motherboard when making a decision. Many people assume that the smaller the motherboard, the more affordable it would be. This is right to assume, after all, smaller size means that the motherboard required lesser manufacturing and material. But in reality, the smaller-sized motherboards cost more money. Therefore, the ITX motherboard is considerably pricier.
The ATX motherboard is comparatively cheaper in price. Therefore, it is the more affordable option. Plus, the performance and the other technical measures of the motherboard are also better in comparison with the ITX motherboard. If you can get better specifications at a lower price tag, then why not opt for the ATX motherboard.
Which One Should You Pick?
Now that we have gone over the specifications and technical details of both ITX as well as ATX motherboards, let’s go over some points that you should be considering and bearing in mind when you pick a motherboard.
The first thing that you have to bear in mind is the use of the PC for which you are buying the motherboard. If you have a general-purpose PC, you will not require a lot of technical boosts. In that case, the ITX motherboard should suffice. But if you are a fan of gaming and require a motherboard that can support technical performance and wish to boost the optimization and use of the PC, then choosing the ATX motherboard would be the ideal choice for you.
The ITX motherboard will also be able to support gaming but the performance would not be as great as that of the ATX. If you only need to play basic games that will not take up a lot of computer performance and memory, then the ITX motherboard will suffice. But if you are an extensive player who likes to play multiple games or run processes and applications that take up a lot of computer resources, then the ITX processor would not be an ideal choice for you and you will have to pick the ATX processor.
Both the ATX as well as the ITX motherboard have their own pros and cons. In terms of performance, both are quite durable and sturdy. You will not be let down by either of them. In terms of price, the ATX motherboard is more affordable. It also has better RAM capacity and PCle slots. The size is a bit bigger therefore, it will not be suitable for computer systems where there is a small-sized motherboard slot.
The ITX motherboard on the other hand is made for basic use. It does not have a lot to offer in terms of technical details and specifications. If you are someone who needs a motherboard for general purpose use and does not need a motherboard that is too complex or complicated, the ITX motherboard would be the perfect choice for you. Another perk of the ITX motherboard is the fact that it is smaller in size. Therefore, it is highly recommended for systems where there is a lack of space.