Motherboards are used in every computer to hold together all the components and provide them with regulated power. Motherboards come in different shapes and sizes, and their size indicates their features and specifications. You have to change other components like power supply, case size and some other components in your PC according to the size of your motherboard.
The first ever form factor to be used in a computer was TX form factor which was used by the IBM computer. These days, there are many different form factors of motherboards in the market.
Different Forms and Sizes of Motherboards
Because of its function, motherboard is the most important thing in any computer. Every component of your computer, like CPU, RAM, GPU and others is attached to and is controlled by motherboard.
Whenever you are looking to buy a motherboard for your computer, consider all of its features, size and limitations to make sure that all the components in your PC and compatible with it.
In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the most popular types of motherboard form factors.
ATX Type Motherboards
The introduction of the ATX form factor was one of the major steps forward in computer technology. ATX form factor has the socket CPU socket placed near the power supply. This allows the CPU socket to get an uninterrupted supply of air from it surrounding components, and also provides enough clearance around the socket for the installation of CPU fan (or AIO cooler). This is a major improvement made in the previously popular Baby AT motherboard form factor. There is also only one connector in the ATX form factor compared to the old Baby AT form factor.
There are also enough expansion slots with enough clearance available on the ATX motherboards. You can also control the start with the help of integrated software. This form factor is also optimized to use less amount of power, making it more energy efficient. Additionally, it also produced less energy. Due to the extended spacing between different components, the ATX motherboards rarely have any air flow issues.
Micro ATX Motherboards
These Motherboards are a modern form of ATX Motherboards, and measure 9.6” by 9.6”. These Motherboards mainly differ in the maximum number of expansion slots, which is a maximum of four slots for Micro ATX Motherboards. The mounting holes are also different as compared to the standard ATX motherboards, but are compatible with most ATX cases as well.
You can use both Intel and AMD processors according to your preferences with these Motherboards. Because of their small size, these are used in small sized/compact computers.
This form factor of Motherboards are usually used for better power efficiency. The size of the motherboards is 6.7” by 6.7”. The biggest things which matter in these Motherboards is their size. While these were mainly made for low power consumption and lighter tasks, the technology has improved a lot, and these Motherboards are now used in many different applications.
Due to their exceptionally small size, Mini.ITX Motherboards are used in applications like vehicle displays, IOT and other such applications.
This form factor only measures around 4.7” by 4.7”. These boards are fully integrated. Their form factor allows them to use very low power in their applications. These Motherboards, while mainly made for smart TVs and media centers, have also expanded into various other types of applications.
The smallest of all the motherboard form factors is Pico-ITX. Their dimensions are 3.9” by 2.8”. Just for comparison, these Motherboards are around 75% smaller as compared to the previously mentioned Nano-ITX Motherboards. These Motherboards were actually innovated to make IoT devices even slimmer and sleek.
This form factor of motherboards is also very effective for use in industrial application like automation, and for embedded vehicle displays.
The ongoing innovation in the field of technology has caused lots of improvement in the form factor and features of Motherboards in the recent years. The sizes of these Motherboards are rapidly changing, and smaller sizes now fit more technologically advanced devices.
Size of the motherboard is the most important factor which influences the final size of a fully finished device.