Question ATX or Micro ATX

jaymes2015

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I’m starting to like having Micro ATX tower in my house over the mid-tower+ due to space and conveniences.

I know the downfall of micro ATX is sometimes pci slots are limited. However, are there any major disadvantages for having micro ATX as far as performances? If ATX is going to give me a large margin performances, then maybe I might go ATX over micro. Let me know what your knowledge is on this one.
 
Look at it this way, with the abundance of expansion slots on you board(and case, do you really utilize all of them prior to the moment you've read it it's final rights? In fact if you don't need more than 1xPCIe slot and you've managed all components on the board(wifi and audio) you can make do with an mitx board/case/build.

Case I'm trying to make is, with the down size in real estate of the board and trying to get only what you need and will use, you're only paying a slight amount more than an ATX board.
 
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There's no performance difference with ATX vs MicroATX, assuming the same chipset.

Unless you see yourself needing something besides a video card, then there's no real need for full ATX. Now, SOME of the MicroATX motherboards don't have an idea arrangement, so that if you have a video card with a particularly large cooler, you may be blocking off the remaining PCIe slot.

ie: I was looking for a MB for a friend, and I knew she'd go for a beefy GPU. One of the MicroATX boards I looked at had the PCIe x1 slot ABOVE the GPU's PCIe x16, which was convenient. Another had it below, so that if she wanted to use that PCIe x1, a video card with a large cooler would've made that impossible. She will likely be adding in a WiFi card, if her USB wifi isn't managing to do the job for her, and she's a bit of an audiophile, so I know an add-in soundboard is going to happen in the future.


But, if all you'll ever want/need to add in is just a video card, MicroATX is more than enough. MiniITX might even be worth consideration, though those seem to typically be limited to 2 RAM slots.
 
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jaymes2015

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Nov 29, 2015
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ie: I was looking for a MB for a friend, and I knew she'd go for a beefy GPU. One of the MicroATX boards I looked at had the PCIe x1 slot ABOVE the GPU's PCIe x16, which was convenient. Another had it below, so that if she wanted to use that PCIe x1, a video card with a large cooler would've made that impossible. She will likely be adding in a WiFi card, if her USB wifi isn't managing to do the job for her, and she's a bit of an audiophile, so I know an add-in soundboard is going to happen in the future.
To run a GPU and a wifi pcie x1 altogether compatibly without blocking each other, should the pcie x1 be on top of the GPU slot or below?
 
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Honestly, it depends on how bulky the video card is. I only happened to see that a few motherboard makers put the PCIe x1 above the GPU slot because I was looking for motherboards for a friend.

It really shouldn't matter, but I thought the "above" feature on the motherboard I saw recently was an interesting move. Even with a triple-slot cooler, and the PCIe x1 (or x4) below the video card slot, you should be able to put in a wifi card just fine. But in that case, it MIGHT somewhat hinder airflow for the video card.
 
There is no performance difference, but you really have to look at each MB individually. In addition to less PCIE slots, sometimes there are fewer USB or M.2 slots as well. Some cases are small, yet still can hold an ATX MB, e.g. Masterbox Q300L.
 
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