Micro atx motherboards and overclocking

Hello there, also posted this thread in the cooling section but more relevant here I think.

I have been researching into this build for about a month now:

Gladiator Core i3 540 Pre-Built Overclocked Bundle
• Intel® Core™ i3-540 Overclocked @ 4.20GHz - Dual Core CPU
• 4GB Mushkin Silverline 1333MHz 9-9-9-24
• MSI H55M-ED55 Micro-ATX Motherboard
• Coolermaster Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler
• Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
• Pre-Assembled & Tested
• 1 Years Warranty

Xigmatek Asgard Black Edition+1 extra rear fan

Corsair TX Series 650W ATX2.2 SLI/Crossfire Compliant Power Supply

1TB Samsung HD103SJ SpinPoint F3 SATA-II 3.5" Hard Drive

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 OC 768MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

Operating system:Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit OEM

I have posted this build over several forums to get as much feedback as possible and on a techie forum they came up with a few issues with that motherboard and overclocking it, now I have no idea if what they are telling me is fact or just opinion but here are some qoutes from that thread:


To be blatantly honest, you are probably going to fry that board first. µATX boards are compact in size and usually hold more componentry than their full sized bretheren. Running a heavy OC on that board is going to stress it out. µATX boards that are built for "OCing" is a crock. Twice as much current running through much smaller, compressed traces in a very crowded environment to begin with. µATX boards were originally intended for low power consumption use in smaller, more "friendly" cases.

I have seen many µATX boards of better quality than that MSI, fry from a light overclock because they just can't handle it.


Have to agree there, though I haven't seen the bios options on that board, generally, mATX just don't have the overclocking options that full ATX boards do. If your case and budget allow it, you're always better off with ful ATX for overclocking.


I have to agree with my teamates on this one. Those boards cannot handle the throughput that a Atx board can and while your Cpu may last "20 years", your board will not! The boards chipset is going to run extremly hot on such overclocks


Thinner conductors are nice from a miniaturization standpoint but they do come at a cost -- increased resistance. The resistance of an electrical conductor is inversely proportional to its cross-sectional area and directly proportional to its length. Therefore, all other factors taken into account, shorter and fatter wires are often better.

Resistance also factors into power loss, which is dissipated as heat. Any kid who has shorted a thin wire across the terminals of a battery understands this concept instantly (and often painfully).


As I said no idea if these comments are true but one of the guys started by saying the i3 would run to hot and fry,then when I said I had researched and that it would not him and others posted those comments.

Its also not usually a forum that spreads misinformation.


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More about micro motherboards overclocking
  1. I OC on my Gigabyte 785 matx board. As far as not being able to handle it, there's actually less on an matx than an atx. The size difference is mainly the difference in the number of expansion slots. The main part of the board is essentially the same size and layout as an atx. A 770 chipset is the same no matter what it is put on. Read thru your mobo manual in the bios section, it will outline the settings options.
  2. Its not the best motherboard but I can't see any problems. If its from aria.co.uk I know someone who has the same setup except with a 5850 and its been running fine for around 6 months. The only thing I would change is its worth getting the 1GB 460.
  3. You cannot generalize like that. My Gigabyte G41M-ES2L is happily running an E6500 (2.93 GHz) at 3.87 GHz (FSB limited), 24 hours Prime95 stable, 24/7.
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