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Micro-ATX for ATX case

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November 17, 2010 7:24:58 AM

Hi, what advantages does a micro-ATX mobo provide if I go with an ATX case?

Lower price?
Lower power consumption (by a few watts)?
More room in the case to change around fans etc?

The disadvantages I see would be:

Fewer expansion slots
Maybe more cramped, so some components could get in the way of the CPU heatsink

I'm going for a mid-range quiet gaming system, relevant build plans are here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/298615-31-decisions-r...

More about : micro atx atx case

a b V Motherboard
November 17, 2010 8:37:03 AM

Get a triple core or a quad if you're gaming, Athlon II are nice. Video card, HD 5770/6850. ATX mobo if you buy an ATX case.
a c 238 V Motherboard
November 17, 2010 2:12:51 PM

A micro-ATX motherboard will have 4 expansion slots vs. the usual 7. Most of the time, we have plenty of unused slots, so a micro-ATX motherboard will be fine. You might even consider a mini-ITX motherboard with only one pcie-x16 slot.
Smaller motherboards will usually be a bit cheaper. I would not consider the power savings to be significant.

One advantage of a small motherboard is that you can fit it into a small case.

I like something like the lian li V351 or V352:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will post some build thoughts on your other post.
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
November 17, 2010 3:34:27 PM

I went mATX motherboard because the price was too good to pass up. But while you can find mATX boards cheaper than ATX board that doesn't mean that all mATX boards are cheaper than ATX boards.

Power savings - depends entirely on the motherboards. Not necessarily better or worse mATX vs ATX. Regardless of which kind you get, if you're not using extra features enabled through other chips on the board, if it's a quality board you can shut those off in BIOS and save yourself some power. Turn them back on when you add, for example, expansion cards.

Expansion slots - yes you will have less. Do you need more?

Cramped space around the CPU heatsink - again depends on the layouts of the individual boards. Many mATX and ATX have similar distance between CPU and RAM, and CPU and the first PCIe slot.

BTW sounds like you've concluded going faster than 1333 MHz isn't necessary. I agree with that. But I also wanted to add that with an Intel i3 or i5 you cannot run RAM faster than 1333 MHz without OCing your CPU or making tradeoffs - e.g. turning on XMP with 1600 RAM gives a very mild OC but by default on most all boards turns off Turbo and power saving features like EIST. Seems like a lot of people flip the XMP switch without realizing the full impact.
November 17, 2010 7:39:24 PM

also you'll wanna check numebr of memory slots on mATX bioards. sometimes they only have 2 and will max you at signifigantly less memory forcing earlier upgrades... but provided the board you're looking at has 4 and anouth pci slots for ya then there's no reason to not use one. the extra space will be mostly wasted but you can possible mod or use the space for more airflow
November 18, 2010 3:16:29 PM

Quote:
basically what platform do you wan to run AMD or Intel and then I can pick out a board and recommend why.
what case do you have or going to get.?


This information was in the thread I linked and your recommendation was ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 HDMI. What do you see as the advantages of this board (other than being Asus quality)?
!