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Micro ATX vs ATX mobo, what's the difference besides size?

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March 15, 2011 7:33:01 PM

When building a new Sandy Bridge build for an "ordinary user", non gamer, besides the board size and number of slots, what's the difference, if any, in functioning or speed and power between Micro ATX and regular size ATX?

The micro boards are somewhat cheaper, but not enough to make much of a longterm difference.

In my current old build, I'm just running a graphics card and a sound card.

I can understand buying a regular ATX mobo for possible future expansion.

What are the positives and negatives for both size boards?

Thoughts, opinions, wisdom?

Thanks all.
March 15, 2011 8:19:26 PM

Interesting question.

I can't see a different myself other than size and maybe not as many PCI slots- not that an ATX is all that big anyway.

Maybe a smaller mATX size case is bad for air flow though. Many mATX boards even have room for 3 sli xfire.



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March 17, 2011 12:33:47 PM

Rant said:
Interesting question.

I can't see a different myself other than size and maybe not as many PCI slots- not that an ATX is all that big anyway.

Maybe a smaller mATX size case is bad for air flow though. Many mATX boards even have room for 3 sli xfire.



I should have pointed out that I have a mid tower ATX case. Can you install a micro ATX mobo in a regular size case? Is that a bad idea? Does it make any difference?
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March 17, 2011 1:01:17 PM

I've put together several builds with a mATX in a mid sized tower case. Other than looking a bit strange due to all of the extra space it doesn't really make a difference.
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March 17, 2011 1:58:48 PM

Thanks Magique.

Merci beaucoup.

Mind if I ask why you used a mATX mobo instead of a regular sized mobo? Any advantages or disadvantages? I just have a video card and a sound card in my current build. Nothing fancy. My video card is a PNY Quadro NVS 440 which I run 4 monitors from. It's a mostly financial trading workstation card.
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March 17, 2011 4:20:54 PM

Pas de problem!

Sounds like a nice setup by the way, 4 monitors would be great for daytrading (I use 2 at the moment). The builds I used mATX for were due to price, as they were the cheapest mobos with the features I needed.

ATX offers more room for upgrades and if you have a tower that can fit an ATX I don't see any reason in going mATX (unless again, you need the extra case space). Most current mATX boards offer nearly the same feature sets as the ATX, so other than size (and perhaps power consumption) they are quite similar.
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March 17, 2011 5:47:05 PM

Thanks again Singe.

I don't know yet if I'm going mATX or regular ATX. The only reason for mATX would be to save a few bucks and over the life of the computer $20/30 difference for the mobo is just pennies per day. Not many Asus 1155 P67 mobo's in stock at the egg right now anyway.
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