Micro ATX vs ATX - Downside?


I'm looking at 2 motherboards that will do most of what I need. One is a ASRock Micro ATX 880GM-LE @ $59 (Newegg) and a MSI 880G-E45 ATX @ $99 (Newegg). I believe the Micro ATX will fit my case. The reason for picking these 2 boards is Floppy support that I need as discussed in another thread.

At nearly half the price, what's the downside to getting a Micro ATX board vs a ATX other than it being smaller?

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  1. None. Micro-atx has fewer expansion slots, but some folks don't ever use them. Check the chipset video driver if you use onboard video. Also check the "cpu support" section to see which cpus you can upgrade to later. I always upgrade the cpu and board at the same time, but some folks want to save money. Future proofing is tough to predict, since changes are happening every 18-24 months.
  2. The diferences are insignificant. If the mATX is good for you buy it.
  3. Micro ATX usually has lower end chipsets, fewer ports and connectors, fewer (in some cases) memory slots, lower end VRMs (which limits CPU selection), and cheaper parts.

    I couldn't find the post about a floppy drive, but there are other alternatives you may consider. USB floppy drives will fill the need in most cases, unless you're running absolutely ancient software.

    Disk images and virtual machines can help. :)
  4. I can't imagine why you would need to buy a specific mobo for floppy support, makes no sense.

    Anyways, M-ATX boards use the same chipsets and PCI-E slots as their bigger brothers and will perform similarly. They may or may not overclock as well and they have fewer slots and connectors.
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