ATX vs Mini-ITX vs Micro-ATX Cases
There are three major case types that are currently available in the market. These are based on the farm factor of different Motherboards, which their sizes allow them to fit. Choosing one for yourself can be a tricky job because it’s just not the size that you have considered but a lot more that comes with it. Certain form factors can lack in one thing but provide another. So, one should choose what they prefer by looking at what they need and want.
Which Form Factor to Consider?
PC cases are not your primary concern, but the Motherboard is, and how that Motherboard can help you build your desirable rig, and how the case can facilitate you in housing this Motherboard is crucial. The three form factors you can choose between are ATX, Mini ITX, and Micro ATX, all of which have one significant difference: dimensions.
Form Factor to consider and why is the question to which we are here to help you find answers. So, let’s dive right into their detailed comparisons and allow you to choose for yourself.
Atx is the largest motherboard size of all three, measuring 305mmx244mm. This Motherboard requires a more oversized casing than usual to fit in perfectly and give you a stable rig. Atx is the most common motherboard size, and you need to make sure it fits in your case without any hindrance; as this is the most common motherboard size, you will easily find a case that suits your Motherboard. Mid Tower is a suitable case for your ATX motherboard; these cases are just made to fit ATX motherboards along with all the other components entirely. Full Tower cases might be considered if you need lots of space for all your components and want them to look nice and tidy; these cases will cover all the space you need for your components. Full tower cases also cover the cable management part very well, so your rig does not look messy. These cases are also very much responsible for your computer’s temperatures. If you chose a case that ends up with all your components stacked up close to each other with almost no airflow, your components would heat up, and we don’t want that to happen. So a case form factor is your choice after considering all your components along with your Motherboard. You should consider the ventilation in these cases; even if you have enough space in your case, the airflow still might be insufficient due to an improper ventilation system. Also, make sure the case does not cause any clearance issues later on if you are thinking about upgrading your components; later on, this might be a problem if you upgrade your GPU and find out that your case is not wide enough for it.
The least typical motherboard size in the market is due to its lack of compatibility for some components and the small size. These motherboards measure 170mmx170mm in size and are usually fit in a small form factor case. It’s dramatic how much space you can save with a Mini-ITX build. A Mini-ITX case with room for a full-sized power supply and gaming-grade GPU is 203 x 250 x 367mm. So if you are looking for a minimal build that saves as much space as possible, this case might be your choice. They can also be portable if you need them to be, as they would not weigh as much as an ATX or a Micro ATX build. Things to consider, these cases will not fit all the GPUs in the market. You will have to get yourself a GPU made just for an ITX case. Cramped space will heat your components even more than usual, and the ventilation is not so adequate either. Building computers is pretty straightforward, but component access and cable management can be like working on one of those too finicky LEGO builds when you have such a small case. Most Mini-ITX cases have room for at least one full-sized 3.5-inch hard drive and a 2.5-inch SSD, covering most gamers’ needs, but for genuinely capacious storage or backup, you might need to look at some external solution. Besides all the backlash, we have to accept they these builds look cool.
Micro ATX is the smaller type of motherboards with the same width as the ATX motherboard, the dimension of a micro ATX are 244mmx244mm. These types of motherboards might be a suitable choice if you are considering a smaller build. These motherboards usually fit in a Mini Tower case; You can call cases by the size of the Motherboard they support, too, so you might call these cases the Micro Atx cases. The vital thing you should have in mind before buying a Micro Atx Case is how it will house your components; this is important because even Micro Atx cases can have different sizes or internal space for your components. We certainly do not want your rig to be going above the average temperatures, so we suggest choosing a case with suitable ventilation and enough clearance space for all your components. Another suggestion before buying a case is looking for a case with cable management as this can make a massive difference in the ventilation and keep your PC cool. It also makes them look tidy and aesthetic. These cases come with 1-2 drive bays to fit your hard drives without any problem. The size of these cases is usually 14’’-16″, considering the size is essential to fit all your components nicely. Micro Atx cases usually have enough space for just 1 GPU, and you must be considered just one in the first place if you got yourself a Micro ATX motherboard. Also, make sure they fit your radiators if you are going for a liquid cooling rig.
In the end, it all comes down to what fits best into your desired set-up. You have to consider all the factors where dimension plays a role; if you want something with more potential and firepower, then a more significant pc case must be your go-to; otherwise, a compact, home cinema build would do just fine.