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ATX vs. Micro ATX, Which is the Best for Gaming?

by  Jone -  Last Updated On 10th July 2022
atx vs micro atx gaming

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Some people just love to play games on their PCs. To have the ultimate gaming experience you need some high-quality stuff running your PC.  

You need a good keyboard, Mouse, Chair, and many other components including your motherboard.

Your motherboard contains all of the basic and important components of your computer. You can play all sorts of games on your high-end gaming PC with a good motherboard.

There is a lot that you have to consider before buying a Motherboard for your PC. They come in different sizes, applications, and formats. Check Ryzen 5 5600x Motherboard Here.

The most common motherboards for desktop PCs are the ATX motherboards by Intel. This includes the micro ATX and ATX motherboards. 

We will look into these two motherboards, their features and find out the best suited for gaming!

Let’s get started!

ATX vs Micro ATX At a Glance

1. ATX:

  •  As a replacement for the original AT format, Intel released the ATX model in 1995.
  •  The current ATX format has a large motherboard that is 12 by 9.6 inches long.
  •  This type of motherboard has additional four RAM slots. You can comfortably fit RAM cards of up to 16 GB on your desktop. 
  • This makes the ATX motherboard suitable for gamers and business workstations that run on RAM-intensive programs. It has two pairs of onboard controllers for external drives, the motherboard also improves video card slots which can be useful when you need to fit in some graphics cards and some other add ons. 
  •  You can extend some ATX boards versions by at least 13 inches to help you to hold more additional features for your high-end gaming PC.
  • When you are dealing with extended versions of the ATX motherboards, you should also consider whether your motherboard would fit in your PC case. 
  • We will look into the ATX motherboard and reveal some of the distinct features that make it good for gaming.


  • The ATX format measures 305 by 204 mm. 
  • It has a large size that can accommodate multiple ports and add ons.
  • You can add up to four video cards to the AXT motherboard.
  • This format has a varying depth that varies on different boards to accommodate larger fans and other PC modules. 
  • A large size ATX format will be an ideal fit that suits most of your gaming needs.


  • The ATX format motherboard has up to four additional slots that can accommodate Ram cards of up to 32 GB per slot.
  • It has excellent performance when running high RAM-intensive applications on your computer. The availability of four extra RAM slots makes it easy to run high graphics games on your PC.
  • A RAM of 16GB is plenty of space to run a game on your gaming pc, having an additional three more Ram slots gives you much more than the necessary space requirement.
  • Professional gamers can use this type of board to build high-performance computers when playing games that require high-performance CPUs.

PCIe slots:

  • ATX motherboards have about seven slots that you can use to add additional devices to your gaming PC.
  • The presence of many PCIe slots means that you can have more video cards and modems attached to your PC.
  • These additions will help you get better quality graphics and performance from your pc games. These slots can also accommodate different sound cards that help give you high-quality sound effects for your game ultimately improving your experience.
  • Some of the ATX PCIe slots can hold additional SSD and HDD disks that can be useful when storing large files of data.


  • The ATX motherboard comes at a relatively high price as compared to other motherboards such as the Mini ITX and Micro ATX. 
  • These boards have high-end features whose design allows for much better performance than other boards. The ATX motherboards include plenty of additions to give you a high-quality performance especially when running high-performance operations. 
  • The ATX motherboard can fit as a good gaming motherboard if you are willing to pay more. It is more than capable of handling even the most demanding games out there. The ATX motherboard is also useful in handling high-end and demanding office computer programs.


  • High performance.
  • Have four RAM slots.
  • Numerous PCIe slots.


  • Larger sizes cannot fit standard computer cases.

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2. Micro ATX :

  • The Micro ATX motherboard first appeared in 1997 by Intel.
  • The product has a reverse compatibility feature that makes it possible to use both motherboards in one computer case. 
  • Micro ATX motherboards have similar power connectors as their larger ATX versions.
  • A feature that makes it rather easy to alternate between the different motherboards.
  • A micro ATX motherboard has a relatively smaller size that gives it much fewer expansion options. 
  • The motherboard can support two external slots for RAM cards and has fewer PCIe slots in comparison to its larger variant.
  • This motherboard maintains a good performance that makes it good for running your PC games. Each of its slots can hold up to 32 GB of RAM space, this makes it very well capable of holding even the most RAM-intensive PC games in the market. 
  • Their small sizes enable you to fit this motherboard in most of your computer cases. The board lacks additional expansion space that greatly limits its ability to hold some more add ons.  
  • You can also use this motherboard to run standard computer programs in your business.
  • We will look into some features of the MicroATX motherboard that make it suitable for gaming.


  • The Micro ATX motherboard measures 244mm by 244mm. 
  • The smaller size allows you to fit your board in smaller cases. Ideally, the MicroATX motherboard can fit in the larger PC cases of the ATX since they both operate using the same power specifications. 
  • This smaller size also reduces the number of available slots for some extra add ons. Gamers prefer memory boards with numerous PCIes that make it easier for them to improve on the features of the game. For instance, you only have two RAM slots in this version and the PCIe options are limited to four.
  • This motherboard format can handle most of the requirements of your game but can have challenges in dealing with highly demanding computer-based business programs.


  • This product has two additional RAM slots that can accommodate cards of up to 32GB.
  • You get more than enough additional memory space to run most games. 
  • Your computer will experience good performance by utilizing this motherboard. Some variants of the Micro ATX motherboard have four RAM slots, which gives you additional space to run your gaming programs.

PCIe Slots

  • The Micro ATX can hold up to four PCIe slots per unit. This gives you additional options when you want to improve your experience. 
  • You can add sound cards, video cards and graphics cards to improve your game’s basic features. 


  • The Micro ATX motherboard format has a relatively cheaper price than other ATX formats. 
  • The board is common in standard computers with many people preferring the smaller variant for high-quality performance.
  • This includes providing gamers with a high-performance product that can play most of their games as well as including enough additional slots to support different enhancements.


  • Smaller more compact size
  • Can fit in standard size computers
  • Good performance


  • A smaller size means fewer additional slots for the board.

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3. Verdict – ATX or Micro ATX motherboard?

  • A majority of PC game enthusiasts love to compare the two motherboards specifically ATX and Micro ATX motherboard. 
  • Both motherboards have plenty of similarities, they both use similar power supply outputs and can hold multiple slots for add ons.
  • The boards have distinct differences that keep them unique and suitable for different uses.
  • Gamers wishing to adopt either of the motherboards have to base their choice on different considerations.
  • Some would prefer large sizes with multiple slots whereas others would prefer more compact and smaller boards.
  • Firstly we will look into each of the distinct differences between the two motherboards has before choosing the best motherboard for gaming.


  • When it comes to size, the ATX format gets the points.
  • This motherboard is slightly larger than its Micro ATX counterpart is. Some versions of the ATX format carry extensions that make the motherboard even larger.
  • Having a large size is a major benefit to gamers since you can add some extra components like SDDS and video cards to your gaming PC.
  • Having a smaller size does not give the Micro ATX motherboard a serious disadvantage. The smaller size can still run most video games without any hitches and it is possible to use the smaller sized motherboard in spaces that are more compact. 
  • For instance, the smaller-sized micro ATX motherboard can fit within the casing of the larger ATX model.


Both motherboard models have similar RAM storage capacities. This makes them suitable for RAM-intensive gaming.

You can decide to add additional RAM to your gaming PC by inserting RAM cards in the Extra slots. The ATX motherboard can support up to four RAM slots.

Each RAM slot can accommodate RAM cards of up to 32GB which I plenty of space for gaming

The micro ATX model has a similar RAM capacity though some models have fewer RAM slots.

Some variants of the motherboard can support up to four RAM slots. A RAM card of 32GB per slot will give you enough RAM to run even the most demanding game.

Most games require a RAM of 16 GB in order to play without glitches. Both ATX and Micro ATX motherboards are suitable for high-quality games.

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PCIe slots:

  • The ATX motherboard has even slots from which you can add additional extensions to your gaming PC.
  • In comparison, the MicroATX board has only 4 PCIe slots.
  • Using the ATX model gives you plenty of slots to attach your graphics cards; video cards soundcards and other add ons. Some slots can handle additional storage from SDDs and hand disks.
  • Gamers would love the chance of having multiple slots for improving their gaming experience.
  • The micro ATX model has only four slots for add ons. This gives it a major limitation when in need of additional features for most gamers. 


  • The ATX motherboard has a higher price in comparison to its smaller version.
  • This motherboard has more elaborate features than those of the Micro ATX and can easily outdo its smaller version on the number and amount of tasks it can achieve at a time.
  • A high-performance motherboard is best suited for running and operating data-intensive programs. 
  • This motherboard is applicable in large offices to handle demanding computer assignments.
  • The MicroATX is relatively cheaper and easier to acquire. 
  • The price is within reach of most gaming enthusiasts and gives you good value for money. It can meet most of your PC gaming requirements at a lesser price.
  • This makes the MicroATX motherboard the best motherboard for gaming.
  • You can fit it into smaller and more compact spaces, unlike its larger variant. In addition, the motherboard can run alternatively with the ATX format since it can fit within its casing.
  • The smaller motherboard also comes at a cheaper price and is more accessible to gamers. It has a good return on investment while offering excellent performance.
  • The ATX motherboard is more suited to workstations rather than gaming.
  •  Its features far exceed the minimum requirements of most PC games.
  • You also get a relatively higher price tag than the MicroATX motherboard. A factor that keeps it out of reach for most gamers. 


What does the term ATX mean? 

The ATX abbreviation stands for Advanced Technology Extended design. This motherboard replaced its predecessor that had the Baby AT design. 

The model allows for full-length expansions in all sockets by rotating and completely changing the earlier CPU and memory angles.

Is the Micro ATX really worth it?

Yes, the Micro ATX is a smaller version of the ATX. It has excellent performance and ma much lower price. It is especially suitable when you are looking for a motherboard that can suit your personal needs as opposed to business.

If you choose to invest in an ATX, only do so when you require all additional PCIe slots.

Is it possible to substitute the micro ATX motherboards with the ATX motherboards?

Yes, it is very possible to substitute the ATX motherboard with the MicroATX. Both motherboards run on similar components and are easily interchangeable.

The MicroATX has a smaller size than the ATX motherboard, a feature that makes it possible to operate both motherboards without changing your computer case.


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One response to “ATX vs. Micro ATX, Which is the Best for Gaming?”

  1. G8679013542g says:

    And, the answer to that is that there is a time and place for each motherboard form factor. Each of the three most popular form-factors discussed in this article will make more sense than the others in different scenarios.

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