A motherboard is known as the spine of a computer system, it is a central circuit hub located inside a CPU. It connects all the inside components of the computer. Different devices connect to a motherboard making it a hub.
The layout of a motherboard is known as the form factor of the motherboard. Generally, all the boards follow a standard form factor so that they can fit into any standard PC. The different sockets on the board have different configurations for the processor.
Motherboards come in different sizes and RAMs but depending on the choice of the PC the most common ones are ATX and ITX. ATX is a standard size board with a sufficient RAM for almost all kinds of PCs. An ITX is a smaller board that is compatible only with the compact and portable PCs.
ATX vs ITX
The main difference between ATX and ITX is that ATX has a standard size and is intended for use in standard PCs, have a high number of PCI slots and higher RAM capacity while an ITX is smaller than the standard size and are used in compact PCs usually meant for traveling.
Comparison Table Between ATX and ITX
|Parameter of Comparison||ATX||ITX|
|Size||ATX has a standard size of 305* 244 mm.||It’s are smaller than the standard size, having a 170*170 mm board.|
|PCIs||An ATX usually comes with three PCI slots but the high-end models may have upto five slots.||An ITX only has one PCI slot.|
|RAM slot||Usually comes with four RAM slots but the high-end ATX may have up to eight slots.||An ITX only has two RAM slots.|
|Price||ATX is comparatively cheaper than ITX.||Even though ITX is a smaller motherboard but it is more expensive than an ATX.|
|Used in||Used in PCs meant for standard usage or in PCs for gaming and workstation.||Used only in compact and portable PCs.|
What is ATX?
Advanced Technology eXtended or ATX, is a motherboard and power supply configuration for standardized PCs. It is a standard form factor motherboard with a standard size of 305*244 mm (12*9.6 in).
ATX was launched by Intel in 1995 after working on the pre-existing AT designs. It became the first major change in computer enclosure of motherboard and power supply. After its launch, ATX became a standard form factor motherboard.
An ATX board usually has four RAM slots but these can be extended up to eight slots. It allows a RAM of 64 GB and can be extended to 128 GB or 512 GB at the time of requirement. ATX has three PCIe slots that may be extended upto five. ATX boards are budget-friendly options for any kind of PC.
ATX motherboard is the most commonly used motherboard. Apart from the standard ATX boards, there are other boards available, namely, MicroATX and FlexATX. The sizes of the MicroATX and FlexATX are smaller than the standard ATX board.
ATX motherboards can fit in any standard computer due to their standard size. They are mostly used in Pcs for gaming and workstations.
What is ITX?
Information Technology eXtended or ITX motherboards are a family of small form factor motherboards. It has a form factor size of 170*170 mm.
They were launched by VIA Technologies in 2001 for use in computer systems of small configurations. ITX was designed with a purpose of use in compact PC and to lower the overall cost, however, in the later editions, the cost was raised.
An ITX board only has two RAM slots and only one PCIe slot. Due to less RAM slots, they can not be used in higher configuration systems. ITX boards come in various sizes such as MiniITX, NanoITX and PicoITX. However, MiniITX is the most used one. Due to the compactness of the ITX, they cost more than ATX motherboards.
ITX is used in compact and portable PCs and in small form factor fit PCs. They can also be used in a system for basic works.
Main Differences Between ATX and ITX
- ATX motherboards have a standard size while a ITX motherboard is comparatively smaller than the standard size and therefore it is also known as a small form factor motherboard.
- The dimensions of the ATX board are 305*244 mm while that of an ITX board are 170* 170 mm.
- The advantage of an ITX is that it is more compatible with small form factor cases.
- An ATX board has four RAM slots whereas an ITX board has only two slots.
- ATX board has the capacity to extend RAM slots to eight while an ITX only has a limited capacity.
- An ATX board usually comes with three PCI slots whereas an ITX has only one slot.
- A high-end ATX offers an extension in the number of PCI slots while this can’t be done in an ITX board.
- An ATX board is comparatively cheaper than an ITX board.
- ATX boards are used in standard PCs, gaming and workstation PCs where an ITX board can only be used in compact and portable PCs.
Motherboards are the core unit for the working of a PC. Both boards have their pros and cons. None of them can be a perfect choice for any PC because it mainly depends on the requirements of the user and the PC.
ATX and ITX both can cater to the needs of the user if the choice selection is correct. The two boards can perform efficiently depending on the usage, however, an ATX is a better choice than an ITX since it has sufficient RAM and PCI slots for any kind of usage of the PC may just be internet surfing or be heavy gaming and workstations.