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 to 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 sufficient RAM for almost all kinds of PCs. An ITX is a smaller board compatible only with compact and portable PCs.
- ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) is a motherboard form factor that has been the standard size for desktop computers since the mid-1990s.
- ITX (Information Technology eXtended) is a smaller motherboard form factor specifically designed for compact and low-power computing devices, such as small form factor PCs and home theater systems.
- ATX and ITX are motherboard form factors but differ in size and intended applications. ATX is more common, and ITX caters to compact and energy-efficient systems.
ATX vs ITX
The difference between ATX and ITX is that ATX has a standard size and is intended for use in standard PCs, has many PCI slots and has higher RAM capacity. At the same time, an ITX is smaller than the standard size used in compact PCs meant for travelling.
|Parameter of Comparison||ATX||ITX|
|Size||ATX has a standard size of 305* 244 mm.||It’s smaller than the standard size, with a 170*170 mm board.|
|PCIs||An ATX comes with three PCI slots, but the high-end models may have up to 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, it is more expensive than an ATX.|
|Used in||Used in PCs meant for standard usage or gaming and workstation.||They are 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 size of 305*244 mm (12*9.6 in).
Intel launched ATX in 1995 after working on the pre-existing AT designs. It became the first major change in the computer enclosure of the motherboard and power supply.
After its launch, ATX became a standard form factor motherboard.
An ATX board has four RAM slots, which can be extended up to eight. 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 up to five. ATX boards are budget-friendly options for any PC.
ATX motherboard is the most commonly used motherboard. Other boards are available besides the standard ATX boards, namely, MicroATX and FlexATX.
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 primarily 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.
VIA Technologies launched them in 2001 for use in computer systems of small configurations.
ITX was designed to use a compact PC and 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 fewer RAM slots, they can not be used in higher configuration systems. ITX boards come in various sizes, such as Mini-ITX, NanoITX and PicoITX.
However, Mini-ITX 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 small form factor fit PCs. They can also be used in a system for essential work.
Main Differences Between ATX and ITX
- ATX motherboards have a standard size, while an 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 is 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.
- ATX board can extend RAM slots to eight, while an ITX only has a limited capacity.
- An ATX board has three PCI slots, whereas an ITX has only one slot.
- A high-end ATX offers an extension in the number of PCI slots, which can’t be done on an ITX board.
- An ATX board is comparatively cheaper than an ITX board.
- ATX boards are used in standard gaming and workstation PCs, whereas an ITX board can only be used in compact, portable PCs.
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.