ATX vs mATX vs ITX

Snowdog

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Add in PCIE NVMe, audio card (I use a xonar in my gaming system), video capture cards, etc. Lots of things you might want to put in there. Additional networks, who knows.
Reality is that most people use none of those these days. Those are all niche items now.
 

lopoetve

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Reality is that most people use none of those these days. Those are all niche items now.
Depends on who you ask and what their use case is. For a gamer? Absolutely. For a workstation? Depends on the workstation in question. I only use the audio card because I have a nice receiver that I do DTS Live to. But my workstation is going to have PCIE NVME cards, an additional network card (if the motherboard doesn't have two), maybe more. It all depends. Motherboards have gotten REALLY good at including almost everything you'd need; especially with the proliferation of USB ports these days (my old workstation had both a wifi card and a separate USB3 card in it), and an audio card because the onboard audio had HORRIBLE coil whine. And the GPU, of course.

We think first of gaming here because, well, [H] forum. But a lot of us have systems for other things too :)
 

IdiotInCharge

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Two M.2 NVMe, one M.2 SATA, no OG SATA, audio through USB DAC and optical DAC (from onboard), three NICs onboard including 10GbE, no AICs other than GPU...

Dunno man. I get using a Xonar and receiver if you have them, but I wouldn't plan around that; really my biggest annoyance is the lack of M.2 slots, and that mostly because the drives are still too small. All consumer-level SSDs are too small really.

I could get away with ITX with the right set of features onboard. My ITX 'workstation' (the 8700k in sig) has two NICs and two M.2 drives itself, and uses USB speakers and optical out to a DAC too. And while it'd be loud as shit, it'd take a 2080Ti just fine.
 

lopoetve

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Two M.2 NVMe, one M.2 SATA, no OG SATA, audio through USB DAC and optical DAC (from onboard), three NICs onboard including 10GbE, no AICs other than GPU...

Dunno man. I get using a Xonar and receiver if you have them, but I wouldn't plan around that; really my biggest annoyance is the lack of M.2 slots, and that mostly because the drives are still too small. All consumer-level SSDs are too small really.

I could get away with ITX with the right set of features onboard. My ITX 'workstation' (the 8700k in sig) has two NICs and two M.2 drives itself, and uses USB speakers and optical out to a DAC too. And while it'd be loud as shit, it'd take a 2080Ti just fine.
I have a Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 - amp died, so I had to switch to something to power those speakers. Multi-in is a pain in the ass and sometimes... flaky, so I got a low-profile receiver with DTS support and the Xonar years back. Bought the PCIE based version when I switched to the latest systems. Still love the thing. They don't make them anymore, though - I suspect this will be the last time I have one :(

I started on that path WAY back when with the Creative SoundWorks 5.1 Digital setup and an Nforce2 Ultra board with SoundStorm - loved it then, still do.
 

Nobu

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mATX is about a lot more than just the extra PCIe slots over ITX. It's also more board more room for SATA ports, RAM slots, fan headers, NVME slots.

Typically mATX boards have all the same SATA,RAM, fan header and NVME slots as full ATX, While ITX is short changed on everything. Less RAM slots, Less fan headers, Less SATA ports, Less NVME, and they charge you more money for being shortchanged everything.
Ehh...granted, mITX is cramped, there is just one PCIe slot, and just less stuff in general. But my asrock b450 itx board has:
3 fan headers
1.5 USB2 headers (½ for amd fan leds)
1 USB3 header
2 LED headers (1 addressable, other for amd fan)
4 sata ports
An LPC header (for debugging, i assume)
Chassis speaker header
An m.2 slot (reverse side of mb)
Intel Wifi+bt (m.2 on rear io panel)
4 USB3.1 ports (1 ea. g2 type-a and c, and 2 g1 type-a)
2 USB2 ports
HDMI/DP, 7.1 channel audio

Seems to me there's more than enough crammed on these little boards than would be needed in most of the systems they'd likely be used in – if anything, I wouldn't mind a slightly simpler board, but that doesn't fit as many usecases, so fewer units would sell.

If you need more, you probably have a case that could (or should) fit a mATX or FlexATX motherboard anyway, and that's probably what you would be looking at.
 
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Snowdog

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I have a Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 - amp died, so I had to switch to something to power those speakers. Multi-in is a pain in the ass and sometimes... flaky, so I got a low-profile receiver with DTS support and the Xonar years back. Bought the PCIE based version when I switched to the latest systems. Still love the thing. They don't make them anymore, though - I suspect this will be the last time I have one :(

I started on that path WAY back when with the Creative SoundWorks 5.1 Digital setup and an Nforce2 Ultra board with SoundStorm - loved it then, still do.
DTS receiver have SPDIF optical in? Then there is no point in using a sound card, over a motherboard with optical out. This is what I have been doing for over a decade (I aslo started this with NForce). Since the audio never goes analog, then the quality of the motherboard sound circuitry is irrelevant, it's the quality of the receiver decode that matters. Getting a high end sound card is just a waste of money if you are just doing digital out to a receiver.
 

lopoetve

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DTS receiver have SPDIF optical in? Then there is no point in using a sound card, over a motherboard with optical out. This is what I have been doing for over a decade (I aslo started this with NForce). Since the audio never goes analog, then the quality of the motherboard sound circuitry is irrelevant, it's the quality of the receiver decode that matters. Getting a high end sound card is just a waste of money if you are just doing digital out to a receiver.
Yes, but most motherboards only send 2-channel LPCM over that unless encoded. The Xonar does the real-time encoding of 5.1 to DTS or DD Live! for you. Just recently have they started licensing that for motherboards again, and it's very hit or miss (and hard to update for licensing reasons).

Either of my current systems if you hook it up, you only get 2.0 out of it. It won't send something that the receiver can do anything with otherwise. This is triply true of most mATX boards like I have, since that's an expensive feature.

And I DESPISE HDMI audio (too many crashes/issues/driver bugs).
 

Snowdog

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Yes, but most motherboards only send 2-channel LPCM over that unless encoded. The Xonar does the real-time encoding of 5.1 to DTS or DD Live! for you. Just recently have they started licensing that for motherboards again, and it's very hit or miss (and hard to update for licensing reasons).
Either of my current systems if you hook it up, you only get 2.0 out of it. It won't send something that the receiver can do anything with otherwise. This is triply true of most mATX boards like I have, since that's an expensive feature.
I thought this was an available feature on some of the modern chipsets. My MB is ancient, so it doesn't encode games to DD, or DTS, but I really don't care that much about it (I just use Dolby Prologic for fake surround when gaming). You can still play DTS/DD movie soundtracks though, which combined with stereo for games is enough for me.


And I DESPISE HDMI audio (too many crashes/issues/driver bugs).
Same. I hate that they combined them with video. They really should have a separate modern digital audio source for receivers. The pass-through schemes are crap.
 

lopoetve

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I thought this was an available feature on some of the modern chipsets. My MB is ancient, so it doesn't encode games to DD, or DTS, but I really don't care that much about it (I just use Dolby Prologic for fake surround when gaming). You can still play DTS/DD movie soundtracks though, which combined with stereo for games is enough for me.




Same. I hate that they combined them with video. They really should have a separate modern digital audio source for receivers. The pass-through schemes are crap.
Some yes, but not all - and the installers downloadable tend to miss the feature in updates, because there are issues with having the licensed code available on the web... so it's, problematic. Xonar doesn't care since you have to have the card :p Technically, any Realtek chipset can do DD / DTS encoding, it's all up to the manufacturer to license it and the software. So some do (ASUS and ASRock for instance) but only on CERTAIN boards. But the driver would work on ANY board, so you get to call support to get the updates individually or pray someone uploaded them somewhere, so... yeah. Suck. Hence why I stuck with the Xonar for now :) Huge black market of people futzing with the DLLs to get them working on any system, but they also flag as malware then, so... yeah. I went with what works out of the box :)

And AMEN at the digital audio source. I like having one cable in. It's nice.
 

pavel

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The only problem with mATX is that a lot of boards are designed to be budget boards, and often you don't get the same VRM setup, etc. that you'd get with a higher end ATX board. There are exceptions, but you don't have as large of a selection. Often there is only 1 or 2 good motherboards across all vendors and they are either more expensive than they should be or difficult to find (case in point, I think I saw that Asus had a ROG LGA1200 mATX board and maybe MSI had one also that might be considered enthusiast level, and I only know of 1 X570 mATX board by ASRock which isn't as nice as the ATX counterparts). I agree with you though that mATX is a perfect size for me and I wish more manufacturers took it seriously as an enthusiast platform.

I haven't used the S400, but the comparably sized Masterbox NR400 is a great case. Too bad the larger ATX one is such a compromise (I was looking at it, but glad I didn't pull the trigger) because I really liked the NR400 build I did.
I really like the NR400 and if I get a B550 board, it will probably be matx. Maybe the MSI B550M Mortar wifi. Almost all b550s will be expensive here. I want to pick an itx board but they will be price/cost prohibitive for me. But, aren't matx cases almost as large as ATX cases? I like the NR400 but I wonder about its dimensions.

I like a small case because it's practical. It's easy to move around on the rare instances I want to do that. I hate big cases now but I know it's easier to cool hardware in an ATX build and way more choices.

I wouldn't be surprised if this changed in the future.

I think the advent of smart phones and tablets will lead to a natural miniaturization of the PC, and mATX is the prime candidate.
Wait for the next AMD socket, and that will probably lead to a lot of new paradigms, just due to how old the current socket is.

That should influence Intel boards too, and so we might see more feature rich mATX motherboards pop up in general.
I think gamers are maintaining the ATX form factor. High performance, pricey video cards are often long and usually need a big enough case to fit. Itx/sff is still a niche market? Also, the hardware is very expensive so only consumers with that budget can afford it. Usually, matx and atx offer enough choices for budget friendly hardware.

If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate to go straight for itx. I think the sff is cool and convenient. Lots of people have said they like sff and itx because it 'fits better' with their living room/furniture. I like it because I don't like moving large cases around even if I only have to rarely do it. :)
 

kirbyrj

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I really like the NR400 and if I get a B550 board, it will probably be matx. Maybe the MSI B550M Mortar wifi. Almost all b550s will be expensive here. I want to pick an itx board but they will be price/cost prohibitive for me. But, aren't matx cases almost as large as ATX cases? I like the NR400 but I wonder about its dimensions.

I like a small case because it's practical. It's easy to move around on the rare instances I want to do that. I hate big cases now but I know it's easier to cool hardware in an ATX build and way more choices.

I think gamers are maintaining the ATX form factor. High performance, pricey video cards are often long and usually need a big enough case to fit. Itx/sff is still a niche market? Also, the hardware is very expensive so only consumers with that budget can afford it. Usually, matx and atx offer enough choices for budget friendly hardware.

If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate to go straight for itx. I think the sff is cool and convenient. Lots of people have said they like sff and itx because it 'fits better' with their living room/furniture. I like it because I don't like moving large cases around even if I only have to rarely do it. :)
I have this case right now for a mATX build and it's tiny (15"H x 14"L x 7.5"W). Much smaller than the NR400 (my brother has the NR400).
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16811147295

It's only slightly larger than some mITX cases that support full size radiators, etc. in them.
 

Snowdog

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I really like the NR400 and if I get a B550 board, it will probably be matx. Maybe the MSI B550M Mortar wifi. Almost all b550s will be expensive here. I want to pick an itx board but they will be price/cost prohibitive for me. But, aren't matx cases almost as large as ATX cases? I like the NR400 but I wonder about its dimensions.
If you want to use full size components, then ITX is not much smaller than mATX, here are cases that accept full size components from the same family.

ITX: Define Nano S: 28.8L
mATX: Define Mini C: 35.8L (NR400 is about this size)
ATX: Define C: 39.3L

It's really only when you switch over to small components, that ITX cases get small, often combined with using a PCIe extensions to make case thinner. If you want to do air cooling, you are limited to weaker CPU cooling options.

For a real SFF ITX, you pay a higher price for small components, usually cramped pain to build in, usually noisy, usually compromised cooling, usually marginal dust filtering. IOW it's inferior in most ways except size.
 

kirbyrj

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I had a Define Nano S and it was "big" for ITX.

For example, that Rosewill mATX case is 25.8L
 

kirbyrj

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If it's the Rosewill I am thinking of, it can't use full size CPU coolers. It's limited to ~150mm.
It probably is. I have an OG Scythe Fuma in it and it's 145mm and it just fits. A 120mm AIO would fit (used a Corsair H60) and a 240mm might work. I'd have to look.
 

DoubleTap

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If you want to use full size components, then ITX is not much smaller than mATX, here are cases that accept full size components from the same family.

ITX: Define Nano S: 28.8L
mATX: Define Mini C: 35.8L (NR400 is about this size)
ATX: Define C: 39.3L

It's really only when you switch over to small components, that ITX cases get small, often combined with using a PCIe extensions to make case thinner. If you want to do air cooling, you are limited to weaker CPU cooling options.

For a real SFF ITX, you pay a higher price for small components, usually cramped pain to build in, usually noisy, usually compromised cooling, usually marginal dust filtering. IOW it's inferior in most ways except size.
It's kind of pointless to make a 29L ITX system in my opinion.

I've been mostly MATX for the last 9 years and just went ITX a few months ago.

My observation is that there are more high end motherboards in ITX than there are in MATX because the high end systems are either the big box monsters or the sleek shoe boxes - people gravitate to one or the other.

My advice would be to find a case that you're interested in - like the Ncase M1, Ghose, Dans, etc - see what people are doing (there are always a few extremists that take everything to the limit) and see what the complaints and limitations are.

For the small, high end, boutique style cases, you're going to pay more - more for the case and more because you will often need very specific components to make it work. This might be a really bad time to start some builds because a lot of parts are constrained or on back order.

In my case, I found that the old Noctua C14 cooler (not the new C14S) was one of the best options - I found one on ebay ($95) and it worked great - until I changed my motherboard from Asrock to Asus - now it doesn't fit and I have to either mod the motherboard or use something else and so far, nothing is really making me as happy as the C14 did. I'll probably end up buying my first AIO, but most of them are 2-3 weeks to ship at this point. Not a big deal, but if you're someone who is always trying to optimize, these little systems will keep you engaged.

I have an 8700K/2080Ti/8TB of solid state storage and an internal BDROM in under 13L and it runs cool and quiet (less quiet while gaming) and I don't feel like I'm missing anything except the ability to significantly OC, but for what I play, it's a non issue.
 

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Snowdog

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Are there any ITX cases that aren't super small? I get the point is to be smaller but I wouldn't mind an ITX case with just a *little* more room, without going up to mATX.
Almost every size is covered. The TU-150 is nice at 23.5L, and handles a 165mm tower CPU cooler, not overpriced, sharp looking, and solid handle built into the top.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I am not really interested in SFF. Chasing expensive small components is nothing that interests me.
I'm not interested in it for my desktop, yet, but I have a second workstation as well as my wife's desktop which are both ITX.

My biggest concern with the reduction in enclosure volume is the cooling capacity versus noise comparison. I want to be able to use AIOs for CPU and GPU where possible, and especially for the GPU if more than casual gaming (or acceleratable content creation) is involved.
 

DoubleTap

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I'm not interested in it for my desktop, yet, but I have a second workstation as well as my wife's desktop which are both ITX.

My biggest concern with the reduction in enclosure volume is the cooling capacity versus noise comparison. I want to be able to use AIOs for CPU and GPU where possible, and especially for the GPU if more than casual gaming (or acceleratable content creation) is involved.
My Ncase M1, even with the U9S cooler (which I consider marginal) is silent when I'm not gaming.

When I'm gaming, it's very audible, but not obnoxious and I use headphones anyway.
 

IdiotInCharge

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When I'm gaming, it's very audible, but not obnoxious and I use headphones anyway.
Preferring open-back headphones for gaming where I can... I'd be fine if I only used closed-back headphones, and my DT177X Go are nice (among others), but my Focal Elex are currently top-dog and they're open :)

But I see what you're saying. I think I have a U9S (or similar) Noctua in my Cryorg Taku, and with the 8700K it's fine at the desktop. Under load?

Well, for games, the GPU makes a racket. Can't get around that really at that size.

But on the desktop... a sandwiched 280mm AIO does the job well. Doesn't really sweat with gaming; the 9900K doesn't really sweat at all until I throw a synthetic workload at it really. My most played game is BF4, and it uses about 20%-30% on average.
 

harmattan

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For me, the 'need' for ATX died with multi-GPU. While that technology might return at some point, today I have only one card slot in use. I even tossed out all of the spinners!

Bigger issue is cooling, and noise. Shoving 200W of CPU and 300W of GPU into a shoebox and expecting anything close to pleasant levels of noise is a challenge that likely results in frustration.
Same, the benefit of ATX was really nullified for me once SLI/Crossfire became effectively useless. Even many mATX boards offered multi-GPU support, but the selection was limited compared to ATX, and there have been no (afaik) ITX boards that have supported mGPU. I have no need to run dual m.2 SSDs or multiple PCI-E cards.

The only drawback n some mATX and ITX boards is the cheaper ones often only have 2xDIMM slots (although most ppl only run two DIMMs anyways),

As for cooling, there's no rule you need to use an mITX case with an mITX board: most ATX boards have the sinks for an ITX board. That said, one of my favorite setups ever was a z97 ITX board with an overclocked i5-4590 and an 295x2 in a SUGO SG13 mITX case. It had a built-in Intel wifi card and the case allowed me to put the 295x2's rad in top of the case so cooling wasn't an issue. It was a shoebox-sized monster.
 

Ready4Dis

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Considering I own and use all of the above mentioned...
mATX is pretty much the worst and mostly only good for budget builds. I recently put a fury tri-x in my daughter's PC and I had to remove the pcie wireless card because the GPU covers the additional slot. It has no more room than my itx boards. Now if I water cooled her card I could possibly get that port back. But there aren't many mATX cases that can't fit a full size ATX board and the full size for sure would leave me an extra slot. My 2 ITX boards are in itx cases and are nice and compact/portable.
One is on water (cube style) the other is just air (console style). They only have 2 ram slots, but most Ryzen boards prefer 2 sticks anyways, and it's got 3 fan headers (2 support pumps) + 2 led headers and onboard wifi. My full ATX, well, not much to say about here, it's got extra slots that mostly go unused but plenty of space for expansion if I want.
In my opinion, mATX are limited in use but for a smaller budget they do work fine. I wish they would make a few more (smallish) case options that are specifically for mATX, but if the case is big enough to fit a full ATX you aren't gaining anything with the smaller board (besides maybe some $ in your pocket or for other components which is the reason I bought them). They all have a place in my house, just different needs/uses.
 

kirbyrj

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Considering I own and use all of the above mentioned...
mATX is pretty much the worst and mostly only good for budget builds. I recently put a fury tri-x in my daughter's PC and I had to remove the pcie wireless card because the GPU covers the additional slot. It has no more room than my itx boards. Now if I water cooled her card I could possibly get that port back. But there aren't many mATX cases that can't fit a full size ATX board and the full size for sure would leave me an extra slot. My 2 ITX boards are in itx cases and are nice and compact/portable.
One is on water (cube style) the other is just air (console style). They only have 2 ram slots, but most Ryzen boards prefer 2 sticks anyways, and it's got 3 fan headers (2 support pumps) + 2 led headers and onboard wifi. My full ATX, well, not much to say about here, it's got extra slots that mostly go unused but plenty of space for expansion if I want.
In my opinion, mATX are limited in use but for a smaller budget they do work fine. I wish they would make a few more (smallish) case options that are specifically for mATX, but if the case is big enough to fit a full ATX you aren't gaining anything with the smaller board (besides maybe some $ in your pocket or for other components which is the reason I bought them). They all have a place in my house, just different needs/uses.
That's funny. I just built a high(er) end mATX setup with the Asus Strix Z490-G. Putting it into a Sliger Cerberus case. Yes, it isn't quite as small as ITX, but I have a legit extra PCIe slot because of the spacing of the first x16 slot, 4xDIMM, etc. To each their own I guess.
 

Ready4Dis

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That's funny. I just built a high(er) end mATX setup with the Asus Strix Z490-G. Putting it into a Sliger Cerberus case. Yes, it isn't quite as small as ITX, but I have a legit extra PCIe slot because of the spacing of the first x16 slot, 4xDIMM, etc. To each their own I guess.
Just going based off my experiences. I see that case, looks like a slightly smaller midtower. For $250 + additional for any add one, it's a bit $ for a low/mid end build that I normally do. My mATX has the same slots as your board, a 2.5 slot pcie graphics card doesn't allow any of the additional slots to be used. This of course is only the case of a 2.5 slot GPU. It was a card I got after the build and was never intended for it, but other upgrades and component hand downs and that's where it made sense. This is very niche, prior to this GPU i had a normal 2 slot GPU with the wifi card in no issues. I just wish more companies would put a x1 slot above the x16 then the GPU wont interfere. Yes, my mATX has 4 ram slots, which is nice if I want to upgrade ram.
I'm not saying mATX are useless, just that they are kind of like a dual sport motorcycle... Can do both (smallish, expandable ish) but not not great at either. They are a compromise to have a little bit of both without having to buy/have both and can be quite enjoyable (I own 2 dual sports btw, but still miss my crotch rockets on occasion, but with 16 acres they made more sense, aka niche case).
The case is slightly smaller but takes the same footprint as a normal case. I wish more cases would be available in this fashion or even an htpc layout with full size GPU support. I'm not trying to say anything bad about your build, it is honestly a really nice case/MB combo and seems to have enough options to keep you happy and a smaller size to fit more easily in limited space or for moving around. I even said I have mATX but mine was as more due to budget than anything. If I'm going for small/portable it's itx (I wish dtx was more common, but GPU takes a lot of room already so you can only go so small). If I want expansion, I build ATX if it's in budget. If I'm building a cheap PC for my kids, it's whatever I find at the time for the right price, lol. Luckily my wife doesn't mind having 6 desktops plus my server in the house, so i don't have to compromise as much on this front.
For all around PC that's semi portable yet can support good cooling, mATX is a good middle of the road. For me, it just doesn't make sense in many instances, obviously your preferences and choices may differ and there's nothing wrong with that, just sharing my viewpoint.
 

Snowdog

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Considering I own and use all of the above mentioned...
mATX is pretty much the worst and mostly only good for budget builds. I recently put a fury tri-x in my daughter's PC and I had to remove the pcie wireless card because the GPU covers the additional slot.
How does that work? mATX is a 4 slot standard. How does the GPU cover all the slots?

Most mATX boards put the GPU in the top slot and have the bottom slot with a full length connector. So even a triple slot GPU, should still give access to the bottom slot. Almost everyone should get the use of two slots on a mATX board if not 3.

r%20and%20B450M%20Mortar%20Titanium%20Motherboards.jpg
 

kirbyrj

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How does that work? mATX is a 4 slot standard. How does the GPU cover all the slots?

Most mATX boards put the GPU in the top slot and have the bottom slot with a full length connector. So even a triple slot GPU, should still give access to the bottom slot. Almost everyone should get the use of two slots on a mATX board if not 3.

View attachment 259325
I've noticed that some boards have the primary GPU x16 slot in the 2nd position rather than the 1st. Usually they will put a x1 slot above the x16 slot.

In my case, I have a 2 slot GPU and I have two extra PCIe available (x1 and x16). Using the x1 slot would choke the video card slightly as it is right next to it.
 

Ready4Dis

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How does that work? mATX is a 4 slot standard. How does the GPU cover all the slots?

Most mATX boards put the GPU in the top slot and have the bottom slot with a full length connector. So even a triple slot GPU, should still give access to the bottom slot. Almost everyone should get the use of two slots on a mATX board if not 3.

View attachment 259325
This is the MB I have to work with.

https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherboard/GA-B250M-DS3H-rev-10#kf

As you can see... NVME, pcie x16, followed by 2 more pcie slots. So, maybe it's just because I only ever look at budget mATX boards, but the bottom is the headers for front panel, audio, etc. I wish they would just put the x1 slot followed by the x16 slot, then it wouldn't block the fan of the GPU and it doesn't matter if your GPU is 1,2, or more slots.

As you can see, a 2 slot GPU was struggling for air (I used a half height wifi board to minimize it as much as possible), the 2.5 slot covers everything so it's no more useful than an itx at this point unless I can find a fl could pcie extender, but I'll just use the USB wifi when I need it (it's normally wired). My son has a mATX until his new MB comes in (B550 + 3700x, shipping status says today). It's currently a b150m pro4 which has 4 pcie slots, but lacks nvme (not room between CPU and first slots would have had to be on back if included, at least looking at images). I was going to swap this in its place, but lack of NVME (her PC has an NVME drive) makes this a no go. Either isn't ideal and both are in cases that support ATX, I bought purely based on cost and they've worked perfectly for what they were intended. I see there are a bit more options now with 4 slots + NVME, so good to know they've gotten better with this. Still limited compared to ATX but much better than what I have and am used to.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
26,113
This is the MB I have to work with.

https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherboard/GA-B250M-DS3H-rev-10#kf

As you can see... NVME, pcie x16, followed by 2 more pcie slots. So, maybe it's just because I only ever look at budget mATX boards, but the bottom is the headers for front panel, audio, etc. I wish they would just put the x1 slot followed by the x16 slot, then it wouldn't block the fan of the GPU and it doesn't matter if your GPU is 1,2, or more slots.

As you can see, a 2 slot GPU was struggling for air (I used a half height wifi board to minimize it as much as possible), the 2.5 slot covers everything so it's no more useful than an itx at this point unless I can find a fl could pcie extender, but I'll just use the USB wifi when I need it (it's normally wired). My son has a mATX until his new MB comes in (B550 + 3700x, shipping status says today). It's currently a b150m pro4 which has 4 pcie slots, but lacks nvme (not room between CPU and first slots would have had to be on back if included, at least looking at images). I was going to swap this in its place, but lack of NVME (her PC has an NVME drive) makes this a no go. Either isn't ideal and both are in cases that support ATX, I bought purely based on cost and they've worked perfectly for what they were intended. I see there are a bit more options now with 4 slots + NVME, so good to know they've gotten better with this. Still limited compared to ATX but much better than what I have and am used to.
That B250M is a non-standard mATX board. It's shorter than normal, thus you lose the extra PCIe slot.
 

Snowdog

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
10,643
This is the MB I have to work with.

https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherboard/GA-B250M-DS3H-rev-10#kf

As you can see... NVME, pcie x16, followed by 2 more pcie slots. So, maybe it's just because I only ever look at budget mATX boards, but the bottom is the headers for front panel, audio, etc. I wish they would just put the x1 slot followed by the x16 slot, then it wouldn't block the fan of the GPU and it doesn't matter if your GPU is 1,2, or more slots.

As you can see, a 2 slot GPU was struggling for air (I used a half height wifi board to minimize it as much as possible), the 2.5 slot covers everything so it's no more useful than an itx at this point unless I can find a fl could pcie extender, but I'll just use the USB wifi when I need it (it's normally wired). My son has a mATX until his new MB comes in (B550 + 3700x, shipping status says today). It's currently a b150m pro4 which has 4 pcie slots, but lacks nvme (not room between CPU and first slots would have had to be on back if included, at least looking at images). I was going to swap this in its place, but lack of NVME (her PC has an NVME drive) makes this a no go. Either isn't ideal and both are in cases that support ATX, I bought purely based on cost and they've worked perfectly for what they were intended. I see there are a bit more options now with 4 slots + NVME, so good to know they've gotten better with this. Still limited compared to ATX but much better than what I have and am used to.
So you call mATX the worse because you made bad choices to use a non standard 3 slot mATX board.
 

Ready4Dis

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
1,341
So you call mATX the worse because you made bad choices to use a non standard 3 slot mATX board.
I said it wasn't that useful for me besides to save some coin. I build mini itx if I want small size and I can use full size ATX when I want more space. It wasn't a bad choice, it's done everything I needed it to for over 3 years. Just recently I shoehorned a GPU in that wasn't ideal, but it still works fine. That said, if the ATX was the same price I would have gotten it and this wouldn't have been an issue, but I'm still happy with th decision given what I can anted at the time. To me, mATX is the middle man, not bad at anything but not as good at either. It's not a horrible choice in many instances, but it's not my first choice unless the $ is compelling. It will meet the needs of most anyone and gives you more expansion than an itx in 99% of the situations. I'm just giving my perspective and real world situation I ran into with one. Many people are happy with mATX, myself included, that doesn't mean I can't like it the least ;). I have 1 ATX (soon to be 2), 2 mATX and 2 ITX desktops at he house, one for each member. They all had different use cases and reasons.for why I got what I did. Sometimes cost, sometimes opportunity, sometimes upgradability, and portability. Other than cost, I don't see a compelling reason for ME to be mATX because I already have small portables so don't need to keep size down. If I only had a single desktop (common for others), mATX would probably be a great compromise with a smaller case yet enough room for better cooling and add-on cards. This isn't my specific situation. For cheap builds I find cheap and buy cheap, which tends to be mATX. When I build for a specific purpose I buy what best fits.
 

Ready4Dis

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
1,341
Yeah, that one looks weird.
It does comparing it to others. ASRock and Asus both make b250m boards with the same (pcie wise) layout (I'm sure others do too, but I did a quick search fo b250m and those came up). I'm sure it's a cost cutting method. All boards are not created equally, lol.
 
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