When it comes to building size, mini-ITX has the smallest footprint among all motherboard types. This means many small motherboards are available with more features than other models and are often less expensive, making them ideal for enthusiasts who want to make their builds from scratch or use them in extreme configurations like water-cooling setups.
How We Make Decisions?
Isn’t it true that the simple things in life are the most important? They’re the things that keep you going, and micro builds are no exception. They’re subtle, nuanced, and if executed well, they can deliver a decisive blow.
WePC loves regular ATX boards just as much as the next gamer, but nothing beats the delight of playing with more unusual setups with whole new untapped potential. You’re genuinely learning something, and we’ve got a good handle on what makes the Mini ITX board tick over the years.
We’ve chosen five Mini ITX boards based on our expertise that are either incredibly adaptable, excellent value for money, fantastic for gaming, or all of the above. These are the motherboards whose power is dwarfed by their size.
Intel vs. AMD
AMD and Intel are fighting a fierce CPU battle, as we’re sure you’re aware, but you can’t fight in the CPU arena unless you’re also fighting in the motherboard arena. Unfortunately, the motherboard industry is divided between these strong businesses, much as the CPU market is.
Currently, each manufacturer is concentrating on a different end of the form-factor range. Intel is the way to go if you need anything for a large construction that can handle two CPUs simultaneously. After that, it’s AMD for tiny boards like the Mini ITX.
A motherboard’s socket is a collection of connecting pins that hold your CPU in place. Each socket can only support a certain number of CPUs. Although AMD has been using the AM4 socket for some time, Intel launches a new socket with practically every new CPU generation.
If you attempt to put an incompatible CPU into your mobo socket, it will most likely not fit, but you also risk harming both pieces of hardware, which would be a costly error.
Chipsets, also known as data flow management systems, are the computer’s communication component. They link all of the different features, such as the CPU, GPU, RAM, and so on, enabling them to communicate with one another. They also determine the number of components supported by a motherboard.
Chipsets, like motherboard sockets, are only compatible with specific CPUs; however, since AMD has been using the AM4 socket for so long, you have an extensive selection, with the X570 being the best.
Let’s take a brief look at your possibilities. Motherboards will also come with or without specific functions, so let’s look at them.
Because it removes the need for wires and different devices, integrated wifi networking is a widely sought-after feature for small designs.
If your motherboard doesn’t have wifi, you’ll want to replace it with Gigabit LAN. GB LAN is simply a super-fast ethernet link that can send data at 1GBps to your router.
Design with Influence
The Design with the Influence of a motherboard refers to the power phases of the VRM (voltage regulator module). The VRM is just an adapter that transforms the power drawn from the motherboard into a voltage suitable for powering your CPU.
If a motherboard has two power phases, they will share the load, and each operates half of the time. The higher the quality or number of power phases in the VRM, the lower the load, resulting in less heat and more stable CPU voltages, enabling you to input more power into the CPU for overclocking.
The bandwidth between your linked devices is referred to as PCI-e 4. This implies that more data may be transmitted between them simultaneously, resulting in a more responsive system. It may plug PCI-e 3 components into a PCI-e four port. However, the system will only work at PCI-e 3 speeds.
Speeds of Memory
The memory speed of a motherboard, measured in megahertz, defines the kind of RAM sticks it can handle. You can still connect RAM sticks with higher frequencies than your motherboard’s memory speed, but the board won’t be able to exploit its capabilities thoroughly.
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