The difference between micro ATX & mini ATX form factor

Written by trey trawick
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The difference between micro ATX & mini ATX form factor
Motherboard form factors (motherboard image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Micro ATX and Mini ATX are motherboard form factors for computers. They are the central part of any computer system, and all other parts of a computer will connect to them. They both have different uses and different features.

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History

Mini ATX was created by AOpen to be a small, lower-power motherboard. Micro ATX was released in 1997 to be backwards-compatible with existing systems but provide a smaller form factor.

Function

Micro ATX is designed to be used with small computer cases as a personal computer. Mini ATX is a popular choice when creating embedded computers in applications such as ATMs and digital signs, as it runs cool and quietly.

Features

Mini ATX uses little power, and therefore generates less heat. Micro ATX is designed to have all the features of a full-sized ATX motherboard in a smaller form factor.

Limitations

Micro ATX only has four PCI slots, compared to five or more of the standard ATX. Mini ATX only has one PCI slot.

Size

Mini ATX has a standard size of 5.9 by 5.9 inches. Micro ATX is 9.6 by 9.6 inches.

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