The motherboard is the key component of any branded or customized PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Now you must be wondering, why it is called the motherboard?
The motherboard is a Printed Circuit Board which acts as the main platform for communication between all other parts or components of a computer. A good motherboard helps for better live streaming.
The motherboard holds together several integral parts of a computer, including the central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), graphics card and connectors for input or output devices.
Motherboard Size Chart
Usually, the base of a motherboard consists of a hard sheet of non-conductive material, typically some sort of strong plastic. Thin layers of copper or aluminum foil, known as traces, are printed on the surface of this sheet.
Traces are generally very narrow and form the circuits between the various components and connectors. In addition to circuits, a motherboard contains a number of sockets and slots to connect the other components with it. A good motherboard is helpful for game development.
Motherboard Basic Parts
When you open up your computer and take out the motherboard, you would probably get pretty confused about all the different and complex parts or components. Depending on the brand or model of your computer, it might look like this.
Click here to read a detailed guide on ways of testing motherboard for faults.
To understand how computers work, you don’t need to get a thorough knowledge of every part of the motherboard. However, it is good to know some of the basic parts and how the motherboard connects the various components of a computer system together.
Here are some of the typical parts:
- A CPU socket – In fact CPU is directly soldered onto the socket. Since high-speed CPUs creates a lot of heat, there are heat exhaust and mounting points for fans right next to the CPU socket.
- A power connector that distributes power to the CPU and other related parts.
- Slots for the system’s main memory, typically in the shape of DRAM chips.
- A chip forms an interaction between the CPU, the main memory and other components. On many types of motherboards, this is termed as the Northbridge. This chip also contains a large heat sink.
- A second chip controls the input and output functions. It does not connect directly to the CPU but to the Northbridge instead. This controller is referred to as the Southbridge. The Northbridge and Southbridge combined are known as the chipset.
- Several connectors, which provide the physical connection between input and output devices and the motherboard. Normally the Southbridge handles such connections.
- Slots for one or more hard disk drives to store files. The widely used forms of connections are Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA).
- A read-only memory (ROM) chipset, which contains the firmware. This is also called the BIOS.
- A slot for a video card or dedicated graphics card.
- Additional slots hardware connection in the form of Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slots.
Motherboard Size Variations
Picking the right motherboard can be a confusing task. There are many different sizes of motherboards available in the market, and the size of a motherboard has a direct relation to what type of build a motherboard will be best suited for.
Here is a detailed Motherboard Size Chart that explains all of your questions.
Unfortunately, the motherboard manufacturers don’t provide much information regarding the effect of motherboard sizes according to relevant tasks.
This guide about motherboard sizes will give you all the necessary information you need to know when picking your next motherboard. In this guide. This Motherboard Size Chart will cover Pico-ITX, Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and Extended-ATX
Some general breakdown pertinent to some other motherboard sizes of different types here in this Motherboard Size Chart:
It was announced by VIA in 2007. Pico-ITX has become an extremely popular format for specialty applications which require an extremely small, low-power computer system.
The compact size of a Pico-ITX motherboard is about 100mm x 72mm (or about 4 inches by 3 inches). Pico-ITX motherboards usually include only a few basic connections such as USB, 3.5mm speaker or microphone, and a video output slot.
A rapidly increasing popular format, Mini-ITX was originally developed by VIA for its low power C3 processor. Since then, it has been adopted by motherboard manufacturers for use with both AMD and Intel chipsets. Mini-ITX board’s size is 17cm x 17 cm (6.7in x 6.7in). Mini-ITX motherboards are best suited for small home computer systems.
Right now, there are Mini-ITX boards for processors using the AM2, AM3, LGA775, and LGA1156 sockets. Mini-ITX boards do line up with four of the mounting locations used by the majority of ATX boards, so a Mini-ITX board should fix in any Micro-ATX or ATX case.
It is one of the most popular motherboard formats. Micro-ATX is a standard created by Intel that has been in use for over a long period of time. Micro-ATX motherboards can vary in terms of size because the standard is dictated by a maximum of 244mm x 244mm (9.6in x 9.6in). Micro-ATX motherboards can’t be larger than that but can be smaller in size.
They use standard ATX mounting area and so will fit in any Micro-ATX or ATX case.
Micro-ATX motherboards can be found in literally any format with support for any socket. They always use the same chipsets as ATX boards do but are typically lacking a few expansion slots being small in size.
Micro-ATX boards are suited for almost any role, but the limited number of expansion slots does limit their all-around performance. For example, it is often quite difficult to install a large video card and a sound card onto a Micro-ATX board.
It is the most popular motherboard format of the last decade and a half. The ATX history goes all the way back to 1995. From that time onwards, it has become the most commonly used standard for motherboards.
ATX motherboards usually have a size of 305mm x 244mm (12in x 9.6in) and will, of course, fit into any ATX case, although the actual body size of the board is very much larger for Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases.
Just because of the fact that ATX format is so popular there is a limitless combination of features available for these motherboards. These are manufactured for almost every chipset and possess a vast range from very low budget boards to high-end products with multiple PCI Express slots and a cluster of connections.
ATX motherboards are well suited for any build except for those which require a small physical size.
An increasingly rare format known as the Extended-ATX is simply a larger version of ATX. Its size is 305mm x 330mm (12in x 13in). Because of their huge size, Extended-ATX boards will only fit into cases made specifically for them.
One of the biggest advantages of having this card is its extra length that provides more room for additional expansion cards and slots for various other components and parts, but this is the only major difference between ATX and Extended-ATX boards. Extended-ATX motherboards are mostly used just in selected workstations and some servers.
There are several points to be noted from both the picture and the breakdown above. Firstly, you may be wondering how SSI EEB and E-ATX have the same measurements but in our image, they have different sizes. Well the EVGA X580 Classified that we used is officially E-ATX but it doesn’t suppose to be maximum in size possibly.
Secondly, like most of you, I was also curious why there would be two different standards that have the same measurements. It is because of having different standards for multi CPU and Single CPU motherboards. Specifically, SSI EEB was defined by the Server System Infrastructure (SSI) forum for certain workstations or value servers.
They even define the placement of each CPU to standardize the cooling solutions. The boards do share many of the same standoffs but there are three standoffs in the middle that do not line up. A few slight customizations and you can fit your new dual CPU SSI EEB board in your available standard case.
One more thing you must have noticed that I pointed out sizes that are official standards. It is quite hard to not talk about motherboard sizes without mentioning that XL-ATX and HPTX are actually not official standards. Just because of this factor, finding cases that will actually fit these boards can be very difficult.
XL-ATX motherboards can be easily found from both Gigabyte and EVGA. HPTX, on the other hand, was a form factor that EVGA came out with for their SR-2 motherboards.
I am really hopeful that my compact and to point write up has helped you understand motherboard sizing a little better with ease. Thanks for reading my article and spent your valuable time with my content. Have a nice day.