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ATX vs. ITX: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 18, 2024
ATX is a motherboard and power supply form factor standard, larger in size, while ITX is a smaller form factor standard, suitable for compact builds.

Key Differences

ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) is a motherboard form factor known for its standard size, typically 305mm x 244mm, making it suitable for full-size desktops. ITX (Information Technology eXtended), in contrast, refers to a smaller motherboard form factor, with Mini-ITX being the most common at 170mm x 170mm, ideal for compact or portable computers.
In terms of expansion capabilities, ATX motherboards usually offer more PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slots, making them ideal for users who require multiple GPUs or additional expansion cards. ITX motherboards, due to their smaller size, have fewer PCI slots, often limited to one, which restricts expansion but meets the needs of small-scale or specialized builds.
The ATX form factor is widely used in standard desktop PCs, offering flexibility for upgrades and customization due to its larger size. ITX, being smaller, is favored in small form factor (SFF) builds, media centers, and portable gaming rigs where space is at a premium.
Power supply compatibility differs between the two; ATX motherboards commonly use ATX power supplies, which are larger and provide more power for extensive systems. ITX builds often use smaller SFX power supplies or specific ITX-compatible power units, suitable for their reduced size and power requirements.
In cooling options, ATX motherboards allow for more extensive cooling solutions, including multiple fans and larger heat sinks. ITX boards, with limited space, often require more innovative cooling strategies, relying on smaller, more efficient coolers or liquid cooling systems.

Comparison Chart


Larger (305mm x 244mm)
Smaller (170mm x 170mm for Mini-ITX)

Expansion Slots

More PCI slots for GPUs, etc.
Limited, often one PCI slot

Common Use

Standard desktop PCs
Compact builds, media centers

Power Supply

Larger ATX power supplies
Smaller SFX or ITX-specific power units

Cooling Options

Extensive cooling solutions
Compact, efficient cooling required

ATX and ITX Definitions


ATX boards typically support a wide range of CPUs and memory types.
His ATX motherboard was compatible with the latest high-performance processors.


ITX motherboards are ideal for space-saving computer builds.
The ITX motherboard fit perfectly in the small case.


ATX motherboards are larger, allowing for more hardware expansion.
The ATX board's multiple PCI slots allowed for dual graphics cards.


ITX often limits expansion due to its smaller size.
The ITX board had just one PCI slot, enough for her needs.


ATX is the most common form factor for mainstream desktop PCs.
Most pre-built desktops use the ATX form factor.


ITX builds are popular for portable and specialized computers.
His portable gaming rig used an efficient ITX board.


ATX systems are preferred for their upgrade and customization options.
She appreciated the ATX system's flexibility for future upgrades.


ITX motherboards require efficient cooling solutions due to limited space.
The ITX setup used a compact liquid cooling system.


ATX is a motherboard specification for desktop computers.
He chose an ATX motherboard for his gaming PC build.


ITX refers to a small form factor motherboard for compact PCs.
He used a Mini-ITX board for his home theater PC.


Are ITX motherboards more expensive than ATX?

ITX motherboards can be more expensive due to their compact design and specialized use.

What does ATX stand for?

ATX stands for Advanced Technology Extended.

Is ATX better for gaming than ITX?

ATX is often preferred for gaming due to more expansion options, but ITX can also be suitable depending on the build.

Can you use standard ATX power supplies with ITX motherboards?

ITX builds often require smaller power supplies, but some cases can accommodate standard ATX power supplies.

How many RAM slots do ATX motherboards have?

ATX motherboards typically have 4 or more RAM slots.

Are ITX motherboards good for overclocking?

ITX motherboards can be used for overclocking, but thermal management is crucial due to limited space.

Is cooling an issue with ITX motherboards?

Cooling can be challenging in ITX builds due to limited space, requiring efficient cooling solutions.

What is the main purpose of ITX motherboards?

ITX motherboards are designed for compact and space-efficient computer builds.

Can ATX motherboards fit in any computer case?

ATX motherboards require cases specifically designed for the ATX form factor.

Are there different sizes of ATX motherboards?

ATX is a standard size, but there are variants like Micro-ATX that are smaller.

Do ITX motherboards have built-in WiFi?

Many ITX motherboards come with built-in WiFi, but this varies by model.

What are the limitations of an ATX build?

ATX builds are larger and may not be suitable for space-constrained environments.

What types of builds are ATX motherboards best for?

ATX motherboards are best for versatile builds, including gaming, workstations, and servers.

Is the ITX form factor becoming more popular?

Yes, the ITX form factor is gaining popularity for compact and efficient builds.

How many PCIe slots does a typical ITX motherboard have?

A typical ITX motherboard usually has one PCIe slot.

Do ATX motherboards support multiple graphics cards?

Yes, most ATX motherboards support multiple graphics cards.

Can ITX motherboards be used in large cases?

ITX motherboards can be installed in larger cases, but it may not be space-efficient.

Are ITX motherboards suitable for beginners?

ITX motherboards can be suitable for beginners, but the compact space might present some assembly challenges.

What CPUs are compatible with ATX motherboards?

ATX motherboards support a wide range of CPUs, from mainstream to high-end.

Can you build a high-performance PC with an ITX motherboard?

Yes, you can build a high-performance PC with an ITX motherboard, especially with current technology advancements.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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