Micro ATX – A Standard For Computer Motherboards

You're reading Micro ATX – A Standard For Computer Motherboards, posted on Friday, June 25th, 2010 at 12:14 pm in Computers and Technology, Hardware, on BrainBloggers at the Tuners blog. More after the jump.

Micro ATX, sometimes referred to as mATX or uATX is a standard for computer motherboards. The micro ATX was introduced in 1997. The biggest size of a micro ATX motherboard is 9.6 inches x 9.6 inches or 244 mm x 244mm. The smallest micro ATX motherboard is 6.75 x 6.75 inches (171.45 x 171.45 mm). The size of a standard ATX motherboard is 12 x 9.6 inches (305 x 244 mm). The central processing units (CPUs) that are supported by micro ATX motherboard are VIA, INTEL and AMD.

Micro ATX motherboard was specifically created to be backward-compatible with ATX. If you are unaware of what ATX is, it is a computer form factor that was created by INTEL. It was a transformation for years in computer case, power supply and motherboard models. AT was the default form factor for computer systems until it was replaced by ATX. The chief reason for the change from AT to ATX was that ATX dealt with many of the problems that were faced with AT by system developers. It effectively suited new market trends and computer advancements. They offer the same advantages of ATX but micro ATX motherboards improved upon certain areas of ATX. Micro ATX motherboards can be used in complete ATX boards particularly since the I/O panel is exactly the same. Both micro ATX and ATX motherboards use the same power connectors and as a result, full sized ATX power supplies can be used with micro ATX. Both kinds of motherboards use the same chipsets therefore allowing them to use much of the same components. Micro ATX are much smaller than ATX types, therefore, they are usually fitted with fewer expansion slots.

In order to successfully use the available expansion slots, and case space, they are widely produced with a full range of peripherals that can form the basis of small form factors and medium center computer systems. As a result of so many integrated components on the motherboard, the demand for having several expansion slots is significantly decreased, and accordingly, the use of micro ATX motherboards increased.

Micro ATX motherboards are suitable for use where less than 4 expansion slots are needed. The current tendency in computer technology is one where consumers are seeking cheaper solutions for their computer systems. Micro ATX also handles this issue, in that, being a much smaller motherboard the expenses associated with the entire system set up is significantly lessened so that the purchaser can gain from more inexpensive computer systems. Previously, stereo sound, LAN connection, USB and other useful elements were bought independently and added to a computer system. Now, with micro ATX, all these features and more are integrated hence lessening the trouble, the time and the expense of purchasing and installing these essential components at a later time.

Micro ATX supports:

Present processor technologies

The switch to more advanced processor technologies.

AGP high performance graphics solutions

Smaller power supply form factor

There are useful tips that you must bear in mind when buying a micro ATX. Some of these tips are provided below.

It is of utmost importance that you find out if the motherboard will do everything that you want to get done or not. The success of most motherboards is determined by how the computer is used and for what purpose.

Before you buy a micro ATX, be ensure that it will work with the parts that you already have.

Similar to any other electronic device, when purchasing a micro ATX ensure you are getting a high quality motherboard. Always try to purchase from suppliers that are prominent and reputable in the sector of computer technology.