ITX vs ATX?

Going to be building my new system soon, and I can’t really figure out why I would need a board bigger than ITX sized. I’m only gonna have 1 video card, I was gonna go with 16 GM of RAM and that’s easy enough with 2 sticks. I want a m.2 drive and all of the modern ITX boards have 1, or 2 slots for Asus. Just seems like everything I need is all there in the smaller package. There’s built in networking/wifi that works good, good sound, even onboard video if I wanted the too. I can’t really see why I would need an ATX board and bigger ATX case. So other than size, is there any reason to go with an ATX rather than ITX since I won’t have extra cards to worry about? Like are they less efficient for some reason or to they get hotter or anything? Or is it really just the same performance you’d get from an ATX, just with a few less options for components? Are they generally more expensive because of cramming things into a smaller space? Or is it all just personal preference in the end?
Reply to tkline
9 answers Last reply
More about itx atx
  1. you can have more fans, and more sata ports.

    this can come in handy in the future.
    Reply to superninja12
  2. ITX boards are a smaller market, so they make less of them. Hence the higher price on top of the obvious cost of cramming the circuts into a smaller space.

    ATX has more ports of all classes; PCI, SATA, etc. They also (the better models) will have the best overclocking abilities (more space for heatsinks and bigger chokes).

    Though frankly you can find most of this on the middle brother mATX which sits in between ATX and ITX.
    Reply to why_wolf
  3. My system has two SSDs, and two spinning drives. I also have a blu ray reader for movie watching. My case has two hot swap bays for backing up my system, so I need 7 SATA ports. How many ITX boards have you seen with 7 SATA ports? ITX boards usually have only one PCIe slot. If you use it for a GPU as you should if you are setting up a gaming system, how do you add any cards? If anything breaks on the board, and NICs/audio do fail, you'll have to use USB instead of PCI/PCIe. You also won't be able to add capture cards or any other card because your single PCIe slot is being used. For a simple setup sure, ITX is all you need. If you want to add lots of higher end gear, it will drive you crazy.
    Reply to 4745454b
  4. 4745454b said:
    My system has two SSDs, and two spinning drives. I also have a blu ray reader for movie watching. My case has two hot swap bays for backing up my system, so I need 7 SATA ports. How many ITX boards have you seen with 7 SATA ports? ITX boards usually have only one PCIe slot. If you use it for a GPU as you should if you are setting up a gaming system, how do you add any cards? If anything breaks on the board, and NICs/audio do fail, you'll have to use USB instead of PCI/PCIe. You also won't be able to add capture cards or any other card because your single PCIe slot is being used. For a simple setup sure, ITX is all you need. If you want to add lots of higher end gear, it will drive you crazy.


    What you describe is your use case. Most people run 1 gpu and 2 harddrives. Plus most itx boards come with 4 SATAs. Apart from a soundcard or video capture card, you don't really need anything else these days.
    Reply to Bungle11
  5. Exactly. For "serious" or "professional" people, ITX and probably even mATX won't work. I've been burned before with mATX so I only go ATX now. My case has tons of room. I can add tons of things and not worry at all. I said in my post if all you need is a simple setup than ITX is fine. If surfing and mild gaming playing is all you want to do then ITX is fine. My best friend bought one recently at Bestbuy because he wanted to stop using a pirated copy of windows. For him it works just fine. For a competitive gamer who wants a CF/SLI setup or someone who wants to run a larger GPU? Not so much.
    Reply to 4745454b
  6. 4745454b said:
    Exactly. For "serious" or "professional" people, ITX and probably even mATX won't work. I've been burned before with mATX so I only go ATX now. My case has tons of room. I can add tons of things and not worry at all. I said in my post if all you need is a simple setup than ITX is fine. If surfing and mild gaming playing is all you want to do then ITX is fine. My best friend bought one recently at Bestbuy because he wanted to stop using a pirated copy of windows. For him it works just fine. For a competitive gamer who wants a CF/SLI setup or someone who wants to run a larger GPU? Not so much.


    My point was that ATX works for you. The person who asked the question said that they are only going to run one gpu 16, 2 harddrives etc. You don't need more than an itx for this config. Most itx cases these day's fit the largest gpu's, and CF/SLI is dying. More and more games don't support it. So most pro-games are probably using one 1080ti with a 144hz screen. I 1080Ti will pretty much give you over 100fps at 108-p/1440p. So no need for CF/SLI.

    PErsonally ATX format is only worth it if you run 2 gpus and video caputure card and a soundcard. most people don't do this, and just run one gpu, and at best a soundcard. mATX is therefore the best form factor to cover everything that most people will build.
    Reply to Bungle11
  7. The OP did ask,

    Quote:
    I can’t really figure out why I would need a board bigger than ITX sized.


    Why are you mad I gave use cases for ATX sized equipment? Relax, calm down. As I said, I've been burned before with tiny stuff. Wanting to add a card only to find out the case won't allow it. If he looks around and is willing to add things over USB, then ITX is fine. I know I'm an odd duck and want/have a MASSIVE case under my desk. If he wants an ITX I admit it's fine for him. Let's not make this a bigger deal than it is.
    Reply to 4745454b
  8. Thanks folks

    I’m just torn because I like both options. I like some of the mid-tower cases like the NZXT 340 or the phanteks P400, and I like having extra options for expansion slots.. however like I said I don’t think I’m going to need a network or wifi or sound card when that is already built into the MB and good enough for me. I also really like the new Phanteks Shift case and some of the other ITX ones.

    I’m going to be gaming with it primarily, and doing some web & graphic design but nothing major. I’m not going to be streaming or capturing video or anything like that. Maybe some very light video editing. I’m also not planning to overclock at all because I’m paranoid I’ll overheat and ruin everything. Just want solid out of the box performance and a great looking case on the desk. Last time I had a tower, it was so big I had to put it on the floor and it got so caked with dust and dog hair over the 2-3 years I had it, I don’t want to go through that again. So I definitely want something that can go on the desktop, without being super huge… so thats why I was thinking of ITX also. Although I think the Phanteks shift is still a mid tower size anyway.

    So, I feel like ITX has I need, but seeing these cool new ATX Z370 boards coming out makes me want them instead. I'm probably going to go with the i5 coffee lake. And I'm trying to see if I can afford a 1TB M.2, so I probably won't even need to install other drives and that makes me feel like the bigger case is just wasted space at that point.
    Reply to tkline
  9. While that stuff is build into the board, I've had boards where it dies. NICs and sound cards can stop working. I have a new NIC sitting on my desk waiting to be installed into my moms PC, care to guess why? You can buy USB options and use them. Personally I like everything in the case. And before someone jumps all over me, I said I like things inside the case. Doesn't make it law, so relax.

    ITX is really small. mATX might be a better idea. Though if either works it's YOUR call on what to get. Maybe you should find your case and then pick the system to fill it. I have a HAF XM under my desk. The thing is HUGE. It's not for you, but I like it. Find your case or perhaps your board and then pick things to fit them.
    Reply to 4745454b
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