Custom PC building is a niche that’s not exactly a walk in the park. Or maybe it is, if your park is filled with detailed specifications, wires, and multi-colored LED lights. At least there are some established guidelines when you start out—getting the right CPU, securing a solid power supply—but once you dive into the motherboard territories, that’s when things get spicy.
Let’s be honest, we’re not just talking spicy, we’re talking ghost pepper level spicy. Now, don’t worry. We’re saying this with a bucket of milk and bread on hand (you know, for metaphorical relief). When it comes to motherboards, there’s a whole world of ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, and – drumroll, please – EATX.
As a novice or a seasoned builder, you might have stared at these acronyms, feeling your brain whirl like a CPU fan. At the ripe old age of your PC building career, your brain might be exploring, too, maybe experimenting with terms like “form factor,” “expansion slots,” or trying to climb the mountain of “compatibility.”
The difference between EATX and ATX might seem like an insurmountable task to understand, but these are the milestones that matter when piecing together your custom PC. This journey isn’t just about reading manuals and screwing in parts, but about knowing and recognizing the uniqueness of each motherboard form factor and making them feel seen.
So let’s embark on this journey, your hand safely in ours, as we explore the world of EATX vs ATX and understand what really sets them apart.
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EATX vs ATX
Motherboards…you know, that big, flat, greenish piece of tech wizardry where all the other little gadgety things live. Yup, that’s the one. We’re going to be comparing EATX and ATX motherboards.
Now, unless you’re a seasoned computer whizz, these terms might sound like they’ve popped right out of an episode of Star Trek. But stick with us (we promise, no techno-jargon overload). You see, it’s just like picking a house for your PC parts—some are roomier, some are cozier, but each has its own unique charm.
Just think of EATX and ATX as different floorplans. One might have an extra guest room (hello, more expansion slots), while the other has just enough space for you and your essentials (we’re looking at you, standard ATX). The trick is figuring out which layout works best for your PC’s lifestyle.
Before you start panicking about architecture and floorplans, remember—we’re dealing with PC parts, not skyscrapers. So let’s put on our builder hats and explore the difference between EATX and ATX motherboards. To infinity…and beyond! (Okay, maybe just to the next paragraph.)
EATX—the monster truck of motherboards. Seriously, it’s like the Hulk of computer parts. Now, before we get lost in the weeds of tech jargon, let’s simplify things. If we were talking about a city, the motherboard would be the highway system—linking all the components together and ensuring they can communicate and cooperate. EATX, then, is like the German Autobahn; it’s larger, faster, and can handle more traffic than your standard-issue motherboard.
First things first, EATX isn’t exactly petite. At 30 cm x 24.4 cm, it’s like the Great Dane of motherboards. Your regular motherboard is more of a, let’s say, a Labrador. The bigger size isn’t just for show. It’s necessary because it’s packed to the brim with extra features like additional voltage regulators and a buffet of connection sockets—ten more, to be exact.
Think of these extra voltage regulators like additional power stations in our city analogy. More power stations mean more power can be distributed, and more efficiently too. In other words, EATX is built to handle high-demand computing, like gaming or video editing.
As for the extra connection sockets, think of them as more driveways leading to more houses in the city. More driveways mean more cars (data) can travel to more destinations (hardware) at once. This means EATX allows for enhanced multi-tasking. It’s like having a personal assistant for your computer’s CPU.
Next, let’s talk about multiple PCIe lanes. If we consider each data packet as a car, PCIe lanes are the special express lanes that allow certain cars (data packets) to reach their destination faster. And with EATX, there are more of these express lanes, making data transfer a breeze. It’s like having a city with a bunch of toll-free expressways.
In a nutshell, EATX offers more—more size, more power, and more connectivity. But remember, with great power comes…well, you know the rest. EATX boards need more space, more cooling, and can cost more. So while it’s not for every PC builder, for those needing the extra muscle, EATX is ready to flex its tech biceps.
ATX – An Old Standard
ATX or Advanced Technology eXtended is… well, think of it like the mother hen of PC motherboards. It was birthed by Intel back in 1995 and, boy, it set some high standards for computer construction. At a solid 24.4 cm in width and 30.5 cm in height, it was all about making room for extra functions and features.
Imagine ATX as a cozy, family-sized pizza. More room for extra toppings, right? And the bigger the pizza, the more variety you can enjoy. In the same way, an ATX motherboard is all about adding more PCI slots, memory slots, and built-in I/O ports, which give you more options to customize your PC.
But Intel, in all its wisdom, also gave us some little siblings to ATX: Micro-ATX and Mini ITX. Picture them as medium and small-sized pizza, respectively. Sure, they might not hold as many toppings as their big sister ATX, but they have their own charm. These boards were designed with compact cases in mind. Think about the sleek, minimalist PC builds that save on space but still pack a punch.
Now, let’s take a moment to appreciate these smaller versions and their mission: to adapt to low-power consumption parts. In the realm of computer hardware, energy efficiency is the holy grail. A bit like choosing the eco-friendly hybrid car over the gas guzzler. They might not go as fast or carry as much, but they’re kinder to your power bill and the environment.
In the end, whether you’re going for the whole family-sized pizza ATX or the more conservative Mini ITX, you’re catering to what you value most in your build. The real takeaway? There’s a perfect-fit motherboard for everyone, just like there’s a perfect pizza for every taste. So, consider your needs and dig in!
EATX vs ATX – Size & Functionality
Ah, the age-old debate: EATX vs ATX. It’s a bit like choosing between a minivan and a compact car. Sure, they both get you from point A to B, but each has its own unique perks and quirks.
Now, an EATX motherboard (that’s Extended ATX for the uninitiated) is like your minivan. It’s big, it’s roomy, and it’s got all the space you need for those extra passengers—or, in our case, components. Got a few more PCIe cards? No problem. Extra RAM? Throw ’em in. It’s like having an extra row of seats when you’re taking the whole neighborhood to soccer practice.
But here’s the catch (because there’s always a catch, right?). You need the space to house this big boy. An EATX is like trying to squeeze that minivan into a compact car parking spot. It’s not impossible, but boy, will it take some maneuvering. And by maneuvering, we mean a larger case. So, when you’re thinking EATX, remember to check your case size.
On the flip side, we have the ATX. The compact car of motherboards. It’s sleek, it’s efficient, and it’s going to fit in most cases out there—no need for the stress of parallel parking in tight spots. For many, it’s got enough seats—uh, slots—for your daily needs. Graphics card? Check. RAM? Check. And you know what? It’ll probably cost you less at the gas station… or, in this case, at checkout.
However, the ATX might not offer as many expansion opportunities as the EATX. Think of it like trying to squeeze a fifth person into the backseat of your compact car. It’s doable, but it’ll be a tight fit, and nobody will be all that comfortable.
So, what’s the takeaway? EATX is for you if you’re a power user with lots of components and a need for expansion, with a case to match. ATX is perfect for most users who want a good balance between size, functionality, and price. It’s all about considering what you need from your vehicle—or in this case, your motherboard—before making a decision.
And remember, whether you’re driving a minivan or a compact car, it’s all about enjoying the journey, not just the destination.
Standard ATX motherboards will usually have:
- 2 to 3 PCI-E x16 ports
- 3 PCI-E x1 ports
- Onboard sound and, in many cases, onboard video as well
- 4 RAM slots
EATX vs ATX – Price & Performance
Choosing the right motherboard can be…well, a bit of a puzzle. Sure, for similar feature sets, the price difference isn’t exactly massive. But you might notice your wallet getting lighter for motherboards boasting extra goodies like built-in WiFi or dual NVME M.2 slots.
Now, where things really heat up is in performance. You see, stock motherboards, whether large or small, pretty much perform on par with each other. But for those who crave that extra push, that overclocking magic, you’ll likely find that the spacious EATX motherboard is your faithful companion.
Now, it’s not because the smaller boards have crummy components. On the contrary, they’re often a mini miracle of engineering.
So, what sets these boards apart? One word: heat. Overclocking turns your computer into a mini oven, with both the bus and processor pumping out extra heat. And smaller boards, bless them, just don’t have the real estate to dissipate that heat effectively. Imagine trying to cool off a small room filled with lots of people. The same principle applies here, especially if you’ve squeezed your motherboard into a tiny case with barely any fans, let alone the Cadillac of cooling: water cooling.
Enter EATX boards, the high-rise apartments of motherboards. They’re designed for sprawling cases equipped with some seriously cool… cooling systems.
And then there’s the trusty standard ATX board. It’s the Goldilocks of the motherboard world, fitting snugly into standard cases. It has enough space, enough features, and enough flexibility to be a high-performance machine that you can overclock, should you feel the need for speed. Step down from that, and you’re tiptoeing into the danger zone where overclocking becomes more of a gamble.
Which Should You Buy?
If you are making a purchasing decision, compare the feature set of each board side by side, and if possible, look at photographs of the boards. There is little point in saying, “I just need an ATX board; it has enough ports” if one of the PCI-E ports will be rendered useless for you by a dual-width graphics card. It could be that you do need the extra ports on an EATX board. Make sure that your case has the appropriate mountings for the motherboard that you decide to buy, and make sure that your power supply is good enough to run the motherboard and all of the cards and drives, as well as all of the fans attached to the case.
Remember that PSUs will lose a bit of their output over time, so you may want a slightly higher wattage than you think you need as a buffer. A PSU with at least four 12v rails will give you the stability that you need and prevent crashes in demanding games and other applications. It pays to invest in a top-quality PSU for your machine.
I hope this EATX vs ATX would have been helpful to you. If you have any questions or need our assistance in deciding the best motherboard for your system, please share your question in the comment section.
Is EATX Better Than ATX
In the majority of situations, EATX motherboards are better than ATX motherboards. Although EATX doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best, it’s much larger and thus more powerful. Boasting more mounting holes and space for more expansion cards, EATX motherboards are better suited for high-end usage and activities, like 3D rendering and other professional uses.
What Is the Difference Between ATX and EATX
ATX is the older version of the EATX motherboard, with dimensions of 30 cm by 24.4 cm. EATX has a larger size, length, and width featuring greater connectivity and the ability to support more power connectors, mounting points, and other expansion cards critical for high-end use.
Will An EATX Fit In ATX Case
No, an EATX motherboard won’t fit in an ATX case. However, an ATX motherboard will fit in an EATX case. If you want to build a new EATX rig, you’ll need to get a new case with the right layout and sufficient room to support the components.
Written by Johnathan Abram