The main advantages of the ATX motherboard over the Micro ATX motherboard is the availability of a greater number of PCI or expansion slots, sockets and ports in addition to its enhanced heat dissipation. The ATX and the Micro ATX motherboards are among the most popular motherboards for desktop personal computers.
ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended. In terms of PCI slots, the Micro ATX is limited to three or four only, while the full size ATX can include up to five. The greater number of input and output (I/O) slots means that an ATX motherboard can handle a greater number of peripheral devices. Additional differences include:
- The ATX measures 12 inches by 9.6 inches, while the Micro ATX measures 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches. On a basic level, the physical size of the motherboard is important because it must fit inside the given case.
- The Micro ATX has a lower power output than the ATX.
When purchasing a motherboard, there may be considerations other than the number of ports and cooling capacity. The motherboard must be compatible with the type and brand of CPU or central processing unit. Sockets and ports are specific to certain types of processors and must also be compatible with the rest of the system.