Types of motherboard

The motherboard is a printed circuit board that contains all the main components of the computer such as RAM slots, CPU slot, BIOS, SATA and IDE slots, expansion slots (video, audio, PCI cards, etc.). The motherboard acts as the main platform for communication between all the other components of the PC. The motherboard is the main component of PCs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops. The types of motherboards in the electronic market allow to analyze the types of motherboards.

Different types of motherboard

Motherboards come in different sizes, known as form factors. The most common motherboard form factor is ATX. The different types of ATX are known as micro-ATX (sometimes shown as ATX, mini-ATX, FlexATX, EATX, WATX, nano-ATX, pico-ATX, and mobile ATX). A smaller form factor is ITX, which comes in mini-ITX, nano-ITX, and pico-ITX sizes. Some motherboards, such as the NLX and LPX form factors, had a riser plate that attached to the smaller motherboard. The adapters go into the riser card slots instead of the motherboard slots.

AT Motherboard

These motherboards are the oldest of their kind. AT means the board consists of Advanced Technology (AT) power connectors. AT motherboards are used in the mid-1980s. The dimensions (13.8 x 12 inches) of this motherboard make it difficult to install new drives. These motherboards are used in the earlier 286/236 and 436 computers.

AT motherboards have dimensions of a few hundred millimeters, so they are not recommended for mini desktops as they do not fit. Its large dimensions also make it difficult to install new drivers. This type of motherboard uses six-pin plugs and sockets that function as power connectors.

Power connectors are considered difficult to distinguish and therefore very difficult to connect and use correctly. Produced in the 1980s, these motherboards have lasted quite a while.

ATX motherboard

ATX stands for Advanced Technology extended is the motherboard configuration specification developed in the mid 90’s and still available today. ATX motherboard is an upgrade of previously working motherboard such as AT. ATX is the most common motherboard design used in smaller boards (including micro-ATX, FlexATX, nano-ITX, mini-ITX). The dimensions of a standard full-size ATX board are 12 x 9.6 inches. The ATX motherboard has gone through many upgrades in recent times.

Also known as Extended Advanced Technology, these motherboards were produced in the 90’s by Intel and are considered to be a vast improvement over the AT motherboard. They allow for interchangeability when it comes to the connected parts and are smaller in size compared to AT motherboards. The connector system has also been greatly improved.

Base Micro-ATX

It is smaller than typical ATX motherboards with a dimension of 9.6 x 9.6 inches. Some manufacturers have the dimension of 9.6 x 8.1 inches. Most modern ATX motherboards have a maximum of seven PCI or PCI-Express expansion slots, while micro ATX motherboards only have a maximum of four.

ITX mini motherboard

Mini ITX is 6.7 x 6.7 inches in dimension, which is smaller than any other mainstream motherboard. Some of the features and advantages of the Mini ITX motherboard are as follows

Smallest size and fan less cooling which enables low power consumption. The Mini ITX board can be used in any case that is designed for ATX, Micro-ATX, and other ATX variants if desired.


Mini ITX is a low power consumption motherboard format of 6.7 × 6.7 inches. Its dimensions are the most characteristic factor of this type of form factor. Although this type of motherboard was designed with the aim of empowering low-power computers, today there are no limits and they have grown by leaps and bounds in terms of benefits.

Since Mini-ITX was introduced, they have expanded into all kinds of applications, thanks to their open standard factor. Mini ITX is a standard format for all types of equipment, such as in-vehicle computers, industrial applications, and IoT. The Mini-ITX is the first standard small format system that becomes popular, reaching all kinds of projects and any equipment where it is necessary.


The Nano-ITX is another type of motherboard form factor, measuring 4.7 × 4.7 inches. Nano-ITX are fully integrated boards designed to consume very little power. This type of motherboard can be used in many applications, but it was specially designed for smart entertainment, such as PVR, media center, smart TV, in-vehicle device and more.


The pico-ITX is the smallest type of motherboard form factor on this list. Its measurements are 3.9 × 2.8 inches and it is 75% smaller than the Mini-ITX. This motherboard was designed and developed by VIA, to open up innovation to smaller, smarter IoT devices.

The ITX with an x86-based platform and low-power board is an excellent choice for embedded system applications such as factory automation, in-vehicle computers, digital signage, and more.

E-ATX motherboard

E-ATX is an extended ATX motherboard and its size is huge compared to ATX motherboard, but no matter with size, it has many features and uses than other typical motherboard lags. The E-ATX is mainly used for gaming. This motherboard can be upgraded to have large memory and more CPU cores.

LPX motherboard

These motherboards differ from previous motherboards in that they contain output and input ports on their backs. The riser card was also introduced to ensure it started and made it easier to fit more slots. AT motherboards later adapted several features from LPX motherboards.

However, low-quality LPX motherboards lack AGP slots and instead connect directly to PCI. The many flavorless aspects of the LPX motherboard led to the creation of the NLX.

Mini TX motherboard

It is a low power form factor motherboard with dimensions of 17*17cm. Mini TX motherboards were designed in the year 2001 by VIA Technologies. They are generally used in SFF computer systems because they have a low power consumption rate and cool down very quickly.

BTX motherboard

Balanced Technology extended motherboards were created to cope with changing technologies that demand a lot of power and generate a lot of heat. Intel, however, canceled further development of BTX motherboards in late 2006 so they could focus on lower-powered CPUs.

BTX motherboards were used by Gateway Inc, MPC and Dell. Apple’s Mac Pro uses some elements of these motherboard design systems, but is considered non-BTX compliant.

Pico-BTX Motherboard

The term “Pico” is used due to the small size of these motherboards. They support a maximum of two expansion slots, though they share a common top half similar to the BTX line. Specifically designed for half-height or riser card applications, Pico BTX motherboards are considered a digital line.

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