HardThe micro ATX motherboards are perfect for users that wish to build a minimalist setup with zero component and connectivity issues. We put together a list of the best micro ATX motherboard for every budget and even sneaked in a mini ATX for that minimalist rig you’ve been dreaming of!
ATX is an acronym for Advanced Technology eXtended Motherboard, which refers to a significant design and technology upgrade made for motherboards in the mid-90s. When we think about PC motherboards today, we immediately picture what an ATX motherboard looks like: a chipset board with a CPU socket, RAM slots, PCIe ports, and side connections for all of our peripherals.
So, what would a micro ATX look like? As the name suggests, it is a smaller version of a standard-sized ATX motherboard. Micro ATX motherboards come with all the essential features available on other full-sized motherboards but in a more compact setup. The design trades additional PCIe slots and DIMM sockets (RAM stick slots) in favor of a more compact factory form that fits small PC cases.
The Best Micro ATX Motherboards
The best way to tell if a motherboard is either a standard ATX, a micro-ATX (mATX), or a mini-ITX model is by judging its size. Here’s a quick summary of all major manufacturers’ “Form Factor” sizing:
- Standard ATX: 12.0″ x 9.6″
- Micro-ATX: 9.6″ x 9.6″
- Mini-ITX: 6.7″ x 6.7″
You’ll notice an even smaller version of a microATX: the Mini ATX. This compact model is also known as mini itx due to its phonetical similarity, but both terms refer to the tiniest line of motherboards in the brand’s catalog. We thought it would be a good idea to include this tiny version of an ATX motherboard in case you’re interested in building a super small but powerful PC.
We’ve put together an all-star selection of the brand’s best Micro ATX motherboards this year. You’ll find budget-friendly and high-end boards that offer AMD and Intel CPUs support, unbelievable RAM capabilities, plenty of SSD M2 slots, HD video output without the need for a GPU, and even models that let you run two GPUs simultaneously in a compact build!
The ASUS Prime B450M-A II Micro ATX
The ASUS Prime B450M-A II micro ATX is a fantastic option if you’re considering a 3rd generation Ryzen CPU upgrade in the future. Even though All Ryzen CPUs use the AM4 socket, the best course of action is to always match your motherboard’s chipset with the best CPU Ryzen for them.
If you use a CPU with faster memory support than the chipset hosting it, you’re bound to get the slower of the two speeds, and this is where the ASUS Prime B450M-A II micro ATX truly excels. This budget-friendly micro ATX model provides excellent performance with Zen 1 & 2 Ryzen CPUs, which you can upgrade to a beefy Ryzen 9 5800X or 5900X in the future.
You can even upgrade its BIOS firmware to get the most out of your CPU and all other components without actually having your processor in place: format a flash drive in FAT32 with the latest (UEFI) BIOS file and plug it into its flash BIOS port and you’re good to go!
There’s no question that the ASUS Prime B450M-A II micro ATX is one of the best entry-level AMD motherboards. Despite its petite build, you can get up to 128 GB worth of DDR4 sticks, an M.2 SSD slot, up to 6 additional drives, and a PCIe 4.0 port for any GPU you’d like. This setup proves that the best micro ATX motherboards can compete with high-end PC gaming builds today.
The MSI B560M PRO-VDH Micro ATX Motherboard
This budget-friendly model is one of the best micro ATX motherboards for anyone that wishes to build a powerful gaming and work PC this year. The MSI B560M PRO-VDH micro ATX motherboard works with 10th and 11th-generation Intel processors, but it’s also compatible with older Pentium Gold or Celeron processors. Thanks to its highly-adaptable design, you can keep using your older processor while you save up for the rest of your new PC’s hardware pieces.
This micro ATX motherboard also comes with dual HD outputs, which allow you to go for dual monitor setups. Having a dual monitor setup is highly recommended since they passively boost overall productivity and offer tremendous convenience to your day-to-day. If your processor has built-in UHD graphics, you’ll be able to keep both monitors active, even if you don’t have a GPU!
This massively underrated feature keeps you active during busy weekends, even if your GPU randomly malfunctions. It’s an extra level of resilience that remote workers and die-hard gamers will appreciate when the chips are down. The best part is that Intel lists which processors come with integrated graphics regardless of their generation. Feel free to check this list to make an excellent CPU choice and not miss out on this fantastic micro ATX feature.
The MSI B560M PRO-VDH micro ATX motherboard also gives you plenty of RAM leeway, allowing up to 128 GB through its 4 DIMM slots. You can even over-clock them to an impressive 5066MHz which is rare for any budget-friendly motherboard. As if this wasn’t cool enough, the MSI B560M PRO-VDH micro ATX motherboard also comes with built-in WIFI 6 and 5.2 Bluetooth technology, meaning you don’t need a wifi card for pc to get some wireless capabilities ahead of ethernet failures. The latter saves that PCIe slot free for an audio card or a USB port expansion!
The B550I AORUS PRO AX Mini ATX
The GIGABYTE’s B550I Aorus Pro AX mini ATX is ideal for a tiny work PC for your home office (assuming you don’t need multiple GPUs). This model is compatible with several Ryzen processors, but we recommend you choose between Ryzen 5000, 4000, and 3000 series processors to make the most out of your mini ATX board.
As we mentioned, mini ATX motherboards are the smallest of the three ATX designs and are specifically designed to build compact, easy-to-move PCs that outperform laptops in their price range. You might be worried about heat performance issues, but you can kiss those concerns goodbye, thanks to the Aorus Pro AX’s robust thermal contingencies.
The B550I AORUS PRO AX mini ATX comes with extended VRM heatsinks, heatpipe, and thermal pads to avoid overheating issues (even if you regularly overclock your components). Space efficiency is another major reason we decided to include this mini ATX motherboard in this year’s selection. You can add double the M2 SSDs than our previous motherboard on top of a PCIe 4 slot that’s ready for even x16 for dGPUs. This new generation of dGPUs is quite beefy, but their processing power certainly makes up for their size.
Last but not least, the B550I AORUS PRO AX mini ATX lets you add up to 64 GB of RAM in its two slots and even comes with a built-in WIFI 6 chip and Bluetooth 5 technology. The design allows you to enjoy that fantastic 9.6 Gbps wireless internet capability and still pair up your favorite Bluetooth peripherals from the get-go, as any proper minimalist setup should.
ASUS Prime Z690-P MATX Motherboard
The ASUS Prime Z690-P mATX motherboard is a top-of-the-line starting point for any high-end Intel rig. This ASUS gem offers 12th generation Inter processor support, and it also comes with PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 support and four M.2 sockets on top of its 4 SATA connections for a total of 8 possible SSDs.
The sheer amount of SSD space and the breathtaking 128GB of DDR5 memory that the ASUS Prime Z690-P mATX motherboard handles make it perfect for programmers. You can run multiple virtual machines, test heavyweight programs locally, and take on demanding machine learning projects at home.
This mATX motherboard also features a clean, futuristic design that sets it apart from the rest. However, this model is not considered one of the best MicroATX motherboards just because of its looks but because of its excellent connectivity and support. You can rack two GPUs to get the most out of AMD’s Crossfire support and tap into that 50 to 75% FPS increase in any SLI/Crossfire compatible games.
Most importantly, you can easily expand its 8 USB ports by adding a PCIe USB 3.0 expansion card and grant the Z690-P mATX motherboard with that sweet WIFI 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 capability through a trusty PCIe wifi card. It’s a world-class addition that will elevate your mATX motherboard capabilities to new heights.
ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS M-ATX Motherboard
The ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS m-ATX motherboard is packed with all the cool little details you might want from the best micro ATX motherboards. There’s 3rd generation Ryzen CPU support, dual M.2 SSD slots, two super helpful USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C ports, and even a baseline dual HD output!
This m-ATX motherboard also offers 128GB of RAM that, when overclocked, can reach speeds up to 4600 Mhz. The latter is an excellent complement for the TUF B550M-PLUS m-ATX motherboard’s glorious 2 x PCIe 4.0/3.0 X16 slots, allowing you to wield a dual GPU rig that’s fully supported with a 2-Way CrossFireX technology.
Gamers will get fantastic performance with only mild power consumption ranges, and for those who love overclocking their builds, you can reach those lofty 4.4 GHz targets with as little as 32 GB Ram kits. You can offset the limited USB 3.2 slots with a PCIe to USB 3.2 expansion (which also adds 3 more USB 3.0 ports to your PC).
Long story short, ATX, micro ATX, and mini ATX offer space-efficient solutions that never compromise overall performance and convenience. Manufacturers constantly balance functionalities, forms, and materials to achieve higher heat management and performance benchmarks with each release (and they’ve become exceedingly good at it!).
While these smaller motherboard sizes favor compact CPU cases, they can still host high-end hardware components. We hope our selection of the best micro atx motherboards helps you create that beefy minimalist PC you’ve been dreaming about!