What is Motherboard Form Factor?

What is Motherboard Form Factor

A motherboard is a very important component of the computer.  all the useful components needed by the computer are located on the motherboard. To enjoy the proper performance of the motherboard it is important to make sure that all its components are plugged in at the right place. A motherboard form factor refers to the shape of the motherboard, the layout of its components, and its dimensions. It means that the motherboard can be expanded but not every motherboard is the same.

You should always know your requirements and the budget so that you can find the one that fits your needs and then suits your budget as well. There are different motherboards with their degree of expandability. So when the motherboards come in different sizes and shape its regulation is known as the form factor. The form factors influence the performance of the motherboard as well because it specifies physical specifications.

What is Motherboard Form Factor?

Each motherboard is created differently. Some motherboards are large whereas others may be compact and small in size. It is important to regulate the performance of OEMs in motherboards. The first Form factor that was introduced was AT (Advanced Technology). Its size was 12 x 13.8 inches. With time there have been gradual improvements in form factors which lead to a reduction in their size. This helps contribute to the excellent performance of your motherboard.

Role of motherboard Form factor

The Form factor keeps the expansion of motherboards under a certain limit so that all the motherboards have some level of uniformity. This helps fit the motherboard in the cases with other equipment. A form factor plays a very important role since it indicates the extent to which a motherboard can expand.

A form factor also comes with a certain type of standard and provides information related to the number of slots that are available for CPU, PCIe, SATA, etc

Why Motherboard form factors are crucial?

There are a number of reasons why the motherboard form factor is highly crucial.

  1. Controls the size of the motherboard

One of the major functions of the form factor is that it controls the size of the motherboard. Motherboards are available in different shapes and sizes and to have control over that it is very important to have a form factor. There are manufacturers that develop large motherboards with multiple expansion slots but this also causes issues when the motor board has to fit in the case and it becomes impossible to do so.

The form factor determines the type of case that will suit your motherboard perfectly without causing any issue to it. You will be able to find the perfect place for your motherboard with the help of the form factor.

  1. Determines the extent of expansion

The main benefit of the form factor is that it controls the extent of expansion of the device. Large motherboards come with a large number of slots that lead to greater expansion of different components of the motherboard. Large motherboards also provide extra slots and the small motherboards only come with a few extra slots. If you want maximum performance from your computer then you should go for a motherboard that provides extra slots and is large because it will be able to handle those heavy projects easily.

On the other hand, if you only want to use the computer for normal everyday work and assignments then you don’t have to get a large motherboard. A small sized motherboard with a few slots will do the job for you perfectly.

  1. Power supply

The form factor also plays a role in determining the power supply of the various components of the motherboard. It is very crucial to ensure the correct power supply to the entire system so that any issue related to short circuiting can be prevented.

Following are some of the most popular power supply form factors that exist in the majority of the motherboards that currently roll in the market:

  • ATX Style power supply is most commonly used with ATX, NLX, and Micro ATX Motherboards
  • LPX Style power supply is most commonly used with Mini ATX, LPX, and Baby-AT Motherboards
  • SFX Style power supply is most commonly used with Micro ATX and Flex ATX Motherboards

Different Form Factors

The following form factors are among the most common ones that exist the most in the market:


EATX is Extended ATX which is a form factor that is mostly found in high end and top quality PCs and commercial computers. It is also used mostly by gaming enthusiasts because it leads to high quality performance. Its size is 12 x 13 inches.


ATX is the Standard ATX that is mostly used by normal desktops available at workplaces or offices. Its size is 12 x 9.6 inches.

Micro ATX

This form factor is smaller than the standard ATX and measures 9.6 x 9.6 inches. This form factor is the most common one found in most everyday PCs.

Mini ITX

This form factor was created by the VIA technology and is mostly used in small desktops. Its size is 6.7 x 6.7 inches. You will find this form factor in company PCs mostly.

Pico ITX

This Form factor was ideally formulated for embedded systems. It is not available for personal computers and its size is 3.9 x 2.8 inches.

Nano ITX

This is another small form factor that was created by the VIA technology and has a measurement of 4.7 x 4.7 inches.

It is noted that the form factors improve the quality of performance of a motherboard and the user gets to do their work easily and effectively. It is very important to make sure that you choose the right sized case for your motherboard. If you have a large sized motherboard then don’t go for a case that fits small motherboards.

Final words

The form factor is a crucial factor to keep in mind when purchasing a new motherboard. It determines the size of the motherboard as well as the size of the case. Therefore having a thorough understanding of the various form factors is a crucial thing.

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