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War_Adm1ral

Micro ATX vs Mini ITX for New Gaming Rig

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So as many of you may know there is a common debate between choosing a Micro ATX or Mini ITX formfactor as a gaming platform while delivering it in smaller packages (physical size).
 
I myself have moderately debated with myself the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of both form factors. Whilst offering in most cases the same performance in reference to CPU, Memory and peripheral connections there is a big limitation for both form factors in reference to expandability and use of expansion slots. I have done I would say a fair amount of research on people's opinions when it comes to make a decision on which form factor to choose. However, I largely still remain undecided.
 
That is why now I turn to my fellow community members to hopefully see if you would be willing to provide your thoughts, opinions, and experiences on what I should do.
 
A few things to keep in mind to help guide everyone:
 
  • Cost - I don't necessarily have a budget limitation for choosing components designed for either factor including cases. Although my initial plan is to keep most of the costs below $500 dollars while being able to utilize some parts currently in use that wouldn't necessarily be affected by the choice of form factor. So please, do not let that alone be the argument for a choice.
 
  • Size - Micro ATX and Mini ITX offer fairly similar specifications in terms of size. There isn't always much difference in mATX and mITX case sizes aside from those said cases offering support for larger boards. I am happy with using either flat long cases or squarish/rectangular cases. My intention obviously is to save more space and drop down into a more compact size compared to a bulky Mid Tower case.
 
  • Expandability - While saying I have no use for expansions cards aside from a graphics card puts mITX as the best candidate for this option, it doesn't make it the most important option.

 

  • Options - I'm not looking for some bells and whistles for options. The components don't necessarily have to be completely driven towards gaming. What ever would come on a stock motherboard for example is likely to be sufficient enough in terms of ports and connectivity. 
 
  • Other factors - Lastly to put some things into perspective that can affect most or all of the above points is that I intend to continue on the AMD path. Which usually is cheaper but doesn't make much of a difference between the two form factors. Some things like supporting at least or up to 16GB of ram is important. Having mounting space for 1-3 SSD's with the possibility for a full size HDD may make a difference. Liquid cooling (120mm or 240mm) is a preferred path but if powerful yet efficient hardware exists then air cooling may do fine. Optical Drive is not necessary but if the options exists, great!. There may be some other points I think of that I will mention later.
 
The overall desire for my change in gaming system is not about necessarily an increase in performance, but it most definitely matters if there is any loss in performance to my current system. Which in itself if not impressive to anyone else but just think in general of what a mid range performing gaming system is like. Try to remain unbiased for the main part but if negative or positive experiences exist in your case then those points are just as important with explanation.
 
I hope to hear some good advice.
 
Thanks,
 
War_Adm1ral
Edited by War_Adm1ral

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