Difference between EATX and ATX motherboards

 If you want to build a computer and maximize its capacity, you need a motherboard that can hold all the necessary components. If you're doing your research, you're probably wondering between ATX and EATX motherboards.

But what is the difference between these two motherboards? And which one should you choose? Let's review and compare these two options through the article below!

Compare Sizes :

ATX, short for Advanced Technology eXtended, was introduced by Intel in 1995 and measures 12 x 9.6 inches. This is the most popular motherboard format in 2022 and offers a good balance between affordability and scalability.

However, if you are an enthusiast or a professional who needs more power than usual, you will want to go for a larger EATX motherboard. EATX or Extended ATX motherboards are 12 x 13 inches. This adds 3.4 inches to each side, making it larger and allowing you to install more components.

Therefore, EATX requires a larger case than ATX motherboards. However, with the larger case, you also get more airflow. In addition, you can also have more space for pipes, making it easier to cool the system.

In addition to choosing the right motherboard, you should also choose a suitable case for your computer.

Slot :

                                      PCIe slot on motherboard

                                                            PCIe slot on motherboard

 The larger size of EATX motherboards means that manufacturers can add more slots compared to ATX motherboards. For example, most ATX motherboards only have a maximum of 4 RAM slots and 3 to 4 PCIe slots.

However, if you choose an EATX motherboard, you can get up to 8 RAM slots and up to 7 PCIe slots. Some motherboards even offer two 10 gigabit LAN ports for fast speeds or better reliability.

However, you should note that these are only the maximum capabilities of the motherboard. Some models, like the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme, can use the EATX motherboard size but only have 4 RAM and 3 PCIe slots.

Price : 

EATX boards are usually more expensive than ATX motherboards. This is mainly because these boards use more materials than smaller boards. Furthermore, since EATX motherboards are designed for professionals and enthusiasts who are willing to spend more, manufacturers often price these models higher.

For example, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme EATX retails for over $1000. However, the ATX ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula costs around $750. ATX motherboards are more affordable, despite having almost similar specifications.

Should you buy an EATX or ATX motherboard?

ATX motherboards , EATX motherboards

Even if you're looking to build a "monster" PC, you don't need an EATX board. After all, the ingredients are becoming more and more powerful. That means you no longer need two video cards for gaming, as a single RTX 4090 will suffice for most gamers' needs.

Furthermore, most consumer-grade motherboards, whether EATX or ATX, limit RAM to 128GB of RAM. Since the maximum size of most RAM sticks is limited to 32GB, you can only use up to 4 RAM slots before reaching the 128GB limit.

If you want to do more, you'll need a professional EATX board with more than 4 RAM slots.

For most gamers, 128GB of RAM and a single RTX 4090 are enough to run most games at extremely high frame rates and quality. The only reason you'd want an EATX board is for better airflow or needing room for custom water cooling. However, even if you don't have an EATX board, there are ways to optimize airflow on a gaming PC.

However, if you are a professional who needs a large amount of RAM and multiple video cards to emulate and use other applications, then the EATX board will be more suitable. With 8 RAM slots, you can get up to 256GB of RAM. You can also easily install two, three, or even multiple GPUs on a single EATX motherboard - crucial for heavy rendering applications.

Even if you're building a powerful computer on an unlimited budget, you don't need to use all of your components. Instead, you should be wise in choosing the ingredients that will go together. That way you avoid bottlenecks in your system and ensure you get the most efficient performance for all your components.

So, before you decide to buy, ask yourself: Do you really need that expensive motherboard?


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