Finding the right computer case for your ATX motherboard is essential for ensuring its longevity. However, it can be tricky to choose the right case since there are many options on the market. So, in this post, we'll answer the question, "a micro ATX motherboard will fit into a case that follows what minimum standard?"

Let's begin!

Motherboard Form Factors

We'll start by defining a micro-ATX motherboard before discussing the standards of your PC case. The motherboard of your PC is among the most crucial hardware since it determines the performance of all the other computer components. Motherboards exist in different sizes, referred to as form factors.

The main variations of motherboards include ATX motherboards, Micro-ATX motherboards, and Mini-ITX motherboards. Check out the best gaming ATX motherboards right here.

ATX motherboards were created in the mid-'90s and have become the natural choice for casual and enthusiastic computer users. They feature four RAM slots and a maximum of seven expansion slots. Standard ATX motherboards offer more storage space than the other motherboard designs.

Micro-ATX or mATX motherboards are a smaller variation of the full-size ATX boards but with the same mounting points. These motherboards have a maximum of four expansion slots, offering less space, but they also come at a lower price. The smaller size of micro ATX boards makes them excellent for efficient power use, better cooling, and smaller PC cases.

Mini-ITX motherboards are more compact than the mATX motherboard, but it's designed for smaller computers such as those in automobiles, network devices, and set-top boxes. These motherboards are meant for computers that handle simple tasks. If you want to know which motherboards are best for gaming, check out this post.

What is a Micro ATX Case?

PC cases come in four main sizes designed to fit different motherboards. These computer case sizes include full-tower, mid-tower, mini-tower, and SFF designs. However, micro-ATX cases are somewhere between a mini-ITX and mid-tower case. As such, they can fit both micro ATX and mini ITX motherboards, but they are too small for standard ATX motherboards.

Unless you need more than 4-PCIe slots, you shouldn't go with full-size ATX cases. A micro ATX case is a more compact solution and will benefit you if you want a travel-friendly PC without an extended ATX. So, now that you know what a micro ATX case is, let's see a micro ATX motherboard will fit into a case that follows what minimum standard.

The Factors to Consider When Choosing an mATX Case

The minimum standard for your mATX case isn't hard to figure out. In this section, we'll discuss what you should look for in your micro ATX motherboard case.

1. Compatibility

While it's obvious that micro ATX cases are designed for mATX motherboards, it's still necessary to check whether the case you choose is compatible. Most micro ATX PC cases can also accommodate mini ATX motherboards or, in some cases, larger ATX motherboards.

If you get a PC case that can fit different motherboard sizes, it can save you from buying another one when you decide to replace your current motherboard in the future.

2. Design

The design of the PC case is also an essential consideration. Different cases feature different aesthetic features designed to lure different audiences. If you want a classy-looking case, you should take one with a tempered glass side panel since it has a unique and interesting look. However, you should know that a micro ATX case with such a side panel will require you to hide the cables and other parts of the motherboard, which could be inconvenient.

Another design feature to consider is RGB lighting which is popular among PC gamers. There are endless ways you can customize your case to make it look as you'd like. Depending on how much space you have in your apartment or office, you can buy a case that sits vertically or horizontally for maximum convenience.

3. Cooling Performance

Cooling your CPU is crucial, and there are several ways you can do it. You can use liquid coolers or rigs, but you'll need to ensure the PC case has the necessary openings for installing and maintaining your cooling system. There are some cases that aren't compatible with liquid coolers, so you should double-check your coolers to be sure.

If your cooling system is already compatible with your micro ATX case, you should look for other features that can improve the cooling performance. This means looking for a case with vents to ensure it can help reduce overheating to ensure your PC operates efficiently without any damage to the ATX power supply.

4. Noise

If your CPU has cooling fans, it's no surprise they are meant to help control the temperature of your motherboard and other PC components. However, the number of fans you need will determine the effectiveness of the cooling system and the amount of noise you hear.

Unfortunately, if you reduce the number of fans in the hope of reducing noise, you'll probably contribute to future overheating problems. Luckily, you don't have to put your hardware in jeopardy to get a silent performance since there are micro ATX cases that have noise filters or liners for controlling excess sound.

5. Dust Filter

If you are using your PC in a dusty environment, you'll need to find a way to keep dust out of your system components. PC cases are among the few places where dust can accumulate to insane amounts leading to reduced performance. As such, you'll need to select a case with dust filters to reduce the amount of dust interacting with your PC components.

Additionally, you'll want to ensure the dust filters are easy to reach and can be replaced without hassle if they get clogged up. Since this is a minimum standard for your micro ATX motherboard, we recommend choosing a case with magnetic dust panels to prevent dust entry and buildup.

6. Storage Space

Since there are a lot of components that go into the PC case, it's essential to ensure you pick a case with enough space for the different elements of your computer. To avoid selecting a smaller case than you need, you should create a list of all the parts you'll install into the case. Then, cross-check whether the case you want to buy can accommodate all the components you've chosen.

You'll need a case to support the drive bays you need in your system. The mounting points for the motherboards should match your ATX board. It's not enough that you need enough space; you'll also require easy access to your components for installation and replacement.

For example, even after installing the fans, they must stay a good distance away from other parts to avoid hardware problems. You'll also need to consider cable management as another minimum standard since it can be challenging to handle the cables of all the components.

The PC case could have a dedicated section or detachable black plate for storing the cables. This makes it easier to maintain a tidy space in your office or home. The maximum GPU allowance and length will also determine the ATX case you choose. Additionally, the height and width of the case will have to provide enough clearance for the CPU cooler from other parts.

7. Durability

The longevity of your ATX case will depend on the materials used to make it. That's why you should inspect the quality of materials used to make the case you want to buy. It's more about finding the right level of sturdiness since the case will have to contain heavy components without breaking under their weight.

Metal cases are the best option since they can hold up against pressure and impact, keeping your micro ATX motherboard safe from damage. It's important to get a durable option to ensure you won't return to the store to buy another case soon.

8. Price

The last factor to consider is how much the ATX case will cost. You'll need to determine your budget to ensure you don't shop for something that's beyond your financial capabilities. Sometimes gaming enthusiasts get distracted by unnecessary features and buy cases that are not worth the cost.

You need to ensure you get the exact value for your money by getting a product that meets your needs and can last for as long as you need it. The goal should be to find the right case for your PC components while staying within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will a micro ATX fit in an ATX case?

Yes, it will. MicroATX motherboards can fit into ATX cases without hassle.

2. What cases do micro ATX motherboards fit in?

Full-tower and mid-tower cases are compatible with micro ATX motherboards.

3. What power supply will fit in a micro ATX case?

Most micro ATX cases can fit standard ATX power supplies.

About the Author Jack