What is Mini ATX? (Explained)

What is Mini ATX?

Mini ATX signifies the nomenclature of a particular form factor of motherboard. Though it is not official, technically, these boards are slightly smaller in size than the Mini ITX, being a square of 5.9 inches.


  • The small, square-shaped Mini ATX typically refers to another specific form factor for the motherboards.
  • The design is usually meant for use in small form factor computers and other devices, like the HTPC, that use less power and generate less heat.
  • Designed on Mobile on Desktop Technology, these boards typically support mobile CPUs to ensure low power consumption.
  • These boards are even good for playing some games, though their performance is limited by the type of CPU pairing.

Understanding Mini ATX (Form Factor)

What is Mini ATX

Mini ATX is the term that is commonly used to signify a small motherboard form factor. These 5.9-inch square boards are made on the basis of MoDT, or Mobile on Desktop Technology.

These boards use a mobile processor, so the power consumption is kept to a minimum and the heat generation is low in spite of their simplified thermal design.

This makes this specific form factor most suitable for use in small computers that you typically find in cars and home theater systems.

Apart from the smaller size of Mini ATX, there are a few specific features of it that are worth noting.

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The Mini ATX motherboards can be used for standardized applications as well, such as:

  • Industrial use
  • Tower cases
  • Rack mount
  • Wall mount, and more.

This is because it can be put on a single DIN space due to its smaller size, which is not possible for the bigger Mini ITX form factor.

Another good feature of this particular form factor is that it does not lack a CPU socket module, as opposed to the Nano ITX form factor.

This also makes this specific form factor useful for different, smaller applications.

The Mini ATX boards also emit less noise because they use a mobile CPU.

This is also due to the fact that it consumes less power and therefore generates less heat, which, in turn, does not require an active cooling design.

Therefore, the passive cooling design not only offers a noiseless operation but also reduces the cost of manufacturing these boards and using them due to lower power bills.

The Mini ATX boards are comparatively more stable and reliable due to their design, which uses the following useful features:

  • A surface-mount technology
  • 8-layer PCB design and
  • Solid state capacitors.

The power supply unit is also removed from the Mini ATX design in favor of a DC-to-DC converter solution.

This reduces the size of the system, as well as offers more flexibility while deploying.

Size of Mini ATX

Typically, for the Mini ATX dimensions, there is almost no official standard.

Usually, Mini ATX is square in shape, with dimensions of 105 mm by 105 mm, or 5.9 inches by 5.9 inches.

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Uses of Mini ATX

The most common use of Mini ATX is in car PCs, Home Theater PCs or HTPCs, as well as for a few specific industrial uses.

Ideally, it is suitable for use in any systems and settings where the power requirement and heat generation are both low.

Is Mini ATX Good for Gaming?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, in general, a Mini ATX will work just fine while playing games. And no, it will not support playing high-end games.

The performance of it will depend entirely on the CPU you pair it with, along with the VRM solution.

In fact, if you wish to upgrade later on to a more powerful CPU, dual RAM, and a powerful SDD, it will not be a good bet.

This is because there will be quite some difficulty in finding a proper cooling solution for the small box.

Questions & Answers:

Can a Mini ATX Fit in a GPU?

Any GPU will typically fit into a Micro ATX but may not fit into a Mini ATX depending on the slots. If the GPU is too long, it will not fit in a Mini ATX.

Can ATX Fit in a Mini ATX?

Usually, an ATX and a Mini ATX are not of the same specification. While the former is larger and wider, the latter is smaller and narrower. Hence, an ATX will not fit in a Mini ATX.

Is It Cheaper?

The cost of Mini ATX is relatively lower due to its smaller size and the smaller hardware components on it.

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The MINI ATX form factor is very useful due to the small size of the motherboard, which allows using it in smaller systems.

The design allows using it in different applications which need low power. It is also good for playing some games.

About Puja Chatterjee

Puja ChatterjeePuja Chatterjee is a technical writer with extensive knowledge about computers. She graduated from BIMS. Her expertise includes technology writing and client relationship management gained through over 12 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin.