If you’re planning to custom-build a gaming computer, you should consider two types of motherboards – ATX and EATX. They are similar on the surface, but quite different in more ways than one.
Choosing one over the other depends on the type of PC you’re building, and what you plan to use it for. You see, purchasing the wrong motherboard could lead to compatibility issues, and the same goes for space if it can’t fit inside the tower.
With this in mind, you must have all the necessary information at hand before moving forward with choosing a motherboard for your new computer.
What is ATX
ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended, and it is a popular specification used to plan motherboard configurations along with dimensions that will improve standardization. This technology was first released back in July 1995 by Intel, and since then, the ATX platform has seen several revisions.
Now, it took a year after release for ATX boards to really push forward into the market. Soon after they would replace Baby-AT motherboards. As it stands right now, ATX motherboards are the most used around the world, and that’s because it satisfies the needs of most computer users.
What is EATX
EATX stands for Extended Advanced Technology eXtended, or just Extended ATX for short. So, in many ways, EATX is the same as ATX but with added length and features for those who want to create custom computers with that extra power.
With the extended size, EATX motherboards tend to come with more ATA ports, M.2 slots, PCI-E slots, and more RAM slots. Quite impressive if you ask us, but only a small percentage of PC users will choose to custom-build a system with this standard due to cost.
ATX vs EATX motherboards: Main differences
The differences between ATX and EATX are basically the cost, features, and the overall size. Potential users must consider these before jumping in.
- The Size
- The Functions
- The Price
1] The Size
One of the first things you should consider when planning to buy an EATX or ATX motherboard is the size. In fact, the size is the first differentiator you will notice when looking at these motherboards for the first time.
You see, the EATX motherboard is noticeably larger than the ATX. In most cases, a standard ATX motherboard will measure around 12 by 9.5 inches, while an EATX motherboard measures 12 by 13 inches. So, as it stands, a specialized case will be needed if you plan on investing in an EATX motherboard because it will not be able to fit inside a standard case.
An EATX motherboard is great for those planning to build a computer for professional or enthusiastic reasons. A great option for a computer that demands power, which in turn means a need for greater airflow. The large case would definitely aid in that regard, and there is no way for an ATX build to compare.
Now, we should take nothing away from ATX because it is the most popular motherboard format since 2022. We are not surprised because it provides a good balance between expandability and affordability.
2] The Functions
ATX motherboards can do a lot, some will even say everything that a person needs from a typical computer. However, the EATX motherboard takes this a step further due to its larger size. Users will have access to around 8 RAM slots, more AIO liquid headers and fan headers, and more USB headers.
EATX is clearly designed for those who want to build the ultimate machine or have enough room for many upgrades in the future. ATX motherboards, on the other hand, are a Jack of all Trades, and perfect for most situations.
3] The Price
Based on what we have discussed above, it is clear that ATX will come out as the most affordable when compared to EATX. This is because ATX boards use fewer materials than their EATX counterparts, and manufacturers are willing to price EATX boards higher because they are more targeted by professionals and enthusiasts.
Additionally, EATX boards are more feature-packed when compared to ATX motherboards, so no matter how you spin it, there will always be a wide price margin between the two motherboards, and that’s not going to change for a long time, if ever.
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How many RAM slots does an ATX motherboard have?
Most ATX motherboards tend to come with a maximum of 4 RAM slots, and around 3 to 4 PCIe slots. If you want more than what’s on offer here, then you’ll need to invest in an EATX motherboard, just expect to spend more.
Is EATX better than ATX?
Yes, an EATX motherboard will always be better than its ATX counterpart, and that’s due to the larger size and additional hardware features. The only downside is the price, but if that’s not a problem, then we suggest choosing an EATX board for the best possible gaming computer build.