Different Types of Motherboard Form Factors With Definition

The Computer Motherboard comes in lots of variety they differ in size, shape, dimensions, compatibility to hold CPU’s and power supply. The manufacturer thus produces motherboards which have some common features like their shape,size, and dimensions. ATX Motherboard Form Factor has dominated the PC Hardware world from long time.

Therefore Computer motherboard Form Factor can be defined as the basic standard for manufacturing various components of computer system which are easily fitted in computer cases with power supply.

For Example :: ATX Motherboard cannot be fitted in an AT Computer cabinet or PC Case| Chassis as Their dimensions and shape differ. While installing the motherboard in computer cases you have to firstly match The holes which are pre-drilled in Computer case, if they match you can easily Install MB and power supply (SMPS).

Therefore Buying a new computer hardware you must take care of the Motherboard form factor. As Main board, power supply and CPU’s are purchased in package because of their size, shape, dimensions And compatibility issues.

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Form Factor used by motherboards, power supply and computer cases or cabinets

As you know that motherboards are the primary and key components of PC it itself decide which form factor should be used and which power supply and computer cases are compatible with it. As when you decide which motherboard form factor to use you must choose the same form factor for computer cases and power supply?

motherboard form factorsMotherboard Form Factor

For Example:: If you decide on ATX MB choose full ATX cabinet | Case and power supply as they all are compatible with each other as their shape, size and dimensions matches each other’s perfectly.

Why use the same Motherboard Form Factor?

As above mentioned that you must select the proper form factor for MB, computer cases, and power supply because of their compatibility issues may arise after purchased

  • Motherboards are easily fit inside the computer case/Cabinet
  • The Holes present in the cabinet perfectly matches with MB’s hole present on the edges
  • Power Supply can be installed perfectly as their holes matches to Cases when used same form factor
  • Front panel connector have specific ports mentioned for Power switch ,Reset Switch ,HDD Led ,power Led, speaker, front USB and Front panel Sound.
  • Choosing correct power supply helps in the correct voltage flow required for proper functioning of motherboard and other computer components.

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Different Types of Motherboard Form Factors

As said earlier before purchasing a new computer you must take care of the form factor. Here below we are going to look some of the common form factor used

  • AT Family (Full AT and Baby AT).
  • ATX Family (Full ATX, Micro ATX, FlexATX)
  • XT,LPX,BTX ,Pico BTX and Mini ITX MB

AT Motherboards ::

AT (Advanced Technology) Motherboards are old style .which has an AT Form Factor. These motherboards were manufactured by IBM in 80’s these MB dominated the PC Hardware World for long time.

Baby AT Motherboards ::

Baby AT (Advance Technology) MB has both features of XT and AT Form Factors. These Motherboards have PGA Processor Sockets, SD Ram And DDR Ram Slots, Expansion slots (PCI and ISA Slots) both 12 pin and 20 pins power connector with Big Keyboard port called as DIN and Serial mouse port.

Full ATX ::

ATX Stands for Advanced Technology extended they have the features of ATX Form factor. These Main board have MPGA CPU socket, DIMM slots for RAM, Expansion slots (PCI, ISA, AGP) ,SATA and IDE connector with ports and connectors 12 pin and 20 pin power connector are available in this types of motherboards.

Micro ATX ::

As the computer Technology developed the computer market changed and demand of small and powerful main boards was huge in numbers. They were developed using the same ATX form Factor in mind as the price of this motherboard was low the demand Increased rapidly.

Flex-ATX ::

This type is not as popular as other ATX Form Factor motherboards. They are considered to be the smallest in the ATX Family.They were developed in small size and were low in cost. Flex ATX is a variant of micro ATX motherboard and was developed by Intel in the year 1999 -2000.

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Types of Computer Cases

Computer Cases comes in different size, shape, and color with cool features. The computer cases are called as chassis. Motherboard and all the other component of the computer system are installed inside the computer case. In Computer case there are front panel wires which are connected to it, they also have front panel audio and front panel USB for additional use.

cabinet -motherboard form factorComputer Cabinet | PC Case

The backside of the case is used for Power supplies which have pre-drilled holes for installation, the rear side of the computer case has a space for the ports of the MB.

There are three major types of computer cases ::

  • Desktop Cases
  • Tower Cases
  • Notebook Cases

The Desktop Cases ::

The first personal computer used desktop case| chassis the desktop case used to sit flat on the desk and the monitor was used to be placed on to it. The power supply was attached to the back side of the case, cd and DVD RW were installed on the front side of the computer case.

This Computer case was very small in size but the use of this cases has not been used recently as the smaller cases have been developed which are more space efficient.

Tower Cases::

Tower case are upright on the desk and can be 2 to 3 feet high .there is more space for other computer component to be inserted .These cases are more used in Personal Computers as it can be upgraded easily
The variations in tower cases are as follows::
Midsize towers also called mid-towers, are the most versatile and most popular. They are midrange in size and generally have around six expansion slots. They are used for ATX, Micro ATX, Extended ATX, Mini-ATX, and BTX systems. The minitower also called a micro tower, is the smallest type of tower case. They are popular for Micro ATX and Flex ATX.

Notebook Cases ::

Notebook cases are used for portable computers they are similar to desktop computers. The notebook cases are small in size therefore it is very difficult for up gradation. The very small notebook cases are called as netbooks or subnotebooks.

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