EATX vs. ATX: Which is Best?

EATX and ATX are two motherboard size specifications that are used interchangeably. If you’ve read my evaluation of the finest micro-ATX cases, you’ll know that there are a plethora of sizes available, ranging from very large to extremely tiny, and cases to suit each one.

As of right now, ATX is an acronym for Advanced Technology eXtended, which is a standard introduced by Intel back in 1995 that has become the most prevalent size for high-end gaming motherboards that you’ll find in a PC. EATX, on the other hand, is an acronym that stands for Expanded ATX, which means it has been extended twice in its name. Don’t hold that against me; they didn’t even bother to consult me while they were developing the name standard!

The most significant difference between an ATX and an EATX motherboard is size, with the EATX having an additional inch or two on the right side of the motherboard vs the ATX.

EATX motherboards are often found in and designed for servers, where there is a lot of extra space to accommodate the additional hardware that is typically required to operate server duties.

I’m sure you’re asking whether it’s even possible to obtain EATX motherboards at a reasonable price for the average customer, and the answer is yes, it is perfectly possible! With the increase in size of gaming PCs over the last several years, manufacturers have started to provide these bigger motherboards for use in high-end gaming computer configurations. While they aren’t extremely popular, they are absolutely available, and you may find some that are both fascinating and intriguing in their own right.

Another two minor advantages of EATX motherboards are that they dissipate heat more effectively because of their bigger surface area, and that they are simpler to work with since the increased size allows for more room to be allocated to the GPU installation.

EATX vs. ATX Motherboards: Functionality

More ports are available on EATX motherboards due to their larger size. EATX, on the other hand, may have anything from 4 to 8 PCI-E x16 ports (I’ve even seen some with up to 8!). The number of RAM slots on ATX motherboards is normally four, whereas the number of RAM slots on EATX motherboards is usually six or eight.

What does all of this mean to you, then? With an EATX motherboard, if you’re planning to go all out, you’ll have more room for expansion. For example, if you wish to use SLI or Crossfire, you could easily put two or three graphics cards in an EATX.

EATX vs. ATX

A single graphics card may be used in conjunction with a capture card (such the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro) for streaming purposes, as well as a PCI-E SSD like the Intel Optane and a sound card like the ASUS Sound Card Essence STX II.

There’s plenty of room for RAM, but how much you can get depends a lot on the motherboard. Anyhow, more memory channels are always better, so even a smaller quantity of RAM (such as 32gigs) may be spread out to improve speed.

EATX motherboards are often more costly than ATX motherboards. There are EATX motherboards that are less costly than ATX motherboards, however it doesn’t imply that EATX is always more expensive.

EATX motherboards come with an additional expense in the form of a bigger enclosure that can accommodate them. That’s a crucial aspect. Always double-check that the motherboards you purchase will fit your case.

EATX vs. ATX

Fortunately, a case made for a larger board usually fits a smaller one as well. When it comes to EATX cases, you can normally use ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX cards without any issues. To be on the safe side, it’s best to examine everything twice before making a purchase. Our tips on the best micro ITX cases and the best Mini ITX cases might help guide your purchase decision.

The fact is that it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Does your system have a lot of Nvidia Quadros in it? EATX may be preferable. Do you intend to create a high-end gaming PC with only one graphics card? What you need is an ATX motherboard. See? No one can say for sure which is better, the EATX or the ATX.

To avoid wasting money on unnecessary components, it’s crucial to choose them wisely at the end of the day. In spite of this, I continue to spend money on equipment that I will never use. Don’t copy me!

Bryan V. Root
Bryan V. Root
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