Are you considering upgrading your computer set up and want to know if it’s possible to fit an ATX motherboard in a EATX case?
If so, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore the compatibility of these two different form factors and provide helpful insight into all of the things that need to be considered before making any purchases or committing to a change.
You’ll learn everything you need to know about how an ATX motherboard and EATX can work together – from what exactly needs lining up for compatibility issues, important features such as slot placements when pairing components, heat considerations and more.
We’ll also discuss some tips on selecting the best suited options for build quality assurance and reliability – so stay tuned.
Motherboard Form Factors:
Before delving into the compatibility between ATX motherboards and EATX cases, it’s essential to grasp the concept of form factors.
Motherboard form factor refers to the physical dimensions, layout, and mounting points of the motherboard.
The two form factors in question here, ATX and EATX, are among the most widely used in the PC building community.
ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended):
ATX is a standard motherboard form factor that has been prevalent in the industry for decades.
It typically measures 12 inches by 9.6 inches and features a standardized layout for components like CPU socket, RAM slots, PCIe slots, and I/O connectors.
ATX motherboards are widely used in mainstream and enthusiast systems, providing a balance between size and expansion capabilities.
EATX (Extended ATX):
EATX, as the name suggests, is an extended version of the ATX form factor. EATX motherboards are larger, typically measuring around 12 inches by 13 inches.
The additional space allows for more expansion slots, additional RAM slots, and sometimes a more extensive power delivery system.
EATX motherboards are often found in high-end systems designed for gaming, content creation, or other resource-intensive tasks.
|Standard size: Designed for ATX motherboards.
|Larger size: Specifically designed for EATX motherboards.
|Compatible with ATX and smaller motherboards.
|Primarily designed for EATX motherboards, may also accommodate smaller form factors.
|Limited space compared to EATX cases.
|Spacious interior to accommodate larger EATX motherboards and additional components.
|Typically 7 expansion slots.
|More than 7 slots to accommodate the larger form factor of EATX motherboards.
|Standard ATX mounting points.
|Additional mounting points to support the extended size of EATX motherboards.
|Adequate cooling options with fewer fan/radiator mounts.
|Enhanced cooling support with more fan and radiator mounting options due to larger size.
|Limited space for larger components.
|Ample clearance for larger components, facilitating better airflow and cable management.
|Limited space for cable routing.
|More space for efficient cable management and routing due to the larger case size.
|Generally more compact, suitable for standard-sized setups.
|Larger and more imposing, often chosen for high-performance or enthusiast builds.
|Typically more affordable than EATX cases.
|Often more expensive due to larger size, additional features, and build quality.
|Versatile for a wide range of builds, from budget to high-end gaming.
|Ideal for enthusiasts, content creators, and users with high-performance computing needs.
Case Form Factors:
Just as motherboards come in various form factors, computer cases also adhere to specific standards.
Case form factors dictate the size and layout of the case, ensuring compatibility with motherboards of corresponding form factors.
Common case form factors include Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and EATX.
ATX cases are designed to accommodate ATX motherboards. They typically have seven expansion slots, which align with the standard ATX layout.
These cases are widely available and cater to a broad range of users, from casual gamers to enthusiasts.
EATX cases are larger than ATX cases and are specifically designed to house EATX motherboards.
These cases offer more space for additional components and often have more expansion slots to support the extended layout of EATX motherboards.
Now that we understand the basics of motherboard and case form factors, let’s explore the compatibility between an ATX motherboard and an EATX case.
The primary concern when fitting an ATX motherboard into an EATX case is the physical size.
EATX cases are designed to accommodate larger motherboards, and while an ATX motherboard may fit within the mounting points, there can be excess space within the case.
This excess space does not affect functionality but may lead to a less aesthetically pleasing build.
Expansion Slot Alignment:
Another critical aspect is the alignment of expansion slots. ATX motherboards typically have seven slots, while EATX cases are designed to support more.
While an ATX motherboard can physically fit into an EATX case, the misalignment of expansion slots may result in unused spaces or misalignment with case cutouts for connectors.
EATX cases often have additional features like cable management options, additional fan mounts, and extra drive bays.
While an ATX motherboard will fit within an EATX case, users need to consider how well the motherboard aligns with these features.
Some cases might have optimized layouts for EATX motherboards, and an ATX motherboard might not make full use of these additional features.
Aesthetics and Build Quality:
Beyond functionality, users should also consider the aesthetic aspect of their build.
EATX cases are designed to complement the larger size of EATX motherboards, and using an ATX motherboard might result in a less visually appealing build.
EATX cases often come with premium build quality and features tailored for high-end systems, which might not be fully utilized with an ATX motherboard.
While it is technically possible to fit an ATX motherboard into an EATX case, there are several factors to consider.
Users should weigh the advantages of using a larger case against the potential drawbacks, such as excess space and misalignment of expansion slots. Aesthetic considerations and the overall build quality of the case should not be overlooked.
The compatibility of an ATX motherboard in an EATX case depends on several key factors, including mounting points, clearance for components, and cable management. While it is physically possible to fit an ATX motherboard into an EATX case, builders should carefully review the specifications of both components and consider the practical implications of such a configuration.
Thoughtful planning, research, and attention to detail are essential for a successful integration that maximizes the potential of the hardware while ensuring a clean and efficient build.