Best mini-ITX motherboard – high-end, budget and gaming
When it comes to building a compact yet powerful mini-ITX PC, choosing the best mini-ITX motherboard is crucial. In this article, we delve into the world of these mobos, highlighting the top picks that cater to various needs and preferences. Whether you’re a gamer, a creative professional, or someone looking to build a small home office PC, the best mini-ITX motherboards can make all the difference in maximizing performance within a limited space.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best mini-ITX motherboard
In selecting our recommendations for the best Mini ITX motherboards, several key factors were considered. Performance is paramount, especially in terms of chipset capabilities, memory support, and PCIe slots. Compatibility with current and future components, such as processors and storage options, is also crucial.
We also took into account the quality of onboard audio and networking features, as these are essential for a seamless computing experience. Additionally, aesthetics and build quality were considered, as a well-designed motherboard can enhance the overall look and durability of your PC build; all to help you get the right motherboard.
Of course you’ll also want to consider cases for the best mini-ITX motherboards. So we’ve got our best mini-ITX cases piece that is worth a look too!
Best mini-ITX motherboard – high-end, budget and gaming
- High CPU and memory support
- Effective cooling for M.2 slots
- Rich connectivity options
- Limited RAM slots
- Higher cost
- Restricted expansion due to size
The Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus is a Mini-ITX board designed for Intel’s latest CPUs, stands out in the mini-ITX motherboard category. Featuring support for DDR4-5333+ memory and equipped with a PCIe x16 (PCIe 5.0) slot, this motherboard caters to users seeking a balance of compactness and high performance. It offers two M.2 slots, both with heatsinks, and four SATA ports, ensuring ample storage options. Networking is handled by 2.5G LAN and Intel Wi-Fi 6E, while the rear USB ports include a versatile USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C.
This motherboard is ideal for building a powerful, space-efficient system. Its high-quality audio subsystem and robust power delivery system make it suitable for demanding applications, from gaming to professional tasks. Despite having only two RAM slots and a somewhat higher price point, its performance and features justify the investment, especially for those prioritizing space-saving designs without compromising on power.
- Superior performance capabilities
- Future-proof with PCIe Gen 5
- Advanced connectivity options
- Premium price
- Overkill for some users
The Asus ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming Wi-Fi is a premium mini-ITX motherboard designed for the latest Intel processors, offering a suite of advanced features for enthusiasts. It supports PCIe Gen 5, ensuring future-proofing for storage and graphics. The motherboard also includes the ROG Strix Hive, a useful tool for system monitoring and control. With its excellent power delivery, this board is capable of handling high-performance CPUs, supported by DDR5 memory.
Targeted by users who demand the best performance in a compact form, this motherboard is perfect for building a high-end gaming or professional PC in a small footprint. It provides an array of connectivity options, including nine USB ports with Thunderbolt 4 support. While the price tag is steep, the board justifies it with its top-tier performance and build quality.
- Affordable pricing
- DDR4 memory support
- Adequate PCIe 4.0 support
- Limited M.2 storage options
- Basic VRM, not for heavy overclocking
- Fewer USB ports
The Gigabyte H610I DDR4 motherboard is an excellent choice for budget-conscious builders. Designed for Intel’s LGA 1700 socket CPUs, it provides a solid foundation for a cost-effective mini-ITX build. This motherboard supports DDR4 memory, making it a practical choice for users who may already own DDR4 RAM or are looking to save on newer, more expensive DDR5 modules. It features a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for graphics cards, providing sufficient bandwidth for most modern GPUs.
Ideal for everyday computing and entry-level gaming, this motherboard offers a balance between performance and cost. It includes essential features like an M.2 slot for fast storage and a decent array of connectivity options including USB 3.2 ports. While it may lack advanced features like additional M.2 slots or extensive overclocking support, its affordability and solid performance make it a great choice for budget mini-ITX builds.
- High performance in a small package
- Two M.2 sockets for ample storage
- Premium audio features
- Limited USB Type-A ports
- VRMs can get hot under stress
- Higher price point for a mini-ITX motherboard
The Asus ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WIFI is a mini-ITX motherboard that packs a punch for its size. Catering to the latest Intel LGA 1700 socket CPUs, it offers a robust 9-phase power design ensuring stable performance. The motherboard supports PCIe 5.0, making it future-proof for next-gen components. With two M.2 sockets, users have ample high-speed storage options. Premium audio quality is another highlight, enhancing the gaming experience.
This motherboard is perfect for gamers and power users seeking a high-end experience in a compact form factor. Its advanced thermal design ensures that even under stress, performance remains stable. The USB port selection, including USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C, provides versatility in connectivity. Though it has fewer USB Type-A ports and experiences some VRM heating under load, these are minor trade-offs for its excellent overall performance and feature set.
Features and considerations
Mini ITX motherboards are renowned for their small size and small form factor, measuring just 17 x 17 cm, yet they pack a punch in terms of features and performance. Ideal for compact builds, these motherboards are a popular choice for those who require a powerful PC without the bulk of a traditional tower.
With advancements in technology, Mini ITX motherboards now come equipped with high-end chipsets, support for fast memory, and even overclocking capabilities. They also feature robust connectivity options including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ample USB ports, making them versatile for various setups.
Mini-ITX or microATX?
If you’re here you want a diminutive platform as the base for a new system. MicroATX is an option offering many of the benefits of a full ATX size board but in a smaller form. Meanwhile, Mini-ITX has more of a focus on size as the primary focus, with basic usefulness rather than fuller feature sets taken into account. MicroATX motherboards are 244 × 244 mm (9.6 × 9.6 inches), while mini-ITX motherboards are 170 mm × 170 mm (6.7 × 6.7 inches).
What is the disadvantage of a mini-ITX motherboard?
Mini-ITX motherboards, while compact and space-efficient, often come with limitations in expansion capabilities. They typically offer fewer PCIe slots, RAM slots, and storage options compared to larger motherboards. This can restrict upgrade potential and may not cater to users with high-end or multiple-component requirements. Additionally, their smaller size can sometimes lead to higher temperatures due to denser component packing, which might necessitate better cooling solutions.
Do Mini-ITX motherboards use less power?
Mini-ITX motherboards are generally designed to be power-efficient, consuming less power compared to larger motherboards. This efficiency is partly due to fewer onboard components and the need to fit into smaller, often more power-conscious, builds. However, the actual power consumption depends on the specific components and the overall system configuration.
The Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus stands out as the Editor’s Choice, combining a high-performance package with a compact design. Its versatility makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a balance between space-saving and powerful computing capabilities.
Other noteworthy contenders include the Asus ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming Wi-Fi for its premium features and top-tier performance, the Gigabyte H610I DDR4 for budget-conscious builders, and the Asus ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WIFI, which is perfect for gaming enthusiasts who prefer a compact setup. You’ll have noticed this list doesn’t include AMD motherboards, and the lack of an AM4 or AM5 CPU socket on display here is slight on the chipmaker. It’s just that we feel the selected represent the best Mini-ITX motherboards right now.