Small Form Factor builds are popular these days as people prioritize their desk space and performance values to a budget ratio more. These tiny rigs are usually characterized by intense power performance and astonishing heatsink solutions to get the best out of a processor. With a variety of mini-ITX boards flooding the markets, we have made a list of a select few that are worth all the attention. Contents
The B450 mini-ITX board was made to support AMD’s 2nd generation Ryzen chipsets in a smaller build with the same thermal performance as the regular ATX motherboards. It is also compatible with the Ryzen Vega graphics card and supports fast dual-channel DDR4 RAMs. It supports Intel Dual Band Wave 2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5. It also has enough HDMI and regular VGA I/O ports.
This mini-ITX version by ASUS is powered by the 2nd generation Ryzen chipsets. It is engineered for overclocking and provide optimum gaming performance in a compact rig. It also comes with SupremeFX S1220 audio codec for the most updated sound performance. The lighting is based on Aura Sync RGB which looks gorgeous. Connectivity is ensured with Intel Wi-Fi 802.11ac and USB 3.1. B450I is built with fast DDR4 RAMs as well for smooth memory transfer. The thermal cooling situation is monitored by Fan Xpert 4.
Made for 2nd generation Ryzen series and Vega graphics, this is a pure gaming rig for the SFF fans who want to power their system with maximum power and utilize minimum space. It supports up to 32 GB of ultra-fast DDR4 RAM and provides a bunch of boosting routines to power up the core unit, memory unit, and even transfer channels. To mesmerize your ears, it comes with an S1220 codec with an audio boost. It is also easy to troubleshoot this board with an Easy Debug LED made available as a perk.
A deviation from the love for AMD, this ITX rig is designed to aid the 10th generation Intel Core processors. This enables support for PCI express 3.0 slots which are not as fast as the recent express upgrade but do the job for this system. While the graphics support is limited to HDMI and VGA cables, it has room for the latest audio codec that is the Realtek S1220. This is a compact Intel build for the dedicated fans of the brand.
The ROG Strix B460 is a mini-ITX build for Intel 1200 sockets that is powered by their 10th generation core units. The 6+2+1 power phasing is very efficient for a compact build such as this one and can provide reliable and stable performance to the CPU. The thermal design consists of heatsinks at the VRM solution and is aided by Fan Xpert 4. For proper networking and connectivity, the board is loaded with Intel Wi-Fi 6 and ASUS LANGuard. The Aura Sync RGB is pretty aesthetic to look at as well.
B360N by Gigabyte is an older generation motherboard powered by 1151 LGA sockets to aid the 8th generation Intel chipsets. But it is still feature-packed with dual-channel fast DDR4 RAM enabled, a hybrid VRM solution for minimal power consumption and runs with Cavil 802.11ac Intel Wi-Fi. The Smart Fan 5 and a bunch of temperature sensors at the power supply unit and the core help in heat management. The lighting is based on the RGB Fusion series.
This is another older generation mini-ITX build made for 1151 LGA sockets by ASUS. Despite the small form factor, this is a very durable design engineered with the brand’s Advanced Protection II. The BIOS is easy to set up and does not require much configuration from the user side. The cooling performance of the hardware is guided by Fan Xpert 2+ which makes the rig noise-free and silent. It comes with HDMI, DVI, and VGA ports for connectivity.
X570 Phantom is a power-packed ITX rig that draws the best SFF performance from the Ryzen 3 chipsets and is compatible with AM4 sockets. It has dual-channel DDR 3466 RAMs up to 64 GB for high-speed memory transfers. Since the Ryzen 3 chipsets are very efficient and optimizing, it is natural that this tiny rig is one of the best in the line. It is an ideal choice for gamers who want budget builds and want to save up on some space.
The ROG Strix Z490 has a powerful 8+2 phase VRM solution that is uncommon in ITX boards. It is designed for Intel 1200 sockets to get the best performance from the latest Intel Core processors. The durable alloy chokes and capacitors help the board in this overclocking mission and Delta Superflo VRM fans and MOS heatsinks act as thermal guards for the tiny system. For standard networking, the motherboard supports Wi-Fi 6 and ASUS LANGuard.
The MSI Meg series has always been workstation companions but this product is a mini-ITX board first and workstation rig second. Although the Intel 10th generation is not the most ideal chipset for setting up your workstation, this board that comes jampacked with DDR4 memory, extended Frozr Aluminum heatsink, and double ball bearing for the durability of the cooling system can help maximize your performance issues while focusing on productivity.
This mini-ITX is all about fast processing with 2 unbuffered DDR4 DIMMS in its memory lane. It works with 10th generation Intel chipsets and has 5+1 a phase VRM design. The heat is dissipated with a MOSFET extended heatsink. For connectivity and networking abilities, it relies on Wi-Fi 6 and dual LAN 2 by Intel. The dual M.2 connectors and the 6 GB/s SATA cables inside enable high-speed data transfer in the PCB.
The Asrock Intel 8 ND mini-ITX works with the 8th and 9th generation Intel processors to give a fast CPU with excellent performance values. It may not be ideal for gaming but it comes with PCI Express slots for data channeling. It also has 4 SATA slots and 4 USB slots along with 1 M.2 connector. Although it does not have the latest audio support and can only support the 887 codec, it is versatile when it comes the graphics I/O with full allowance to HDMI, DVI, and display ports.
This is a fast and tiny solution for gamers who have to rely on Intel 10th generation chipsets. It draws the best power performance from these 1200 socket processors, coupled with Wi-Fi 6 technology, dual LAN, and ASUS LANGuard to give a smooth gaming experience. It has an astonishing 6+2+1 VRM design for power supply added with alloy chokes and capacitors. The VRM heatsink and Fan Xpert 4 are absolutely needed for this high-performance compact machine to cool it down and maintain reasonable temperatures.
14. MSI MPG X570
This Ryzen aided machine that can also work with Vega graphics cards is an expensive ITX rig compared to many other SFF builds. With Wi-Fi 5 onboard and Nahimic audio boost it is not the best option for gaming. It excels in fast processing and productivity like the MSI ATX boards however with enough I/O support and durable I/O ports shielding that ensures the longevity of the unit. With patented fans and Frozr heatsinks, it has efficient thermal engineering as well.
Equipped with 8th and 9th generation Intel chipsets, this is a budget option for those who want optimal gaming experience with older processors. The budget option is packed with fast DDR4 RAMs, M.2 connectors, and Intel Optane memory. The heating solution is an efficient double-decker heatsink design over M.2 connectors. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Anti-surge LANGuard for networking and smooth online gaming experience.
It is easy to find SFF rigs anywhere these days but they do not have what the user expects most of the time. Not that a shorter build means less user efficiency. It just means that not every ITX board will have the same priorities. Since ATX boards are more versatile and it is not possible to do the same for their little brothers, it is left on user expertise to choose the right motherboard suited to them.