The Best Micro-ATX Motherboard

Looking for the best micro-ATX motherboard for your new gaming PC?

There is no coincidence that small form factor gaming PCs are all the rage right now. Gamers and professional creators are now shifting to smaller PC cases that save both space and money.

Micro-ATX motherboards are the sweet spot in terms of value as they offer most of the features of ATX motherboards but are cheaper than both ATX and mini-ITX motherboards. Even the best motherboard for RTX 3080 can be an mATX motherboard.

This makes them an ideal choice for budget-focused consumers as well. As a result, however, micro-ATX motherboards are often quite barebones so you should consider your purchase decision wisely.

This means they won’t include fancy features like extreme performance options, large RAM capacity, or extensive PCIe slots for graphics cards.

Here are some of the best motherboards on the market that use this form factor. Let’s jump in.

Top 3 Best Micro-ATX Motherboards Comparison

Editors' Choice

ASRock Z590M Pro4

  • Very Affordable.

  • Decent Power Delivery.

  • 4x DIMM Slots.

Best Premium Motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G

  • Robust 14+1 Phase VRM.

  • 3x M.2 Slots with PCIe Gen 4.

  • Thunderbolt 4 Capability.

Best Budget Motherboard 

MSI MAG B550M Mortar

(Best Seller)

  • Extraordinary VRM Design.

  • 2.5 GbE LAN.

  • Quite Affordable.

How We Choose the Best Micro-ATX Motherboards

Micro-ATX motherboards enjoy a unique position of superiority on the market in terms of value, so there are a lot of factors that we considered when selecting the best mATX motherboards.

Firstly, a motherboard employing this form factor should have a decent power delivery system for the CPUs it supports. This is an important factor for daily usage and long-term reliability.

Expandability and upgradability were also two key factors we prioritized while picking the products for this roundup. We ensured that our selected mATX motherboards have 4 DIMM slots so that future upgrades are possible. We employed similar criteria for PCI Express x16 slots.

We laid focus on features such as the number and type of M.2 slots, the availability of WiFi, high-speed USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and support for Thunderbolt, ethernet port options, etc. as these are important features for any modern consumer.

The mATX form factor is synonymous with budget offerings, so we made sure that the boards selected boards provide high value for money.

Keeping these factors in mind, we have selected a host of excellent mATX motherboards for your next build. Let’s dive right in.

1. ASRock Z590M Pro4 – Editor’s Choice (Intel)

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Chipset: Z590 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4800+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 5x internal | Network: 1x 1GbE LAN | Storage: 2x M.2, 4x SATA

Pros:

  • Decent Power Delivery
  • Very Affordable
  • 4x DIMM Slots
  • 2x M.2 Slots
  • Nice Aesthetics

Cons:

  • Only 1GbE LAN
  • No WiFi

Starting off with the all-important VRM design, the Z590M has a 12-phase power delivery system with 50A premium chokes that makes it a really solid choice for moderate overclocking on the 11th Gen CPUs.

The Pro4 might have some trouble keeping VRM temperatures in check when subjected to extended loads since the VRM heatsinks are not particularly substantial. You might want to be a bit restrained with your overclocking metrics.

This board can also be counted as one of the best motherboards for i9 10900K.

You get 4 DIMM slots with the Z590M, which is a plus point, especially when it comes to the micro-ATX form factor.

The main disappointment, however, is the connectivity suite which is barebones at best. The only LAN port is a simple 1 GbE port, and there is no WiFi capability. ASRock should have included at least a 2.5 GbE LAN port and WiFi 6 with this board.

All in all, the ASRock Z590M Pro4 is our Editor’s choice for the best micro-ATX motherboard that can be quite safely labeled as the best Z590 mATX motherboard.

It is a solid recommendation for anyone looking to build a compact Z590 gaming rig.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 8.5/10
  • Features: 7.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 9/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

2. ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming – Best Premium Micro-ATX Motherboard (Intel)

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Chipset: Z690 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6000+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA

Pros:

  • Robust 14+1 Phase VRM
  • DDR5 Capable
  • 3x M.2 Slots with PCIe Gen 4
  • Thunderbolt 4 Capability
  • Impressive Connectivity

Cons:

  • Extremely Expensive
  • Thunderbolt is not native

Our premium pick comes from ASUS ROG with their Strix Z690-G mATX motherboard for Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake processors. This is a ridiculously expensive micro-ATX motherboard but if you have the budget, this is the one to buy.

VRM design is extraordinary with the 14+1 phase system capable of overclocking even the Core i9 12900K to a reasonable extent. The VRM cooling is quite ample as well thanks to the use of finned heatsinks by ASUS.

Furthermore, ASUS has also provided Thunderbolt 4 support via a header. This means that you will have to buy a Thunderbolt card if you want to use that feature, but the addition of the header is welcome nonetheless.

It also includes USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 2 Type-C USB ports.

We used a similar ASUS motherboard in our roundup of the best motherboards for i5 10600K.

ASUS has gone with the traditional ROG styling with this board as well, and that is quite evident as soon as you lay eyes on the board. The PCB is barely visible thanks to large VRM heatsinks and I/O covers.

The RGB implementation is quite impressive and the diagonal ROG logo and lighting bar add character to the board.

Overall, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming does not fall short in any of the traditional parameters, except value. It is an extremely expensive motherboard and does not fit the “budget-oriented” mold of micro ATX motherboards.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 9/10
  • Features: 9.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 8.5/10
  • Value for Money: 5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

3. MSI MAG B550M Mortar – Best Budget Micro-ATX Motherboard – BEST SELLER (AMD)

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Chipset: B550 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4400 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 5x internal | Network: 1x 2.5GbE LAN | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Pros:

  • Extraordinary VRM Design
  • 4x DIMM Slots
  • 2.5 GbE LAN
  • 6x SATA Ports
  • Quite Affordable

Cons:

  • No WiFi
  • No RGB Lighting

The AMD B550 platform is all about the value for money, and one of the best motherboards in this regard is the MSI MAG B550M Mortar. It is one of the best budget boards.

Primarily, the VRM design of the B550M Mortar is top notch. It shares components with the more expensive B550 Tomahawk from MSI and packs a decent 8+2+1 phase power design.

The highlight feature of the MSI B550M Mortar is its price tag and incredible value, but that is not all it offers. The board contains 4x DIMM slots which is a great feature for micro-ATX motherboards again.

For connectivity, MSI has provided a 2.5GbE LAN port which is a nice touch, however, WiFi is missing from the base model. You can get a “WiFi” version for a higher price, but that skews the value proposition a bit.

This board can also be considered as one of the best budget motherboards for Ryzen 5 3600.

As far as looks go, there is nothing really unique about the MSI MAG B550M Mortar and perhaps, that is by design. The board is really neutral with a gray PCB with some minor silver accents.

The B550M Mortar is one of the best value motherboards out there in the micro ATX form factor, and thanks to its extraordinary power delivery system, it might just be the best budget mATX motherboard on the market.

For anyone thinking about building a small form factor AMD Ryzen gaming PC, do consider the B550M Mortar. It really is one of the best budget micro-ATX motherboards out there.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 9/10
  • Features: 8/10
  • Aesthetics: 7/10
  • Value for Money: 8/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

4. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming – Best Z490 Micro-ATX Motherboard (Intel)

Form Factor: mATX | Chipset: Z490 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4800 | Video Outputs: HDMI | USB Ports: 8x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5GbE LAN | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Pros:

  • Robust VRM Setup
  • Four DIMM Slots
  • Versatile Rear I/O
  • Impressive Aesthetics
  • Relatively Affordable

Cons:

  • No DisplayPort Output
  • Lack of WiFi

If you are on the Z490 platform or are planning to buy an Intel 10th Generation CPU for your gaming PC, then you might want to consider the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming. The Z490-G brings you a solid power delivery system with the full feature set of Z490 in a fun-sized package.

When it comes to the VRM design, the ROG Strix Z490-G certainly punches above its weight. While it is a value-oriented micro ATX Z490 motherboard, it still has a pretty decent power delivery system that is capable of handling the Core i5 10600K and the Core i7 10700K even at overclocked settings.

You should avoid pairing this board with a Core i9 10900K since that is a very power-hungry CPU. This can be, however, one of the best motherboards for i7 10700K.

The VRM cooling solution implemented by ASUS is very effective, as the large VRM heatsinks are further finned to increase surface area and improve heat dissipation. It is certainly nothing extraordinary, so you should err on the side of caution when tuning your 24/7 overclocks.

Connectivity is a bit of a mixed bag as there is a single 2.5 GbE LAN port on the back which is nice, however, WiFi is missing from the base model. There are, however, 2 M.2 slots and 6 SATA ports which is a nice combination for storage on a mATX motherboard.

Aesthetically, the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming really sets itself apart. The characteristic ASUS ROG design language is immediately recognizable thanks to the sharp edges and angular accents.

There is also ROG AI memory overclocking available for this Z490 board. It automatically profiles the cooling system and your CPU. Making all your fan headers and PC components work that much better.

The large I/O cover also plays host to the iconic ROG eye logo which lights up in all colors of the rainbow. The RGB lighting also extends down to the Strix script just under the ROG logo. This motherboard is made to be a centerpiece of a luxury board for gaming full of RGB lighting.

Conclusively, the ROG Strix Z490-G might just be the best Z490 micro-ATX motherboard on the market. The exquisite power delivery system, coupled with a fresh aesthetic and excellent features makes it a really worthwhile purchase. The price tag is relatively palatable as well when compared to some ATX Z490 motherboards.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 8/10
  • Features: 8.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8/10

5. ASRock B550M Steel Legend – Best B550 Micro-ATX Motherboard (AMD)

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Chipset: B550 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4733+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 8x rear IO, 6x internal | Network: 1x 2.5GbE LAN | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Pros:

  • Impressive Aesthetics
  • Excellent Value
  • 2.5 GbE LAN Port
  • Built-in I/O Shield
  • PCIe 4.0 M.2 Slot

Cons:

  • Lack of WiFi
  • Underwhelming Power Delivery

The ASRock B550M Steel Legend is a value-oriented motherboard that would go nicely with budget Ryzen processors such as the Ryzen 5 3600 or Ryzen 5 5600X.

Being a budget-focused motherboard on the B550 platform, the VRM design can be classified as mediocre at best. It is a 10-phase VRM design with 50A chokes but you still shouldn’t expect any extraordinary overclocking feat from this motherboard.

VRM cooling is acceptable as it’s handled by a pair of sizeable VRM heatsinks. The heat dissipation is improved due to the fin design of the VRM heatsinks. Ideally, the board should be paired with mid-range Ryzen CPUs such as the Ryzen 5 5600X or the Ryzen 7 3700X at moderate overclocks.

It is not, however, the best motherboard for Ryzen 9 3900X.

The ASRock B550M Steel Legend is quite an impressive specimen when it comes to looks. The PCB carries the traditional “camo” design from the Steel Legend line, and the RGB placement is quite impressive as well.

The large VRM heatsinks give a lot of aesthetic character to the board, and overall it is a really attractive piece of kit relative to the price.

Internal connectors for graphics output options include HDMI port, and many PCIE slots for more graphics card options. An excellent mATX PC build option overall.

When it comes to the best B550 micro-ATX motherboard, you can’t do much better than the ASRock B550M Steel Legend. The aforementioned B550 Mortar is a better all-around motherboard but it also costs a bit more, therefore making it a less attractive option in terms of value.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 7/10
  • Features: 7/10
  • Aesthetics: 9/10
  • Value for Money: 8.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8/10

6. Gigabyte Z390M – Best Z390 Micro-ATX Motherboard (Intel)

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-4266 | Video Outputs: DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 6x internal | Network: 1x 1GbE LAN | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA

Pros:

  • Variety of Display Outputs
  • 4x DIMM Slots
  • Nice Storage Features
  • Very Affordable

Cons:

  • Only 1GbE LAN
  • No WiFi
  • Mediocre VRM Design

If you are rocking a 9th Generation Intel processor on the Z390 platform, such as the iconic Core i9 9900K, then the Gigabyte Z390M is the perfect micro ATX pick for you.

The value proposition of this Gigabyte offering is what makes it the best Z390 mATX motherboard for your next compact gaming build.

Starting off, the VRM design is nothing extraordinary so you shouldn’t expect any heavy overclocking with this motherboard on flagship CPUs. The heatsinks on the VRM modules are also tiny and relatively ineffective.

One should only pair mid-range CPUs such as the Core i5 9600K or maybe Core i7 9700K with this motherboard due to its mediocre power delivery.

Another drawback of the board due to its competitive price point is the rather unimpressive connectivity suite. There is only a single 1GbE LAN port and WiFi is missing as well. Being a flagship Z-series chipset, this networking suite is a bit of a letdown.

The M.2 slots do not have any PCIe Gen 4 functionality since this is a Z390 chipset. The PCIe x16 slots are wired for PCIe Gen 3 as well.

The Gigabyte Z390M is not much of a looker as well. The two large silver VRM heatsinks do provide a bit of a character to the otherwise bland motherboard, but there is nothing to write home about. RGB Lighting is missing from the board as well, so this is probably not for customization enthusiasts.

If you are OK with a bit of compromise and don’t want to engage in enthusiast overclocking, then the Z390M from Gigabyte is a fine choice for your 9th Gen Intel CPU. The value proposition is unbeatable and it has excellent overall compatibility.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 7/10
  • Features: 7.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 7/10
  • Value for Money: 9/10
  • Overall Rating: 7.5/10

7. ASRock B450M Steel Legend – Best B450 Micro-ATX Motherboard (AMD)

Form Factor: Micro-ATX | Chipset: B450 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-3533+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 5x internal | Network: 1x 1GbE LAN | Storage: 2x M.2, 4x SATA

Pros:

  • Excellent Budget Option
  • Impressive RGB Lighting
  • Four DIMM Slots
  • 2x M.2 Slots

Cons:

  • Underwhelming Power Delivery
  • Lack of WiFi
  • Only 1 GbE LAN

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend is one of the most barebones AMD motherboards on the list thanks to its basic B450 chipset and being micro-ATX. Nevertheless it is an excellent value option for a small form factor gaming rig.

Power delivery is not a priority for such products in the budget section, therefore the 6-phase VRM design with 60A chokes is rather mediocre. You should not expect any serious overclocking output from the B450M Steel Legend.

The VRM heatsinks are rather small and insignificant, so VRM thermals are a bit of an issue over extended periods. This board is ideally paired with value-oriented mid-range CPUs such as the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 or Ryzen 5 3600.

We also recommended this board in our best motherboard for Ryzen 5 2600 roundup.

The connectivity factor leaves a bit to be desired. The only networking option is a single 1GbE LAN port, and WiFi is unavailable too. This is a bit of a letdown even at this price point.

Aesthetically, however, the board sets itself apart from the other budget offerings in its class. The PCB is covered in somewhat of a “camo” pattern which is distinct. The large silver VRM heatsink and I/O cover do add a bit of character as well.

The RGB lighting is particularly impressive on this board. There is a strip of lighting on the I/O cover and then under the chipset heatsink. The former is much more important and looks quite nice.

All in all, the ASRock B450M Steel Legend does not break any overclocking records nor does it have any unique features, but it is probably the best B450 micro-ATX motherboard that you can consider for your build.

RATINGS:

  • VRM Design: 7/10
  • Features: 6.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 7.5/10
  • Value for Money: 8/10
  • Overall Rating: 7/10

Worth Mentioning Micro-ATX Motherboard Options

  • ASUS TUF Gaming B550m (AMD)
  • MSI MPG Z390m Gaming Edge AC (Intel)

Best Micro-ATX Motherboards – Buyer’s Guide

As with any purchase, there are certain factors that you should consider prior to finalizing your decision of buying a micro-ATX motherboard. These boards are better suited to specific consumers and might not fit the needs of every buyer.

Make sure you analyze the following features on the micro-ATX motherboard you are considering.

VRM Quality and Temperatures

VRM Quality and Temperatures
https://www.canva.com/photos/MAC-5YdPIMA-motherboard/

Voltage Regulator Modules, or VRMs, are important factors to consider when buying a micro-ATX motherboard. Most motherboard manufacturers save money on this component of a micro-ATX board.

VRMs are split up into phases or power stages. Assume a VRM configuration with 8+2 phases, this means that eight phases are dedicated to the CPU/GPU core, and two are dedicated to the memory. Higher may be better in some situations, but the quality of the VRM components matters more than the numbers.

Finally, VRM cooling efficiency is worth talking about since the main topic is micro ATX motherboards. You want to make sure your mATX has adequate cooling via the VRM heatsink. Higher temperatures will lead to thermal throttling and less overall stability at full load.

Have a reliable CPU cooler to maintain your mini-ATX motherboards. This goes for both AMD and Intel motherboards with their individual CPU socket options. Fan speed and hybrid fan headers can have a huge effect on your PC build.

DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots
https://www.canva.com/photos/MADAOWbYnv0-electronic-collection-installing-memory-module-in-dimm-slot-on-motherboard/

Most mATX motherboards are value-oriented motherboards that are made as a secondary version of a full-sized ATX motherboard. In order to achieve a smaller price tag, manufacturers often remove several features from the board in the process.

Some manufacturers can even go so far as to remove 2 DIMM slots as a cost-cutting measure. This reduces your upgrade path quite significantly when it comes to memory.

A motherboard with only 2 DIMM slots does have dual-channel capability, but if you populate both slots you cannot double your RAM capacity later down the line.

Therefore, this is something that is crucial to analyze before pulling the trigger on a micro-ATX motherboard.

Price To Performance Ratio

If your primary goal for buying one of the best micro-ATX motherboards is saving money, then you might want to consider some ATX options as well. Sometimes, micro-ATX boards might not be the best choice in terms of value.

Sure, a micro-ATX motherboard can be cheaper than an ATX board, but it may also be a lot worse in terms of features and cost-cutting measures. Compromising with things like limited bandwidth or RAM capacity can save a lot of money.

If you are considering an $80 mATX motherboard with 2 DIMM slots, no WiFi, only 1GbE LAN connectivity, and poor VRM design, then you might want to look for ATX options in the $100-120 range that might offer a much better feature set at only 20-30 additional dollars.

This comparative value analysis can save you a lot of headaches down the line.

Upgrade Path

A key factor to consider while buying a micro-ATX motherboard is the upgrade path you can expect from it. We have already seen the impact of DIMM slots in the upgrade path, but there are other factors in this discussion as well.

PCIe Expansion Slots

You should take into account the number of PCIe expansion slots that are offered by the micro-ATX motherboard for your graphics card. Both PCIe x16 and x1 slots are crucial in determining your upgrade path as you might want to install a network card, more graphics card options, or a capture card down the line.

Your primary GPU slots should be in the first PCIe x16 slots.

Power Delivery

Also, make sure the power delivery system of your micro-ATX motherboard is able to handle a more powerful CPU on the same chipset and CPU socket. You can check the user and expert reviews of any motherboard model to find out information about the VRM.

For instance, if you are buying a B550 motherboard with a Ryzen 5 3600, make sure the VRM of your motherboard can handle a Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9 part as well. This will also help you upgrade your CPU down the line without changing your best motherboard.

FAQs:

Do Micro-ATX Motherboards Have 4 RAM slots?

Many micro-ATX motherboards have 4 RAM slots and decent RAM capacity. However, some budget offerings sometimes only offer 2 DIMM memory slots options so you should do your research about the particular motherboard model beforehand. Especially if you may need more storage devices.

Why Choose Micro-ATX over ATX?

You should choose micro ATX over ATX if you plan to build a smaller-sized gaming PC in a micro-ATX case. You can also save money by going with mini-ATX motherboards since most of the micro-ATX motherboards are cheaper than an ATX gaming motherboard.

Can I Install a mATX Motherboard in an ATX Case?

You can install a micro-ATX fit in an ATX case. However, you will need to install the appropriate standoffs before attempting to install the motherboard in your PC case.

Can I Install an ATX Motherboard in a Micro-ATX Case?

You cannot install an ATX motherboard in micro-ATX motherboards’ cases since the dimensions do not fit. The ATX board is bigger than the motherboard tray of the micro ATX case.

Are Micro-ATX Motherboards Good for Gaming?

All micro-ATX motherboards could make great gaming motherboards if paired with a good Processor and GPU. However, in some mATX board storage options and the number of DIMM slots can limit your gaming experience by a small margin. You may need external storage devices if you are dedicated gamers.

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