Choosing the best mini ITX motherboard means you are ready to make performance and higher upgrade compromises for a compact rig.
The bigger the better philosophy works only with a professional gaming rig or huge file editing computers. The Mini ITXform factor is perfect for day-to-day usage and makes life easier while moving to a different location because of its lower weight and ease of portability.
Apart from the form factors, there are a lot of integrated features such as ports, slots, and the socket. Today there are primarily three different sizes of motherboards that can be used to create your dream PC, whether it be a gaming one or for official purposes.
Choosing the right-sized motherboard will support either portability or upgrading to the largest-sized personal computers.
While gaming PCs showcase a lot of performance capabilities, a portable device is more practical.
For that reason, we bring you the best mini ITX motherboard you can get your hands on in 2021.
Every gamer or PC enthusiast understands the significance of a motherboard, but not everyone is aware of the features offered by individual form factors. Before purchasing one, you should understand its basic differences and features.
A motherboard can only be differentiated based on supported socket type. Intel processors work only with LGA11 sockets or socket H4, while the AMD processors work with AM4 sockets.
Hence before purchasing one, it is most important to decide the processor you wish to install on the motherboard. The latest 11th generation intel processors work only with the LGA 1200 sockets.
While purchasing a processor, it is not mandatory to go with the latest ones, they are always expensive.
MINI ITX motherboards have limited PCIe, RAM slots, forcing you to settle for less and make do with the limited possibility of a hardware upgrade.
These are great for a compact PC and official working desk that requires less gaming and more computational performance.
However, a lot of MINI ATX motherboards can be merged with a liquid cooling system and top-of-the-line graphics card without an issue.
Best Mini ITX Motherboards in 2021
Let’s begin with the best mini ATX motherboards which you should consider while building a personal computer in 2021.
7. ASRock B365M – Cheapest Mini ITX Motherboard
Comes with 3 display modules
Faster Bluetooth 4.2 connection
No RBG lightings
Cannot support overclocking
ASRock being considered one of the best motherboard manufacturers has secured the first position. If you are searching for a cheap mini ITX motherboardB365M would be exactly right for you.
Cheapest one to support decent ninth-generation Intel processors this LGA11 socket motherboard is compatible with both intel 8th and 9th generation processors. It is not compatible with older generations of processors though.
While the B365M supports 64 GB of dual-channel RAM, the clock speed is limited to 2666 MHz, RAM sticks with higher frequency will be bottlenecked, but considering a budget build 32GB of 2666 MHz RAM will still be a force to be reckoned.
Apart from that, you get a PCIe port for attaching a graphics card later.
You get a single third-generation ultra-M.2 socket that can be used for installing an SSD card for faster booting speeds.
The HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort connections are protected by a thermal shield to assure glitch-free data transmission between the CPU and monitor.
Since the motherboard is not capable of overclocking, there is no need for thermal shields, which has ultimately led to saving money for buyers.
You get a dual-band Wi-Fi module that supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks and an Intel gigabit ethernet port for wired network connectivity.
This motherboard also supports Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless data transfers. Besides, you get a number of USB 2.0 ports for connecting external devices such as a mouse, keyboard and speakers, etc.
Enjoy a decent computer performance with the ease of rearranging and moving the workstation at your convenience.
Processor: Intel | Generation: 8th, 9th generation | RAM: 2666 MHz dual channel 64 GB | RGB: No | PCIe: 4.0 x4 interface | Connectivity: HDMI 2.1, Intel Wi-Fi 6.0, Audio Port, Microphone Port, Type-C port, USB 3.0 port | Storage: Dual M.2 port with active cooling.
6. GIGABYTE Z 390 I – Budget Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Aluminum build quality
Multi-zone RGB lighting
Comes with thermal guards
Supports 4 K video transmission and processing
Lacks a PCIe 4th generation slot
No thunderbolt USB ports
The second mini ITX motherboard on our list is from Gigabyte. Its Z390 I model is among the best motherboards for housing an Intel processor that can support both the 8th and 9thgeneration LGA processors.
The Z390 I comes with a 3rd generationPCIe X4 slot that can be used to plug in a decent GPU.
Even in the most shortcoming areas of a mini ITX form factor, that is RAM clock speed, the Z 390 stays in the fight with the top-end mini ITX motherboards.
It supports a memory clock speed of up to 4266MHz. With its dual DIMM module, you can add up to two 64 GB DDR4 RAM sticks, and this motherboard will handle the heat without overheating. You also get a dual M.2 port with a thermal guard.
Gigabyte Z390 I have Intel Optane memory support and Pow IR stage that can improve the reboot speed along with the overall DRMOS performance.
Z390 I further come with wave 2 Wi-Fi, microphone, Bluetooth 5.0, and superior quality audio capacitors.
You also get Intel Gigabit LAN, RGB lighting support, Multiple temperature sensors, and Hybrid fan headers that enables users to overclock their computer without worrying about overheating.
The build quality and heat dissipation mechanism are designed to support overheating. Talking about the aluminum build quality and CNC machined covers, and fins for superior heat management, one can combine a water-cooling gig and enjoy the maximum performance through the Z 390 I processor.
This motherboard is specifically known for its high thermal handling capacity.
On the connectivity front, you have a large number of ports to connect all your hardware devices and still have space for more connections.
You have a LAN connection port, a USB Type-C port, HDMI 2.0 port that can handle data transfer of up to 18 Gb per second enabling 4K video transmission. You also get Display port connectivity to support older display units.
To summarize Z390 I raises the bar of mini ITX motherboards in terms of connectivity, superior performance, and fan control, making it one of the most in-demand motherboards in the ITX form factor.
5. MSI MPG B550 I – Budget AMD Mini ITX Motherboard
Actively cooled M.2 slot
Wi-Fi 6 antennas
Massive heat sinks over the I/O
Lacks integrated RGB lighting
CMOS header is hidden behind the IO shield
MSI MPG B550I is third on our list. Unlike other MSI series, the MPG was specifically crafted to cater to the needs of gamers. Hence, performance and gaming are common words associated with this motherboard.
The MSI MPG B550 I Ryzen mini ITX motherboard supports AMD 3rd generation processors, as it comes with an AM4 socket. Unlike our previous choice, this one is for AMD fans.
With an aluminum body and thermal pads for superior heat control, this motherboard is meant for serious gaming performance.
What is gaming without a higher RAM clock speed and data transfer speeds? On that note, the B550I offers a RAM speed of up to 4600 MHz that supports 64 GB of RAM through its dual DIMM slots.
You get a 4th generation PCIe x4 interface port for inserting a graphics card along with an M.2 port supporting a transfer speed of up to 64 bits per second.
The M.2 port is further complemented by an M.2 Shield Frozr heatshield design. It has built-in dual-ball bearing fans for maximum cooling. This mini ITX AM4 motherboard is crafted using 7W/mK thermal pads that enable quick heat transfer to the extended heat sink.
The housing socket on MSI B550 is supported by its flagship core boost technology enabling simple and quick overclocking for processors.
The dual DIMM RAM slots are also turbo boosted to extract the maximum performance from the internal systems.
In terms of data transfer, you have Intel Wi-Fi 6, which can offer a high transfer speed of up to 2400 Mbps. For wired connectivity, this motherboard comes with a premium 2.5G LAN for a superior network experience.
Still, a motherboard is incomplete without the accessory attachments such as USB ports and display-related ports. You get HDMI 2.1 to support up to 4K resolutions, audio port, microphone port, one USB Type-C port, and three USB ports for connecting external devices.
You also get a dedicated Flash BIOS button and drive port for updating your motherboard with the latest features.
While the heat dissipation is good, MSI also includes a cooling plate at the rear of this motherboard.
Processor: AMD | Generation: 3rd generation | RAM: 4600 MHz dual channel 64 GB | RGB: No | PCIe: 4.0 x4 interface | Connectivity: HDMI 2.1, Intel Wi-Fi 6.0, Audio Port, Microphone Port, Type-C port, USB 3.0 port | Storage: Dual M.2 port with active cooling.
4. GIGABYTE X570 – Functional AMD Mini ITX Motherboard
RGB Fusion 2.0
Superior heat sink designs
Q Flash BIOS update
No external Antennas
Still using USB 2.0 ports
Gigabyte X570 I AORUS PRO Wi-Fi motherboard is a capable piece of hardware with superior thermal dissipations, RGB lights, and fan controls. The AMD X570 chipset supports all AMD generation processors from 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 series for processors up to 16 cores.
3. AS Rock X570 – Best RGB AMD Mini ITX Motherboard
Thunderbolt 3.0 support
Superior thermal dissipation
Stock AMD cooler cannot be used on this motherboard
Next up on our list is the ASRock X570 mini ITX, also known as phantom gaming thunderbolt motherboard.
ASRock has manufactured some impressive motherboards in recent years, and it is perhaps the best budget mini ITX motherboard with a thunderbolt port in the price segment.
They somehow managed to implement the Thunderbolt 3.0 natively into the AMD motherboard.
You can mount up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM in the dual DIMM slots that support a boost memory speed of up to 4200MHz.
So far, this motherboard has turned itself a gold standard among other x570 motherboards. You can work with an AMD processor of 2000, 3000, 4000-G series, and 5000s series without breaking a sweat.
Apart from RAM and processor, you can add a decent amount of high-speed storage drives, thanks to the hyper M.2 PCIe 4th generation x4 slot.
The design of this motherboard allows for 2 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports to be installed on the rear and front sides of this device. These RGB LEDs are located under the motherboard and shine bright. You can control the inbuilt RGB lights using its customized RGB profiles.
For high-speed internet and transfer, you get Intel Wi-Fi 6 that also comes with external antennas to enhance connectivity speed.
For wired connection, there is a decently fast LAN port. Other than that, the ASRock X570 comes with a visibly larger metal VRM heat sink which also doubles up as the rear IO cover. The X570 also comes with a tall heatsink for power delivery components.
Since this motherboard is capable of overclocking, at times, the temperature can become too much for the system, and for such situations, you have a dedicated CMOS button.
2. ASUS ROG Z490 I – Best Intel mini ITX motherboard
Outstanding thermal dissipation
Aura Sync RGB controls
Compromises on audio features
Z490-I is the fanciest ITX motherboard launched by ROG in recent days.
This motherboard is designed with the sole intention of enabling people with a habit of overclocking. ROG STRIX Z490-I mini ITX GAMING motherboard is a uniquely built motherboard with a high fencing design that separates all power-consuming units from the connectors.
The Z490I with its LGA11 socket supports intel 10th generation processors. You get an overclocked memory speed of up to 4600 MHz through its dual channels RAMs that support a total of 64 GB.
You get aura RGB connector pins at both the top and bottom parts of the motherboard.
For storage, you can either take advantage of SATA ports or connect an SSD in one of the two M.2 slots.
The entire I/O section of this motherboard is covered by the patented pre-molded I/O shield. For display connectivity, you have an HDMI 2.0 port and DisplayPort 1.4.
You also get a BIOS Flashback button to restart the BIOS update. The RGB fusion 2 offers eight preset LED patterns to choose from.
For internet connectivity, you can take advantage of either Intel’s Gigabit LAN port or Wi-Fi 6 for wired and wireless connection likewise.
This motherboard features an L-shaped MOS heatsink sitting above the I/O ports. Even the M.2 slot features a triple-decker heat dissipation unit.
Unlike its counterparts which failed to surpass the 4800 MHz mark, Z490I by MSI has crossed all the performance boundaries. MEG series is also considered the highest and best standard in motherboards.
The design element of this motherboard is similar to all other ITX motherboards. You can use any 10th generation intel core processor and extract maximum performance without facing any overheating issues.
The strong build quality reinforced by Aluminum covers acts as extra heat sinks resulting in stabilizing the core motherboard temperature during overclocking.
You can surpass all previous boundaries and use up to 5000 MHz of clock speed using the Z490 I by MSI.
It supports 64 GB of RAM sticks in dual channel, meaning you can add two RAM sticks of 32 GB each. For storage, you get twin-turbo M.2 connectors with a transfer speed of up to 32 Gb/s.
For USB connectivity, you have one USB 3.2 generation Type-C port, two USB 3.2 generation Type-A ports, and two USB 2.0 ports for connecting extra hardware devices.
In terms of internet connectivity, this motherboard supports both the wired and wireless modes using an ethernet port and Wi-Fi connection, reinforced by external antennas to get the maximum speed of 2400 Mbps.
The PCIe slot is steel reinforced to avoid bending and ensure maximum performance. It will help the device overcome the excessive heat released during overclocked gaming sessions.
The must-have for a top-of-the-line motherboard is Thunderbolt 3 USB ports and PCIe 4.0 ports, M.2 slot for SSD upgrade, and higher frequency RAM support. So, the best mini ITX motherboard with Thunderbolt is what you should be looking for, period.
Mini ITX form factors were essentially designed to offer laptop-like portability to people without actually buying a smaller device. Fixating and purchasing a motherboard should never be considered a simple transaction.
The more money you can spend, the better your computer system will be. You will be able to pick better deals if you can compare.
What is a mini ITX motherboard?
Mini ITX motherboards are especially smaller integration units not exceeding the size of a palm measuring roughly around 7 inches x 7 inches. mini ITX are meant for compact PC builds, and we do not recommend purchasing a mini ITX for overclocking without checking if your build can accommodate it.
Is Mini ITX the same as ITX?
Mini ITX is sometimes referred to as ITX. Hence there is no need to get confused between the two.
Are mini ITX builds worth it?
Mini ITX builds are perfect for official, educational purposes. You have to be sure about the motherboard features before overclocking it for gaming. Check out the display connectivity options, heat dissipation capacity, and max network bandwidths first.
Which cases will a mini ITX motherboard fit into?
A Mini ITX motherboard can be set up in any case larger than the ITX motherboard itself. You can even add the ITX motherboard inside an ATX case. But to protect your hardware components from unnecessary dirt, getting a similar-sized case is better.