The Best Mini-ITX Motherboards in 2023
Choosing a Mini ITX motherboard comes with compromises. When you’re going for a compact form-factor, you gain mobility and save space, but you lose a lot of those desktop-sized features. The best Mini ITX motherboard is the one that’ll lose the least amount of functionality in the shrinking process. So while you will have to purchase your other components while factoring in some limitations, we’re confident that the right Mini ITX mobo will enable you to build a high-performing, compact gaming rig without you noticing a drop in performance.
In terms of picking out small form-factor components, you’ll have to consider the available PC cases. A lot of the limitations you’re going to be facing will come from there. GPU length and thickness, CPU heatsink height, vertical mounts, PSU size, all of these will ease or increase the difficulty of installing desktop-grade hardware. So, in plainer terms, if you want a small gaming motherboard that’ll squeeze every bit of performance out of your full-sized components, you need a roomy, well-designed Mini ITX case. With that out of the way, it’s time to go through our top five recommendations for the best Mini ITX motherboard spot.
Best Mini-ITX Motherboards
ASUS ROG STRIX X670E-I Gaming WIFI
The Best Ryzen 7000 Mini-ITX Motherboard
- AMD Socket AM5 LGA 1718 motherboard
- 10 + 2 power solution
- x16 and onboard M.2 slot are PCIe Gen 5-ready
- DDR5 at 6400 MT/s+
The X670E (AMD Socket AM5 LGA 1718) motherboard platform for the new Ryzen 7000 line of CPUs is meant for the ultra-enthusiast market that is willing to pay whatever amount of money is necessary for the best performance and compatibility.
In that regard, the ASUS ROG STRIX line is known for being overboard (as always) and the X670E-I is a culmination of that with all the latest tech crammed into a miniature form factor. This tiny motherboard has a 10+2 power delivery with stacked heatsinks to dissipate the heat.
PCIe Gen 5 is also present in the form of an x16 slot and an M.2 slot with dual USB4 Type-C ports that run up to 40Gbps. The high-quality audio chip and WiFi 6E top the overall combo for a full package. This is a DDR5 motherboard that can support up to 6400 Mhz RAM (and higher with tweaks).
The icing on the cake is that this motherboard comes with a ROG STRIX HIVE I/O peripheral that makes dealing with USB and audio devices a lot simpler than having to deal with a cramped-up SFF case.
- All-out power delivery system
- The fastest DDR5 RAM compatibility and the possibility to tweak it
- Beefy heatsinks for VRM cooling
- ROG STRIX HIVE peripheral controller
- Expensive (top-of-the-line motherboard)
Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro WIFI
Amazing AM4 Mini-ITX Motherboard
- AM4 socket (3rd and 2nd Gen Ryzen CPU and APUs)
- 2 x DDR4 RAM DIMMs (Max 64 GB 4400 Hz O.C.)
- 6 x SATA ports
- 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot
- 2 x M.2 (Socket 3, PCIe 4.0 frontal, PCIe 3.0 on the backplate)
Coming in hot, we have Gigabyte with the X570 AORUS Pro Wifi. I’m not sure why most manufacturers include the “Wifi” in the name since it’s an industry staple with smaller motherboards, but regardless, let’s talk a bit about what this bad boy can do.
For starters, the X570 chipset comes with PCIe 4.0, meaning it’s power-hungry and prone to generate a lot of heat. That’s why you have active cooling options for your PCIe 4.0 Socket 3 M.2 slot. The 8-phase VRM allows you to overclock your multithreaded, multi-core 3rd Gen Ryzen processor and hit stable clockspeeds easily. The overall aesthetic is basic, you have a little bit of RGB, a single addressable RGB header, and a few premium-looking heatsinks.
For a power-hungry setup, including PCIe 4.0 and 3rd Gen Ryzen, the 8-layer PCB ensures an interference-free experience. Bluetooth, Wifi, it’s all there. The same, above-mentioned design issues are present in the X570 I Aorus Pro Wifi. No 90-degree SATA connectors and no vertical 8-pin connector. That being said, the position for the 8-pin connector is a hair better, so you’ll have an easier time routing the cable.
Overall, it’s a solid choice for a high-end Ryzen CPU and has all of the features you’d need for high-end gaming and productivity.
- Great price-performance ratio
- PCIe 4.0
- 8-phase VRM
- Pretty bleak design
ASUS ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming WiFi
The Best Intel 13th Gen Z790 Mini-ITX Choice
- Intel LGA 1700 CPU Socket
- 10 + 1 power solution
- 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and 1x M.2 slot
- DDR5 at 7200 Mhz
Just like AMD, Intel also released a new generation of CPUs which means they have also released a new line of Z790 (LGA 1700) motherboards. Although Intel’s 13th Gen is still compatible with Z690 motherboards, if you want the best of the best you need to go for the Z790 chipset.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming WiFi is the strongest contender in the mini-ITX category since like all other ROG Strix products it goes over the top when it comes to features. It has a 10+1 power delivery and thick VRM heatsinks and I/O covers for optimal performance and overclocking stability.
The motherboard also has PCIe 5.0 in the form of 1x M.2, and 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16 slot, but also comes with a 4.0 M.2 for extra storage options. This motherboard supports DDR5 RAM at a stunning 7200 Mhz with a maximum capacity of 64GB.
The audio codec is a Realtek ALC4050 and it supports 2.5Gb Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6E. The Z790-I also comes with a Hive peripheral controller allowing you to have easier access to your USB ports.
Overall it is impressive how many features can be packed into a mini-ITX motherboard therefore it makes sense that the Z790-I from Asus is considered the best on the market.
- The newest and greatest technology for Intel 13th Gen
- 7200 Mhz RAM is a high hurdle to beat
- Excellent VRM cooling and power delivery
- ROG STRIX HIVE peripheral controller
- Harder to obtain than other motherboards
Budget Z790 Mini-ITX Choice
- Intel 13th Gen LGA 1700 ready
- 7+1+1 power delivery
- PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot
- 6800MHz DDR5 RAM
When it comes to lower-priced Z790 motherboards ASRock seems to have the biggest variety and respectively if you are looking for a budget Mini-ITX motherboard that supports DDR5 this manufacturer is the best place to start looking for one.
The ASRock Z790M-ITX supports both Intel 13th and 12th Gen of CPUs (LGA 1700) and supports DDR5 clocked to 6800MHz. For the power delivery, this board uses a decent 7+1+1 power phase that should be enough for the lower-clocked i5 Intel CPUs.
Since this is a new generation Z790 motherboard it comes with PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot while the M.2 slots are Gen 4. The motherboard does come with 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and WiFI 6E so in terms of connectivity you are all set.
Overall if you are looking for a decent Mini-ITX motherboard without breaking 300$ (the other 3-4 options on the market right now are all 300+$) then the ASRock offering is your best bet.
- Cheaper than any other Z790 Mini-ITX motherboard
- Has the PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot
- Uses newer DDR5
- Has only Gen 4 M.2 slots
- Not the best power delivery
- No thermal dissipation solutions for the VRMs
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi
The Greatest From the Last Gen
- Intel LGA 1700 motherboard
- 10 + 1 power solution
- x16 Gen 5 slot
- DDR5 at 6400 Mhz
As mentioned before Intel’s newest 13th Gen CPUs are still compatible with the same LGA 1700 socket type therefore you can still use older Z690 motherboards for your brand-new CPUs. If you are looking to spend a little bit less on a very good motherboard in the mini-ITX form factor, going for a last-gen ROG Strix Z690-I might be a good idea.
This is still a 400$ motherboard, even though it is last-generation tech, but it has a lot of bells and whistles that would satisfy any needs. This is a PCIe 5.0 DDR5 motherboard with a 10+1 power delivery system to keep your components stable. There are plenty of heatsinks for your VRMs and I/O which is also bountiful. The motherboard comes with 2.5Gb Ethernet and WiFi 6E compatibility. The sound codec is also a high-end ALC4080 that will ensure nothing is lacking from this board. Along with the RGB to add some bling the Z690-I is a full package and it costs like one.
- Very good power delivery with 105A available
- 2x M.2 slots PCIe 4.0 for more storage options
- Optimized thermal design
- No PCIe Gen 5 M.2 slots
- Expensive even after a year
MSI MPG B650I EDGE
Budget B650 Ryzen 7000 Mini-ITX Motherboard
- AM5 LGA 1718 socket
- 8+2+1 power delivery
- 2.5Gbps LAN and WiFi 6E
- DDR5 6600MHz
The Ryzen 7000 CPUs are a new development for AMD since they represent a departure from their AM4 platform and the choice to move on to AM5 which uses a new LGA 1718 socket. Since this is a completely new platform, finding a cheaper option for a Mini-ITX motherboard is a lot harder, but not impossible.
The best budget option for a Mini-ITX motherboard that could pair with a Ryzen 7000 CPU is the MSI MPG B650I EDGE at 230$. This tiny motherboard supports DDR5 6600MHz and uses an 8+2+1 power delivery system along with plenty of heatsinks to ensure your components work properly.
The motherboard has a 2.5Gbps LAN connection and WiFi 6E for better networking. In terms of PCIe, it still uses 4.0 slots and Lightning Gen 4 which is fine since even the newest GPUs still use this generation of technology.
Overall MSI did a good job at including the necessary features for a great motherboard into a tiny form factor at a relatively good price.
- Has a decent power delivery system for Ryzen 7000 CPUs
- It uses DDR5 at pretty high speeds
- Plenty of heatsinks for better cooling
- 2.5Gbps and WiFi 6E
- No PCIe x16 Gen 5 slot
- No PCIe Gen 5 M.2 slot
How to Choose a Mini-ITX Board
Choosing a Mini ITX board is, in a lot of ways, the same process as choosing the right ATX motherboard. You think about what features you’ll need and pick a board that matches that, at a price that’s reasonable for your budget.
Be Aware of the Compromises
So, the first thing you’ll be faced with is a compromise. You’ll have limitations in terms of front and rear I/O, although manufacturers have compensated a bit for the lack of options by adding Bluetooth and Wifi as standard features. The only thing you’ll have trouble with is the lack of expansion slots. If you need to use PCIe slots to add things like dedicated sound cards, physics cards, etc, you won’t be able to do that with a Mini-ITX motherboard.
Bad Port Placement = Bad Cable Management
So, cable management is already a bit tricky when you’re working with a small form-factor system. If the motherboard is designed with poor port placement, you’ll have awkward cables, a lot of tension on the PCB and on the plugs. In terms of cable management, Mini-ITX cases are pretty limited. If you want to have an easier time.
Good Power Delivery = Good Overclocking
Overclocking can be a bit hit or miss with Mini-ITX boards. A typical ATX motherboard that’s gaming-designated has this covered, but usually, you can’t really hit high marks using this form factor. Expensive motherboards will allow you to hit solid, high clockspeeds, but you have to dig deep in your pockets to afford that. So, I would argue that a mid-range motherboard is enough if you don’t want to invest in the most expensive CPU and GPU, but if you do want that overkill, compact system, you should pay the premium.
Because most features are so tightly-packed, you sometimes will get some interference, especially for outgoing audio. Some board fair better, and you usually want one that separates its audio capacitors from the rest of the PCB. Most manufacturers do this, and some do it better. You can experience things like static, crackling, reduced volume output, so if sound quality is very important for you, get a board with a high-layer count PCB.
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