The 5 Best Mini-ITX Motherboards for Powerful Compact Builds

Building a compact yet powerful PC is easier than ever thanks to advancements in mini ITX motherboard technology. But with so many options on the market, it can be tricky to select the right one for your needs.

In this expert guide, we’ll cut through the confusion by ranking the 5 best mini ITX motherboards available and providing detailed analysis on the specs, features and real-world performance of each pick.

Whether you’re a first-time SFF builder or a small form factor pro, read on to discover the perfect foundation for your high-performance, space-saving build.

How We Chose the Best Mini ITX Motherboards

Selecting the leading mini ITX motherboards requires deep tech expertise and hands-on testing experience. Our picks were chosen based on:

  • Socket & Chipset: Compatibility with latest Intel 12th/13th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000/7000 Series CPUs
  • Memory Support: Capability to harness fast DDR4/DDR5 RAM up to 6000MHz+
  • Expansion Slots: Inclusion of full-length PCIe 5.0/4.0 slot for modern GPUs
  • Connectivity: Availability of USB 3.2 Gen2x2, WiFi 6E, 2.5GbE and other I/O
  • Form Factor: True 6.7-inch x 6.7-inch mini ITX dimensions for small form factor cases
  • Power Design: Use of premium components, VRM cooling and power phases
  • Price to Performance: Value for money relative to features and technology

We thoroughly assessed high-end Z690, B660, X670 and B650 boards from top brands like ASUS, Gigabyte and ASRock based on these criteria.

Interested to see which models topped the list? Let’s get right into the rankings!

1. ASUS ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming WiFi – Best Overall

Kicking off our list is the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming WiFi, our pick for the best overall mini ITX motherboard you can buy today.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming WiFi motherboard product image

Socket: LGA1700
Chipset: Intel Z790
Memory: DDR5, up to 7600MHz
Expansion: PCIe 5.0 x16

Designed for no compromises 13th Gen Intel gaming and creation rigs, the ROG Strix Z790-I packs seriously impressive specs into its 17cm x 17cm PCB.

You’ll enjoy lightning fast DDR5 memory clocks up to 7600MHz+, enabled by the highly efficient 16+1 teamed power stages regulatings power to the CPU and RAM. This allows you to drop in speedy flagship DDR5 kits to push frame rates even higher.

For storage there’s triple M.2 PCIe Gen 4 and Gen 5 slots ready for next-gen SSDs. The main full-length PCIe 5.0 x16 slot can run the very latest GPUs like the RTX 4080 without bottlenecking performance.

Networking capabilities are equally cutting edge with built-in WiFi 6E letting you tap into new 6GHz bands for lag-free wireless gaming. The 2.5Gbps LAN is no slouch either.

And uniquely for a mini ITX board, you get ASUS’ ROG Strix Hive accessory which adds handy quick access ports like USB 3.2, audio jacks and even an OLED display onboard.

With so much attention to quality components, smart design and leading I/O, it’s easy to see why the ROG Strix Z790-I Gaming WiFi earns our Best Overall spot. The only catch is the $430+ price tag which puts it out of reach for more budget oriented builds.

Pros

  • PCIe 5.0 GPU and SSD support
  • DDR5 memory overclocking to 7600MHz
  • Onboard WiFi 6E and 2.5GbE networking
  • ROG Strix Hive adds useful connectivity
  • Solid 16+1 power phase VRM

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Only two RAM slots
  • Difficult cable management

2. Gigabyte B650I AORUS Elite AX – Best AM5 ITX Motherboard

Transitioning to team red, we have the Gigabyte B650I AORUS Elite AX snagging our vote for the best mini ITX motherboard for AMD Ryzen 7000 systems.

Gigabyte B650I AORUS Elite AX motherboard product image

Socket: AM5
Chipset: AMD B650
Memory: DDR5, up to 6667MHz
Expansion: PCIe 5.0 x16

As AMD’s new Raphael CPUs offer incredible performance upgrades over previous gen parts, you’ll want a motherboard that can keep up. The B650I AORUS Elite AX fits the bill perfectly.

It sports a premium 12+2 phase power design using top shelf 60A SPS MOSFETs and solid pin connectors rated for over 6000 CPU insertion cycles. This enables stable power delivery even when pushing an overclocked 7950X to its limits.

For memory there’s support for blisteringly quick DDR5 RAM clocked at up 6667MHz in Gear 2 mode. So lag is eliminated even in RAM sensitive games. The pair of slots can handle up to 128GB total capacity as well.

In terms of expansion, you get two NVMe M.2 slots with one PCIe Gen 5 and one PCIe Gen 4, both supporting blistering SSD sequential speeds. And the full-length PCIe 5.0 x16 slot welcomes today’s most powerful graphics cards for VR gaming or 3D rendering.

Connectivity checks all the boxes too with an Intel WiFi 6E module providing the latest wireless tech alongside 2.5Gbps wired ethernet with bandwidth to spare for downloads and online gaming.

And at just $220, the elite-level performance and feature set offered by the B650I AORUS Elite AX comes at a reasonable price point for AM5 adopters. Overall an easy recommendation!

Pros

  • PCIe 5.0 ready
  • 12+2 phase 60A SPS power design
  • WiFi 6E and 2.5GbE LAN
  • DDR5-6667 memory support
  • Cost effective B650 platform

Cons

  • BIOS takes tuning for best RAM OC
  • No rear USB Type-C
  • Chipset fan requires careful airflow

3. ASRock Z790M-ITX/ax – Best Value Intel ITX Board

If you’re seeking Intel’s latest performance but on a tighter budget, the ASRock Z790M-ITX/ax packs premium features at just $260 – making it our choice for best value mini ITX motherboard.

ASRock Z790M-ITX/ax motherboard product image

Socket: LGA1700
Chipset: Intel Z790
Memory: DDR5, up to 7000MHz+
Expansion: PCIe 5.0 x16

Built on the Z790 platform primed for fast Core i5/i7/i9 CPUs, the pint-sized Z790M-ITX/ax doesn’t skimp on the specs.

ASRock implemented a formidable Dr.MOS 16 phase power design far beyond most mini ITX boards, enabling stable power flow for overclocking the latest Raptor Lake chips even at full load.

You also get XMP 3.0 certification for easy and reliable DDR5 overclocking above 6000Mhz. There‘s ample bandwidth too with dual M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots and six SATA ports.

For expansion, a full-length steel-reinforced PCIe 5.0 x16 slot awaits your modern graphics card. And the pre-installed WiFi 6E with external antenna inbox boosts wireless connectivity and bandwidth.

At just $260, jam packed with advanced power design, I/O and support for high speed DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5.0 devices and 13th Gen Intel CPUs, the Z790M-ITX/ax gives you tremendous future-proof value without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Powerful 16 phase 105A SPS Dr.MOS power design
  • XMP 3.0 certification for 6000MHz+ RAM OC
  • Upper mainstream pricing
  • WiFi 6E included
  • PCIe 5.0 x16 slot

Cons

  • No rear panel Type-C
  • Chipset fan requires careful cooling
  • Limited to two RAM slots

4. ASUS ROG Strix B650E-I Gaming WiFi – Top Mid-Range AM5 ITX

If you‘d prefer mid-range AMD performance with high end styling, the ASUS ROG Strix B650E-I Gaming WiFi hits the sweet spot at under $300.

ASUS ROG Strix B650E-I Gaming WiFi motherboard product image

Socket: AM5
Chipset: AMD B650E
Memory: DDR5, up to 6400MHz
Expansion: PCIe 5.0 x16

A step down from the premium X670E chipset, the B650E powered Strix B650E-I still packs plenty of goodness with its mini ITX design centered around AMD Ryzen 5000/7000 series CPUs.

You can install blisteringly quick DDR5 memory up to 6400MHz in overclocked mode, enabled by the teamed DrMOS power stages regulating power flow. There’s even RGB DIMM lighting built right onto the board‘s DDR5 slots.

For storage you get one PCIe 4.0 and one PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot, both with excellent bandwidth for installing super speedy Gen4 and next-gen SSDs.

The PCIe slot is a 5.0 version allowing full compatibility with new powerful discrete graphics cards. And the rear I/O sports HDMI 2.1, so you can leverage AMD APU graphics and connect a 4K 120Hz display.

With WiFi 6E, 2.5Gbps ethernet and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 onboard alongside core overclocking capabilities, at $290 the well-rounded ROG Strix B650E-I Gaming WiFi punches above its mid-range weight class.

Pros

  • Capable ocverclocking features
  • Good mix of Gen4 and Gen5 storage
  • HDMI 2.1 onboard
  • WiFi 6E and 2.5GbE networking
  • PCIe 5.0 x16 graphics slot

Cons

  • Lower spec B650E chipset
  • No rear panel Type-C
  • Just two RAM slots

5. Gigabyte B760i Aorus Pro – Best Budget Intel ITX

Finally, if maxing out a budget is less important than keeping costs down, the Gigabyte B760i Aorus Pro serves up solid LGA 1700 performance at just $190 – making it the best budget mini ITX motherboard option by far.

Gigabyte B760i Aorus Pro motherboard product image

Socket: LGA1700
Chipset: Intel B760
Memory: DDR4, up to 5333MHz
Expansion: PCIe 4.0 x16

Despite its affordable pricing, Gigabyte cuts no corners with the B760i Aorus Pro. The 10+1 twin digital power system keeps power clean for 13th/12th Gen Intel chips even when you enable XMP RAM overclocking above 5000Mhz.

And while PCIe 4.0 has been superseded by PCIe 5.0, it still offers excellent bandwidth for most graphics cards and SSDs on the market. You also get the valuable ability to use cheaper DDR4 memory up to 4133MHz.

There’s no fancy extras like onboard WiFI, RGB or OLED displays. But you do get solid high speed I/O like USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 with 20Gbps throughput. So you can enjoy fast external device and accessory connectivity.

If you‘re seeking strong Intel performance fundamentals like broad RAM compatability, PCIe 4.0 readiness and robust power design at the lowest cost, the Gigabyte B760i Aorus Pro is a mini ITX marvel.

Pros

  • Just $190 price tag
  • Capable 10+1 power phase
  • Value added DDR4 RAM support
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 onboard
  • PCIe 4.0 x16 slot still speedy

Cons

  • No flashier features
  • Limited to two RAM slots
  • No onboard video outputs

How to Choose the Best Mini ITX Motherboard

Here are three key tips to ensure you select the optimal mini ITX motheboard for your SFF PC build:

Carefully Match the Socket and Chipset to Your CPU

As mini ITX boards allow limited upgrading, it’s vital to choose a socket and chipset designed specifically to maximize your chosen CPU.

Those using 13th Gen Raptor Lake chips will want an LGA 1700 Z790 motherboard primed for overclocking with robust power phases.

For AMD Ryzen 7000 owners, an X670E/X670 or B650/B650E motherboard ensures you fully harness the overclocked DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5.0 lanes and other advantages of Zen 4 architecture chips.

Check Dimensions to Ensure Case Compatibility

While the mini ITX form factor standard sets motherboards at just 6.7 x 6.7 inches, you’ll still want to cross reference measurements with your PC case.

Some chassis made for small motherboards have very tight clearances. So double check specifications listed to guarantee everything fits.

Also keep expansion slots, RAM clearance and connector positioning in mind if employing components with larger heatsinks or custom liquid cooling.

Add Components Offering Similar Speeds

A common mistake is mismatching ultra fast DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5.0 SSDs and high end GPUs with more affordable motherboard tiers.

Balancing speeds across components prevents leaving performance on the table. An elite Z790 DDR5 board won’t benefit mid-range DDR4 RAM. And a budget B650E board can’t fully exploit an RTX 4090’s potential.

So match elements like CPU tier, RAM generation and PCIe version across parts for a harmonious, high performance build.

Conclusion

While limited to compact dimensions, today’s best mini ITX motherboards deliver virtually full size power. They harness cutting edge sockets, chipsets, PCIe and RAM support to create true performance powerhouses.

We hope this guide to ranking the top models aided your search for a flawless foundational component. Just be sure to verify comprehensive compatibility, anticipated use case and budget when deciding on the perfect option for your small form factor PC project!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Logo
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled