When building a PC, one thing that many people overlook is the dimensions. They believe that all motherboards fit into all cases and that the size is universal. However, this is not the case. If you are asking, “How do I know if a motherboard will fit in my case?“, you came to the right place!
The easiest way to tell if your motherboard will fit in your case is to simply check the form factors supported by the case as well as your motherboard form factor. When buying a case, the supported motherboard form factor is one of the top things that the manufacturer lists under the specifications. And for motherboards, just check the manufacturer’s website and it will tell you the form factor.
But there are some situations where you don’t know if it will fit even if you checked the form factor. For example, if people who bought the case are complaining that a particular motherboard does not go in even though it is a standard form factor, that can be concerning. “Then how do I know if a motherboard will fit in my case?”‘, you wonder, and below is the answer to your question.
How Do I Know if a Motherboard Will Fit In My Case?
Let’s begin by explaining all the different form factors. The most common ones are extended ATX (or eATX), ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX. This list goes from the largest to the smallest motherboard form factor. There are some unusual and significantly less common form factors out there, but these four are the most popular ones for consumer hardware.
You should always first pick the motherboard and then pick a case to go with it, not the other way around. For example, if you want a tiny computer, also known as small form factor or SFF for short, you want to buy a mini-ITX motherboard and a mini-ITX case. When buying a case online, the form factor is typically written in the name or description of the case. Pay close attention to that.
But what about those times when you are not sure what form factor a case is? In that case (pun intended), the best way to check is to find the case manufacturer’s website and check the specifications. If you still are not sure, you can try to guess the size of the case from pictures, but that is not a good idea as you can never know for sure.
As far as the actual dimensions are concerned, motherboard manufacturers will tell you how wide and tall the motherboard is, but you will still have to check the case specifications as well. Again, that information should be provided by the case manufacturer. If the case supports ATX motherboards only up to a certain dimension for whatever reason, make sure that your motherboard is under the maximum size limit.
You might be overwhelmed by all this and continue wondering “How do I know if a motherboard will fit in my case?”, but do not worry. Virtually all consumer motherboards and cases are standardized nowadays so that you can have an easy shopping experience. If you want to buy a standard ATX or micro-ATX motherboard, you can go with almost any case on the market excluding SFF ones.
Virtually all full towers can support all standard motherboard sizes, and mid towers can support ATX and smaller motherboards. If you are buying a micro-ATX motherboard, it would be best to go with a micro-ATX case so that you can utilize the small motherboard size to the fullest and have a snug little machine.
Buying a matching motherboard and case might seem difficult and daunting at first, but there is no reason to worry. Consumer motherboards and cases are manufactured in accordance with certain standards so that they are almost always compatible. You still have to check what your motherboard form factor is and then make sure that your case supports it.
You can find out your motherboard form factor by checking the manual or the manufacturer’s website. And as far as the case is concerned, it is almost always listed explicitly in the article name or somewhere in the description so that you can know for sure.