Intel Vs. Amd Mini-itx Motherboard Comparison: Small Form Factor Gaming. – If you click on a link to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.
Your processor and motherboard are the brains and nervous system of your computer (as opposed to the brain, unfortunately), and while they can be replaced with better ones, there’s more to it than just slap them with silicone. You’ll need to make sure the two components are compatible with each other, as certain chips will only work when installed on a specific motherboard. If the processor doesn’t match the motherboard socket or the chipset is incompatible, it won’t matter if you buy one of the best processors for gaming – it will be the only functional component left in your build.
Intel Vs. Amd Mini-itx Motherboard Comparison: Small Form Factor Gaming.
Take a few minutes to read this guide and you will know exactly which motherboard you need for your processor. I’ve updated it to cover the latest 12th generation Intel Alder Lake processors, as well as their 10th and 11th generation models, AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series, and the latest Ryzen 5000 series.
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Look at any processor and you’ll see a lot of pins (if AMD) or small contact points (if Intel) at the bottom. They plug into your motherboard’s CPU socket, so you’ll need to buy the right one. If you try to plug into the wrong motherboard connector, all you’ll be left with are very bent pins and very damaged components.
Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake chips use the all-new LGA 1700 socket, which is slightly taller than the LGA 1200 socket used by the 11th Gen Rocket Lake and 10th Gen Comet Lake processors. AMD Ryzen chips always use the AM4 socket.
When it comes to chips for workstation or hobbyist hardware, there are some exceptions: AMD Threadripper processors fit the TR4 socket, while some Intel chips use the LGA 2066 socket. If you’re building a gaming PC, chips using LGA 1700, LGA 1200, or AM4 will be very powerful and more economical.
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Intel’s predecessors used the LGA 1151 socket, and this is something to consider if you’re looking to cut costs with one of the older 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake processors. Hardware. By the way, here are all the 12th generation Intel chips that will fit the LGA 1700 socket:
Then all processors compatible with the Intel LGA 1200 socket, including 11th and 10th generation models.
In contrast, AMD has stuck with the AM4 socket since the first generation of Ryzen 1000 chips. New processors won’t always work on older motherboards due to chipset incompatibility, but more on that later. This is what the AM4 fork looks like on the human body.
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In any case, the Ryzen 3000 and 5000 processors are better if you plan to build new ones. – Ryzen 4000 chips are not sold individually, so here is a list of all AM4 compatible parts.
So, we’ve narrowed down the types of motherboard connectors you need. The next thing to do is decide which chipset to choose. This is the circuit inside the motherboard. Without going into technical details, we note that the motherboard’s chipset determines its functionality, including the types of ports and drive connections. They are usually designed to work with a specific processor family and are usually released around the same time as the CPU family.
Intel especially likes to keep things complicated and is always releasing new series of chipsets along with new generations of processors. The latest of these is the 600 series, which consisted entirely of the Z690 chipset until cheaper variants arrived in early 2022. In the table below you can see which Intel chipsets are compatible with Intel processors.
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For AMD, the latest Ryzen 5000 processors are not entirely new chipsets: they are built on the existing AMD 500 series chipsets that already work with the Ryzen 3000 family. They are compatible with some older 400 series chipsets after a BIOS update, but this depends on the motherboard and manufacturer, so check for Ryzen 5000 support before purchasing.
In other words, if you’re upgrading from a Ryzen 3000 to a Ryzen 5000, you don’t need to replace your existing AM4 motherboard, but for most 5000 users it’s easier to buy a 500 series board. Here’s how Ryzen chips work with Ryzen chipsets.
At this point you can find out which chipset works with the processor in a general sense, but not many chipsets in this series are just for fun. Each one targets different levels of functionality and price points, so you can choose a motherboard to suit your budget and specifications.
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Intel chipsets for motherboards start with the latest Z version: Z490, Z590 and Z690. They always support CPU overclocking (although some B560, H570 and B460 boards allow overclocking) and have the most PCIe lanes. This means you can install more PCIe devices (such as NVMe SSDs) than other cheaper chipsets. Higher-end motherboards have a wider range of USB ports and better RAID support for multiple drives.
Available chipsets like the B570 and B600 are more than enough to power most gaming PCs, so they can perform well as well. Here’s a comparison of several Intel chipsets to give you an idea of the price differences.
It’s worth noting that if you want to install a very fast PCIe 4.0 SSD, you’ll need at least a 500 series chipset and a Rocket Lake chip. New 12th-gen hardware supports PCIe 5.0, but don’t expect hardware that can take advantage of the extra performance to arrive anytime soon. In the meantime, you can find 4.0 quality options in our best SSDs for gaming.
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Some chipsets indicate the size of the motherboard in addition to function. Mini-ITX motherboards (left) are much smaller than ATX motherboards (right), so make sure you choose the right one for your case.
One last note about Intel motherboards, especially the 600 series for Alder Lake: processors can support both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, but each
Will only be compatible with one or the other. So get a DDR4 compatible motherboard if you want to work with current generation memory, or a DDR5 compatible motherboard if you want to upgrade your RAM. In terms of gaming performance, there is not much difference between DDR4 and DDR5. AMD explains motherboard chipset
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Most AMD chipsets are overclockable, despite the A520 and the aging A320, so if you need overclocking capabilities, this is a slightly better option than Intel. However, the upgrade also has its benefits: the X570 offers more SATA connectors and USB ports than the B550, which in turn supports more than the A520.
As such, more ambitious PC builds should use AMD’s higher-end X-series chipsets, while those with very basic storage configurations can use mid-range B-series or A-series chipsets. Here’s how the red team’s capabilities currently stack up:
From here, it’s up to you to decide which additional features you use. Some motherboards, such as the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, have additional overclocking tools such as an LED display for troubleshooting and power/restart buttons, while many others include pre-installed I/O cards that will make the back of your computer cleaner.
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It goes without saying that you should also choose the right motherboard for your intended case. There is no point in buying an ATX motherboard if you have a small form factor or mini-tower, and there is no point in buying a large tower for a regular mini-ITX motherboard.
As for whether PCIe 4.0 support is a must… I’d say no, because you can get a decent PCIe 3.0 SSD (like the WD Blue SN570) fairly quickly. Both 3.0 and 4.0 SSDs can work with DirectStorage, an interesting Microsoft technology that reduces loading times for games to tapes. It’s not currently supported by any games, but you don’t need to select a motherboard.
Of course, PCIe 4.0 is generally still faster, and if you buy a 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake processor, you should get 4.0 support no matter what motherboard you plug it into.
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Need help installing a motherboard or processor on your computer? Read our step-by-step instructions for installing your motherboard and processor. I was faced with a difficult decision while building my computer.
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