login about faq

To prove you're not a spammer, email newuser.lgqa@gmail.com with the subject "Account Request" to request an account.

Hey guys, I'm working on my new PC build, and am picking between the form-factors of my case (which will influence the parts I get, obviously). I want this PC to be future-proof, as far as gaming and gameplay capture go.

So, in your opinion, what are the pros and cons of a MicroATX build? What are the pros and cons of an ATX build?

Could you make a theoretical build of a MicroATX pc? (Intel and nVidia)

I've also got a quick side question about bottlenecking a CPU - could you explain this term a little bit? Could 8GB (2x4) or 16GB (2x8) and a GeForce 670 be too much for something like an i5 3570K? At what point do I need to upgrade to an i7? What specs should I be looking at?


asked Jan 03 '13 at 14:09

EchoShot's gravatar image


edited Jan 03 '13 at 14:11

ATX boards are just generally taller and tend to have more PCI expansion slots. Since they use more space in the box you'll want to consider the amount of space you'll need for the components you'll be adding. As long as a MATX board has the all of the slots that you'll need for your graphics, sound, raid controllers or what have you it should be fine.

If you want to make a PC future proof you probably should consider a hex-core I7. Processors are expensive and that's a pretty good reason for not wanting them to be the bottleneck. If you're not going to OC it then about all you need to consider is Speed and cooling. Faster processors (2.4ghz +) dissipate more heat and should have a more aggressive cooler. I guess you should consider power consumption too but you'll need to factor it in when choosing graphics cards. Just make sure your PSU will power your CPU, GPUs and your cooling system.

answered Jan 03 '13 at 17:16

ClosetFuturist's gravatar image


I'm aware of that, but I won't be buying a hex core processor any time soon, cause that's kind of a mistake (buying the first version, not waiting for the prices to go down a bit, if they do). Cooling is also something that I have taken into consideration, I might install liquid cooling, cause the airflow in small cases is just horrible (single or dual fan radiator) and a GPU with a shroud that blows air out of the case as oppose to circulating and reusing the warm air of the case. There's not a lot to upgrade on a MATX board, unless there are two PCI-Ex16 slots, so anything from 500watt to 750watt should be more than plenty.

(Jan 03 '13 at 17:58) EchoShot EchoShot's gravatar image

I always go with ATX, because I know that when I upgrade in the future, my case will have enough room and airflow to keep any future components functioning properly.

Pros of using mATX case:
using a cheap PSU guarantees that the cables will reach

Cons of using mATX case:
lower quality materials
less room for storing extra cables
better cable management
Usually better airflow

I'm currently working on mutley2209's computer build, but if you want me to give you a parts list of what I would think are the best parts (in your price range) for your needs, please tell me what budget you are dealing with and what you're going to be using the computer for.

The only point where I believe you are bottlenecking your CPU depends on what you use your computer for. If you edit 4K video, than of course your CPU is going to be the biggest bottleneck. If you do a lot of gaming, as long as you have four cores, you shouldn't have a bottleneck for at least 3-5 years, and it also depends on the CPU. I disagree that you need to have a 3770K for best gaming performance. If you're just playing games, than your graphics card is what you need to be concerned about. You could have an i3, and still have a great gaming computer.

answered Jan 03 '13 at 21:55

catchatyou's gravatar image


Thanks, sorry about missing such an important detail. Around 1k - 1,2k USD would be nice.

(Jan 04 '13 at 06:42) EchoShot EchoShot's gravatar image

I always recommend ATX builds, if you want a Micro ATX system, please tell me.

Also, I love building AMD builds, so I'm going to try to include both Intel and AMD, and you can decide which you think will be better for you.

(Jan 04 '13 at 13:25) catchatyou catchatyou's gravatar image

Also, what would be your primary use for this computer. Gaming? Video Editing?

(Jan 04 '13 at 15:55) catchatyou catchatyou's gravatar image

Gaming and gameplay capture, programming and some simple graphic work (so the motherboard should include at least one PCIEx16 slot and one PCIE slot for a capture card)

(Jan 04 '13 at 16:14) EchoShot EchoShot's gravatar image

You can view the list that I've made here:

Feel free to ask any questions!

(Jan 05 '13 at 21:24) catchatyou catchatyou's gravatar image

Graphics cards age a lot faster then CPU's in the context of gaming, so I would not worry about a CPU becoming the bottleneck to a graphics card when building a new machine unless you really plan on beeing cheap on the CPU. Memory aswell, its rather cheap so more is better. Decent machines in this day in age used for gaming would have about 8GB ram, but I myself put in 16 (with an i5 2500k) because I toy around a lot with virtual machines and whatnot. I have no idea to what percentage I actually use that on average but its cirtainly not going to give me any immediate performance problems.

In terms of what a bottleneck is, its all in the name. Turn a bottle up side down the fluid runs out slower then it could if the opening is bigger. Put a really fast graphics card in a really slow computer slows the performance of the graphics card aswell thus forming the bottleneck. When building a new pc however this is not really something to think about too much. It only becomes relevant when upgrading old hardware i.m.o. When building a new machine its just a matter of finding the best hardware for your purpose your budget will allow.

As far as ATX vs mATX goes is entirely up to preference if you ask me. If functionality and performance outweigh the need of a small pc case ATX would be my choice purely based on the fact most performance oriented motherboards come in the ATX form factor and they give you most expansion freedom as the case they are placed in is bigger. This is generally a good thing especially if its used for heavy workloads like gaming. More space means more "air" and better options for proper cable management inside the case which in turn is good for the airflow and therefore operational temperatures while keeping noisy fan business to a minimum.

answered Jan 04 '13 at 04:24

AlphaBootis's gravatar image


edited Jan 04 '13 at 04:31

Those are some good points, but it's not like I run out of options with an MATX form factor, since I'm not buying ancient parts. If I ever feel like upgrading, all I need is a bigger case and a new Motherboard (which may open new options for upgrading), these two components are not all that expensive.

(Jan 04 '13 at 06:43) EchoShot EchoShot's gravatar image

I would not buy something with upgrading in mind to begin with. Hardware ages too fast for that. Primarily sockets. You can upgrade drives and ram an whatnot but when there is a new CPU you almost always need a new motherboard and RAM aswell. Getting older hardware usually is more expensive and difficult. ATX cases usually support all smaller form factors aswell, so you could fit any future hardware in an ATX case no problem, so buying an ATX now would save you the cost of having to get a new case if you picked a small case now and down the line feel compelled to upgrade to a bigger standard.

Basicly what i'm saying regardless of the hardware you buy you should get an ATX case if you can deal with the extra height.

(Jan 04 '13 at 07:03) AlphaBootis AlphaBootis's gravatar image
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or __italic__
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: Jan 03 '13 at 14:09

Seen: 1,163 times

Last updated: Jan 05 '13 at 21:24