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Best Budget Micro ATX Motherboards in 2023

budget micro atx motherboards featured

Micro ATX motherboards and a budget price generally go together. Whenever one aims to build a custom PC for oneself on a budget, micro ATX form factors generally come into mind.

One of the best aspects about micro ATX motherboards is that they not only have a budget price tag, but they also offer more than just the essential features and at the same time promote compactness and ease of build.

As such, the micro ATX motherboards are better suited for gamers on a budget as well as for essential home or office users.

In this article, we will review some of the best budget micro ATX motherboards you can buy in 2023.

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What is the Budget Micro ATX Motherboard Form Factor?

Micro ATX motherboards, aka mATX motherboards, have a dimension of 9.6 x 9.6 inches. 

Essentially there are three common motherboard form factors:

  • Mini ITX – 6.7″ x 6.7″
  • Micro ATX – 9.6″ x 9.6″
  • ATX – 12″ x 6.6″

There is also the E-ATX or Extended ATX motherboard form factor that is used for very expensive workstation builds. These have a form factor of 12″ x 13″. 

Now while mATX motherboards are not the smallest motherboards, they certainly ARE the cheapest IF you take the same specs into consideration.

form factor motherboard

AMD Route

AMD Based Options

As is the case with all build your choice of budget motherboard depends upon whether you are going the Intel or the AMD route.

For the AMD build, you have the option of going for the older AM4-based CPUs or the newer AM5-based Ryzen CPUs.

For the older AM4-based Ryzen 5000 or older series, I recommend sticking with the B550 chipset, albeit there are cheaper options available from the A520 chipset.

The B550 chipset offers PCIe 4.0 support and hence can support Gen 4 SSDs over one of the M.2 slots – usually, motherboards with B550 chipset offer 2 M.2 slots at least. It also offers overclocking support.

The A520 motherboards offer neither PCIe 4.0 nor overclocking support.


Ryzen 5000 or older | DDR4
AM4 | 2 x M.2 (1 x Gen 4) | PCIe 4.0 | USB 3.2 Gen 1

For the newer AM5-based builds with Ryzen 7000 series CPUs, you can again stick with the mid-range B650 series motherboards. However, take note that newer AM5-based motherboards cost a little more.

This is understandable given that they are the latest to hit the market and that they offer newer features like DDR5 support, PCIe 4.0/5.0 and Gen 4 SSD support for all of its M.2 slots, faster USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports.

Gigabyte B650M DS3H

Ryzen 7000 | DDR5
AM5 | 2 x M.2 (Both x Gen 4) | PCIe 5.0 | USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C

Intel Route

Intel Based Options

For an Intel build, I would recommend sticking with the newer 12th or 13th-generation processors based on the LGA1700 socket.

As such a motherboard from the 700 series chipset is recommended for 13th Gen CPUs. But if going for the 12th gen CPUs, you can stick with the cheaper 600 series motherboards.

While the 600 series motherboards CAN support the newer 13th gen CPUs, since they also offer the LGA1700 socket, for many motherboards, their BIOS will have to be updated in most cases – which would only be possible if you have a 12th Gen CPU installed for flashing the BIOS.

So in simple terms,

  • For 13th Gen CPUs – stick with 700 series chipsets

If you are absolutely certain that the 600 series motherboard has the BIOS updated to support 13th Gen CPUs, then you can go for them instead due to their cheaper price tag.

  • For 12th Gen CPU – stick with 600 series chipsets due to their cheaper price tag

Or you can just simply look for an affordable 700 series motherboard as they can support for 12th and 13th Gen CPUs.


Intel 12th and 13th Gen | DDR4
LGA1700| 2 x M.2 (Gen 4) | PCIe 4.0 | USB 3.2 Gen 2

It does not have many PCIe expansion slots, but for a budget build, this should do just fine.

Plus, for the majority of the use cases, you wouldn’t need anything more than a single x16 slot for a graphics card and an x1 slot for perhaps adding a WiFi Card anyways. And this motherboard offers them.

What is the Micro ATX Form Factor All About?

They Are The Cheapest of All the Form Factors

When it comes to providing value for budget users, micro ATX motherboards stand out the most.

They are cheaper than ATX motherboards due to their lower expansion capability in comparison and also far cheaper than Mini ITX motherboards.

Let’s take the Gigabyte Aorus motherboard series for instance featuring the mid-range AMD B550 chipset. 

  • Micro ATX – GIGABYTE B550M AORUS Elite $139
  • ATX – Gigabyte B550 AORUS Elite V2 $169
  • Mini ITX – GIGABYTE B550I AORUS PRO AX – $234

You can see the disparity in price. The Mini ITX motherboard is IN FACT, the most expensive in the lot despite being smaller and having far less expandability.

The Micro ATX motherboards are far cheaper.

While taking a single series for comparison is a very small sample indeed, you will find the same theme repeat over and over. Micro ATX motherboards are naturally the cheapest.

Expansion Capability is Moderate

A budget micro ATX motherboard generally has a single x16 PCIe slot which is good enough for most users who want to add a single graphics card. They also offer an average of 4 x SATA3 slots, one or two M.2 slots, and plenty of USB ports.

Some of the more expensive mATX motherboards may also offer 2 x PCIe x16 slots, particularly for users who want to have a dual graphics card setup.

Compared to ATX this is a lower number of expansion slots as ATX motherboard can easily feature 3 x PCIE X16 slots. However, the mATX motherboards are more expandable as compared to the Mini ITX motherboards.

Motherboards range in price drastically. They can range anywhere from $70 all the way to $300 and even more.

There are a few factors that contribute heavily to their overall budget.

Chipset is an Important Cost Factor

Chipsets play a very important role in determining the overall price of the motherboards.

A cheaper or older chipset offers fewer PCIe lanes, it belongs to an older PCIe generation, has fewer and older version USB ports, does not offer overclocking ability etc.

Budget Chipsets are usually found on motherboards with low-quality thermal components as well.

The following is a brief look at the popular consumer-grade AMD and Intel Chipsets

AMD Chipsets

  • A Series: Budget
  • B Series : Mid Range
  • X Series: High Performance

The most current series is the 600 series for AMD chipsets i.e X670. These were released with the AMD 7000 series CPUs with AM5 socket.

The 500 series chipset motherboards featuring the AM4 socket are equally as popular at the moment since they support the Ryzen 5000 or older processors.

A520 Chipset Comparison

Intel Chipsets

  • H*10 Series: Budget i.e H710
  • B*60 Series: Mid Range i.e B760
  • H*70 Series: Higher Mid Range i.e H770
  • Z*90 Series: High Performance i.e Z790
pudget system intel chipset 600 comparison
Intel Z690 vs H670 vs B660 vs H610. Source: PugetSystems

The most current series is the 700 series of chipset with Intel Z790 being the most coveted. These were released with the 13th Gen Intel CPUs and support both the 12th and 13th gen CPUs due to their LGA1700 socket.

For Micro ATX motherboards at a budget, you are probably looking at AMD A or B series motherboards for AMD CPUs and Intel H and B Series motherboards for Intel based builds.

Expansion Capability Adds to the Cost

pcie x1
Higher the number of PCIE slots, the more expensive the motherboard since it corresponds to the higher number of PCIE lanes available.

The higher the number of expansion slots both in the form of PCIE slots, M.2 and SATA slots, the more expensive a motherboard generally is.

A higher number of PCIE slots generally means that the motherboard features a premium chipset with a higher number of lanes.

The amount of RAM a motherboard can support also matters.

Other features like video output ports, USB ports, Thunderbolt ports etc all add to the overall cost of the motherboard.

In addition to that, motherboards with the newer generation of ports and slots such as PCIe 4.0 or 5.0 slots, Gen 4 or Gen 5 M.2 slots, USB 4.0 ports, etc tend to cost more.

Thermal Components and Phase Power Design

High quality VRMs means a higher price tag for the motherboard. Source: Tipsmake.com

What separates an overclocking premium motherboard from a budget one? It is usually the type of thermal design it has.

This relates to a higher number of VRMs, better quality chokes and capacitors, and larger heat sinks.

Some premium motherboards have unique chips that contribute to better voltage control on the board, particularly for overclockers.

WiFi and Other Features

Built-in WiFi is another feature that has a direct relationship to the overall cost. When choosing a budget motherboard, try to look for one that does not offer a built-in WiFi.

The type and quality of WiFi also matter for the overall cost.

Other features such as gaming mode and controls and RGB lights also play a role in the overall price.

Final Words

The best budget micro ATX motherboard for you depends upon a lot of factors as we discussed. Do you want an AMD or an Intel build, and what kind of features are you looking for?

The point to note here is that the term “budget” is relative. Micro ATX motherboards can range in price from $50 to about $300 easily.

If you are a home or an office user “budget” would mean going for the cheapest possible motherboard i.e under $100 range. If you are a gamer, “budget” would mean going for something that is under $200 range.

Hence, in this article, we highlighted a few motherboards that may appeal to either the budget home user or gamers.

Abdul Rauf

Abdul Rauf is an IT and computer hardware specialist. Having done his degree in Computer Systems, he pursues his passion of computer hardware through writing detailed blogs and articles to demystify all the tech related jargon for a layman. Besides, hes a huge gaming nut and he's proud of it.

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