Best Budget Mini ITX Motherboards in 2023

budget mini itx motherboards featured

If you are planning on building a minimal and compact PC then a mini ITX motherboard form factor is the first essential consideration.

The second important consideration is your budget. It would be unwise to spend a pretty penny on a motherboard if you have a limited budget for your overall PC. Mini ITX motherboards are NOT the cheapest of the lot.

Hence, in this article, we will look a the best budget mini ITX motherboards for both Intel and AMD builds.

Before we delve into the products, let us first talk about the mini ITX motherboards in brief:

Mini ITX motherboards are the smallest of the three common form factors for desktop PCs, the other two being the medium-sized Micro ATX (mATX) and the large ATX.

More on this below:

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What is a Mini ITX Motherboard?

form factor motherboard

A mini ITX motherboard is the smallest form factor for contemporary PC builds. Any smaller than this and you are looking into specialized embedded systems, not general computers.

A mini ITX motherboard holds tremendous value because it promotes a very compact PC build with a very small footprint.

Mini ITX has a dimension of about 6.7 x 6.7 inches (17×17 cm). It offers minimal expandability and a single PCIe x16 slot. The motherboard can be fitted into a very small case and can also be carried around quite easily.

Compare this to the 12 x 9.6 inches for an ATX motherboard. 

Along with that, it offers the following benefits.

Portability is Exceptional

This is an often overlooked aspect. A small PC built with a mini ITX form factor is highly portable.

Therefore, if you find yourself moving around a lot, a mini ITX PC can certainly help.

Affordable Chassis

Another important consideration is that the smaller the PC chassis, the more affordable it is.

Therefore, the chassis for building a PC around a mini ITX motherboard would also save you a good amount.

Compact and Neat

best mini itx motherboard case
Compact PCs look neat and clean and occupy less space. Source: NZXT

Another great benefit of having a Mini ITX build is that it does NOT take up a lot of space. It promotes tidiness.

If you are of the subtle kind and you not care much for large and raging gaming rigs, then this should appeal to you.

With That Said, Best Budget Mini ITX Motherboards Are Few

There are only a handful of budget Mini ITX motherboards out there.

While for a Micro ATX form factor, the budget is considered anything less than $100. For Mini ITX that is NOT the case. 

For Mini ITX, anything less than $150 is considered budget.

There are three options I can mention depending on the processor you choose to go for.

  1. AM4 socket – Motherboards with AM4 sockets are built for Ryzen 5000 or OLDER CPUS. These are often the cheapest
  2. AM5 socket – Motherboards with AM5 socket are the latest and are compatible with the newer Ryzen 7000 series CPUS. They are expensive but worth the extra dollars.
  3. LGA1700 socket: These motherboards support the newer 12th and 13th Gen Intel CPUs.
AMD Route

AMD AM4 Socket

For a motherboard with the AM4 socket suitable for the older AMD Ryzen 5000, G, and non-G series CPUs, the Gigabyte A520I AC is an option you can look into.

It features the A series chipset naturally which is considered the entry-level chipset. It only offers the PCIe 3.0 protocol, which means that it would only support Gen 3 SSDs.

Sale
Gigabyte A520I AC

Ryzen 5000 or older | DDR4
AM4 | 1 x M.2 (Gen 3) | PCIe 3.0 | WiFi

AMD AM5 Socket

AM5 motherboards for the AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPUs have just recently hit the market and if you are building a new AMD based system, then I recommend sticking with this generation for the performance/dollar gains it offers.

For AM5 based motherboards, there is NO A series chipset. The starting chipset is the B650 – a mid-range chipset.

It offers a plethora of improvements such as support for DDR5 RAM, PCIe 4.0 and Gen 4 SSD support, a newer USB port version, and a better phase power design.

UNFORTUNATELY, though, there isn’t a traditional ‘BUDGET’ motherboard mini-ITX motherboard for AM5-based AMD CPUs YET.

The economical motherboard is the following but it is a mid-range motherboard in reality.

Sale
MSI MPG B650I Edge WiFi

Ryzen 7000 | DDR5
AM5 | 1 x M.2 (Gen 4) | PCIe 4.0 | WiFi 6E

We will most certainly get to see cheaper AM5 Mini ITX motherboards in the future, but at the moment, none meet the budget mark.

Intel Route

Intel LGA1700 Socket

For Intel 12th and 13th gen CPUs you have a plethora of options. 

You have options from the 600 series chipsets and from the 700 series chipsets.

While motherboards from the 600 series chipset are cheaper than the 700 series counterpart, if you have a 12th Gen CPU, stick with the 600 series chipset.

Also, 600 and 700 series chipsets both have the same socket, the LGA1700 which is compatible with both 12th and 13th Gen Intel CPUs.

However, if you were to plug a 13th Gen CPU into a 600 series motherboard like on the ASUS PRIME H610I-PLUS, you MAY need to do a BIOS update.

And BIOS update is only possible with the compatible CPU unless the motherboard has USB BIOS flash aka Q-flash, which is rare on budget motherboards anyways.

In other words:

For 12th Gen Intel CPUs, stick with 600 series mini ITX motherboards as they are cheaper.

ASUS PRIME H610I-PLUS D4

12th Gen Intel CPU | DDR4
LGA1700 | 1 x M.2 (Gen 3) | PCIe 4.0 x16 slot | WiFi

For 13th Gen Intel CPUs, stick with 700 series motherboards (they are more expensive unfortunately) but would not require a BIOS update.

ASUS ROG Strix B760-I Gaming

13th and 12th Gen Intel CPU | DDR5
LGA1700 | 2 x M.2 (Gen 4) | PCIe 5.0 x16 slot | WiFi

Again, this isn’t a budget motherboard in the traditional sense, but for a mini ITX motherboard with a 700 series chipset, you do not have a cheaper option. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, the 700 series is newer and hence offers newer features like support for DDR5 RAM, Gen 4 SSD etc.

And secondly, there is no entry-level H710 chipset yet. 

How to Choose the Right Affordable Mini ITX Motherboard

Since you are looking for a budget motherboard, you can keep the following factors in mind that contribute to the overall price.

best budget mini itx motherboards
A typical mini ITX motherboard. Source: Gigabyte

Mini ITX are Expensive

When taking the same feature into consideration, a Mini ITX motherboard can be much more expensive compared to a Micro ATX or even an ATX motherboard.

A mini ITX motherboard is generally more expensive than a budget micro ATX motherboard.

This is for two reasons:

Firstly, most mini ITX motherboards feature built-in WiFi. This adds further to the upfront cost.

Secondly, the mini-form factor is considered rare and thus you are expected to be charged a premium for it.

Chipsets

You can find all the popular desktop chipsets on the mini ITX form factor. The chipsets also heavily relate to the overall price tag of the motherboard.

The following are the common chipsets:

Intel Chipsets

  • H710 Series: Budget
  • B660 Series: Mid Range
  • H770 Series: Mid-High Range
  • Z790 Series: High Performance – Overclockable

Note that the 700 and 600 series chipset are built for 12th and 13th-generation Intel CPUs.

AMD Chipsets

  • A Series: Budget – Not overclockable – Minimal specs
  • B Series: Mid Range – Reasonable Overclocking
  • X Series: High Performance – Maximum Overclocking

If you do not overclock and are looking for a minimal motherboard for a mid or an entry level processor we recommend you stick with the H series chipset for Intel and the B series chipset for AMD.

Phase Power Design

One of the lesser-known specs that separate a budget motherboard from a high-end motherboard is the number of power phases and their rating.

Power Phases basically relate to the power delivery system of the motherboard. The higher the number of power phases, the better and more stable the power delivery, which in turn means better overclocking. 

While for an average user, this may not matter much, for an enthusiast who overclocks a good phase power design is very important.

Since motherboards with a premium phase power design are expensive, when looking into budget Mini ITX motherboards, we will give little importance to the number of power phases.

Ports and Slots

mini itx motherboard 1 pcie slot
Even high end Mini ITX motherboards such as this have only a single x16 slot. Source:
MSI MPG Z790I Edge

Mini ITX motherboards are not known for their expandability.

All mini ITX motherboards have a single PCIe X16 slot for installing just a single extra card. Most of the time this is occupied by graphics cards.

As such, if you want to add other components like a dedicated sound card, a RAID controller, etc, you would not be able to do so.

Most mini ITX motherboards also offer 1x M.2 slots as well as 4 x SATA ports.

As for the number of USB Ports and headers, there should be plenty, but their version greatly depends upon how recent your motherboard is whether it belongs to the budget chipset series (i.e A, H series) or the high end chipset series (i.e X, Z series) 

They ALL Have WiFi Built in

As mentioned earlier, almost all mini ITX motherboards have a built-in WiFi which contributes to their overall higher price tag.

This actually makes sense for two reasons.

Firstly, since mini ITX PCs are portable, you will expect to have WiFi so that you can connect to the internet at any location easily.

Secondly, the mini ITX motherboards lack expansion slots. Hence if you populate the single PCIe X16 slot with a graphics card, you would not have any other option but to go for the weak USB WiFi cards.

In that case, having a built-in WiFi in most mini ITX motherboard makes perfect sense.

Mobo + Processor Combo

mobo processor combo
ASRock J4105-ITX featuring an Intel J4105 built-in.

Some mini ITX motherboards come with an embedded or built-in processor.

This configuration is generally very affordable and excellent for those who want to make a bee-line for a pre-built affordable system for carrying out basic tasks.

Final Words

A mini ITX motherboard is great for compact and portable builds, particularly for those who have a limited need for their PC.

The best budget mini ITX motherboard for you depends upon a variety of factors including what chipset you want, and whether you plan on overclocking or not.

The point to note here is that the options you have are many. In the end, it boils down to what your budget is and what your requirements are.

For instance, if you wish to move around or if you wish to have a clean desk space, then a mini ITX makes a lot of sense.

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