If you are planning on building a minimal PC then 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.
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.
List of Best Budget Mini ITX Motherboards in 2020
The following models are the cheapest and most economical small factor mini ITX motherboards in the market for both AMD and Intel builds.
- GIGABYTE B360N – Intel – LGA 1151 Highly Recommended Budget Mini ITX Motherboard
- ASRock B450 Gaming-ITX/AC – AMD – Recommended for AMD AM4 Build
- ASUS ROG Strix H470-I – Intel Latest Featuring the LGA 1200 Socket
- ASUS Prime H310T R2.0/CSM – Intel – LGA 1151 – As Affordable As It Can Get
- ASRock J4105-ITX – Motherboard + Processor Combo
1. GIGABYTE B360N – Intel – LGA 1151 Highly Recommended Budget Mini ITX Motherboard
A highly recommended affordable mini ITX motherboard for entry level setups.
First up, we have a popular budget mini ITX motherboard. If you want to go straight for the most recommended option, the we this is worth looking into.
For starters, this is NOT the cheapest mini ITX board, however, it offers a great combination of value, reliability as well as functionality.
Secondly, this motherboard offers the LGA 1151 socket that is suitable for the Intel 8th and 9th generation processors.
Unlike the cheaper still mini ITX motherboards, this has an excellent build quality. It has a high quality sub-components and a generally sturdy build.
Other than that, like most mini ITX motherboards, this too offers a WiFi built in, which in itself is an excellent feature to have at such a low price range.
Other than that, it features support for 32 GB of RAM and has an average 4 x SATA 3 ports.
Basically, a motherboard cheaper than this would either lack a WiFi module, have fewer SATA ports or have lower end components.
You should be warned that cheaper sub-components like chokes, capacitors, mosfets etc can lead to unstable computer.
As far as the sound goes, you can connect a 7.1 sound system to it thanks to 6 audio ports.
It is also worth noting that this motherboard does offer RGB light which basically would appeal to gamers and enthusiasts. Therefore, if you plan to build a compact gaming rig of your dream, you may find this to be the best budget mini ITX motherboard for Intel setup.
2. ASRock B450 Gaming-ITX/AC – AMD – Recommended for AMD AM4 Build
An affordable mini ITX motherboard for AMD builds. Excellent for gamers, comes with RGB lighting.
Next up we have a very similar motherboard as compared to the one above, but it features support for AMD AM4 instead of Intel.
As such, this is a motherboard is suitable for AMD Ryzen 3, 2 and 1 setup.
Like the motherboard above, this too offers a built in WiFi, a single PCIe X 16 slot and support for a maximum of 32 GB of DDR4 RAM.
However, it does a offer the much coveted USB 3.1 Type C port which the motherboard above lacks.
Also, it features support for 5.1 sound system as it has 5 audio ports and also an optical S/PDIF out.
All in all, if you are looking to build an economical AMD system, then this is the best mini budget mini ITX motherboard.
Whether you are building a compact gaming rig or a small workstation for your work, this can serve you well.
It is worth noting that while this motherboard is slightly more expensive as compared to the GIGABYTE B360N above, the overall AMD build can cost you less.
This is because, if you plan it right, an AMD system with a decent AMD processor is rather economical.
Also Read: Best Motherboards for Audio Production
3. ASUS ROG Strix H470-I – Intel Latest Featuring the LGA 1200 Socket
One of the latest mini ITX motherboard that features support for the 10th gen Intel processor on its LGA 1200 socket.
This is the most expensive motherboard in this list and for all the right reasons.
Firstly, this is a rare mini ITX motherboard that features support for the latest Intel 10th Generation processors with its LGA 1200 socket.
Most of the Intel motherboards out there still only feature support for the older generation with their LGA 1151 socket.
Hence, if you want to build an Intel 10th gen processor, then this is the best budget mini ITX motherboard out there.
Other than that, this motherboard hails from a very respected series that almost all gamers are well aware of: ASUS ROG Strix. Therefore, the primary customers of this motherboard are gamers.
However, since this features an excellent power phase design, and high quality components, you can also use it perfectly well for a mini workstation.
You can easily deduce the quality of this motherboard by looking at the size of the capacitors, chokes as well as the heatsinks.
This is a motherboard that you would want to show off. It features Aura Sync RGB lightning which essentially allows the light breath in rhythm.
Also, thanks to the high quality components, this is a motherboard built for overclockers.
And finally, unlike the rest of the motherboard above, this features a WiFi 6 with faster speeds and a better range.
All in all, if you need a compact solution for your latest 10th Gen Intel processors, then this is the best budget mini ITX motherboard.
4. ASUS Prime H310T R2.0/CSM – Intel – LGA 1151 – As Affordable As It Can Get
This is the most affordable mini ITX motherboard in the market. Lacks WIFi and supports SO-DIMM RAM.
This is the most affordable motherboard in this list and if you came here looking for the cheapest possible mini ITX motherboard out there, then we highly recommend this.
You should realize that this model is as basic as it can get for a mini ITX MOBO.
It does not offer any PCIe slot and therefore, there is no way you can add a graphics card or any other add-in card on this.
It does not feature WiFi and it is also worth noting that the RAM supported by this follows the SO-DIMM profile, which is the RAM used in laptops.
Furthermore, It features only 2 x SATA ports instead of the average 4. It features lower quality sub-components and hence it is not suited for professional grade work.
What it truly is suited for is basic work. If you need to build a simple setup for word processing, surfing the web etc then this will make a lot of sense.
On top of that for small commercial applications like offices or schools, this motherboard makes a lot of sense as well.
But if you want to delve into anything remotely more demanding, then stay away from this motherboard.
In the end, if you want to get the cheapest option out there and you are willing to sacrifice functionality for certain special scenarios, then this is the best budget mini ITX motherboard out there.
5. ASRock J4105-ITX – Motherboard + Processor Combo
A unique and a highly affordable motherboard that comes equipped with an Intel J4105 processor.
Finally, we have a mini ITX and a processor combo. This is basically a PC that you are getting for the price of a motherboard.
This motherboard features an Intel Celeron J4105. This is a Quad core entry level processor for desktops. It consumes low power but also has a fairly low clock speed.
Essentially, with a setup like this, you would only be able to comfortably perform simple tasks like work processing, web surfing, sending emails, writing reports, watching Youtube etc.
Anything more than that like gaming, editing or rendering, this system will not be suitable.
The reason why we like this motherboard and processor combo is because it is excellent for an average Joe. It takes away the hassle of researching the processor and installing one.
It should be noted, however, that expandaility is not the strongest point of this motherboard. It does NOT features a PCIe X16 slot for adding in a graphics.
In all honesty, you would not be adding a graphics card anyways since the processor on this is not suitable for gaming.
You should also note that this does not feature a WiFi built. Instead, it features a single PCIe X1 slot which you can utilize to add a separate WiFi card yourself should you need to.
In short, if you want a pre built compact essential system, then this is the best budget mini ITX motherboard and processor combo.
Mini ITX 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 hold tremendous value because it promotes very compact PC build with a very low footprint.
Along with that it offers the following benefits.
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.
Another important consideration is that the smaller the PC chassis, the more affordable it is.
Therefore, the case for building a PC around a mini ITX motherboard would also save you a good amount.
What Can You Expect?
Since you are looking for a budget motherboard, you can keep the following expectations into account.
A mini ITX motherboard is generally more expensive than a budget micro ATX motherboard.
This is for two reasons:
Firstly, most mini ITX motherobards feature a 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.
Also note that Intel based systems have a higher variety of mini-ITX motherboards as compared to AMD systems.
By variety we means port configuration, budget range, RAM support, etc
Ports and Slots
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 times this is occupied by a graphics cards.
As such, if you want to add other components like a dedicated sound card, a RAID controllers etc, you would not be able to do so.
Most mini ITX motherboards also offer an M.2 slots as well as a few SATA slots. The amount of SATA slots can range from 2-8. 4 SATA ports is the most common number with 8 ports being very-very rare.
Also Read: Best Motherboards with M.2 Slots
As mentioned earlier, most 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 PC are portable, you will expect to have WiFi so that you can connect to internet on newer locations 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.
Also Read: Best Motherboards with WiFi
Mobo + Processor Combo
Some mini ITX motherboards come with an embedded or a 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.
Here we reviewed some of the best budget mini ITX motherboards in the market. We looked at a variety of economical options.
We looked at standalone motherboards for Intel and AMD systems. We also looked at newer motherboards that feature the latest socket for the new 10th gen Intel processors. We also looked at peculiar options that include a processor combo.
The point to note here is that the options you have are many. In the end, it boils down to what you budget is and what are your requirement.
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.