All good things need a solid foundation upon which their constituent parts can be laid. And it is perhaps more so if you’re building a personal computer that you want to last for the foreseeable future. Computers have to have capacious system boards, or motherboards, to hold the hardware in place and provide connections between them so they can interact with each other. All the important parts that make up your computer, such as the CPU, memory, and peripherals are connected to the motherboard.
Depending on your purpose and what your budget allows, there are a bunch of motherboard types that you can look into. But if it’s sheer size and capacity you’re after, EATX motherboards are what you should be after. Today, we look at what these EATX motherboards are, and the top products that you can get today to create the personal computer of your dreams.
What is EATX motherboard?
Before we get into E-ATX, let’s understand what ATX is first. Advanced Technology eXtended, or ATX, is the standard motherboard form factor for domestic as well as industrial computers.
The only problem with ATX motherboards is that the way the individual components are arranged doesn’t allow much breathing space for individual components which leads to airflow blockages that engenders heat problems – the one common nemesis of all healthy computer operations.
However, the Extended-ATX motherboards are designed specifically to address this problem, while also introducing multiple ports to expand your computer’s graphical processing units. An ATX motherboard has dimensions of 12 inches x 9.6 inches, while E-ATX has dimensions of 12 inches to 13 inches, making the latter slightly bigger on the right side.
Other than the size factor, there’s not much of a difference between ATX and E-ATX motherboards. But this minor difference in size itself can bring about a host of other changes to suit different purposes.
EATX Motherboard vs ATX
Because of their larger size, EATX motherboards are ideal for those who’re into intense gaming and graphical processing on a daily basis. Having more space for different components allows for more airflow and easy cooling. This makes them the perfect baseboards for overclocking and server work.
You will find EATX motherboards on the computers of most professionals and competitive gamers for these reasons. Moreover, because of all the extra space, you also get more ports and slots on the system board to add extra processing and memory units.
What is the best EATX Motherboard?
Now, there are tons of EATX motherboards available on the market for you to choose from. But, for purposes of simplicity, we’re bringing to you the best of the best in different budget categories. Because one cannot possibly compare a $1000 product to a $400 product, the list below is not ranked.
1. Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme
Granted, this is one of the most expensive EATX motherboards out there. But money matters little when you’re going for something as wickedly luxuriant as this. With a z490 chipset, it can support the latest 10th Gen Intel processor. It also supports the latest NVIDIA’s SLI technology and AMD’s Cross FireX technology to expand your computer’s graphical abilities.
As its name suggests, this E-ATX is an extreme, all-guns-blazing motherboard that is going to remain coolly on your side even as you overclock the life out of your system.
On this motherboard, you’ll find a total of 22 USB ports – 12 on the rear and 10 on the front. There’s no issue in terms of connectivity either as you’ll find onboard Bluetooth and WiFi, in addition to high-definition audio CODEC and Sony/Philips Digital Interface output for the best sound quality.
- RAM support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4-4700
- Storage: 8x SATA 6Gbps
- CPU support: 10th gen Intel
ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme may not be something that works for everybody, but it is perfect for those who want to find out the true capabilities of their overclocked system.
2. Gigabyte X299X Designare 10G
Next up, we have an EATX motherboard that has all the makings of a premium level entry even though its actual price is much lower than expected. The X299X is a true giant, showing you that E-ATX motherboards can get the job done just as well as an XL-ATX.
If you want space enough to do as you please on a towering PC case, this is the motherboard for you. While its specifications are given below, there are a few extras that we’d like to mention separately, such as the availability of Thunderbolt connectors, onboard Realtek HD Audio, LED lighting and an amazing build with super port reinforcements. The motherboard is also offered at a competitive price, making its specifications that much more appealing.
- RAM support: 8x DDR4 slots, up to 256GB
- CPU Support: Intel X-series processor family
- Graphics Interface: 4 PCI-e x16 outputs for Crossfire or SLI builds.
Gigabyte X299X is meant for those who prefer putting in the external interfaces first and want a cool giant capable of high-end gaming, video editing, and all things that require lots of power and size without denting your budget too much.
3. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike Gaming
Moving on to some MSI magic, the Z490 Godlike Gaming is a top-tier EATX motherboards that is definitely going to set you back by a lot. But if you’re prepared for it, you can rest assured you’re going to get the best out of your rig with this baseboard.
This has been considered the best Z490 board in the market, and given its superb overclocking performance, tough build, and space enough to keep it all cool under the hood, there’s much truth to the statement too. Apart from the fact that this is also quite a stunner to look at, its specifications easily make it one of the best on our list.
- CPU Support: 11th gen Intel
- Graphics Interface: 2-way NVIDIA SLI and 3-way AMD Crossfire Technology
- RAM support: 4x DDR4 slots (speeds up to 5000 MHz+)
If budget is not your concern, with this motherboard, you can future-proof your machine by adding the right set of CPU and GPUs and stay on top of your game for years to come.
4. MSI Creator TRX40
This E-ATX motherboard is the perfect fit for creators that have an AMD Threadripper desktop processor, which is a beast in itself. Built particularly for users that have higher than average computing needs, the MSI Creator TRX40 is hyper efficient when it comes to keeping the thermals under check while overclocking.
Creators of all types need good graphical capabilities, and there’s good support for a 3-way NVIDIA SLI and 3-way AMD Crossfire on this baseboard. With 10G LAN and 2.4GBps Wi-Fi, support for connectivity and data transfer are all provided for.
- CPU Support: 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper
- RAM Support: 8 x DIMM, up to 256 GB
- Storage: 6x SATA 6GB/s
Though this one is also on the pricier side of things, it is definitely an EATX that will keep things steady under the hood. If you’re going to house an AMD Threadripper for your creative tasks, there’s really no other system board you should rather get.
5. MSI Prestige X570 Creation
A creator’s dream, the MSI Prestige X570 Creation has all the makings of a premium-tiered system board. Though you’ll have to dole out about a grand for this motherboard, it’s still worth the price tag for all the computer-constituent support that it provides. Thanks to its multi-GPU support, video editing, gaming, and server work is a piece of cake if you’ve got its expansion slots well in use.
There’s on board Bluetooth 5, 7.1 channel high-definition audio CODEC, and a core boost to help provide stable power while overclocking. Did we say there are tons of USB ports? Well, 23 to be precise which is more than enough for any creator or gamer.
- CPU Support: AMD Ryzen 5000 and 4000 G series
- RAM: 4-DIMM, DDR4, up to 128GB
- Storage: 6x SATA 6GB/s
MSI Prestive X570 Creation motherboard also has an amazing design that keep things cool while overclocking and doing energy-intensive work.
6. ASUS ROG Strix X399-E Gaming
Finally, we have ASUS ROG Strix X399-E Gaming – an EATX motherboard that isn’t just put together to serve but actually elevate your gaming experience. There are quite a number of DIMM slots though the capacity per slot is on the lower end. Similarly, there are 9 SUB ports, but no USB 3.2. Apart from these two shortcomings, the rest of the bundle is as good as it can get at this price point.
A total of 6 PCIe slots are available for multi-GPU setup, Ethernet with LAN guard for internet, Bluetooth 4.2, and high-def audio CODEC for a great sound. Similar to the rest of the entries, this one also provides good power stability to support overclocking.
- CPU Support: AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd gen Thread ripper processors.
- RAM: 8x DIMM DDR4 slots, up to 128 GB
- Storage: 6x SATA 6GB/s
As far as value for money is concerned, ASUS ROG strix X399-E gamin can be said to be the best EATX motherboard.
EATX motherboards are clearly not for everyone. For some, all that extra space is just overkill. While for others, it is simply indispensable to have space for additional components and good heat dissipation to keep your computer working fast. Most of these EATX motherboards have a lot of extra features such as additional ports, high-definition Audio codecs, and amazing connectivity options that seems like the best use of that extra space.
Depending on your needs, you may prefer one EATX motherboard over the other. But all of them work wonderfully well to bring together the different components that make up your computer and – more importantly – keep things cool when pushing the processing capabilities to the edge.