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Fat ATX mainboard move catches case creators out

Across the globe, enthusiasts are buying some of the latest and greatest kit from their favourite suppliers, only to find that once they get home – the system cannot be built. Somehow, the mainboard is just too fat for this year’s fashionable chassis. (slimline, not an ounce of fat) KitGuru has been looking into this new source of disappointment.

While Wikipedia (go on, you know you want to trust it) says that ATX mainboards must be 12 inches (30.5cm) by 9.6 inches (24.4cm), the new high end mainboards from Asus and Gigabyte are actually 10.6 inches deep (26.9cm).

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see that this is going to cause problems. And the problem is not restricted to just Intel. AMD boards are also experiencing the same issue.

One of KitGuru’s oldest friends makes systems for events and exhibitions. He is building up a bunch of rigs right now, but has been given the latest Gigabyte 890 chipset mainboards as well as  Cooler Master Sniper chassis. Guess what?  They just don’t fit.

We spoke to Iain Bristow in Asus and he said: “To squeeze the features of the Rampage III Extreme into a standard ATX just wouldn’t have done the board justice. With a motherboard like this we’d rather increase the size and offer the best possible set of features for power users, than stick to the boundaries and limit it’s potential, after all, why stick to the boundaries on such a ground-breaking product?”

KitGuru says: If you’re buying the best mainboard in its class, do a quick check on the dimensions before you buy. If it is a Fat ATX model, then give your significant other a helpless look, put your hands up and say “Sorry love. It can’t be helped. I just HAVE to buy that fatbois chassis. No choice”.

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