Computer Hardware:
     • Tools, Static & Cleaning
     • Form Factor
     • PC Case & Fans
     • Motherboard
     • Processor (CPU)
     • Power Supply Unit
     • RAM
     • Hard Drive
     • Solid State Drive
     • Optical Drive
     • Floppy Disk Drive
     • Graphics Card
     • Sound Card
     • Network Card
     • Computer Monitor
     • Keyboard & Mouse
     • Laptop / Netbook
     • Building a Computer
     • Overclocking

Operating System & Backup:
     • Operating System
     • Drivers
     • Windows Tools
     • User Accounts
     • Backup
     • Windows 10

Internet & Network:
     • Internet
     • Wi-fi or Cable
     • Improve Broadband Speed
     • Network Computers

Computer Peripherals:
     • Printer
     • Scanner
     • External Hard Drive
     • USB Flash Drive

Computer Security:
     • Anti-virus
     • Anti-Spyware
     • Phishing
     • Firewall

Common PC Problems:
     • Slow Computer
     • Hardware Failure
     • Software Failure
     • Printing Problems

     • Windows Shortcuts
     • Glossary of Terms
     • HTML Colour Picker
     • Number Base Converter

Form Factor

Form Factor relates to the physical dimensions and arrangement of the motherboard or other computer hardware. Having standard form factors ensures that parts are interchangeable across competing vendors and generations of technology.

The form factor usually refers to the motherboard but also relates to computer components such as Hard Drives, Memory modules, and also the sizes of various computer devices such as a Desktop computer, Laptop, Tablet, and Mobile etc.

Motherboard Form Factors

Form FactorDimensionsComments
AT12 X 11-13 inches
305 X 279-330 mm
An early but now obsolete form factor for the original IBM computer and clones.
ATX12 X 9.6 inches
305 X 244 mm
A popular form factor for desktop computers with plenty of expansion capability.
MicroATX9.6 X 9.6 inches
244 X 244 mm
Another very popular form factor for desktop computers. Smaller than ATX but compatible with ATX cases.
Mini-ITX6.7 X 6.7 inches
170 X 170 mm
A small form factor which is actually compatible with a microATX or ATX case.
BTX12.8 X 10.5 inches
325 X 267 mm
Intended to succeed the ATX form factor but it is not as popular. Layout has been improved for better cooling but needs a BTX case.
NLX8-9 X 10-13.6 inches
203-229 X 254-345 mm
Included a riser for expansion cards but never became popular.

The most common motherboard form factors for desktop computers today are the microATX and ATX. The ATX motherboard is larger than the smaller square-shaped microATX and has more expansion ports. The microATX is compatible with ATX cases.

Small form factors have also become popular for a variety of uses and the Mini-ITX is quite common as it is not only small but supports standard size desktop CPU's, memory DIMM sockets,and a full size PCIe x16 slot with support for the fastest graphics cards. It is also compatible with a microATX or ATX case.

Hard Drive Form Factors.

Form FactorDimensionsComments
Desktop 3.5 inch146 X 101.6 mmA standard Hard Drive form factor for Desktop computers.
Laptop 2.5 inch100 X 69.85 mmA standard Hard Drive form factor for Laptop computers.

Optical Disk Drive, Solid State Drive & Floppy Disk Drive Form Factors.

The Optical Disk Drive (CD, DVD, or Blue-ray) fits into a standard 5.25 inch drive bay in the computer case. A Solid State Drive usually comes in a 2.5 inch form factor which means that it will fit in place of a laptop Hard Drive okay but may need an adaptor plate to fit inside a desktop computer. Modern Floppy Disk Drives use the 3.5 inch form factor although they are now seldom seen on newer computers due to their small capacity floppy disks.

Memory Module Form Factors.

Desktop Memory Modules (DIMM) generally have a standard size or form factor although there is a notch or notches in the memory module contacts so that only the correct memory module will fit in a motherboard's DIMM socket.

Laptop Memory Modules (SO-DIMM) come in a smaller form factor which also have notches so that only compatible memory will fit.

MENU (Form Factor):
1. Form Factor