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What are the Pros and Cons of a Small Motherboard?

A small motherboard offers a compact solution for space-saving PC builds, ideal for sleek, minimalist setups. It typically consumes less power and generates less heat. However, it may limit expansion with fewer slots for RAM and other components, potentially impacting future upgrades. Considering a compact build? Weigh these factors to see if a small motherboard aligns with your computing needs. What's your priority?
G. Wiesen

A small motherboard has a number of potential strengths and weaknesses associated with it, such as the space it will take up inside of a computer and the number of ports that may be available for use with the board. The smaller a motherboard is the less room it will require inside the tower or case of a computer, which can be beneficial, especially for someone looking to put together a computer for a smaller area or a custom computer tower. A small motherboard, however, will also typically be smaller by having fewer options and ports available as part of the board itself.

The motherboard inside of a computer tower or case is basically the nervous system of the computer. All other devices are in some way connected to the motherboard, including the random access memory (RAM), central processing unit (CPU), and input devices such as audio and video cards. A small motherboard is simply a motherboard that is designed to be smaller in size compared to other types of motherboards. This smaller size can be quite beneficial for some computer users, but there are also some drawbacks that should be considered.

A computer motherboard.
A computer motherboard.

A small motherboard can be a natural choice for someone building a new computer that is going to be smaller in size, or will be in a custom built case. Most personal computers (PCs) are built as several separate units: typically a monitor, input devices like a keyboard and mouse, and the tower that houses the internal devices and components that make up the computer itself. These cases can come in a number of different sizes and styles, and the case can dictate what sort of motherboard will fit inside it. Someone building a computer using a smaller case may prefer a small motherboard to fit more properly inside, while a custom built computer in a uniquely shaped case may also require a small motherboard for proper structure.

Smaller motherboards may have fewer slots for RAM.
Smaller motherboards may have fewer slots for RAM.

One of the major drawbacks to using a small motherboard, however, is that the lack of size typically comes from a sacrifice in what is available on the board. A small motherboard may have fewer slots for RAM than other motherboards, which means the computer will either have less usable memory or that more money may need to be spent on fewer memory sticks of greater quality. The motherboard could also have fewer inputs for devices such as sound and video cards, which could impact the performance of the machine, especially if it is to be used for gaming or advanced graphics work.

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Discussion Comments


You should always make use of a surge protector when you have a computer plugged into an outlet. This will protect the motherboard. A power increase of any type can cause serious issues with a computer, so taking this extra precaution is common sense.


@Feryll - What you want to do is have someone who knows something about computers take a look at your system, and then go from there. Something other than the motherboard could be causing your computer not to work as it should.

If you learn that the motherboard is the piece that is damaged then go out and buy another computer. Trying to replace a laptop motherboard is a waste of time because you are better off to go to the store and pick up a new computer. The motherboard in a laptop may be smaller than the motherboard in a PC but it is still the main part of your laptop, and it is priced accordingly.


I had my computer plugged into an outlet in the house during a thunderstorm. There was a power surge and the power went out. Now I think the mother board may be fried. I'm wondering how difficult is it to replace a laptop motherboard? I know if I have to pay someone to do the repair and replace the part then the cost will be considerable. But I am thinking that since the laptop has a small motherboard maybe a replacement won't be overly expensive.


I like the idea of computers with smaller motherboards. The size of the monitors has decreased so much over the years. Remember the large monitors that were built like the old TV sets? They were a pain to move from one place to another and they took up so much room on a desk. The thin monitors are much easier to handle and they take up so much less space.

Now, I think it is time for the computer towers to get smaller and it sounds like the smaller motherboards could provide a way for this to happen.

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    • A computer motherboard.
      By: VIA Gallery
      A computer motherboard.
    • Smaller motherboards may have fewer slots for RAM.
      By: extender_01
      Smaller motherboards may have fewer slots for RAM.