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 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.
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.