After several years on the market, computer systems employing the Mini-ITX form factor are still increasing in popularity. Corporations, small businesses, universities, and enthusiasts are all turning their heads to explore the low-power compact solutions that have become available. The recent releases of Mini-ITX motherboards that are compatible with Intel’s line of Core 2 Duo processors have made the already versatile systems even more powerful and appealing.

The most abundant application of Mini-ITX systems is found in industrial solutions with strict size restrictions. Naturally, following the success of these small computer systems, manufacturers decided to make their motherboards even smaller. After Mini-ITX, the Nano-ITX form factor emerged and was met with much anticipation. A motherboard measuring a mere 10 cm x 10 cm offered even more compact solutions. However, the slightly larger footprint of Mini-ITX allows for more powerful components and a wider variety of input/output plug-ins.

Even smaller than the Nano-ITX line, the recently released Pico-ITX form factor offers motherboards that fit in the palm of your hand. The minute size of these motherboards creates all-new possibilities and applications. Again, sacrifices are made to achieve such compact designs. These sacrifices are acceptable to some, but leave the Mini-ITX form factor as the most popular balance of power and versatility. (In the realm of micro-computing.)