Look out, mini-ITX: you’re not the smallest DIY board on the block anymore. Intel has launched a new 5x5 motherboard standard for ultra-compact form factor PCs. According to AnandTech, the board sits between the mini-ITX and the Intel NUC in terms of size and functionality.
The 5x5 is 29 percent smaller than mini-ITX at 147x140mm (5.5x5.8 inches), making it the smallest socketed board available. Just like the mini-ITX (and unlike the smaller NUC), it has a socket which fits LGA processors. The 5x5 also has 2 SODIMM memory channels, and you can add a 2.5-inch SATA drive or M.2 solid state drive. In addition, it will feature support for wired and wireless connectivity.
The 5x5 provides Celeron to Core processor scalability, supporting both 35W and 65W TDP CPUs. Intel says that despite the small size, it offers the same CPU upgradeability as a full-sized desktop. It is important to note however that you won’t have a full length PCIe slot with the 5x5. So, you’ll need to stick with the larger Mini-ITX if you want to add a PCIe graphics card to your system.
A fixed CPU XY location on the motherboard is required with the standard, which makes building cases with integrated cooling systems a bit easier.
There are currently no details on the 5x5’s price or availability. According to Digital Trends, there are suggestions that the 5x5 won’t be a consumer product, and will instead be used for device manufacturers to build systems around. If 5x5 did come to market, would you consider it for an ultra-mini build?