Oh, microATX. You’re the awkward middle child of motherboard form factors: neither as fully powered as a regular ATX board nor as compact as Mini-ITX. On the other hand, it’s possible to build a hell of a rig with microATX in a relatively small footprint without compromising power, and I’ve been intending to do so for a while. I took a shine to the X79-powered microATX mobo Gordon Mah Ung reviewed in the April 2012 issue, and when the sky angels slipped a Kepler GPU into my rucksack, I knew what I had to do.
It’s not going to be easy fitting all these high-powered parts into a minuscule chassis, but if you want easy, build a full-size machine. When I’m done, I’ll have a box just 14.5 inches tall, 15.2 inches deep, and 8.25 inches wide—one that kicks a disproportionate amount of ass, no matter how tricky we have to get with the zip ties.