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  • geok1ng - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    there is a problem to be solved and it is actually FIND small cases!

    a- The idea behind BTX is to gain a few inches over the microATX desing to put the PSU and the optical drive together. The idea works quite well.

    b- but small cases are hard to find

    c- small AND reliable PSUs are harder still!

    without cheap cases orcheap and reliable PSUs it is no use to have a $70 CPU over a $70 motherboard, even if the setup can play blurays on the fly (AKA 780G chipset)
  • BeowulfX - Friday, October 26, 2007 - link

    I think they should just stop meddling with the form factor (whether it’s Intel or AMD), IMHO, because PC users have managed to survive with the current ATX or m-ATX form factors.

    There ain’t much PC users out there who like the idea of throwing their expensive yet still useful mid/full-tower ATX cases (branded or modded) and working ATX/m-ATX motherboards into the attic just so they could have a slimmer casing…as if the constant CPU upgrades isn’t enough yet to cause people to keep spending…

    If there were really a lot of people who approve of changing current form-factors for motherboards and PC casing…then why is BTX not so popular?…don’t tell me its all about implementation…because I think it’s MORE about people support and practicality (i.e. using hard-earned money to just buy some other useful PC stuff than throw away functioning current ATX mobos and PC cases for BTX or this proposed DTX form-factor).

    On the other hand, this DTX form-factor might simplify things up a bit (generally speaking, that is), yet in this particular case or situation, I’m more inclined to follow the old adage: “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”.

    This will probably gain limited acceptance in some big-time offices and for some PC users who don’t have much room space to spare for a full ATX tower or even for wealthy PC users looking for some other ways to spend their overflowing filthy rich treasure boxes…but personally, I think companies like AMD or Intel should just focus their efforts more in persuading software outfits to create apps that’ll put dual-cores, quad-cores to good use (and I mean creating more and more 64-bit/multithreaded apps).

    Leave the form factor alone…encourage first software support for 64-bit/multithreaded apps (i.e. AMD is already contemplating on doing this by their Light Weight Profiling “LWP” proposal)…then may be, after we see abundance of softwares for our hardwares, Intel or AMD can go back on harassing us to give up our modded/expensive/branded full-ATX or mid-ATX PC cases and accompanying ATX motherboards.

  • hans007 - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    if you didnt notice the latest dimensions and vostro machines are micro ATX again.

    almost all the big box machines except the enthusiast platforms are microa ATX anyway. look at hp, all their Q6600 machines even are micro ATX for the pavilion line.

    the further miniturization by DTX is pretty stupid. why bother with mini DTX when the very similar mini-itx is there. and why bother with DTX when flex ATX is there (flex ATX has 2 slots for everyone who wants DTX for having 2 slots).

    DTX is still just as "deep" as microATX (it goes out to the 3rd row of screw holes on microATX) so that is moot. there are plenty of microATX boards that b arely go past the 2nd row of screw holes (so only 8" or so)... even fairly new boards based on G31 etc.

    so yeah DTX is not really that awesome since well we have flexATX and mini ITX already. AMD is tring to just make up a new "standard" even though the market doesnt really need it. and BTX is dead, i would not be surprised if the next generation of dell optiplex is also just plain ATX also , since new cpus are fairly low power, and heatpipe coolers are just as quiet now anyway (some HP pentium D machinse used AVC heatpipe coolers which were just as quiet as btx)
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    Don't forget about how it makes it also easy to manufacture, i.e. make 4 boards from a motherboard set. Reply
  • shecknoscopy - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    If this announcement were made, say, two years ago, then AMD's major selling point for the platform would be its expandability within a small-form factor setup. But the days of its true principle competitor - mini-ITX - being limited to embedded VIA CPUs and PCI expansion are long over. Since both AM2 and LGA775-based mITX board with pretty much any kind of exapnsion options (PCIe x16, onboard SATA-raid, etc...) are available to- or soon to be available to- the public, and since such boards have both a smaller footprint and lower thermal consumption, I honestly don't see the point to DTX. And yes, mITX can be mounted on ATX-specification holes. Or inside a pumpkin.*

    My guess is that this might be more of a move meant to advance the AMD brand rather than AMD's technologies. Namely, their image as a company which refuses to be pidgeon-holed within the confines of the status quo is only aided by their purported creation of a new small form-factor spec. And for the non ITX enthusiasts, maybe this seems like news - one might believe that this is AMD further pushing development in a field that's been under-explored by their competitors. But it's just not the case, really.

    -Sheq (good to be back!)

    *-Hey, 'tis the season.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    Don't mind Intel or AMD based ITX boards, just the fact that the stupid heat sink takes up all the room, requires laptop ram, and the stupid board has to cost $250 or more without a CPU. Reply
  • bupkus - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    Introducing Intel's "Little Valley" mini-itx for < $80">Link
  • Bluestealth - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    It kinda sucks that you have to be an OEM to bring costs for ITX systems down, but it goes with the territory I guess.

    Although I have to say, even the completed ITX systems/terminals the OEMs sell are quite overpriced :)
  • flipmode - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Dunno, but this is one of the most exciting developments in the home PC arena right now in my opinion. I'm quite looking forward to seeing these products hit retail and get reviewed.

    I never really read up on BTX but my understanding of that form factor was that it's sole purpose was to enhance cooling. I heard that it required expensive retooling of manufacturing facilities, and that AMD's platform had issues with the component arrangement.

    Contrast that with DTX: it's compatible with ATX so minimal retooling and it's purpose is to introduce and industry standard small form factor. That doesn't sound very similar to BTX.

    I've got a BTX base Dell Optiplex small form factor desktop here at work and I love it - it's small, it's quiet, it runs extremely cool, and with a DVD-RW, C2D6600, 4GB, 160Gig, and Radeon x1300 it is a very powerful machine.

    So if DTX make a machine like that available to the DIY crowd then I'll be pretty dang excited.

    I'd say the number one force of resistance to DTX will be graphics technology where the components are getting larger at a crazy rate. We went from single slot cards to double slot cards to dual double slot cards and evidently next it'll be quad double slot cards.

    But for the rest of us non gamers DTX will be an answered prayer. All I want is a stand alone video card but it doesn't have to be powerful, just up to snuff on features.

    Meh, just thinking out loud.
  • Martimus - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    With the size of LCD monitors, and the size of these motherboards, we could start seeing computers where the Monitor, CPU, and Drives are all one unit like they were years ago. This would be nice, because it would make them more mobile, and would tkake up less space. It would make it more difficult to make adjustments to the components, but most people don't really tinker inside their computer anyway. I would like to see some computers like that (Other than my 1980 Compaq with a 10MB hard drive, or the old Apple computers what had everything integrated into the monitor). Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    monitors with DTX Clamps to Hold the PC to the back of the monitor :)

  • Bluestealth - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Or a standardized docking slot for mini-desktops for monitors.
    Although the clamps allow for more varied case designs.
  • AmberClad - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    I really can't see myself using this form factor. I use mATX right now, and that has a good balance of compact size and expandability -- enough expansion slots to meet an average user's needs without having an excess of empty slots like with regular ATX. If I wanted to go really small, I'd pick mini-ITX. I look at this DTX design, and I see something that is neither as flexible as mATX, nor as compact as mini-ITX. Building a decent HTPC with a motherboard that only supports two slots may prove difficult -- you'd have to compromise between picking a video card, TV tuner, and sound card. So DTX doesn't seem all that interesting for DIY use.

    On the other hand, it might be quite suitable for small form factor OEM systems. But with Apple's partnership with Intel these days, that's one system builder that probably won't be using this form factor...
  • Ajax9000 - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link


    Building a decent HTPC with a motherboard that only supports two slots may prove difficult -- you'd have to compromise between picking a video card, TV tuner, and sound card.

    Foregoing the soundcard and using a digital audio connection to proper receiver/amplifier would be my choice.

    I've been looking at mini-ITX but getting even a video card and a TV tuner (i.e. not USB) plugged in is difficult without resorting to exotic internal cabling/whatever.

    So, I'd like a mini-DTX ... but supporting C2D thanks, the AMD processors don't excite me just at the moment ...

    Shuttle is supposedly going to re-enter the motherboard market with boards such as the FP35 and FX38, but they are BTX-style.
  • yyrkoon - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    DTX in my opinion has nothing to do with BTX, and has more in common with mini/micro-ITX.

    Ok sure, it is so far non widely accepted, like BTX, but that is where the commonalities stop.

    Anyhow, it would be good to have something similar to mITX, and something that is standardized, and hopefully, not a rip-off fest waiting to happen(like mITX . . .).
  • defter - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    So if you add a video card and a sound card, you will have zero slots left...

    It's unlikely that DTX will replace ATX among those who build PCs themselves, because of this slot limit. For example with micro-ATX you can have 4 expansion slots.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    yeah, but how many have you seen upgrade their video card? And if you need to replace the ethernet card, there is always usb.

    Think business stations as well. Oh wait, they are going back to diskless computer terminals.
  • Regs - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    I think ATX is reaching its limits too. The size of a video card just keeps getting bigger and bigger.. Reply
  • kyp275 - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    I see this as mostly for the HTPC crowd than anything else, where you don't really need much as far as expansion slot goes. Reply
  • BansheeX - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    One of the things that always confuses me is that today's PCs seem unnecessarily large and we could easily reduce material waste and power consumption by ditching ATX completely and making micro-atx/dtx/whatever the new standard. It seems logical that the desktop should move from 3.5 HDs to 2.5 HDs, 5.25 CD Drives to Slim CD drives, and full profile graphics/sound cards to low-profile graphics sound cards. At one point, I'm sure it wasn't technologically attractive, but these days even 2.5 hard drives can reach extremely high speeds and capacities. The price premium is largely a result of it NOT being the standard, so that would not be an issue. Floppies are gone or USB-alized, so that's not taking up space anymore. Reply
  • defter - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link


    but these days even 2.5 hard drives can reach extremely high speeds and capacities.

    Where I can find 500GB 2.5" HDD for $100?

    For most of the people size isn't that important and they do not want to pay extra for a small size.
  • Calin - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Forget about price, where can I find a 2.5" hard drive at 750GB?
    Also, with a dual slot cooled graphic card, you are out of luck for SLI on a micro ATX board
  • Myrandex - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    100% Liar Face detected.">

    I have that board, and it is awesome. It is keeping me from upgrading as I have never found a mATX board as good as that one for either AM2+ or Core2/4/1024 Duo chips.

    I actually wish someone would make that with a socket AM2+ socket on there so that I could take the same board with the same Chipset and be Phenom ready (or someone make a Intel CPU compatible version plz!)
  • themadmilkman - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Okay, then show us an mATX board that allows you to run at 16x in SLI using double-slot cards, because that one does not. According to the article you linked, they only run at 8x when using the outer slots. Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    yeah, but I dare you to show the improvement over 8x.

    Gamer systems have to be ATX. The video cards are huge, and besides, it is all about show, i.e. windows, lights, UV, aluminum, etc.
  • kyp275 - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Not quite, it all depends on what you're using your PC for.

    For many moderate to power users, cooling is a big issue, and when you stick all that power-hungry CPU/GPUs into a small case, effective cooling becomes extremely difficult to achieve.

    I'm currently running a e6600 with a single 8800gts card in a P182 case, a full size mid-tower, and it's barely big enough to fit all the components, their cooler, leave room for optimal airflow, and I'm not even running SLI or crossfire. There's a reason why you don't see any high-end machines in small-form factors, they simply don't work with today's cooling methods.

    Price is also another issue. While your right that not being the standard has to do with the price premiums, there are also physical limitations that goes into smaller parts such as a hard drive. There's simply less physical area in the 2.5" drives to store information compared to their 3.5" counterpart, and unless you can come up with a way to defy the law of physics, that's just the way it's going to be.
  • BansheeX - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Don't you see the fallacy in that viewpoint, though? In five years, you'll be saying 2TB on a 2.5 isn't enough when you can get 4TB on a 3.5. And if we had double-ATX sized computers as a standard, you'd be having the same grievances about the ATX standard. "Oh no, I can't use octo-SLI or a 1500w power supply! Noooooo!" The heat and cost issues people are bringing up have everything to do with the fact that costs are lower insatiable appetite for power. Multiple-video cards is a joke and always has been. The industry standard shouldn't be ATX with smaller form factors labeled as for the "enthusiast HTPC crowd." Micro-ATX should be the standard with ATX being the less common "enthusiast" platform for people who are insatiable enough to buy into SLI. Reply
  • kyp275 - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link


    In five years, you'll be saying 2TB on a 2.5 isn't enough when you can get 4TB on a 3.5.

    If in 5 years i say that 2TB on a 2.5" isn't enough, it'll be because it ISN'T enough for my usage. It wasn't that long ago when 160gb or 320gb was more than enough for me, but the increasing size of many media files (lossless audio, HD vid, larger games etc.) means that those sizes are no longer enough, at least for my need. And as long as 2.5" drives continue to be more expensive and slower than their 3.5" counterpart, people will prefer the 3.5" drives.

    Unless you want to pay for mine, that is :P


    if we had double-ATX sized computers as a standard, you'd be having the same grievances about the ATX standard. "Oh no, I can't use octo-SLI or a 1500w power supply! Noooooo!

    It's the softwares that dictates what hardwares we use, I'd imagine most people don't choose what hardwares to use for the sake of the hardwares, except maybe the bench-mark enthusiast crowd.

    Basically, your arguments are ignoring too many things. People will not get "octo-SLI" or a 1500w PSU unless there's a need, real or perceived, being driven by their particular application. As for heat issues, that's purely the product of the way our technology works today. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the laws of thermodynamic.


    The industry standard shouldn't be ATX with smaller form factors labeled as for the "enthusiast HTPC crowd." Micro-ATX should be the standard with ATX being the less common "enthusiast" platform for people who are insatiable enough to buy into SLI.

    and why is that? give me a reason why small form factors should be the standard. ATX isn't just for people who want to have SLI, like I said in a post earlier, I'm running a single 8800gts in a full size mid-tower, and it's just barely enough. There's simply no way to jam all the stuff I have in that PC into a SMF box without the stuff overheating all the time.

    and that's assuming I can even jam all that stuff in there in the first place.
  • bupkus - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link


    give me a reason why small form factors should be the standard.

    45nm--->32nm, etc.

    I don't thing BansheeX is suggesting that you be forced to cram your high powered system into a tiny case. I think that market trends to miniaturization for all and especially for the bulk of users is inevitable.
  • BansheeX - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Exactly. All I'm trying to get across here is that when 95% of the market would find matx computers with current capacity 2.5 HDs totally sufficient, staying with ATX as the industry standard just seems foolish. Look at all of the things that have changed to allow for this. Floppies are dead. Onboard ethernet is now good and standard, freeing up a slot that always used to be taken. Onboard audio got better, making sound cards unnecessary for most. 2.5 HDs got massive and storage density and 8mb cache increased their speeds dramatically even at 5400rpm. That and they barely get warm to the touch and they make virtually no sound, in turn making them more reliable. It's a serious improvement that will only continue to get better and cheaper if 3.5 gets canned. I honestly believe that 3.5 hard drives are an unnecessary dinosaur format. Macs and consoles are 100% correct to choose 2.5 while people who only think about size/cost continue to perpetuate 3.5's just as they would an even cheaper, larger, noisier and more power-hungry 5" HD if one existed.

    So yes, it's positively peculiar to me that we continue to see things like 5-expansion ATX persist as the norm while smaller boards are relegated for niche markets. I can't believe how resistant the PC market is to change. Christ, I still have parallel and serial ports on the back of my new motherboard. Fifteen years later... WHY ARE THESE HERE. I don't care how many people bitch and moan, the industry needs to grow some balls like they did with SATA.
  • kyp275 - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    In that case, I do agree with you. Miniaturization will happen, but unless there's a large market demand for it, it's not going to happen fast.

    and ultimately price is a big factor, and that's where the chicken-or-egg lies: price won't come down until there's a wide adaptation of the standard, but said adaptation won't happen 'til the price comes down.

    IMO in this particular case it requires a whole lot of manufacturers taking the plunge together across multiple devices and standards, and I don't see that happening any time soon, if ever.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - link

    I'm looking forward to having the first SSD built on the motherboard, say 16GB for the OS. Making a diskless system will be way easier. Reply
  • chrispyski - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Yup, thats precisely where the problem with BTX & DTX lies. If your gonna do some heavy gaming and need upgradability, then you have to go with ATX or at least mATX. But if all you want to do is some word processing and web, then laptops become more prevalent for their small size.

    DTX will have some hills to climb, no doubt. But eventually this could become a very good HTPC platform.
  • themadmilkman - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    I was about to say the same thing. For a general use PC, ie email, web surfing, maybe the occasional flash-based game, a tiny PC like that makes perfect sense. But for people who jam 2 video cards, a sound card, RAID, etc., into a case space becomes a priority fast. Reply
  • Bluestealth - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Its it really necessary?
    There is also flexATX(Part of the mATX spec) which is almost as small as mini-DTX, and that isn't doing so great.

    I feel that AMD is trying to solve a problem that isn't there.

    Most of the users looking for smaller systems than pico-btx are businesses wanting to deploy terminals. For that use, mini-ITX is big enough.
  • sprockkets - Monday, October 22, 2007 - link

    Would have built a BTX system using a pico or whatever the small form factor board is. But, try looking for such a case. There are none, with only one motherboard from Intel.

    Had Intel not been an ass and flipped all the slots around, and had the same setup of the fan and the same arrangement of the processor and such exhaust through the back, more people may have liked it. All that hot air that comes out of that duct system of theirs just went into the case, only to be exhausted by the power supply.

    OEMs built systems around BTX because, "Well, it came out from Intel, and since they are the leader, we have to use it and market it as a feature." Then they said how it makes the system quieter. Hmmm..., OEMs had problems with this since when? They custom make all there stuff.

    In any case, for the prototype case, when you say there was a vent missing from the power supply, can you say where? In the picture covering the system, is that also where it intakes air? Can't see any holes for the CPU fan.

    Wonder if they should not have used a Shuttle XPC format instead of this one, still using a laptop cd drive to decrease size.

    Shame also too there are no laptop cd drives yet that use SATA.
  • madgegafford1 - Friday, July 08, 2016 - link

    Thoughtful writing . I was fascinated by the analysis ! Does someone know where my assistant could possibly grab a blank a form example to work with ? Reply

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