Introducing BTX

Intel released news of their Pentium 4 570J just yesterday when they lifted the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) on it.  Check out our benchmarks here. Today, a day after they released their 3.8GHz Prescott, Intel lifts their NDA on the longed for details of their new BTX form factor.

At Computex this past summer the technology on the minds of the attendees was the new reengineered PC form factor that was said to change the way we look at desktop systems and the way they are to be cooled. As we mentioned in our June sneak peak of this new "Balanced Technology" there are many who are thinking twice about the performance benefits of the successor to ATX and how the public will gain from changing over to it. We also mentioned that there are some who believe this new design is just a way to help deal with the thermal problem with Intel's CPU's and that since Intel is the only name backing the technology the thermal issue is the main reason they really want to continue the push for BTX. At Computex the only BTX board on the floor was from Intel, which was not a surprise to us, but there were quite a few BTX cases from various companies including Enlight and AOpen.

Today, as Intel releases information on the BTX form factor with special evaluation kits, case manufacturers can begin designing cases to compliment Intel's motherboards, but does the industry want to follow?  Passions are running high against BTX; the thought of the big chip maker forcing yet another design change upon the industry has several people extremely upset.  We received a press kit from Intel with a microBTX motherboard and AOpen's newest desktop BTX case. 

We plan to take a middle of the pack Intel 915G microATX motherboard/chassis combination and compare it to the new Intel 915G microBTX motherboard/combination we received today.  We will test the microATX motherboard in a full ATX desktop case and a microATX tower.  Thermals, noise and size will dictate the majority of our conclusions in the analysis.

Examining ATX
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  • L3p3rM355i4h - Thursday, February 10, 2005 - link

    Seems to be good for the OEM market, but what about us people who *actually* care about computers? Front exhuaust has to be the stupidest thing ever. Why was it so hard just to reverse the layout, so it would be atleast somewhat compatable with the current ATX standard.

    And the guy/gal who made up the "ATX II" standard, maybe you should contact AMD or someone. They might be interested.
  • EthernaL - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    What if I really LIKE my BIG ATX tower?
    Maybe I have temperature problems in summer... maybe is not all the efficient that could be but I really love this design and I don't want to move to a small design and I don't want to buy the whole thing again.

    Another nice thing with the computers we currently have is the possibility to give our friends/relatives old pieces once we upgrade our computer (my sister's computer is build that way :P )

    So, again, another decission based ONLY on money without thinking in what we (the users) want or need. Thanks Intel, I hate you more than ever, and if you 'force us' to move to that technology I hope your business will go bankrupt.
  • IntelUser2000 - Sunday, November 21, 2004 - link

    "From the picture we see the flow of air pushed back through the CPU thermal module towards the Northbridge, Southbridge, and VGA card. As this air flows around the CPU, it warms up, as we can see from the red areas to the left and right of the CPU. This warm air then flows over the Northbridge and seems to cool as it travels further back in the chassis. At the left we see the channel of air flowing to the left over the memory and out through the PSU. The channel on the right flows straight back to the VGA card and out through groups of holes in the back of the case."

    Well doesn't look like to me that hot air comes out front.
  • MadAd - Friday, November 19, 2004 - link

    One question im having in my mind is how big of a paintbrush will i need to get inbetween those fins - talk about a dust trap.

    At least a majority of atx heatsink designs have easy to clean fins, and boy do they need cleaning sometimes, this is going to be worse.

    Cue the repair calls in years to come, $50 an hour for removing wads of the customers cat/dog/children from around the cooler after the safety backoff system renders the machine temporatily gonadless.
  • epiv - Thursday, November 18, 2004 - link

    Intel can and should make BTX backward and forward compeitable with ATX so we can decide if a new BTX case and PSU is worth the money.
    I am a poor student and I already spend money on a good case and PSU. My case should be able to handle more heat than a regular BTX case. I really hope I will not have to get a new case and PSU when I upgrade my computer.
  • trikster2 - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    facts? I actually own the silverstone version of the oppus case, so I am actually speaking from experience. Vertical vs horizontal lowprofile vs full height has a lot to do with heat disapation
  • Myrandex - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    I wonder how BTX had a NDA because Gateway has been selling BTX computers at best buy for over a month at least
  • Cygni - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    Dont you bring facts into this, Kris! Trikster2 doesnt want any of that!
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    trikster2: The Opus case was chosen because it was the same volume as the mBTX case. I don't really see how a mATX tower and an mBTX case are going to differ significantly.

  • ceefka - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    How can this possibly translate into lower cost for end users? Thank you, Intel.

    I am also disappointed by Intel's approach. Uhm, we have a hot CPU; let's make a cooler case!

    Since they invented this in their own backyard without creating a wide support it looks like an ego-trip.

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