AMD Shows Motherboard Design for Small, Quiet PCs

AMD is pushing a new motherboard format called DTX, which it says will allow system assemblers to build smaller PCs that are quieter and more energy efficient. The DTX spec is intended to bolster the fast-growing market for small form factor (SFF) PCs, said Jochen Polster, AMD's sales & marketing VP. He added that around 20 companies have already signed up to make DTX boards and cases, including Asus, Asetek, MSI, Gigabit, Elitegroup and Shuttle. "The best argument for ATX towers is that the components are standard, and therefore cheaper than proprietary SFF boxes. DTX is designed to be easy to assemble and upgrade," said Polster.

With their built-in video, sound and other ports, VIA's mini-ITX boards have been popular with builders of embedded PCs - and with case-modders, who build PCs into all sorts of outlandish casings - but less so in the wider PC market. Polster claimed that's because compact designs such as mini-ITX, which is 170mm square, are simply too small for the average technician to work with. By comparison, at 200x244mm, DTX is just right (big enough to see where the cables go, but allows for expansion). The DTX specification calls for the board to be manufacturable as a four-layer PCB, which Polster claimed would make it cheaper than the likes of mini-ITX, and it defines two expansion slots and an internal power supply for the PC, but nothing else apart from mounting points. "We do define two PCI or PCI-Express expansion slots. Almost no-one uses expansion slots any more except for graphics - there are exceptions, and they will continue to use towers. We're not interested in defining I/O or graphics on the motherboard. The builder can include PS2 ports if he wants - we think he shouldn't, but he can. We are trying to be neutral here - we want to repeat the success of ATX," said Polster.

News source: PC World

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Why is it they seem completely disinterested in things people might actually want?

I'd love a completely standardized front-panel plug. One plug, 4 to 12 wires in it filled up, can support anything from "power LED and switch" to "power/drive/suspend LED and power/reset/suspend switch"

We still have some ATX mainboards with 3-pin power lamp plugs and some with 2-pin.

And why can't we develop a single-plug PSU spec anymore, combining the 24+4 into a single 28-pin plug, or maybe rearrange things to make it occupy fewer pins.

And how about a spec which puts the graphics cards guts on top in a standard case, for better ventilation?

Hak Foo said,
And how about a spec which puts the graphics cards guts on top in a standard case, for better ventilation?

Why not add a vga slot cooler above the video card? I would think that by moving the card to top of the board that it'd get hotter because of the heat from the rest of the system rising upwards.

Here's what I'd like to see if anyone was going to create a new form factor.

I have two full-height tower cases (24 inches tall) sitting under my desk right now. Each has a motherboard that fills the lower half of the tower. Except for the power supply sitting at the very top of the case, the rest is mostly empty space. Sure, there's a couple of drive bays, but I'm only using one for my DVD burner. The hard drives are in the smaller 3.5" drive bays near the bottom of the case.

I'd love to see a case (with roughly the same dimensions) that can accomodate two completely independant motherboards (eg, one above the other). The power supply might have to be moved, but I'm absolutely convinced it would be possible to cram two 'complete' PCs in the same space used by current tower cases.

Come to think of it, I'm not even asking for a new form factor at all...just a different case layout. Does such a sucker exist? Considering how many people are using more than one PC nowadays, I'm sure there's a market for it.

(I know there's smaller tower sizes, but having two of those still takes up more room than a single full-height tower)

The new format will be :
a) expensive.
b) quite incompatible.
c) a rip off, less expansion ports and less functionality.

And no, a small case is not equal to a silent case.