PCs to change radically in 2004

IT'S ALL CHANGE on the PC front during 2004, and practically everything that defines a "new" computer is set to change over 12 months, with many happening during the next six months.A few things will stay the same, but mostly on the peripheral front. Let's go through the list. The two CPU manufacturers have some big changes afoot. Intel is about to replace the current socket 478 with socket 775 – and that change should happen in Q2. First we'll see the Prescott 478, then the Prescott 775. AMD will also do the dance of the socket shift, moving from 754 and 940 pin sockets to mostly 939 pin designs. Both companies will change processes from 130nm (nanometres) to 90nm.

In the middle of the year, the memory that current PCs use will also change. The now venerable DDR will begin to fade away, with DDR-II replacing it. With that change comes a new DIMM format, and new motherboards to plug them into. Motherboards will also have a total makeover. Intel is driving this move, and the BTX form factor will come to dominate in no time. That will have better cooling, better power distribution, better mounting, and probably a bunch of things Intel hasn't told us about yet.

With the rise of new mobos will come new power supplies. Current [geddit?!?] power supplies are called ATX, after the ATX mobos they plug into. With the rise of 100+ watt CPUs, higher draw GPUs, lower voltage CPUs, and more sensitive electronics, you need more carefully controlled power, delivered in different ways. That means new power supplies. With a new power supply and motherboard, you will also need a new case. The BTX spec redefines airflow, and how things are placed around the computer, and doing that is hard to accomplish without a new case design. So, shiny new cases for shiny new parts, probably with new kinds of windows, new LED placements, and new cold cathode colors. Be still, my beating heart.

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News source: The Inq

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