AMD DTX small form factor system preview

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The following images were taken from AMD's presentations about DTX.

A full DTX board fits into ATX or Micro ATX case and calls for 7.7 liters volume or higher.


A full DTX board is smaller than Micro ATX. It will have room for two slots, typically PCIe-16X and a PCI or PCIe.
The basic layout is not really different from ATX; unlike BTX, which repositioned the CPU to front & center.


The Mini-DTX will also have two slots, but be considerably less deep.
It's almost as small as the 170mm square mini-ITX board; 170mm is the depth of mini-ITX.
A case of just 1.5 liters or more is required for Mini-DTX.


Mini-ITX is also shown in the AMD presentation, even though it is not DTX. It's pretty close to Mini-DTX, which has the advantage of allowing a PCIe-16X graphics card. The other point is they that're actively promoting AMD parts for the Mini-ITX platform. We know about this, of course; SPCR recently reviewed an Albatron KI690-AM2 Mini-ITX motherboard featuring the AMD 690G chipset

The emphasis of DTX is on 45W and 65W TDP processors, which certainly work better in small systems than hotter CPUs. DTX and Mini-DTX motherboards could easily become platforms for Small Form Factor computers produced by companies such as Shuttle, AOpen, Asus, and Dell. This is certainly what AMD hopes for. Most SFF systems appear to use entirely proprietary motherboards, cases and power supplies. A few use PicoBTX boards which measure 203mm wide by 267mm deep, slightly bigger than DTX. However, they don't all appear to have strict conformance to picoBTX specs, as manufacturers often opt for proprietary peripherals or aspects that allow the boards to be more easily integrated with pre-existing solutions in their lineup of components.

Establishing successful SFF standards is important for the industry as computers keep shrinking in size. Standardization would help to grow involvement by more players, in much the way the ATX form factor spec paved the way for a consolidated boom in the PC marketplace some 15 years ago. The growing success of Mini-ITX, created by VIA some years ago, especially in the industrial PC marketplace, is a positive sign. There have been many mini-ITX boards for Intel mobile and desktop processors, but a visible breakthrough for mini-ITX probably came last spring when Dell introduced the tiny EC280 desktop computer, a low cost mini-ITX based PC for emerging markets. It features a 1.2GHz Intel Celeron M 205, and a SiSM661GX chipset, possibly a close relative of the Intel "Little Valley" D201GLY mini-ITX motherboard. The EC280 appears only on their Chinese-language China web site (not Hong Kong), the current price starting at RMB 2,299 (~US$306).

The compatibility of mini-DTX with mini-ITX was carefully planned. Mini-ITX boards for AMD processors have only just begun to appear. The Albatron KI690-AM2 Mini-ITX motherboard featuring the AMD 690G chipset is only one of a small handful we know of. Obviously, AMD aims to expand their reach into the SFF world with DTX as well as mini-ITX.

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