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 Post subject: New MoBo/case form factor "BTX"
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:38 am 
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Here's the news page at Formfactors.org.

Here's the actual pdf with all the details.

Here's a mirror for the pdf since it's getting hit pretty hard.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 7:04 am 
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a few notes from my browsing for the lazy:

First, it takes a 24-Pin mobo connector, not 20.

Second, the CPU is off to the side, with room for a fan and ducting off the edge of a mobo. ducting a 'wind tunnel' from the front to the back of the case over the CPU, northbridge, and southbridge will be easy. It should also allow for massive heatsinks.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:08 am 
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Does anyone understand why they had to change from ATX specs on power cables? I can't see that they added anything new, so the only major difference is that we will need yet another adaptor to connect old PSU to a BTX board.
Notice the large difference in size of the PSU on the drawins for different chassis. Doesn't look promising.

The really good part is the hard spec for the CPU placement 86*60 mm area to place the CPU (and heatsink). This really means that all CPU's has to on in the center of that area.
Since chassi manufacturers will know the placement of the CPU they have the option to either put the air intakes at the correct place or they can even put in great cooling solutions (like the new Zalman chassi with CPU heatpipe cooling) that actually will fit all boards!

The major question is if this type of board has a chance to make the market.
I would guess that chanses of a major breakthrough is rather slim.
Since it does come in 3 types (just like ATX, microATX, flexATX) it must be intended to replace the entire ATX standard. I don't think beeing slightly better is gonna be enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:03 am 
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They probably changed power cables because they just stuck the 20 pin atx + 4 pin 12V connectors together.

This IS the replacement for ATX. There's no question if it's gonna make it. It's going to be pushed by Intel, just like they did with ATX. ATX is going the way of the baby AT form factor.

Another good thing that nobody has mentioned is that the mobo is mirrored as opposed to ATX. This means that the mobo is on the other side of a tower case. So cooling of hot video cards becomes easier, because the chips are on top again like they were with ISA years ago.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:52 am 
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When I looked at the form factor it is 24 pin plus a separate 12v connector.

I'll be interested to see what this does to case design.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:55 am 
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It seems that Intel realized that it's impossible to cool Prescott with air and maintain moderable sound levels if the processor is located as in ATX. So, Intel took the easy way, and designed a new form factor that enables the use of colder air from outside the case.

That's my opinion on the matter. [BTX does enable smaller cases, but I don't think that it was the sole purpose of the new design...]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:19 am 
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Anandtech just posted a story on the BTX form factor that I found interesting.

Here

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:26 am 
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the new connector adds a new ground, 12v, 5v, and 3.3v. The old -5v spot has been replaced with a ground.

The key change here is the second 12v line, this should reduce the need for the ATX12v connector, but it will probably still be used on overclocker boards.

The new intel processors are only growing in power consumption; one 12v line simply won't cut it, adding a fourth is probably just future proofing, and avoiding the extra 12v connector on SFF boards.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:48 am 
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halfway through the anandtech article I suddenly realized the mobo is flipped to the other side of the case. I don't know why they did that, but its going to be really disorienting for a while...

Some other important things is how you can use an AGP riser and get the graphics card in the 'wind tunnel' area. Ducting these systems into a 2 fan setup will be trivial.

I also like that the microBTX PSUs incorporate an 80mm fan.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:05 pm 
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Well I think its both good news and bad news in a way. Atx should have been designed better in the first place, this design does seem to have better thermal design. However im afraid that they are going to just keep pushing forward making processors hotter and hotter until watercooling is the only option. They need to work on making processors more efficent somehow.

Oh by the way, anyone know when the new design will actually reach the market? I hate to buy a new computer now if I can get btx in a few months. All it says is 2004, start, middle or end?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:16 pm 
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Gah! Now I will need a new case again. Time to start shopping again. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:28 pm 
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kinda looks like intel is taking 1 step forward (BTX) and 2 steps back (prescott).

at least in cooling aspects.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 1:06 pm 
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fortunately you've got AMD to turn to for lower power consumption options.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:12 am 
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OMG please stop making the small text its driving me crazy. I cant stand to not read something but im too lazy to copy paste it onto wordpad

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:42 am 
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GamingGod wrote:
OMG please stop making the small text its driving me crazy. I cant stand to not read something but im too lazy to copy paste it onto wordpad


so click the quote button .. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:44 am 
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BTX, microBTX, and picoBTX?!? What happened to mini- and nano- ? :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:28 am 
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The design of the mobo will take a bit of getting used to due to the mirroring of the layout of the current ATX design. The 'thermal module' seems intersting in that it holds potential for some great quiet cooling setups.

Anyone got any firmer dates as to when this will be released instead of just '2004'?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:50 pm 
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spheroid76 wrote:
Another good thing that nobody has mentioned is that the mobo is mirrored as opposed to ATX. This means that the mobo is on the other side of a tower case. So cooling of hot video cards becomes easier, because the chips are on top again like they were with ISA years ago.


No, that's a bad thing. Now stagnant air will get caught under the cards. The fans on the bottom of a graphics card push the air out across the surface of the card, thus disapating the heat. With the fan on the topside, the air would quickly rise off the surface of the card.

This form factor is obviously designed for the desktop and most likely will not translate very well to tower cases.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:57 pm 
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silvervarg wrote:
Does anyone understand why they had to change from ATX specs on power cables? I can't see that they added anything new, so the only major difference is that we will need yet another adaptor to connect old PSU to a BTX board.
Notice the large difference in size of the PSU on the drawins for different chassis. Doesn't look promising.


You kidding? That's the money-maker.

If you have a BTX case, you can only use a BTX board and PSU.
If you have a BTX motherboard, you must use a BTX PSU, and it will only fit in a BTX case.
If you have a BTX PSU, it will only work with a BTX motherboard and fit in a BTX case.

New Standards = Ca-Ching!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:16 pm 
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Syphon869 wrote:
No, that's a bad thing. Now stagnant air will get caught under the cards. The fans on the bottom of a graphics card push the air out across the surface of the card, thus disapating the heat. With the fan on the topside, the air would quickly rise off the surface of the card.


well ideally there wouldn't be a fan on the gpu and I'm sure this will help that cause a bit.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:38 am 
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Syphon869: I´m afraid I don´t follow you. I can understand that the air below the GPU will be trapped there and doing nothing to cool the GPU. However, isn´t the whole idea of the BTX-form that the air goes straight in to the cpu, therefrom to the GPU and then out the back (with small exception of the air cooling the memory and PSU), which will guarantee that cool air always hits the GPU-fan. Since the air is cooler, the cooling effect of the GPU-fan will be better.

Further, It is true that to use the BTX-formfactor you will need both a mobo and a case that supports it (unless you don´t use a case:), but if you have a PSU you like you will not need to buy a new, since the ATX-PSU will work with the new standard.

What I am afraid of with this standard is that you at some point will need to buy bith a new mobo and a new GPU, since the AGP-standard is doomed as well...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:07 am 
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Tobias wrote:
However, isn´t the whole idea of the BTX-form that the air goes straight in to the cpu, therefrom to the GPU and then out the back (with small exception of the air cooling the memory and PSU), which will guarantee that cool air always hits the GPU-fan


I don't like the idea of heating up the case with the hot air of the CPU. I believe reversing the CPU-fan ist a good idea.
Btw, cooling your graphic card in ATX is not that diffucult if you use a Zalman heatpipe.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:05 am 
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Smokeey wrote:
Anyone got any firmer dates as to when this will be released instead of just '2004'?


I doubt it, they just released the spec 4 days ago.

It'll take a while for all the redesigning and manufacturing to come down the pipeline and when you combine that with the natural resistance to this type of precedure it makes things even blurrier...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:40 am 
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jojo4u wrote:
Tobias wrote:
However, isn´t the whole idea of the BTX-form that the air goes straight in to the cpu, therefrom to the GPU and then out the back (with small exception of the air cooling the memory and PSU), which will guarantee that cool air always hits the GPU-fan


I don't like the idea of heating up the case with the hot air of the CPU. I believe reversing the CPU-fan ist a good idea.


No, the idea of putting the coolest air through the hottest component first is absolutely a good idea. With modest airflow (say 10 CFM), the air going through the CPU HS will be heated by the HS by approximately five degrees (no, I didn't calculate it), but the CPU HS (and thus CPU) will gain more larger temp drop.

Think of it like this: normally (ATX) one would have CPU temp of ~55°C and case temp of ~35°C. With BTX the temp would be ~40-45°C uniformly for both. Of course if You run a 4.5 Ghz Prescott in this setup, the temp will be ~50°C uniformly, which could be bad for the HDs. Well, add another hole to get more cool air in for the HDs.

Or better yet, design CTX (Cooling Technology Extended) form factor (I invented it, rights reserved as of now :)), which has a direct wind tunnel (=duct) and the motherboard has CPU, NB & SB lined up, and one fan in the middle of the case (and the duct, of course) sucking air in from the front and exhausting it at the back, and optionally another fan at the back to help create enough backpressure.

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:10 am 
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Quote:
Or better yet, design CTX (Cooling Technology Extended) form factor (I invented it, rights reserved as of now :)), which has a direct wind tunnel (=duct) and the motherboard has CPU, NB & SB lined up, and one fan in the middle of the case (and the duct, of course) sucking air in from the front and exhausting it at the back, and optionally another fan at the back to help create enough backpressure.


That kind of wind tunnel will be very easy with BTX; everything is lined up all you need is a cardboard tunnel.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 1:09 pm 
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Ooh! I found some links to pdfs that shows a bunch of the design parameters for this new formfactor.

You have to log onto the site to view these files and the pdfs are huge-about 10MB each so give it time.

Here's the info:

username: attendee
pw: fall2003

Here's the link to the main site:

http://wwwp.intel.com/idf/attendee

and here's links to the actual articles themselves that you can view once you're logged on:

#1

#2

#3

#4


Lots of neat stuff there.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:55 am 
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Those pdf's are cool. It's certainly easier to see the reasoning behind this design when it's layed out in 3-D color. Those thermal pics of the cooling are nice too.

Did anyone see this article about the "Intel® Thermal Reference Design: High Performance Air Cooled Desktop Solution"? It's the new Intel HSF and it looks like they took the Zalman 7000 and ran with it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 6:44 am 
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I saw that HS at IDF. It certainly looks more promising that anything Intel have introduced recently.

The linked PDFs are the ones that were used in sessions at IDF. (I know, I attended them.) I hope to write an analysis piece on tghe whole shebang (of BTX) soon. In the emanwhile, some prelim points:

1) BTX is not an option for Intel, it is a necessity, given their predicted future CPU power dissipation.

2) Although noise is given consideration, size flexibility & cooling take precedence.

3) In the mid & pico size cases, it will be difficult to achieve really quiet levels unless lower end CPUs and VGAs are used. Improvements in fan and HDD design could help here.

4) It is highly unlikely that any commercial system builders will be able to produce truly quiet (silent) systems using the BTX form factor with cutting-edge processor & VGA components. This will remain in the realm of modders & silence fanatics.

5) The best noise levels achieved with any Intel systems have already been achieved -- by the tweaking & modding likes of the SPCR crowd. BTX will not lower the ultimate noise floor.

The above sound like negatives for BTX; but BTX is an improvement. Fundamentally, BTX represents a huge progressive step in PC design, a level of design sophistication not ever seen before in PCs. It is much needed to push the performance envelope without everyone becoming deaf in the process. In the hands of silencers, BTX married with midline or low end components will probably allow lower noise levels to be achieved more routinely. For intel, it should allow >4Ghz processors to stream into the desktop market with no morfe than nominal resistance.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:56 am 
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I'm looking at the designs some more... I don't like where they put the MOSFETs, it looks like they'll be pretty much under the heatsink. that could be a real pain in the ass.

There'll probably still be ATX mobos with AGP slots for a couple years though so I won't have to worry about having to upgrade mobo,video card, ram, and case all at the same time just yet, but when that comes around its gonna be painful.

Some more notes: 2 lb heatsink, WOW. Thats quite a mounting set up. this will certainly allow for some well mounted behemoths.

Their mounting retention thing has 4 holes. The new Athlon64 mobo uses two hole mounting. I guess we'll have to get replacement supports if you want an AMD.


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