Going AMD? Don't worry about BTX

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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halcyon
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Going AMD? Don't worry about BTX

Post by halcyon » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:37 am

Some tidbits which may have gone unnoticed:

"With the Athlon 64's integrated memory controller, following the BTX spec becomes very difficult."
http://www.techreport.com/onearticle.x/6809
"The impression gained was that he simply wasn't happy with Intel and it's BTX plots.

He confirmed that he knew of no changes required by AMD to accommodate any thermal or acoustic concerns with its processors."
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=16294
AMD will also continue to offer three power ratings for its dual-core server processors, Weber said. The company currently offers chips rated at 30 watts, 55 watts, and 89 watts, and will continue to do so for dual-core chips, he said.
http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/06/ ... ual_1.html

In summary:

- AMD will keep built-in mem controller
- AMD is going dual core (pin compatible with socket 940)
- AMD dual cores stay within same thermal dissipation levels as current ones -> no _need_ for BTX
- It is very difficult (nigh impossible) to implement motherboards that comply with AMD memory controller and still adheer to BTX -> NO BTX for AMD

regards,
halcyon

nutball
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Post by nutball » Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:09 am

I'm wondering if BTX won't go the way of Intels Netburst-based cores -- a quick bullet in the back of the head. I'd seen the Inq story you linked to, and another earlier one on the same subject, it looks like those responsible for delivering the infrastructure Intel will require (specifically case manufacturers) are really dragging their feet.

The there's Socket T which by all accounts isn't making too many friends amongst motherboard manufacturers and system integrators.

Intel really is going through a bit of a bad patch at the moment it seems to me. So long as AMD can continue to innovate within the constraints of existing infrastructure I think Intel will have a lot of trouble making headway with the introduction of BTX.

Dhurdahl
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Post by Dhurdahl » Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:43 am

Well... Im quite sure we'll see something like BTX in the near future..

Why? Well the current ATX doesn't have any airflow management at all. And this will become important if we'll going to see an increase in heat.

Also, it more def eases the handling of cooling from a noise view since it's not anylonger a box randomly stuffed with items like the ATX is :p
The better controll one has of the airflow the better controll one can get of the noise it makes since it will only cool whats needed and NOT flow around the box cooling stuff that dont need cooling... like the box sides :p


So BTX or not? well... it sounds like AMD and the MB designers have some work to do.. to early to really tell yet.

Rusty075
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Post by Rusty075 » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:10 am

halcyon, are you psychic or something? :lol:

Similar thoughts have been passing through my head in reference to an upcoming SPCR article...

I won't give away the rest of the article (it'll be up in a couple of days) but I will copy/paste my BTX-related comments that appear as an addendum at its end:
One aspect not touched upon in the description of the A64's on-die memory controller is its impact on motherboard design. Because the memory controller requires equal length traces to each of the RAM pins, and the traces need to be as short as possible to reduce latency, there is much less variety in motherboard layout than with designs for previous processors. These requirements make it unlikely that you will ever see a BTX form-factor A64 motherboard. BTX shoves the CPU up to the edge of the board, and turns the RAM at 90° to it, along the other side of the motherboard. Not an impossible arrangment, but nowhere close to ideal.

Some AMD engineers have been quoted as saying they will not be supporting BTX. If Intel does manage to bully BTX onto the Intel motherboard market, you may be forced to buy a completely new case and PSU if you want to switch from an Intel to an AMD product.
There is alot of resistence to BTX, from, well, everyone except Intel. The case manufacturers don't like, the mobo guys don't like, Ati and Nvidia absolutely hate it, and AMD and Via (the #2 and 3 chip makers) have said that they have no interest in it at all.

And why should they? Its design is almost soley the result of Intel's reliance upon the Megahertz Myth to sell chips. And the resulting thermal runaway in their CPU's.

And from an airflow/noise standpoint, it's not much better than ATX is. Sure, it moves the CPU closer to the incoming air (something that can be done with an ATX mobo and a ducted case anyway, just look at the ARM systems) but in doing so it sacrifices the airflow for every other component in the system.

From a quieting/cooling standpoint, its the VGA that needs the biggest leap in cooling, and BTX actually makes things worse there instead of better. GPU's are the single fastest growing source of heat in a PC: CPU's have really slowed in their rate of heat recently, whereas the new generation of GPU's is going have wattages 30% higher than their predessors.

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Post by aston » Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:26 am

Dhurdahl wrote:Well... Im quite sure we'll see something like BTX in the near future..

Why? Well the current ATX doesn't have any airflow management at all. And this will become important if we'll going to see an increase in heat.
I think the point is that AMD's newer processors won't have an increase in heat.
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Neither will *Intel's* new CPU's

Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:34 pm

Hello:
aston wrote:
Dhurdahl wrote:Well... Im quite sure we'll see something like BTX in the near future..

Why? Well the current ATX doesn't have any airflow management at all. And this will become important if we'll going to see an increase in heat.
I think the point is that AMD's newer processors won't have an increase in heat.
It also seems likely that *Intel* will not need BTX, either! The Pentium M is (rumored) to be the top-of-the-line Intel CPU lineup, and it won't need BTX any more that the Athlon 64 does. :P

How could Intel justify causing a lot of upheaval with cases manufacturers to make a new case, and the motherboard makers to use a new socket (the 775?) -- just for a CPU that is the end of the line because it runs too hot and performs slower than it predecessor? :oops:
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shathal
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Re: Neither will *Intel's* new CPU's

Post by shathal » Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:03 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:It also seems likely that *Intel* will not need BTX, either! The Pentium M is (rumored) to be the top-of-the-line Intel CPU lineup, and it won't need BTX any more that the Athlon 64 does. :P

How could Intel justify causing a lot of upheaval with cases manufacturers to make a new case, and the motherboard makers to use a new socket (the 775?) -- just for a CPU that is the end of the line because it runs too hot and performs slower than it predecessor? :oops:
Yeah, "Centrino to the desktop" will be a nifty move, bring on ye low-wattage CPU's :).

As for "enforcing" new standards? Intel tends to do that.

They might not "need" it now, but they might in 5 years. Or so. They tend to play with the long run in their sights...
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