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Re: future of ATX?

On Thu, Sep 07, 2006 at 03:18:56PM -0400, dtutty@porchlight.ca wrote:
> Are there any other form-factors on the horizon that would make a good
> ATX box and PS obsolete?  Are there boxes that are future-oriented (lots
> of bays, lots of room for air to flow, bottom cooling like AMD suggests)
> that will take ATX, BTX, and whatever else may be coming?  Is any
> particular brand better at making a box than their competition (with the
> same features), e.g. the stuff that doesn't make it onto a spec sheet?

ATX cases you can buy anywhere.  BTX often requires buying an ATX case
that is BTX capable, along with a BTX conversion kit.  Finding a BTX
motherboard is also very hard, since it really is only used by OEM's.

You can get inverted cases which put the power supply on the bottom and
simply install the ATX board upside down.  Just make sure you don't get
an ATX board that uses heatpipes for cooling then since they don't work
upside down (which rules out most high end Asus boards, or in my case,
rules out upside down cases).  I don't know why no one seems to make a
case that has the power supply at the bottom but leaves the motherboard
orientation normal (actually my silverstone case put on it's side would
be such a case, since the power supply is actually mounted next to the
PCI slots, not next to the CPU.)

> I know that processors keep getting faster, but is the other technology
> that makes up the computer settling out?  E.g. PCI has been out for a
> long time.
> For motherboard brands, are some better for Linux and reliability in
> general than others?  AMD tech-support says they're all the same.  Do I
> just list the jacks I want and see which is cheaper, integrated vs.
> separate PCI cards?  (Assuming lots of RAM in any case)

Some motherboard makers are better at writing BIOS's than others.
Lately it seems mainly that some BIOS's have bugs in ACPI which makes
linux unhappy.  Most seem OK though.  Some boards allow memoery
remapping (required BIOS and chipset/memory controller support), while
others don't.  Without it you really can't have more than 3GB RAM in
your system, or at least you loose between 512 and 1024MB of your ram
between 3 and 4GB, with anything past 4GB being available just fine.
Early athlon 64's could not remap memory, while most of them can.  All
current models certainly can.  Some chipsets for intel cpus can remap
memory, although as far as I know the majority never could.  I think the
latest ones may be able to (I sure hope so).

Len Sorensen

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