AMD shows design for small, quiet PCs

New motherboard allows system builders to construct smaller PCs

AMD is pushing a new motherboard format called DTX, which it says will allow system assemblers to build smaller PCs that are quieter and less wasteful of energy.

The DTX spec is intended to bolster the fast-growing market for small form factor (SFF) PCs, said Jochen Polster, AMD's sales & marketing VP. He added that around 20 companies have already signed up to make DTX boards and cases, including Asus, Asetek, MSI, Gigabit, Elitegroup and Shuttle.

Polster said that PCs based on ATX motherboards are too big, noisy and energy-hungry. "The best argument for ATX towers is that the components are standard, and therefore cheaper than proprietary SFF boxes," he added, in a dig at the mini-ITX format championed by VIA.

With their built-in video, sound and other ports, VIA's mini-ITX boards have been popular with builders of embedded PCs - and with case-modders, who build PCs into all sorts of outlandish casings - but less so in the wider PC market.

Polster claimed that's because compact designs such as mini-ITX, which is 170mm square, are simply too small for the average technician to work with. By comparison, at 200x244mm, DTX is still big enough to see where the cables go - and to allow for expansion.

"DTX is designed to be easy to assemble and upgrade," he said. "That's very important for small system builders, who cannot deal with very small boxes."

The DTX specification is deliberately limited. It calls for the board to be manufacturable as a four-layer PCB, which Polster claimed would make it cheaper than the likes of mini-ITX, and it defines two expansion slots and an internal power supply for the PC, but nothing else apart from mounting points.

"We do define two PCI or PCI-Express expansion slots," he said. "Almost no-one uses expansion slots any more except for graphics - there are exceptions, and they will continue to use towers."

He added, "We're not interested in defining I/O or graphics on the motherboard. The builder can include PS2 ports if he wants - we think he shouldn't, but he can. We are trying to be neutral here - we want to repeat the success of ATX."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bryan Betts

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?