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Intel will drop ATX next year

Intel will drop ATX next year

ATX will soon be a thing of that past.

Intel will not be producing reference platforms for ATX from next year.

Speaking to a tech session on small form factor systems, Intel's man in charge of BTX, Peter Brandenburger, announced that it was not planning to create any reference motherboards, chassis, systems or the like based around the ATX form factor.

From next year, everything Intel does will be BTX. This is going to really put the pliers on the rest of the industry to move over and keep in step. Intel is counting on the fact that its smaller standards for BTX - such as PicoBTX and NanoBTX - will be very compelling form factors for the next generation of desktops based on Conroe and Merom.

The trend, Peter told us, was towards smaller desktops. Some preliminary research numbers suggest that sales of small form factor machines will be double sales of standard tower machines by 2009.

AMD has yet to get behind the new form factor, suggesting that there's nothing wrong with ATX as it is.

Intel began to champion the move to BTX as a way to get better cooling to its processors - at the time, Prescott chips, Intel's flagship line, were running extraordinarily hot. With the move to lower power chips, Intel's BTX message quietened down rather, with less need to cool the beasts. Now, with even lower-powered processors heralding the possibilities of new form factors, BTX is firmly back on the agenda again.

Chances are your only chassis options next year will be to move to BTX, along with a new motherboard and processor heatsink.

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