AMD is thinking big about small desktops

AMD is thinking big about small desktops

Summary: Later this quarter, the chipmaker intends to deliver DTX, a new set of specifications for creating small desktop PCs

TOPICS: Processors

AMD is about to offer up its take on the small desktop. Later this quarter, the chipmaker intends to deliver DTX, a new set of specifications for creating small desktop PCs, to the PC industry. AMD's DTX-based small desktop prototype, for example, measures 12 5/8-inches high, 10 3/8-inches deep and 3 1/4-inches wide.

The chipmaker says DTX will be “open” in that DTX motherboards will be capable of accommodating any PC processor—both AMD’s and those of others, which means Intel—while offering choices between several different motherboard designs in two different sizes. The DTX specifications will provide a minimal set of parameters that provide for interoperability, but leave room for others to build in their own innovations, AMD says.

DTX will address costs—a major concern for motherboard makers and desktop manufacturers—by leveraging today’s most widely-used desktop case and motherboard specifications, dubbed ATX. AMD says it will release a review copy its DTX specification later this calendar quarter. But the basics, listed by the company in its press release, include offering the two sizes, including the standard DTX specification (small) and a mini-DTX specification (smaller) each of which will include multiple motherboard designs.

DTX is another example of AMD working to lend its expertise to the PC industry. Of course there’s something in it for the chipmaker, should DTX allow it to sell more of its latest Athlon 64 X2 desktop processors. Ironically, however, DTX builds on ATX, which was created more than a decade ago by Intel. But if the DTX format is successful, AMD will have done what Intel has not been able to do thus far with its BTX platform. That is to develop a broadly-accepted successor to ATX, which manufacturers can use to build small desktops.

Topic: Processors

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  • How about a laptop spec?

    Laptops are still tough to build at home due to a lack of an ATX like standard for the form factor. Not sure a lot of people would choose to build their own laptop even if one existed. I'd try it, even though I resist carrying a laptop with every fiber of my being.

    The smaller footprint spec is interesting. I've got rows of vanilla boxes at home. It would be nice to replace them with a rack of small footprint boxes with external peripherals. It would look neater if nothing else.