Vendors are readying a wave of smaller, cheaper PCs with integrated motherboards. Hewlett-Packard will announce Monday the first microtower desktop PC to use Intel's microATX form factor and MU440EX motherboard with integrated graphics and sound, while Compaq will begin shipping a similar PC based on its own chassis design and an older Intel chipset.
The HP Brio 7000 will be the first system to use the microATX format, part of Intel's Basic PC plan for entry-level PCs. Compaq's Deskpro EN Series Small Form Factor PC, which ships today, uses Intel's 440BX chipset.
Both systems integrate graphics and audio on the motherboard and provide limited expansion options: just two PCI slots. Although integrated motherboards are nothing new, the Intel initiative is likely to start a trend.