I'm starting to build my first computer from the parts that I have purchased and a question that had been nagging me for the past few weeks was why the ATX form factor is still currently used when there is the newer BTX formfactor.
migrated from serverfault.com Aug 17 '10 at 5:37
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There seems to be insufficient drive to make the change.
There was some noise that BTX offered better component layouts (speed) and airflow for hotter components, but when you look at the requirements for case manufacturers to change their case designs (or as some manufacturers attempted - offer convertible designs), motherboard manufacturers to change their layouts, etc... it's not enough benefit to drive the costs and make the change.
BTX was an Intel-driven formfactor oriented towards mass market manufacturers. Its primary promise was to reduce the number of system fans to One (Two counting the Power Supply). A single large fan at the back of the system would draw air through the CPU heatsink, and past memory and other components in front of that.
It was introduced in 2005/06 when AMD Athlon 64 and x2's reigned in the custom builder performance arena. AMD motherboards could not be easily adapted to the BTX design because it assumed an Intel system architecture and attendant m/b layout.
On top of that it offered nothing new for cooling add-in graphics adapters (such as all graphics NOT manufactured by Intel).
Since it was primarily a single vendor solution for mass market manufacturers, it was only adopted for some mass produced systems while the ATX home builder and custom builder market continued unabated.