The new and improved standard for desktops?

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2013 - 02:09 PM |
Tagged: controversy

The Tech Report posted thoughts today about the way they would change the desktop computer, if they had their chance.  Instead of a large box full of air they would like to see the standard motherboard size reduced to mATX with a single power connector running from the PSU to the the board with any required power connectors being present on the board, not just the system fan connectors.  They would also like to see the final death of optical drives and the 5.25" bay, something that many have asked for over the past few years.  One thing they propose that anyone would agree with is standardized case header plugs, trying to attach the system speaker without accidentally unplugging an LED or the reset button is not fun.   Check out all their suggestions and see if you agree with their new proposed standards.

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"Many of our desktop PCs are filled with empty space, including unoccupied expansion slots and drive bays. With a few form factor adjustments and a handful of simple design tweaks, we could make the average enthusiast desktop more compact, easier to build, and more straightforward to use."

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August 16, 2013 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Andrew (not verified)

"Get rid of 5.25" bays", I agree.
I'd add case colors to the list too like the BitFenix Prodigy.

August 16, 2013 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I do not agree with "Get rid of 5.25" bays", because mine holds some of these:

and that way better than all these cheap bay's you get with your case. Even in cases like a 900D.

August 16, 2013 | 10:00 PM - Posted by Terminashunator (not verified)

My last motherboard was a uATX. I'm never going back to a full ATX motherboard unless I really have to. Wasted space bothers me, and 90%+ of people do not ever use more than one graphics card.

August 16, 2013 | 11:18 PM - Posted by praack

i still hold DVD rom and a blue ray in one machine- I cannot play Japanese region items on my regular players.

I can agree that the cases need to be a bit more spot on - most people only use 2 5.25 bays at tops.

August 17, 2013 | 12:58 AM - Posted by btdog

While we're at it, why don't we have the CPU soldered onto the motherboard?

I understand the argument - I really do - BUT...what makes building computers so special is freedom. Freedom to use MATX, mATX, or ATX; freedom to run SLI/Crossfire; freedom to use PCI or PCIe; freedom to have a big, flashy case or a demure HTPC.

Are there some wasted connectors? Sure. I may use the PCIe x1 & x16 slot; another may used 2 x16 slots. Manufacturer's can't make motherboards with every possible combination of connector so that a person building will fully utilize every single one. And heavens forbid I want to add in another card, or HDD - am I SOL?

There are some good ideas (one power plug as opposed to two, for example), but I find it hard to imagine that serious builders would suggest, "Hey, why don't we build super basic, cookie-cutter computers instead of unique, personalized ones?"

FYI, I still use a DVD drive though this probably is the last (maybe second to last) computer I build that will contain one.

August 17, 2013 | 04:32 PM - Posted by ezjohny

The standard should be a ATX moterboard, people will have some issues with the mATX moterboard, that's what i think.

August 19, 2013 | 01:01 PM - Posted by Patrick3D (not verified)

My Top-5 Wishlist:
1.) Implement a modular add-in system for all rear ports, something like a back row of 6-8 PCIe1x slots so you can fill the back with the types of ports you need.
2.) Get rid of mobo standoffs and use some kind of slide-in or clip-in system, i'm tired of having to carefully navigate a board down into a cramped case, then having to carefully place and tighten down screws into it.
3.) Single connector for case LED/button headers (this has been an on-going request for almost 20 years!!!)
4.) Develop an easier-to-insert connector for the main power cable and standardize exactly how many pins it is. I am tired of the 20+4-pin connectors. Make it 32 pins to cover 24+4/24+8 and have extra for the future.
5.) Get the damn audio header away from the PCIe slots!

I wouldn't mind seeing the industry standardizing on mATX since that's all i've been using for the last 10 years. Even with my file server I don't need more than 1 add-in card, and my last gaming rig only used 2. 3 is plenty for any system. I could see keeping ATX around as a niche (low-volume) product for people looking to triple or quad SLI some videocards, but the majority don't need it. The cases are indeed way too big. There are nowhere near enough options for mATX. ITX is seeing a surge in popularity but mATX seems to be using the same old cases from 5-10 years ago.

August 19, 2013 | 08:52 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

Here is what I would like to see.
No more usb 2.0 & sata2/3gbs connections.

Thunderbolt needs to be added as standard,its not on that many labtops & tower mobos.

I would like atx size to stay.Maybe leave 2 slots for a card etc.And replace the extra room with somthing that would benifit the mobo.If someone wants to run 3-4+ cards,just get a Eatx,why not blow mo money?Lol

Make digi vrm standard & get rid of the analog already.

Stop adding so many usb connection options,barely anyone would need more than 6 usbs at the same time.Most mobos have at least 4 embeded into the board already.

I noticed most mobos have 8HDD headers.Jesus christ do most people really need that many?#1 a TB HDD is cheap & you can get a 4TB these days(probably larger).#2 If I really want to use a 2nd drive I just use a external when needed.I can understand someone wanting to use 2HDDS at once but 3+ is just overboard like 3+GPU cards.

Make bays that can fit laptop/ultrabook size optical drives.I agree the regular size is bulky.But strongly disagree getting rid of optical drives.Imo important data is safer on a blu ray disk or usb drive than a server anyday.

Make the pins in the mobo cpu sockets stronger & stiffer.

Would be cool to see all future chipsets to be able to overclock cpu,gpu,& ram.Including laptops/ultrabooks.

Start using more copper & silver,stop using crappy metals.

Would love to see more towers that have filters to catch dust,their really isn't that many out their like that straight from the factory.

August 20, 2013 | 12:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm really happy with my 2008 Mac Pro. In it are 2 DVDRW's, 4 * 1TB drives (each running a different version of OSX), FW800 & FW400 & USB2 ports and 8 slots for RAM. Since Apple is abandoning the pro market, it would SUCK if Windows PCs drop support for 3.5" mechanical drives, 5.25" optical drives, Firewire, and limit RAM slots to only 2 or 3.

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