Intel reveiled some more about the BTX form factor today. According to Intel about 30% of all motherboards and cases will be of the BTX type by 2005. They have showed a patented reference design, if other manufactors want to use it, they will need to license it. This design is able to cool down a system with a single 90mm fan according to Intel:
As we noted earlier Intel says its new reference design is all about air flow. Lining up all the hot components allows for the use of a single fan - Intel suggests a 90mm model – which can turn relatively slowly – at around 1400-2000rpm – to cool the whole system apart from the power supply. The company reckons that with this arrangement, the processor can function with a passive - if large – heatsink, as can the graphics card - although this is unlikely to be the case with the latest cards available from the time Intel expects its BTX design to be introduced - mid 2004.
On the pic, notice that the drive bays (left) are tilted upwards at about 45degrees, to better show the motherboard. The big white box towards the front houses that fan, which draws air into the system from the front. Notice too that the fan – because it faces front has a plastic fascia over it, inhibiting, we suggested the airflow into the system. Intel claims there's enough space around the fan to allow for the passage of air into the system. On the fan Intel attaches a stator, which it says is designed to straighten the air flow. It's pretty crucial to the design and Intel owns the patent on the thing, so manufacturers will have to license it from the chipmaker.
Air is directed under the motherboard too, which helps the cooling of processors with a power consumption above 100w. But Intel wasn't talking about Prescott here. No siree Bob. Just some notional processor that might in the future require such power. Not Prescott. Definitely not Prescott.