As a technical journalist I have been very fortunate to be able to test the latest and greatest hardware as (and sometimes before) it hits the market. Lately I have noticed that our current form factor ATX seems to be reaching the limits of its usefulness. ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) was introduced in 1995 by Intel as the ‘replacement’ for the AT form factor that was pioneered by IBM in the 1980s.
Of course, these are very simplistic items to discuss when we talk about motherboard design. If we went into detail this article would grow to several volumes to describe the various virtues of ATX. Intel changed a great deal including extending the board for a cleaner tracing layout. Traces are the small copper lines under the surface of the board; these traces connect the different components and if they are not laid out properly can result in current bleed and cross talk. But now that we are 15 years from the introduction of the ATX form factor and have seen many new variants come out (micro-ATX, Mini-ATX, E-ATX, etc), has ATX run its course? Read more at TweakTown.