Intel claims it's better for cooling and airflow but then again they claim a lot of things. In looking at the layout of BTX versus ATX it does seem logical though.
However, hardly anybody has adobpted the form factor, including AMD. Thus, it's impossible to find a decent motherboard supporting it and even more difficult to find a case if you're building a machine yourself. There are a few cases out now though that support both ATX and BTX I believe.
If you're going to buy one it will probably be a little quieter and cooler. The BTX HSF is enormous though!
BTX is way a lot cooler than ATX. I know this because my younger brother has a gateway intel btx pc. The design are well thought, and a very effective cooling. And it has only two 120 mm. The one in the front is right above the hard drive and then funneled to the cpu heat sink. Yeah thats right the front 120mm fan is also cooling the cpu. The air goes just below the dimm, right across the N/B and on top of the graphics card. Then exits out through the back 120mm case fan.
I placed my temp sensor inside and the cpu heat sink. The cpu heat sink is only 32c and the case about the same as the room temperature. The graphics card ( 7800 GT) is only 41c. This is at idle and temps increase around 10c at full load! I was very amazed with the BTX design.
But there is a con, the pci-e slot is the top most slot. Since its BTX and the card is right side up( the fan side is on top). Means it's only limited to a single slot graphics card. This is because, for improve air circulation of coarse, which is the BTX main design for cooler case.
And second, when I removed the cpu heat sink to replace the thermal paste with artic silver 5, the mounting holes were rectangular, wider than the socket 775. So replacing the stock heat sink with a heat sink fan is difficult since there's is no aftermarket HSF that fits in the wider mounting hole of this motherboard. But it is not impossible, you just get some costumized mounts to hold a replacement HSF.
I like the design a lot, having only two 120mm fan to cool down inside the case including the cpu heat sink. It is way cooler than my ATX, however not even close when it comes to performance. So thats the beauty of a BTX, alot cooler and did I mention you cant hear a thing not even the graphics card. none. You would think it's off if not for the glowing power botton. It's just amazing when it comes to cooling and silence. Perfect for studio work and other low-noise environments application.
I also notice that several case manufacturer are using BTX concept for ATX motherboards. The opening is on the right side of the case and the mobo is place upside down. It has a long tube that runs from the front of the case all the way to the back to channel air to the cpu and exhausted to the back fan. But no tube channeling air to the graphics card though. I don't know if this design has a big difference compare to the ATX case. But surely won't come close to a BTX design.
Maybe one day they'll come out with a BTX AMD SLI. It would be nice, super fast, cool and very quite.
Cooling is supposed to be better (and it is if you currently have a crappy ATX case).
The thing is that majority of enthusiast/3rd party cases have above average cooling properties these days. Back 3-4 years ago the standard ATX case didn't have any intake or exhaust fans. Now-a-days almost any ATX case sold is going to have at least an intake or exhaust fan.
Truthfully all BTX did was specify cooling standards for cases. Which is good, but like I said above- ATX is much better than it used to be.
As for Chucksisslie, my temps are the same w/ an ATX case as his brother's. I have 1 intake and 1 exhaust.
BTX basically takes out the work you'd have to put in to duct your system and make the air inside flow nicely.
With ATX, you would have to get a nice case, air ducts, etc. Another thing w/ BTX is that the CPU does not use a standard what-we're-used-to-seeing heatsink. Its massive, but its cooling potential is good. I think that reduces alot of the noise leakage that most people find annoying (including me).
The CPU gets the air from outside first, so its cooler than in ATX, where your front exhaust probably runs over your HDD's first - which are more than likely over 100 degrees F.
I think you could get most of the ducting and thermal chamber ideas from the P180 - they really kind of did a BTX thing on an ATX case, IMO. I think the biggest thing going for BTX is that its alot quieter than if you duct your case. It kind of reminds me of how the G5 is laid out.
If you do go BTX, you'll probably have to get an intel board and make sure your processor is BTX compatible - I heard that there's another packaging for BTX processors.
I also read somewhere that the CPU heatsink comes w/ the case because it can be case specific???, but on that part I'm not so sure. :?
...when I removed the cpu heat sink to replace the thermal paste with artic silver 5, the mounting holes were rectangular, wider than the socket 775. So replacing the stock heat sink with a heat sink fan is difficult since there's is no aftermarket HSF that fits in the wider mounting hole of this motherboard. But it is not impossible, you just get some costumized mounts to hold a replacement HSF.
I have an XPS410 with what it seems to be one of these BTX you guys are talking about, and I bought a BTF90 Heatsink to try and cool it down for overclocking but as you said I cant seem to find anything, anywhere to fit the rectangular holes in the mobo. If anyone knows where I could find one of these customized mountings please let me know so I can change the stock heatsink! I would appreciate it a lot. Thank you.
I've got a Gateway 840 GM using BTX design. With the Pentium D 3.0
My interior of the case stays decently cool at 31c (87f) with the CPU at an ok 51c right now only web browsing. When it goes under 100% load it jumps to 71c and my case goes to 34c.
I need a decent and cheap ACTIVE? Heat sink for this BTX design.