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Out With ATX, In With Gigabyte's CB91 BTX

Heat And Noise Output During Stress Testing

Our one-hour stress test was intended to reveal how well the BTX concept stands up to extreme use. Following Gigabyte's recommendation, we installed a full size CPU cooler to ensure sufficient air circulation. But this doesn't necessarily impact noise levels too negatively. We cabled this barebones PC with six temperature sensors to make our heat measurements as accurate as possible. We also used the Prime95 program to ensure constant CPU utilization levels. To heat up the graphics card, we busied it with D3Dfortune. Finally, we used Throttle Watch to log CPU throttle levels throughout the testing period.

Results

Heat dissipation stayed within reasonable limits. This is a testament to the functionality of the BTX concept in this barebones PC. Noise output during stress testing was also a pleasant surprise. We measured output of barely 42 decibels, which was reasonable. The Throttle Watch monitoring tool confirmed that the CPU ran continuously at maximum clock rates, just as we wanted it to.

To force the BTX fans to run as loudly as possible, we redirected airflow by using a piece of cardboard to block air circulation. The CB91's noise levels quickly rose as the CPU cooler's fan speed increased. Temperature measurements from our sensors likewise climbed quickly to uncomfortably high levels.

Someday BTX Will Be Everywhere

What a typical Micro-BTX motherboard looks like.

BTX should soon have an impact on both the desktop and tower segments of the PC market - at least, if Intel has its way - and ultimately replace the ATX form factor. In fact, more and more vendors offer cases that work for both ATX and BTX motherboards. Soon, BTX-only enclosures will also be available soon, as upcoming test results from Yeong Yang will clearly illustrate.

Motherboard with BTX fans.

Air circulation channels in a BTX case.

The innards of a Yeong Yang BTX case.

From outside, not much looks different about the Yeong Yang case.