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Generation Change: Eight Motherboards For The Athlon 64

Back Panel: Anything Goes!

New components demand fundamental changes: the requisite connectors or ports are located on the external connector panel on the left hand side of every ATX board (from MiniITX to MicroATX and Full Size ATX).

In the beginning, the typical design featured both obligatory connectors for PS/2 keyboard and mouse, one parallel and two serial ports in the middle and sound system and game ports on the right hand side. We've briefly summed up the way the newer versions look.

Here, a coaxial digital output replaces two serial ports. The ports for the sound system are located on the far right, between them two connection blocks, each with room for two USB ports and a FireWire port and/or a RJ45 network connector.

Instead of the COM port, this one has two connections: FireWire on the left and the mechanically novel iLINK. The digital audio connector is featured here in a single module together with two USB ports, but for that the number of conventional connectors for the sound system has grown: this enables easy hookup of the rear speakers and the sub woofer of a multi channel system. Below, right: optical digital out.