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Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) Form Factor

The BTX form factor specification gives developers options to balance thermal management, acoustics, system performance, and size in the system form factors and stylish designs that are desired in today's products. The BTX form factor is a clear break from previous ATX form factor layouts and was developed with emerging technologies such as Serial ATA, USB 2.0, and PCI Express*.
Thermal improvements come primarily from taking advantage of in-line airflow. The BTX defined in-line airflow layout allows many of the main board components (i.e.: processor, chipset, and graphics controller) to utilize the same primary fan airflow, thereby reducing the need for, and noise from, additional system fans. In some cases this also allows fewer and/or less expensive heat sinks to be used when compared to ATX solutions. The system level acoustics are also improved by the reduced air turbulence within the in-line airflow system. The BTX layout supports better component placement for back panel I/O controllers important as the signal speed of external devices continues to increase. In addition to smaller than microATX system sizes, BTX was designed to scale up to tower size systems using the same core layout by increasing the number of system slots included.

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