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Difference Between ATX and BTX

computer1ATX vs. BTX

Advanced Technology Extended, or more commonly known as ATX, is the most popular form factor for desktop cases and motherboards. It was a standard introduced by Intel as a replacement of the very old AT design. Nearly ten years after the introduction of ATX, Intel introduced the Balanced Technology Extended, or BTX. Intel’s primary reason for the introduction of BTX was to address the heating issues faced by its most recent processors at the time. BTX focuses mainly on maximizing the cooling of the processor by generating a greater amount of airflow, and reducing the number of obstacles.

To achieve the cooling goal of BTX, Intel created a new scheme for the locations of components on the motherboard, so that they do not block the airflow. The biggest example of this would be the memory modules, as they were aligned vertically on ATX boards, and horizontally on BTX boards. The location of the processor has also been moved to the front of the board, where a specialized air funnel can draw air from the front of the case and blow it directly onto the processor.

The location of add-on slots and the I/O ports in the BTX form factor has been moved around. The ports and the slots have now been flipped, as the ports can be found at the bottom of the board, while the slots are now located on top. All these are still in line with the efforts to enhance the airflow within the case.

Despite being superior to ATX in terms of cooling, people were very slow to warm-up to the new form factor, and its adaptation was very slow. A lot of users have already invested in ATX systems, and the fact that BTX is not backwards compatible aggravated the problem even more. Most computers today still use ATX, while BTX compatible boards and cases are very rare, and mostly costly. Intel has also refocused on low power CPUs that produce less heat, making the adoption of BTX very unlikely.


1. BTX is the newer standard, and is the intended successor to ATX.

2. BTX focuses more on airflow than ATX.

3. BTX requires a certain arrangement of motherboard components to maximize cooling, while ATX does not.

4. The IO ports in a BTX motherboard are located on the bottom, while they are on top in an ATX board.

5. ATX is still the widespread standard, and BTX cases and boards are rarely found in desktops.

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  2. Well, very informative article and well written. Easy to understand the difference. Thanks to the writer

  3. very informative, thank you so much 🙂

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