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Hardware Thread, Silly Motherboard Designs in Technical; Hello all, For all you hardware experts out there, can some explain this? - Looking at some ASUS motherboards for ...
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    Michael's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Silly Motherboard Designs

    Hello all,

    For all you hardware experts out there, can some explain this? - Looking at some ASUS motherboards for a client and the system panel connector is placed at the bottom left of the mATX board, when in fact it should be at the bottom right.

    Placing it at the bottom left means it's towards the back of the case when installed, so when of course the power button, power LED and HDD LED are all at the front of the case. In some cases I don't think the cables would be long enough to reach. For a good example of this, take a look at the ASUS P5QPL-AM

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    uATX Form Factor, Its the U thats the important bit, its for a different case.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Looking at the photo on the Asus website the front panel ports (the black ports near the red SATA (I think)) seem to be where they are normaly.
    I can't seem to find the mobos manual though so can't confirm.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    uATX Form Factor, Its the U thats the important bit, its for a different case.
    uATX is mATX - [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UATX]microATX - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I too was under the impression mATX and uATX were the same thing. I can confirm they are the same dimensions, it installs correctly but the system panel connector is definitely towards the bottom left. The bottom right is populated with SATA connectors. Very, very strange.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    This appears to be a uATX motherboard from Intel, yet if you scroll to page 11 the system panel connector is in the right place.

    On the Intel board it's labelled 'P'. On the Asus board it's roughly where 'U' is labelled on the Intel board. This makes a massive difference!

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Just took a look at the mATX spec from Intel here

    Figure 3 clearly defines the location of the PCI, ISA, and AGP connectors
    as well as the allowable placement area for I/O connectors on the back panel. The specification provides recommendations, but the exact location of other connectors is left to the judgment of the motherboard designer working in conjunction with the system integrator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I too was under the impression mATX and uATX were the same thing.
    They are, but the U should be the Greek letter µ, which in this context is the abbreviation for the 'micro' prefix.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Figure 3 clearly defines the location of the PCI, ISA, and AGP connectors
    as well as the allowable placement area for I/O connectors on the back panel. The specification provides recommendations, but the exact location of other connectors is left to the judgment of the motherboard designer working in conjunction with the system integrator.
    Hmmm well someone at ASUS needs to have a re-think then as it's in the wrong place!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Hmmm well someone at ASUS needs to have a re-think then as it's in the wrong place!
    Out of interest, which case are you thinking of using? I mainly use Antec cases in many of the PCs I build myself and the length of the cables has never been a problem with them (even if the headers were located towards the rear of the motherboard).

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I generally try and re-cycle as much as I can when performing upgrades, as it saves the customer money and of course is good for the environment. I have solved the problem by untwisting the cables which makes them that little bit longer, but to be honest I'd rather the header was in the right place.

    To answer your question it could be any generic ATX/mATX tower or desktop, nothing in particular.

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    PeterW's Avatar
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    I have solved the problem by untwisting the cables which makes them that little bit longer, but to be honest I'd rather the header was in the right place.
    There is not really a right and wrong place, it would certainly be more convenient for them to be towards the bottom right hand side (which is generally where they tend to be) and I see you are looking at it from a servicability point of view but you will also have problems as micro atx board can vary in width so you may still need to un-cable tie your front panel connector lead when going from a wider board to a shorter one. Some boards have the front panel audio connector up by the rear IO connectors above the expansion slots which is a really annoying place.

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