[rescue] replacing an Ultra2

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Tue Apr 24 12:34:51 CDT 2007

Tue, 24 Apr 2007 @ 12:41 +0100, Peter Corlett said:

> On Tue, Apr 24, 2007 at 11:03:44AM +0200, Clemson, Chris wrote:
> [...]
> > Have you actually tried putting DIMMS or PCI cards into a cheap PC
> > motherboard? Disturbingly, sometimes brute force is needed.
> Indeed, mooli.org.uk has had a chunk cut out of a Molex power connector
> feeding its RAID array because it fouled one of the DIMM slots. Similarly,
> my home fileserver has had to have similar treatment on its SATA port
> because it's fouled by actually putting a hard disk rather than a floppy
> drive in the second drive bay.

Users have balked at moving to a new PC layout standard, which would fix
most such issues like this. The move was supposed to have already been
finished by 2004, but it is 2007 and only a tiny number of machines use
the new standards.

ATX is really codifications of common practice.

BTX was a more ground up design that includes motherboard layouts,
expansion, case design, cabling, cooling, etc.

It was supposed to be relatively easy to move to, but largely hasn't
happened yet.

The problem you describe above is because you picked the wrong case.
Because ATX doesn't design the "interface" between drive bays and
motherboard, you have to pick a case which doesn't have overlap, and a
motherboard whose layout matches your usage.

BTX is actually less flexible in that it requires certain components to
be in certain places consistently.

That's why I bought a deep case. No overlap with motherboard and drive
bays, so I just don't have issues like this now.  Takes up more room,
but I rather not have the headaches.

I avoid motherboard layout and other issues by picking specific boards I
know are good.

> PC manufacturers seem to come from the "Design? We've heard of it"
> school of thought.

It is actually harder to design a flexible component system than
individual fixed layouts like most UNIX vendor designs are.

Judging the whole industry based on its worst examples is no different
than judging all Sun products based on a look at the Blade 100.

What Sun and Apple does is actually *easier* than what most PC makers
have to do.

My Ultra 2 has a wonderful internal design. However, it is also
completely inflexible.

shannon           | We have nothing to prove.
                  |        -- Alan Dawkins

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