ATX vs NLX
Motherboards are lifelines or backbones of all computers because they are the ones maintaining connectivity between different components of a computer. One can see all important components of a computer being plug in and out of its motherboard. The evolution of motherboards has maintained the pace with the requirements of higher RAM, faster processors, data transfer speeds, and other smaller and faster components. Out of the many changes that evolution of motherboard has seen, it is the change in form factor that is most drastic and easily perceptible. Starting with the original form factor by IBM called AT, motherboards have moved forward with ATX, LPX, BTX, and finally NLX form factors. In this article, differences between ATX and NLX will be highlighted.
It all started with the invention of PC by IBM and AT was the form factor utilized by the company on which all three, the processor, memory and expansion slots were arranged in a straight line. With the passage of time, this form factor presented problems as the height of the processor interfered with the installation of proper card. Heat dissipation from the processor created trouble for expansion cards, as well. With motherboard being 12” wide and 13.8” deep, they overlapped with the space intended for drive bays. All these troubles led to the development of the next generation ATX form factor. In this revolutionary arrangement, processor and memory are placed at right angles to expansion slots, which allows enough space for full length expansion cards. Most of the new computers including servers started to be built along this form factor.
NLX is a form factor that is not just latest, but also one of the most used form factor, as most of the desktop of today are based upon this form factor. Also, called low profile application, NLX is a compact form factor that is easily differentiated with other form factors because of the use of riser cards to which expansion cards are connected. Another benefit lies in the ability of rising cards to allow 2-4 expansion cards to be plugged in them. These expansion cards are situated along the same line as the motherboard inside the CPU of computers. NLX form factor allows a huge space saving as traditional bulky servers get transformed into the shape of a VCR. Another benefit of this arrangement is the safety of the equipment.
What is the difference between ATX and NLX?
• ATX is the earlier generation form factor of motherboards while NLX is the most current form factor.
• ATX is employed in tower and desktop systems, whereas NLX form factor is mostly employed in smaller desktop and mini towers.
• The maximum number of expansion slots allowed in ATX is 7, whereas in NLX, the number of expansion slots that are supported keeps on varying.
• ATX stands for Advanced Technology Extended, whereas NLX stands for New Low Profile Extended.
• ATX made its debut in 1995 while NLX arrived on the scene in 1997.
• Both ATX and NLX have undergone many revisions since their launch.
• Processor is placed at upper middle section in ATX, while it is in the lower left section in NLX.