Should We Pick One Standard?

This is one of a series of mini-rants by your faithful correspondent, John Morrison. These are part of a series focusing on issues in the SFF niche. All content is entirely opinion of John, not of SmallFormFactor.net, and should not be taken as fact.

There has been musings in our community of this form factor or that form factor being better than the others in all situations. M-ITX being preferable over M-STX. SFX is superior to TFX or Flex-ATX power supplies. DisplayPort being better to HDMI. With so much variety on our markets, should we work towards simplifying the SFF world with de-facto standards – say M-ITX, 180mm long GPU, SFX PSU, 2.5″ drives only?

I say nay! (always wanted to type that phrase).

While component manufacturers have selected their own preferences when allocating budgets to various form factors, we should not automatically do the same. Keeping our minds open to what works best, rather than what is most populous in the market, is my ideal. Just because the power supply manufacturers seem to prefer SFX at the moment, while TFX takes a back seat, hiding in the shadows, doesn’t mean SFX is the better solution. The same could be said of M-DTX in the shadows of M-ITX (this is a bad move in my opinion), and low profile DIMMs versus regular height, or those obscenely heatsinked variants.

(Image from LegitReviews)

Removing choice removes the chances of innovation. ASRock recently revealed their DeskMini RX/GTX, which is only possible because they decided to take a risk, they decided to challenge the norm. The same goes with G-Unique, a DC-DC developer who has posted some absolutely insane designs and products in our forum.

The truth is, in every situation, there will be different requirements, different needs for products. Some people may still need that optical disc drive. Some may still be using 3.5″ mechanical hard drives. Our community is about inclusion, not exclusion. Being open to new ideas, new designs, new options.

There should never be one standard, just many options. Be it in physical design, colour or just usage ethos! What works for you may not work for someone else.

Are you with me on wanting an open, inclusive community? Speak your mind here.