Is STX the future?

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
I wonder where you guys stand on this. Is the future of SFF STX, or will we stay with ITX. The STX form factor allows for categorically smaller footprints, but there is also restricted I/O. But Asrock has shown a STX hybrid that might catch on.

Right now, I foresee the mainstream SFF moving towards a form factor very similar to the Dan-A4: SFX PSU and Mini-ITX motherboard on one side, with manufacturers offering the option of a longer case and full sized GPU, or shorter case for "ITX" GPUs.

I predict STX will remain a niche for the next 2-3 years. I'm not sure where we'll go with low profile GPUs, that's another question I will pose to you.
 
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jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,166
847
STX might be the future, but right now, I think that the mITX form motherboard factor can still be optimized to support more memory than it normally does right now (using SO-DIMMS), more I/O (there's only one PCIe slot, so the remaining PCIe lanes available to enthusiast or professional chipsets could be better spread around) and the mITX FF has a bit more real estate than mSTX to better accommodate the physical connectors.

The main disadvantage I see to mSTX with dGPUs is that MXM boards are still not a commodity item (for various reasons).
 

gffermari

Average Stuffer
Jan 7, 2017
87
88
I think we have said and analyzed the subject before.

The mITX form factor has not been fully exploited. As jtd871 wrote above, there are more pcie lanes to be used (2 or more M.2 etc.), there are still memory limitations(2x32GB or 4 SODIMMS of 16GB each etc.), thunderbolt 3/DP input etc.
It is by far more likely an ITX to be equiped with all the above mentioned than a STX motherboard to be equiped with a no feature limited chipset, no power limited GPU PCIe, 2 or more power inputs and at the same time a variety of CPU/GPU for MXM socket coolers to exist.

The volume gaining is not so great, i think, as many believe.
 
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Mar 6, 2017
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I would welcome a switch to STX as long as it has support for all enthusiast chipsets and MXM cards become the same price as full size equivalents.
 

buLL

Average Stuffer
Mar 11, 2017
69
53
In my opinion, STX will indeed be the future for SFF computers WITHOUT dGPU, as it has a lot of cool features such as embbed front IO and power conector. But for builds that uses dedicated GPU, mini-ITX might continue to be the SFF trend.
 

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
STX might be the future, but right now, I think that the mITX form motherboard factor can still be optimized to support more memory than it normally does right now (using SO-DIMMS), more I/O (there's only one PCIe slot, so the remaining PCIe lanes available to enthusiast or professional chipsets could be better spread around) and the mITX FF has a bit more real estate than mSTX to better accommodate the physical connectors.

The main disadvantage I see to mSTX with dGPUs is that MXM boards are still not a commodity item (for various reasons).

True, but DDR4 has 32GB sticks, so the PC gamer wouldn't require more RAM slots. The average user doesn't need more than 8GB RAM. I can't think of a scenario where a user would need more than 64GB and SFF. Can you?

On the other hand I completely agree about I/O and PCI-E lanes.
 
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IntoxicatedPuma

Customizer of Titles
Editorial Staff
Silver Supporter
Feb 26, 2016
984
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I'd rather skip STX and go to that Asus concept from Computex last year. The only good thing (besides smaller size) about STX is it's giving us a change from the standard layout of cases, the bad thing is it's just changing to a new one that is static.