by Anton Shilov
03/03/2011 | 03:17 PM
Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of chips, along with a number of partners, is reportedly trying to standardize components for all-in-one (AIO) personal computers (PCs). If the standards get set, monoblock systems will be more affordable than they are today.
Intel is cooperating with Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), Mitac International and MicroStar International (MSI) in an attempt to make mini-ITX mainboard form-factor a default choice for all-in-one systems, according to DigiTimes web-site. If the standard is set, then design and manufacturing costs of the AIO PCs will get significantly lower and therefore the systems will become much more affordable.
Even though standardization of all-in-one PCs will indisputably make them more affordable and thus popular, far not all companies will actually follow Intel’s move. For many manufacturers that have been offering AIOs for years, such as Apple, Dell, Gateway and others, the monoblock systems are largely an engineering achievement than commodity products. As a result, they do not and hardly will need standards to make them more affordable.
Adoption of mini-ITX as a standard for all-in-one PCs also has a number of disadvantages. Many AIOs employ discrete graphics cards in MXM form-factor, which is not supported by mini-ITX. As a result, it will be harder for manufacturers of monoblock systems to integrate standalone graphics processors.
It remains to be seen whether the companies already known for AIOs will support Intel’s intention to standardize mini-ITX as a default form-factor for all-in-one systems, or will attempt to introduce their own spec.
Intel, ECS, Mitac and MSI did not comment on the news-story.