PC box types - AT, ATX?

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Italia Connection » Sun, 19 Apr 1998 04:00:00









> [snip]
> > An ATX motherboard needs, and is the only one that will fit, an ATX
> > box. One thing to be wary of is that the ATX spec uses a different
> > power connector, though some ATX motherboards use the old style and a
> > few accept both. The new power connector includes signals from the
> > motherboard to the PSU for power management.
> >[snip]

> Isn't the Risc PC 2 going to have an ATX style board and case? The case

At last week's LAUG meeting where the RPC2 was shown by Acorn, it was
described as an NLX case (?) - I'd not heard of this type.

Quote:> design that I saw demonstarted even had an opening bottom - no comments
> please - which was hinged for easy access. This made it easier to slide
> the motherboard out. But is the RPC2 also likely to have the power
> management features? It might be handy if it did. I was in a shop today
> buying an ATX case and the bloke in there explained that the machine
> will reduce to almost 100% power off with even the psu fans switching
> off, but can be woken by a fax machine or modem. This might be useful
> for some people/businesses.

I was somewhat pessimistic after the above presentation, because it would
appear that the RPC2 specs are already 1-2 yrs old compared to current PC
hardware.  E.g.:

It uses EIDE mode 4 rather then Ultra DMA.

The choice of a 64MHz motherboard, although very fast when compared to RPC1,
it lags behind current PC M'bd speeds which have been at 66MHz for some
time, and are already running at 75 & 100MHz (admittedly needing 100MHz
SDRAM chips which are only now becoming available).

This doesn't bode well for it in 2 yrs time!

For me the final sting was the provisional price of UKp2000 which is to
include:

15" monitor - available for UKp 150
Therefore the base unit would be valued at about UKp1850 and is likely to
include:
233MHz SA
32Mb SDRAM - UKp40
2Gb EIDE harddisc - UKp96
24x ATAPI CDRom - UKp50

I personally find the above a bitter pill to swallow :-((

Sorry for the doom & gloom, but thats how many of us felt after the
presentation.

Any other views??
Bob

--

 ** Laverda the sound that made Breganze famous ** (no-spam=argonet) **
               Italia Connections - http://www.italia.co.uk              
                    L.A.U.G. Liverpool Acorn User Group

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Stuart Bel » Sun, 19 Apr 1998 04:00:00




Quote:> For me the final sting was the provisional price of UKp2000 which is to
> include:
> 15" monitor - available for UKp 150
> Therefore the base unit would be valued at about UKp1850 and is likely to
> include:
> 233MHz SA
> 32Mb SDRAM - UKp40
> 2Gb EIDE harddisc - UKp96
> 24x ATAPI CDRom - UKp50
> I personally find the above a bitter pill to swallow :-((
> Sorry for the doom & gloom, but thats how many of us felt after the
> presentation.
> Any other views??

I think I'm with you on this. The Chaltech (sp?) product at, ISTR, 700ukp,
shows that we're paying way over the odds. A decent 15" is probably 200ukp
inc VAT, but even so, the 'premium' is way OTT. FWIW, the Risc OS Portable
could well steal Phoebe's thunder. And G3 Macs have few of the problems of
Windross, and will soon be around at 1200ukp.

Acorn cannot expect the enthusiast market to pay silly prices. I know all
about the 'total cost of ownership' argument, and I largely agree with it,
but when an RPC2 will cost twice a comparable Windoze box, then the
argument is weakened. One could buy a Wintel box now, and another in 2
years' time (with all the benefits of 2 years' progress), and still pay no
more.

Perhaps the RPC2 will fall in price quickly, after they've cleaned up on
the people who _must_ be the first to have the new machine?   ;-)

--
Stuart Bell - change nospam to argonet to email responses to news.
Running an Acorn Risc PC, a Mac Color Classic and
an Apple PowerBook 100 in a Wintel-free Zone.

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Colin Thompso » Mon, 20 Apr 1998 04:00:00




Quote:> Perhaps the RPC2 will fall in price quickly, after they've cleaned up on
> the people who _must_ be the first to have the new machine?   ;-)

Oh yeah, like has happened in the past, NOT.

--

Colin Thompson


Web site - http://www.atlantis.aust.com/~colinet

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Neil A. Carso » Mon, 20 Apr 1998 04:00:00



> Acorn cannot expect the enthusiast market to pay silly prices. I know all
> about the 'total cost of ownership' argument, and I largely agree with it,
> but when an RPC2 will cost twice a comparable Windoze box, then the
> argument is weakened. One could buy a Wintel box now, and another in 2
> years' time (with all the benefits of 2 years' progress), and still pay no
> more.

I think asking for that much is really quite rude, and is in effect
exploiting the people who would be buying the thing. Were the price half
of that quoted two grand, I might well buy one as I like to run RiscOS.
But at that level---for a 450MHz PII, 64MB RAM, etc etc (and that's now,
not in several months time---OK then I can get a 17" monitor too) I
think most entheusiasts are really going to have to think hard other
than the completely blinded ones.

Come on Acorn, if you really want to push the platform, please be
sensible.

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Ernst Dinkl » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00






> > Perhaps the RPC2 will fall in price quickly, after they've cleaned up on
> > the people who _must_ be the first to have the new machine?   ;-)

> Oh yeah, like has happened in the past, NOT.

But would they lower the price if they don't sell a machine in the
first two months after release?

Ernst
 --
           .......even the armadillo dislikes a dead ant........


 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Alan Wrigle » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00






> > For me the final sting was the provisional price of UKp2000 which is to
> > include:

> > 15" monitor - available for UKp 150
> > Therefore the base unit would be valued at about UKp1850 and is likely to
> > include:
> > 233MHz SA
> > 32Mb SDRAM - UKp40
> > 2Gb EIDE harddisc - UKp96
> > 24x ATAPI CDRom - UKp50

> Acorn cannot expect the enthusiast market to pay silly prices. I know all
> about the 'total cost of ownership' argument, and I largely agree with it,
> but when an RPC2 will cost twice a comparable Windoze box, then the
> argument is weakened. One could buy a Wintel box now, and another in 2
> years' time (with all the benefits of 2 years' progress), and still pay no
> more.

I think that if the RPC2 was simply twice the price of an equivalent
Wintel box I might still be tempted to stay with Acorn. But this isn't
even that! For around 1000 now you can get a 233 or 266 Pentium MMX with
64Mb RAM, 4 or 6GB hard drive, 15" monitor, 56K modem, 32x CD plus loads
of other goodies.

I'm actually quite relieved that Acorn have released these figures now.
I've been wanting a portable for some time and I've been waiting to see
if a RISC OS portable appears. Now that I know my next PC is not going
to be an Acorn, I can go ahead and buy a PC portable and get on with my
life.

Alan

--
Alan Wrigley                        http://www.*village.co.uk/alan/
                                    Software engineer, photographer

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Stuart Bel » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00






> > Perhaps the RPC2 will fall in price quickly, after they've cleaned up
> > on the people who _must_ be the first to have the new machine?   ;-)
> Oh yeah, like has happened in the past, NOT.

Well, compare the price of an RPC three years ago, plus the cost of the SA
upgrade, with RPC prices today. (Admitedly a lot of the reduction is due
to SIMM and HD prices plummeting.)

--
Stuart Bell - change nospam to argonet to email responses to news.
Running an Acorn Risc PC, a Mac Color Classic and
an Apple PowerBook 100 in a Wintel-free Zone.

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by George Buchana » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00




> At last week's LAUG meeting where the RPC2 was shown by Acorn, it was
> described as an NLX case (?) - I'd not heard of this type.

...it's a new standard.

Quote:> It uses EIDE mode 4 rather then Ultra DMA.

...I have had it explained to me that UDMA would actually be slower
than MODE 4 on a RPC.  I had suspected that it could be, due to the
fact that it is actually a software "cludge" that sits on top
MODE 4.  Basically, the drive/computer interface is tweaked to enhance
peak (burst) performance, and involves a hit on the CPU.  It could
be added later if required, without hardware modificication, but Acorn's
engineers feel that the whole idea really isn't worth it.  As I guess
that they know what they're talking about, and I know that UDMA has
actually been done to tweak IDE into looking competitive with high-end
SCSI, the gains probably aren't worth it.  Mind you, if they are (worth
it), I am very sure someone bright will release an "upgrade" to the
machine to exploit it!

Quote:> The choice of a 64MHz motherboard, although very fast when compared to RPC1,
> it lags behind current PC M'bd speeds which have been at 66MHz for some
> time, and are already running at 75 & 100MHz (admittedly needing 100MHz
> SDRAM chips which are only now becoming available).

...the higher-speed clocks are actually for the processor bus - don't
confuse that with the data bus!  Most PCs have needed higher processor
bus speeds, but that doesn't mean that the memory etc goes faster - it
doesn't.  Also, very, very few cards exploit the full 66MHz on the data
side.  I am not a hardware guru, but the difference was clearly made
by the H/w guys at Acorn to a meeting of developers recently, and I
think that it's only fair to convey that - I hope I'm not speaking "out
of school" on that.

Quote:> For me the final sting was the provisional price of UKp2000 which is to
> include:

> 15" monitor - available for UKp 150
> Therefore the base unit would be valued at about UKp1850 and is likely to
> include:
> 233MHz SA
> 32Mb SDRAM - UKp40
> 2Gb EIDE harddisc - UKp96
> 24x ATAPI CDRom - UKp50

...I understand (and I hope a lightning bolt will not strike from Acorn
here) that the final spec. may well differ from the above.  However,
were the spec as given above, I'd expect a 17" monitor, as they're so
damned cheap now anyhow.  Please note that the latter point is a
personal opinion only, not based on *anything* I've heard or seen from
Acorn.  On the other hand, if a superior spec to the above were to be
offered, particularly if a speed improvement were made, it'd be
reasonable.  RAM/HD are frankly unimportant in even the medium term, as
data storage prices plummet continually and waiting a few months will
make a huge upgrade available at a reasonable price anyhow.  Eg. +32Mb
RAM will cost pennies relative to the 2000ukp.

--
George Buchanan, Dalriada Data Technology
74 Greville Road, Warwick, CV34 5PJ
Phone/Fax: [+44] (0)1926 492459

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Ernst Dinkl » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00



> I'm actually quite relieved that Acorn have released these figures now.
> I've been wanting a portable for some time and I've been waiting to see
> if a RISC OS portable appears. Now that I know my next PC is not going
> to be an Acorn, I can go ahead and buy a PC portable and get on with my
> life.

At least you should wait till the Wakefield Show. The RiscPC2 and the
non-Acorn RiscOs portable will be shown and then they must have the
prices fixed for both machines. Acorn should be aware of the feelings
in these newsgroups, they may act sensible. The argument that these
newsgroups don't represent the majority of Acorn users is correct, but
as many of the other users even can't afford an internet account I
wonder how they can afford a RiscPC2.
If Acorn doesn't lower the price you could ask Neil Carson at the Causality/ChalTech/Simtec? stand what they can offer.

Ernst
 --
           .......even the armadillo dislikes a dead ant........


 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Matthias Seife » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00








> > > Perhaps the RPC2 will fall in price quickly, after they've cleaned
> > > up on the people who _must_ be the first to have the new machine?  
> > > ;-)

> > Oh yeah, like has happened in the past, NOT.
> But would they lower the price if they don't sell a machine in the
> first two months after release?
> Ernst

As Colin Thompson already stated Acorn did never lower the price of any
machine (until it's production was stopped), even if it wasn't sold very
well (e.g. the A4)...

But what they did was that they bundled the machine with other things
('cheap' SA upgrade, software pack, Nintendo 64). And of course you usualy
get a newer OS with less bugs if you are not amongst the first (RISC OS
2.0 vs. Arthur with A3xx, A4x0, RISC OS 3.11 vs. 3.00 with A5000, RISC OS
3.60 vs. 3.50 with Risc PC, RISC OS 3.71 vs. 3.70 with A7000+ [and Risc PC
SA?])...

--
  _ _                                          \      Acorn Risc PC      /

 | | |  / |  |  |  |/\  | / |  / \               \    130 Mbyte RAM    /
 | | |_/\/|_/|_/|_/|  |/|/\/|_/ \/                \    >14 Gbyte HD   /

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Andy McMullo » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00








> > > Perhaps the RPC2 will fall in price quickly, after they've cleaned up
> > > on the people who _must_ be the first to have the new machine?   ;-)

> > Oh yeah, like has happened in the past, NOT.

> Well, compare the price of an RPC three years ago, plus the cost of the SA
> upgrade, with RPC prices today. (Admitedly a lot of the reduction is due
> to SIMM and HD prices plummeting.)

Which actually suggests that the price of the RPCII is even higher!  IF
HD and SIMM prices were at their 1994 levels it would be around 2,300.

Much as we all love Acorn and RiscOS I think inflated prices for the
RPC will drive people elsewhere.

And if they can't do reasonable prices then licence RiscOS to someone
who can!

Andy

Andy

--

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.                Emily*inson (1830-1886)

 
 
 

PC box types - AT, ATX?

Post by Andy McMullo » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00




> I'm actually quite relieved that Acorn have released these figures now.
> I've been wanting a portable for some time and I've been waiting to see
> if a RISC OS portable appears. Now that I know my next PC is not going
> to be an Acorn, I can go ahead and buy a PC portable and get on with my
> life.

Consider buying the RiscOS portable and putting up with your current
desktop machine for another year or so.

By then I think Acorn will have either seen the light and lowered the
price or will have licensed RiscOS to others to produce  a sensibly
priced machine.

Perhaps they will even let Chaltec put a RiscOS/VIDC image on their
cheap machine.

Andy

--

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!    Alfred, Lord Tennyson