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Bluetooth And The Common Motherboard 98

Just say no to Apple writes "Computers seem to be on the precipice of a new chapter with things like Serial ATA and now bluetooth showing up as standard equipment. Of course the bluetooth kit that comes with this board is really tiny, which makes me wonder if you might be able to integrate it into a small remote device... But anyway, if a computer upgrade is on the horizon, have a look at this Epox board review and the bluetooth gear it uses."
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Bluetooth And The Common Motherboard

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  • Try to get your metaphors unmixed, please.
  • You could bluetooth an external harddrive for even more pr0n for today's geek on the go.
  • This'd be great, ALL you need to do is get some standards agreed and from then on you'd only need 1 remote for you PC. I could cat /dev/bluetooth/remote and microsoft could DirectRemote it.

    Now anyone know how to get the TV and Sound card manufactures to agree on a standard?
  • KT400 (Score:3, Informative)

    by I_am_Rambi ( 536614 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @01:26PM (#4257184) Homepage
    If you're in the market for a new AMD motherboard, perhaps you should wait and see how the new VIA KT400

    Well some of these boards have been tested. According to this article [] on Toms Hardware [] the KT400 boards aren't worth it. Interesting benchmarks, that is for sure.
  • always been small (Score:3, Informative)

    by forgoil ( 104808 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @01:27PM (#4257187) Homepage
    Correct me if I am wrong, but if I remember the guys at Ericsson correctly, the point of bluetooth is that it can be put into almost any piece of electronic gadget, being really small and all. Hence it should appear in just about anything you can imagine.

    The problem is that it should have appeared many years ago, I have no real clue on why it has taken such an enormous amount of time to get it to market in anything interesting.
  • Cool (Score:4, Funny)

    by ( 471768 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @01:34PM (#4257208)
    Stick it on a board with some vacuum tubes [] and I'll take it.
    • I might be missing a joke here ,but why the HELL would you want vac-tubes on a motherboard?
      • because vacuum tubes produce better sound.
        • >because vacuum tubes produce better sound. ...For people that are too lazy to use an EQ.
        • Re:Cool (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah. All that high frequency RF noise wouldn't affect the sound "quality" at all, either. Not to mention I bet your digital CD's and FLAC compressed audio sounds great with those analog components in there. No doubt it magically makes your audio "richer" and "warmer"...

          By the way, would you like to buy some speaker cables? $50 a foot. It'll make your $400 mini stereo in your front room sound like a symphony hall!
  • by deragon ( 112986 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @01:42PM (#4257230) Homepage Journal
    As time goes by, more and more ports/connectors add up on my motherboards. When are we going to get ride of ps/2 buses, parallels and serial ports?

    So now we would have:

    parallel port
    serial ports
    Serial IDE
    Parallel IDE
    ps2 buses
    -- Next ones are not on motherboards, but still...---
    Analog joystick port (gameport)
    VGA output
    Audio ports

    Am I missing a port? Keeping legacy ports does add cost on the systems...

    I wish we could go by with firewire only. Everything on firewire. HDs, modem, joystick, keyboard... Only analog output like Video and Audio would remain. BTW, most motherboards do not come with Firewire on, but I bet there must be a few out there with it.
    • by Myriad ( 89793 ) <myriad.thebsod@com> on Saturday September 14, 2002 @02:11PM (#4257322) Homepage
      As time goes by, more and more ports/connectors add up on my motherboards. When are we going to get ride of ps/2 buses, parallels and serial ports?

      So now we would have:
      bluetooth parallel port serial ports Serial IDE Parallel IDE Firewire ps2 buses USB

      It better not be anytime soon! I happen to have rather a lot of money invested in external devices which happen to use these legacy devices you are so wanting to be rid of.

      Such as you ask? I have multiple KVMS switches for handling multiple monitors connected to multiple systems. These all use standard VGA and serial/PS2 ports for mouse/keyboard. One KVMS can run $200-$1000 easily - and that's before buying all the cabling for them. Heck, a few of 'em still use the large DIN connectors for keyboard and 9 pin serial for the mouse.

      My printer likes Parallel and I like my printer - it works just fine. Now I'm supposed to drop another few hundred bucks on a printer?

      My UPS's use serial - am I to buy a new set of battery backups because my current ones can no longer notify the server that time is running out?

      Oop, lets not foget the external diagnostic LCD which happens to run on Parallel.

      Heck, I even use the Joystick port for some very basic Midi stuff from time to time.

      So, keep your grubby hands off my ports!

      (just because it's not the latest and greatest doesn't mean it's not important to people)

      • Yeah, well., why not ditch the legacy ports anyways and let those that need those ports (parallel, serial) buy a $39 parallel + serial card?

        Cheaper computers for the majority and a minor incurred cost to the minority that must have legacy ports.

        To the future!
      • I assume you're aware of the existance of USB-Parallel adaptors (like this one [])? The driver support will get better.

        In many cases it works transparently (and when it doesn't, you can always buy a $20 I/O card seperately).


        • I'm sure that the OEM motherboards will eventually have only USB ports. I'd like to have more options available to me for my systems, though. Hopefully, PS/2 won't die out any day soon. I see nothing wrong with it, and I have lots of PS/2 peripherals that work just fine.

          I did break down and buy a USB keyboard, but only because my stupid PowerMac lacks support for anything else. Too bad there isn't an I/O card you can use to get PS/2, serial, and parallel.
      • Serial to USB adapters are commonplace. Drop those legacy ports, and the price of your next rig drops accordingly.
      • Why don't we keep 5.25" drives and MCA buses around while we're at it? Someone might need those too.
      • I can't tell if your joking or not - mostly because of moderation rates you as insightful.

        I was working for a PC OEM (while in highschool) when 486 motherboards started coming with built in IDE, Serial and PS/2 - I had more people ask me things like "what do I do if the com ports break down?" or when PCI came out - "what do I do with all my expansion cards?"

        Get used to it - its called change. What I'd do if I were you is never ever upgrade ever. That should include your antiquated KVM switch.
    • I suppose we could get to a state where the connector panel is bigger than the MB, and the cables connecting it to the MB would themselves become a pain.

      I don't know if I agree with you about F/W but the size is certainly right.

    • I am a big Mac fan, but have been in the market for an inexpensive PC to learn on. Since I will not be installing Windows, the best way to do this seems to be to build my own.

      I have been looking for legacy-free motherboards, in part because the Mac fan in me scoffs when I see a 2GHz machine with PS/2 ports, but mostly because I will be using a USB KVM switch, and do not want to have to deal with any problems from having the silly ports.

      About the only motherboard I have foudn that gets rid of some of the ports is the ABIT AT7 series motherboards. While a nice motherboard, I find it strange that there is only one.

      (And, so you know, the AT7 line comes with Firewire, Audio, and Ethernet all on board. Everything else is USB, Firewire, and USB 2.0 externally, and S-ATA and ATA inside. Although it does still support a floppy drive... Ugh...)
    • >I wish we could go by with firewire only.
      >Everything on firewire. HDs, modem, joystick, keyboard...

      As long as someone makes an adapter so I can keep my genuine IBM PS/2 keyboard. Made in 1984, weighs a ton, and has a lovely "feel" to it that I haven't found in modern keyboards, which are mushy crap.

      clicka clicka clicka....

      Also, sometimes it's nice to plug a console into a serial port.
    • well, there is no requirement for video to be analogue, I'm using a digital video output (dvi, another connector for you) to connect my gfx card to my tft screen.


    • Next ones are not on motherboards, but still...---
      Analog joystick port (gameport)
      VGA output
      Audio ports

      You can get motherboards with all these onboard.
    • I think there's still a place for both USB and firewire. IEEE1394 is wonderful, I'll be glad when it's 3.2 gig and running on fiber, until that day there will still be a place for the latest greatest SCSI standard. There is always more need for lots of disk space and as fast as possible.

      But anyway, USB 2.0 and IEEE1394b at at least 800mbps, with multiple buses of each. I really don't want to settle for less than 1.6Gbps on the 1394.

      All I really want in a computer (Hey industry types, print this out you cocks, this is the way of the future) is some really super-speedy expansion buses which can be chained out to support legacy shit if I need to, multiple AGP slots (there has to be a way to pull this off, especially what with the stupid fast chips coming out these days), a handful of PCI slots, some good fast firewire, USB 2.0, good built in audio (true 48khz with no auto-resampling except when mixing streams with incompatible rates, optical spdif with at least true 5.1, etc) and, here's my last little fever dream --

      Support for as many Hammer CPUs as AMD's new bus allows.

      I know it's a wet dream and no one will make this but isn't the idea of this hypertransport bus (anyone remember hyperprotocol? that was tight. hyperp++) to make it painfully easy to do SMP? So just give me a bus which sticks off the side somehow and lets me add more processor modules, so many chips per box, up to the limit of the architecture, which is something like 31 CPUs, right?

      I know there's probably not much point to extending the system that way, that you would have to do something really incredible and costly to make a system like that that was done the way you really SHOULD do it. I know that you would probably have to do special optimization to actually make the most out of a SMP configuration that runs along linearly like that. Then again maybe Hammer is the holy f'n grail and I'm wrong, it would be magically fast. But I didn't really think so.

      But it would have so much cool factor that as long as it didn't suck every geek with spare cash or who could whore themselves out in some way to get some loose funds would at least think about buying one. The ability to extend out to a whole goddamn bunch of processors would be the most beautiful piece of wankery ever.

      I'd buy one for sure, and max it out eventually. Just make sure that the additional modules use really good connectors and support at least four CPUs per module and the modules cost no more than a motherboard. I don't think that that's unreasonable.

  • If it's at WLAN level then goodbye.
    Just wait a little and some shithead scriptkiddie prints 2000 black pages on your printer.
    And if there is security all this stuff won't some cheaply.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Bluetooth has a top distance of 30 meters outdoors. When you move indoors with walls and computers and people and microwaves, that distance drops quite a bit. So unless you are worried about somebody in your house hacking you, its a non-issue.
      • So unless you are worried about somebody in your house hacking you, its a non-issue.

        Shhh! Don't anybody tell Wes Craven about this!

        Police (on phone): "Miss, we managed to trace the IP-- the hacker is accessing your system from... INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!"
        Big-breasted teen geek-girl: (shrieks in an ear-splitting manner)

    • Just wait a little and some shithead scriptkiddie prints 2000 black pages on your printer.

      Hah hah! The jokes on you my printer is off!
  • Apple/Bluetooth (Score:2, Informative)

    by rbruels ( 253523 )
    I like how his userID is "Say no to Apple" when Apple will be one of the first companies to integrate Bluetooth with all their units... and was the first to offer integrated OS-level support for the technology.

    You can have been able to buy a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter and use it out the box with OS X for months now.

    • D-Link has also been producing one [], that is also MacOS X exclusive.

      I would imagine the exclusiveness would be because Apple provided support [] for Bluetooth and saved D-Link et al. the software effort. So if we want to see these devices working on Linux and MS-Windows, then it is a matter of the relavent groups writing the necessary drivers.
  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @02:23PM (#4257378) Journal
    This is an article I wrote for another forum, I think it fits well in this discussion.
    Maxtor recently announced a 320GB ATA drive. This, in itself, isn't too remarkable, other than the quite large size jump. What is remarkable is that they are targetting it to somewhere that has never been specifically aimed at with ATA drives, the large corporate storage market.

    About a year ago, my company was running out of hard disk space, again. We had filled up our 500GB main live SCSI RAID, and our 190GB work in process Fiber Channel RAID was looking pretty small and obselete.

    For reference, we paid about $30,000 for the 500GB SCSI RAID only three years ago. The Fibre Channel RAID came about a year earlier and cost about $45,000. Support on both is over $5,000 a year.

    Our main archive needs are for mostly dead storage, that is, speed is not critical, but availability is. The main archive was previously housed on a very slow 1TB tape robot. The tapes were becoming a bottleneck in our workflow, so about two years ago I designed a shell script system in IRIX to allow the files to be stored on live RAIDs without the risk of using older versions of files by accident.

    This worked fine, but with the increased throughput, we also had increasing demands for more storage. Our archive has increased in size almost 100% since 2 years ago, and grows by nearly 5GB per week or more.

    So, about a year ago, things were starting to get tight again. I looked at the options, and Maxtor 100GB ATA drives were out. I figured we could use Linux in this situation, and just attach the storage to the network, since speed was not critical. After some searching, I found 3ware,, who makes a PCI ATA RAID controller that holds up to 8 drives and has good Linux support.

    There were some issues at first, due to a hardware recall on 3ware's part, but after the bugs were worked out, I managed to build two NAS systems. These were a huge leap forward in terms of storage cost, each server cost about as much as we pay in one year of support on the old RAID systems, and were complete computers, compared to simple direct attached storage. We got 3 TB of storage for about $12,000.

    These storage servers were pretty novel a year ago. Very few people had built multiple Terabyte systems from ATA drives at that point. Now they are becoming pretty common. For example, RaidZone ( makes a similar NAS (Network Attached Storage) product based on Linux. is also embracing ATA as a viable platform for large RAID, though they are packaging it with special controllers that allow one to use the ATA RAID with any operating system, the OS sees the RAID as a single, directly attached storage device, through SCSI and fibre channel. This has the added benefit of allowing SCSI features like command reordering, and more robust command integrity checking.

    The coming of serial ATA over the next year is serving to quickly push ATA into the mainstream low-to-mid end server market. For large data storage needs, tapes no longer offer a viable option. Linux based NAS and hardware based directly attached ATA storage are quickly becoming the de facto standard for large archival storage, at 25% or less of the cost of tapes, without the hassle that comes with the non-random access of tapes.

    ATA is often viewed in the industry as a "consumer level" technology, or "not for serious use". This view is quickly becoming outdated with the wealth of new ATA based server products.

    ATA in many ways has a history a lot like Linux's. It is a low cost technology, that is quickly eating away the market of more "serious" technologies like SCSI and Tape. This is the same way Linux is eating away at the old UNIX market, replacing so called "high end" servers with commodity hardware. It's no surprise that many ATA NAS products are Linux based, for an embedded system where cost is a primary concern, a Windows license would add unnecessarily to the cost, and reduce reliability while limiting the freedom of the developer to customize the system to the application.

    Theere is a long history of lower cost disruptive technologies killing superior technologies. ATA isn't technologically better (yet). It is, however, good enough, and much much lower cost, and that's all it needs.

    The lack of high speed 10,000 RPM ATA drives does tend to make it not currently viable for high speed, random access, low latency, applications at this point, such as heavily loaded databases. There is no reason a high RPM ATA drive could not be produced in the future though. In my experience, most high capacity storage needs are archival, or only require a low transaction rate with moderate to high data rates.

    In terms of raw throughput, ATA RAID can easily outpace any SCSI RAID, do to the nature of the interface. ATA RAID is implemented like switched ethernet, each drive has its own channel to the host controller. SCSI and basic configurations of Fibre Channel are like old fashioned shared ethernet, ATA is like switched ethernet.

    ATA is Linux's new partner in the server room. Together, they are drastically reducing the cost of operations, while at the same time, offering a much more capable solution for many common needs.
    • Ummmm... okay, I sort of agree with you. But you can't truly say that any IDE solution has more throughput than cutting-edge SCSI. You didn't really say that in as many words in your post, but it seems sort of hinted at in the second to last paragraph. Having your own controller hooked up to every drive isn't really a feature.... it's an ugly hack to get around the braindead design of IDE. It doesn't give you any advantages over using a good SCSI solution, like triple channel Ultra160 or Ultra320 cards.

      I agree with you that IDE solutions are novel, making inroads, and are a great solution for low-end data storage. Once you reach the mid-range market, however, I really would have to suggest that you use SCSI. SCSI was designed intelligently, without any ugly hacks to work around. Many of the features are not apparent in benchmarks or low-end usage. Sometimes, you won't even see any apparent benefit to SCSI unless you're dealing with high-end or cutting-edge storage solutions! What you're missing, however, is that these storage solutions (even if it's just a simple file server with a bunch of disks (JBOD)), each disk drive has a massive warranty (5 years is the industry standard), is over-engineered (so that it doesn't fail right after the warranty period ends), and is compatible with every other SCSI storage solution ever made. Do you need your drives to be external? No problem. Do you need your disks to go into an Alpha server? No problem. What about the existing RAID setup? No problem.

      IDE is a great innovation, and I'm glad that Maxtor is pushing the envelope. However, to suggest that SCSI is obsolete, except in the most demanding situation possible... ugh... I don't know about you, but I trust a Seagate Cheetah a lot more than a Maxtor DiamondMax. Sure, you could load up all the brand new servers with low-end motherboards, generic RAM, and IDE hard drives, but I'd be a little wary of depending on them when the site gets slashdotted.
      • It doesn't give you any advantages over using a good SCSI solution, like triple channel Ultra160 or Ultra320 cards.

        You make some valid points, but my main point was one of cost-efficiency.

        Also, with PCI 64/66, triple Ultra 160/320 is pretty silly. A 8 disk ATA contoller already maxes out said bus, so does a single Ultra 320 channel. Until we get faster busses, all that speed is wasted anyway, the only thing you eliminate is some device contention, something that doesn't exist in SATA/PATA one-disk-per-channel controllers.

        Also, about "low-end", do you consider a 5-10TB RAID low-end? As I said, the only drawback is in heavy transaction loads, latency sensitive applications, because of lack of intelligent command queuing (sometimes, as I said the integrated devices that have SCSI on the outside and ATA on the inside get around this in large part) and lower RPMs.

        If I had the money, I'd love to see modern ATA put up against modern SCSI in real world tests. It's a hands down winner in cost/GB, performance is not as clear, but I bet it would be "good enough" for a lot of applications, and that is what matters.

        As far as your comments on reliability... I see this as more of a non-issue, since the useful life of a RAID is far less than 5 years in a lot of applications. As I pointed out in my real world examples, the cost to maintain a 5 year old RAID outweighs the cost of newer technology in many cases. Immediate redundancy is taken care of, because one can easily afford completely redundant systems, in addition to RAID on each, and still have a cost advantage over SCSI.

        As far as platform independance, the ATA-SCSI hardware RAID devices take care of that if you need it. If you don't, lower cost internal solutions can be used.

        Also, I don't think SCSI is obselete, I just see ATA as the disruptive technology that will soon relegate it to highly specialized applications.
        In a way it is sad, I admit, SCSI/FC is a far better technology. The writing is on the wall it seems though, and cheap and "good enough" seems to have won again, just like VHS/Beta.
        • Also, with PCI 64/66, triple Ultra 160/320 is pretty silly. A 8 disk ATA contoller already maxes out said bus, so does a single Ultra 320 channel.

          I correct myself, the bus is 528 MB/Sec in theory. This is mostly incorrect, Two 320s would still max it out.
  • by agdv ( 457752 )
    I'm assuming this is sold as a top-of-the-line full-featured motherboard. With RAID, USB2, 10/100 LAN, etc, and now also Bluetooth. Then why on freaking earth do they put a shitty AC'97 sound system into it? CMI8738 wasn't too expensive, last time I checked, and even if it's not perfect, it's way ahead of AC. AC'97 was designed for cheap stuff. That's not what I want in a good mobo.

    I had that sort of thing integrated in mine, and got so fed with it I bought a real sound card (not a very expensive one, but one that didn't need to re-sample everything to 48 kHz).

    Gets on my nerves.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling