Asus Prime Utopia
Chairman Jonney Shih introduces the concept motherboard Prime Utopia at Computex 2019. © ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Asus, the Taiwanese hardware company that started out as a motherboard maker in 1989, is celebrating its 30th birthday by presenting the Prime Utopia, its vision for the future of desktop PCs. The idea is to throw off the shackles of Intel’s ATX motherboard specification, created back in 1995 and long-overdue for a makeover, 25 years later. It would seem that Asus’ goal with this new creation is to at least start a conversation about modernizing the standard. But let’s not get our hopes up: remember Intel’s experience in 2004, when it tried and failed to modernize its own standard? The BTX motherboard was just a more sensible version of the ATX. For example, the chipset that controls the USB ports on an ATX card is located about as far away from the back of the PC as possible. BTX fixed that. But PC makers and case builders rebelled and scuttled the project. One of the great features of the Asus concept that we’d like to have right this minute is the modular Mini-PCIe components so that different ports (USB, Ethernet, etc.) can be easily hot-swapped at will.
Asus Prime Utopia. © PCWorld, A. P. Murray.