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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | System Case | Form Factors ]

Baby AT Form Factor

Not long after the introduction of the IBM PC/AT and the AT form factor, a smaller version of the AT form factor was created called the "Baby AT" form factor. Baby AT is similar to AT, except that it is smaller in the width dimension. This means that Baby AT power supplies and motherboards will fit into full-sized AT cases, but not vice-versa.

As AT-style machines took the world by storm, manufacturers quickly developed a preference for the Baby AT form factor over the AT form factor, since it provided the same capabilities at reduced cost. Users also preferred the smaller Baby AT cases to the full-sized AT ones. As a result, Baby AT quickly overtook AT machines in popularity. Until the rise of ATX, Baby AT form factor PCs dominated the industry. Baby AT cases are found in both desktop and tower configurations, like AT, and in a large variety of styles, shapes and sizes. Baby AT cases are used with Baby AT form factor power supplies, and Baby AT style motherboards, which can be recognized based on their dimensions and placement of components. Many Baby AT cases are also supplied with "slimline" LPX power supplies.

This high-quality full tower can handle not only Baby AT and full-sized
AT motherboards, but ATX ones as well.  It is made of solid steel,
has 10 drive bays, a filtered air inlet, and two ball bearing fans.

Image PC Power & Cooling, Inc.
Image used with permission.

In the last couple of years, the ATX form factor has started to rapidly push Baby AT out of the market. Led by Intel, as more and more motherboards are offered only in ATX, the demand for Baby AT cases diminishes. However, due to the large upgrade market, and the enormous installed base of Baby AT machines, you should still be able to find Baby AT cases for some time to come. To provide flexibility, and to ease the transition of upgraders to the ATX form factor, many case manufacturers now manufacture ATX cases (such as the one pictured above) that will work with AT motherboards.

Next: LPX / Mini LPX Form Factor


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