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

PC/XT Form Factor

The original IBM PC, and its hard-drive-equipped successor, the IBM PC/XT, used the same original PC form factor. These boxes were sold as desktops only, and were constructed of heavy-gauge metal throughout (they don't make 'em like that any more, for the most part). Many older PC buffs remember what these cases were like: a "U-shaped" metal cover was fastened at the back using five screws. To open the PC you had to remove all the screws and slide the cover off the front of the base of the machine, sometimes risking the loss of a floppy drive faceplate in the process. (Maybe it's a good thing that they don't make 'em like that any more!) The power supply was tucked into the right rear of the box, and the system power was controlled by a red toggle switch (that was usually hard to reach).

These original PC boxes were also very large, and their power supplies large as well, for the amount of power produced. (How many folks realize that the original IBM PC's power supply produced only 63.5W? This was doubled to 130W for the XT.) The PC/XT form factor was replaced by the AT form factor when the IBM PC/AT was released in 1984, though IBM PC/XT cases, as well as large numbers of clones, continued to be found on the market for some time.

Next: AT Form Factor


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