In a bout of nostalgia, we decided to take a look back at the most interesting and eyebrow-raising motherboards that have landed on our desks through the years. The desire for innovation is a breeding ground for some some strange and interesting ideas, that's for sure. Some designs truly pushed the boundaries with innovations that inspired competitors and changed motherboards forever, while others should probably have never left the drawing board. We've picked out 20 motherboards that came out between 1999 and 2010 that we think deserve a special mention.
The motherboard is the kind of hardware that is more likely to elicit a yawn than anything else. A printed circuit board with some transistors, slots and few other components - it's not exactly the sexiest part of a computer. However, once in a great while a motherboard comes around that is much more than the sum of its parts - where you can tell the designers were allowed to let their fantasies go wild, or at least push the boundaries, to try something different.
Some set new standards with ground-breaking features or with outstanding performance. Others stuck in our memories simply because they were just so terrible, either in how they worked (or didn't work), or how they were designed.
When you ask me what my favourite motherboard of all time is, you won't have to wait long for an answer. It's the ABIT BP6. In 1999, ABIT - the most innovative motherboard manufacturer at the time - released a board with dual Intel Socket 370. ABIT's engineers were ahead of the game, and had realised that the affordable Intel Celeron processors that had recently come out worked great in a dual-processor setup. Around 1999, overclocking was finally gaining a real foothold, incidentally with those same Celeron processors. You can read the rest of The 20 most bizarre and innovative motherboards: 1999 - 2010 on Hardware.info.