Since we started Hardware.Info back in 1998, we've probably tested almost 1,000 motherboards. Usually it's not the most exciting piece of hardware, but through the years we've seen some pretty interesting and creative attempts at innovation. In a bout of nostalgia, we took a look back at the most interesting and the most eyebrow-raising motherboards that came across 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 pushed the boundaries with innovations that inspired the competition and changed motherboards forever, others should probably have stayed on the drawing board. We picked out 20 that deserve a special mention, motherboards that came out between the years 1999 and 2010.
Motherboards are the kind of hardware that are more likely to elicit a yawn than anything else. A printed circuit board with some transistors, slots and few other components, it's not the most sexy part of a computer. However, once in a great while a motherboard comes around that is much more than the sum of its parts, a board where you can tell that the designers were allowed to let their fantasies go wild, or at least push the boundaries, to try something different. Others set new standards with ground-breaking features or with outstanding performance. Others stuck in our memories because they were just so terrible, either in how they worked or didn't work, or with a design that elicits nothing more than an existential "Why?"
If 20 motherboards only serve to wet your appetite, you can browse through the total of 730 tested boards we have in our database. We started that list back in 2006, so all 1,000 aren't there.