As in past years, Computex 2002 is the place to go to look for motherboards. With 96 products listed on the Computex website and 38 companies claiming to manufacture them, there’s more than enough to go around. With so many CPU configurations, chipsets and other functionality to choose from, the 96 is a conservative number; most of the major brands have upwards of 15 boards available. These major brands attract customers with one or two flagship boards supported by a full fleet of others; the smaller brands tend to go for niche products or non-mainstream technologies. The DigiTimes PATLab team have reviewed a large number of the newer boards over the last few weeks and we decided to pick out three for a special review: Gigabyte’s GA-8IEXP, the MS-845E Max2 from Micro-Star International (MSI) and Tyan’s S2720. The first two of these are ATX form factor, 533MHz front side bus (FSB) boards using Intel’s 845E Pentium 4 chipset. Gigabyte’s offering should be a battleship board while MSI’s is more of a submarine – offering wireless connectivity via a Bluetooth module. The Tyan offering takes its place like an aircraft carrier targeting the server market, with dual-Xeon processors and the new Intel E7500 chipset.
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