Seeing that the edge in performance between top of the range motherboards using the same chipset is very slight, frequently even negligible, manufacturers are increasingly turning more and more to details to attract the consumer. The first sign came when manufacturers started to give away relatively expensive commercial programs, like Norton Ghost, Drive Image and Partition Magic.

Some manufacturers have chosen to market motherboards in highly stylised packaging, so that their cases have more shop-floor appeal to the consumer than those of their competitors. Just look at the packaging of some of the EPoX (plastic) and Chaintech (extra-large size, with carry handles) motherboards.

The pictures below are just a sample at random from what you can find on the market. More and more manufacturers are lauching products using fancy boxes.

Chaintech MotherboardFigure 1: Box from a Chaintech motherboard.

EPoX MotherboardFigure 2: Box from an EPoX motherboard.

Gigabyte MotherboardFigure 3: Box from a Gigabyte motherboard.

But this is mere window dressing. The important thing is that now several manufacturers are going a lot further, providing small details that can make a difference to their motherboards. And we stand to gain from it.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.