America may be the birthplace of the Athlon and Pentium III CPUs we so desire, but when it comes to motherboards, Taiwan is king. For the second quarter of 2000 alone 78.9% of the world's motherboards were produced in Taiwan. With figures like these, the importance of the tiny island nation is unmistakable.
For this reason, we gathered 815 motherboards from the leading Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers -- Abit, ASUS, and MSI -- in an attempt to determine which company had the best combination of price, features, and performance.
When evaluating the design of each motherboard, it's readily apparent that each implementation offers a distinctive feel that places it apart from the others. In the case of the SE6, Abit went with a no-frills, high performance board that's designed to get the job done and nothing else. Honestly, this shouldn't surprise us. Some of ABIT's most popular motherboards (the BH6 comes to mind) have followed this same design philosophy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is MSI's 815E Pro. When it comes down to motherboards with lots of bells and whistles, the 815E Pro is quite a competitor.
We're not going to give away the results of the comparison on the first page, we just wanted you to realize how unique each of the combatants are. Even though we were able to determine a winner that was right for us, you, as the consumer, may have different tastes and preferences that differ from ours. For the purpose of this article, motherboard features, layout, BIOS implementation, performance, stability, and price were the factors used to judge these motherboards.
While none of the products here bats a perfect six for six, the motherboard that comes the closest to delivering on these criteria is declared the winner. Sounds simple doesn't it?