It has never been so difficult to award a winner, since the results reveal very little difference in performance among the boards. Fortunately, stability and reliability are not at issue, a point which I still accredit to Intel - despite some of its other erroneous decisions, Intel is still capable of producing superb chipsets. Personally, I prefer a flawless, functioning chipset to a faster and maybe less reliable one that supports the latest technology.
With the AX3S Pro (a standard 815 motherboard), the AX3S Plus (with IDE RAID controller) and the AX3SP-1394 (with FireWire controller), AOpen displays an impressive range of products. In combination with handy overclocking features, good performance and useful add-ons, these boards should meet everybody's requirements. Let's hope that they haven't been affected too much by the fire that recently raged at their Taipei office.
Indisputably, Asus dominates the motherboard scene, not only due to superior product performance and prices, but also because of excellent consistency. There was not one Asus product in past years that has disappointed us.
In a motherboard market that is currently quite glutted, Soltek is obviously working hard to achieve success and recognition. Such brave efforts are beginning to show some positive results - their SL-65ME is fast and reliable, equipped with features appropriate for the latest demands of the market. This combination of solid products together with attractive prices gives Soltek the chance to become a big player.
I could go on forever, describing the advantages of motherboards from all other companies as well. Mercifully, I won't. However, the most important conclusion from the last Solano reviews that bears mentioning is that none of the motherboards revealed any major weaknesses. Ultimately, your purchase should be based on price, features and add-ons. Motherboards from Azza, Luck Star and Jetway might not be very popular, but they work just as well as boards from the major brands, with the clear advantage of costing less.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.