At Computex, we got to see ECS’s new mini-STX motherboard up close for the first time. Although it's a fairly typical mini-STX board, ECS has one important innovation that other mini-STX OEMs do not: the option of interchangeable cases.
Thus far, all of the mini-STX motherboards we have seen can be used in just a single case each, because they do not use an interchangeable rear I/O shield. For example, Asrock and Gigabyte both use cases with pre-cut holes that perfectly mold to their respective motherboards, but those would not match up to the ports on any other mini-STX board.
This is a problem for potential system builders that would want to put together a mini-STX system, because they are limited to a single case choice for both Asrock’s and Gigabyte’s mini-STX boards. With ECS’s mini-STX board, you currently have three case options.
ECS achieved this by including a conventional rear I/O shield with its motherboards. ECS partnered with two different case OEMs to produce these first few cases. SilverStone created two of them, one of which is available in multiple colors, and the other is produced by a third company that ECS refused to reveal.
Eventually, ECS plans to bring more case designers into the loop so system builders will have a wide selection of cases to choose from for their mini-STX rigs.
There is still no word on pricing, but these systems will start to ship sometime before the end of this year.