Even though PC sales aren't expected to rise all that much, Windows 8 or no, motherboard makers continue to sell all kinds of platforms. In this particular instance, Elitegroup Computer Systems is presenting one.
The mainboard has the micro-ATX form factor and bears the name of H61H2-MV, which does a good job of revealing which chipset is used as the basis.
Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Intel H61 Express chipset is actually the low-end core logic for LGA 1155 central processing units (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge).
The socket is powered by a 3+1+1 phase VRM and is wired to a pair of memory slots (DDR3-1600 DIMM), for a maximum capacity of 16 GB.
Two expansion slots are available as well. One of them is a PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, while the other is a PCI Express 2.0 x16 for graphics cards.
Furthermore, ECS included four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports (all wired to the PCH, like the PCIe slots), but no SATA 6.0 Gbps.
Other features include 6-channel HD audio, DVI, HDMI, UEFI BIOS and a D-Sub output, making the H61H2-MV very shrewd for something of its size.
We may have said that this is a micro-ATX motherboard and, indeed, ECS has labeled it as such, but the reality is a bit different.
Even with two PCIe slots, the platform is small enough that it might just fit in mini-ITX-compatible cases. As for the looks, ECS decided on an all-black PCB.
All in all, the motherboard might be a good fit for those who want to put together a strong HTPC or LAN Party gaming rig, although the lack of SATA III storage (SATA 6.0 Gbps) could be a bit off-putting. The price will be of much less than $100, or 76-100 Euro according to exchange rates.