It seems that being small is in vogue among motherboard vendors now. In this case, it means motherboards of the microATX form factor. While we can't pinpoint any seminal products that could have sparked this trend, a glance at upcoming or recent releases left us no doubt that the big brands like ASUS, DFI and MSI are going small in a big way.
And lest you think that we are merely referring to the entry level models with integrated graphics that are usually the domain of the microATX, let us reveal that all of these new microATX boards are based on Intel's latest high-end chipset, the X58 Express that underpins the Core i7 processor.
Perhaps it's DFI and its microATX P45 motherboards, which we previously reviewed here. After all, DFI was also one of the first to bring this concept to the X58 segment with its JR X58-T3H6 board. It's joined by a host of new competitors however, the first of which is the ASUS Rampage II Gene, which brings along the overclocking tilt from its bigger brother, the Rampage II Extreme that is part of ASUS' Republic of Gamers series.
We snagged this square motherboard from ASUS recently and took it out for a spin. In its compact red package, we found the following:-