Ever since the trend moved towards modernization of the traditional PC into home entertainment consoles, there have been plenty of reasons for one to go for Small Form Factor (SFF) and HTPC designs. There are generally two ways one can go about this though. The easy way out is to buy into custom PCs like the AOpen Mini PC or barebone systems like those offered by Shuttle. The other way is to go the D.I.Y. route. With an increasing number of SFF chassis designs that can accommodate regular sized motherboards, building your own compact PC from the ground up isn't too difficult.
If you're in the second group, you'd most probably be hunting for a microATX motherboard for your rig and while they aren't hard to find, boards these size are historically under-powered or under-featured compared to their full seized ATX brethren. AOpen is one of the manufacturers that have always catered to this group, but once in a while we get hold of a gem from some of the more mainstream manufacturers. The latest board to catch our eye is the Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H. Being one of the newer generation Core 2 ready motherboards, the G9657MA-8EKRS2H sports an up-to-date chipset, full CPU and memory speed support, plus rich features in a small footprint.
The Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H comes with the following peripherals bundled in its box:-