Over the last few years, all sorts of interesting projects have elicited funding via Kickstarter. This is the first time I've seen a PC motherboard pop up on the site, though. A company called Quo is seeking funding for projectQ, a mobo that seems to be purpose-built for hackintosh systems. Quo doesn't mention Apple by name, but it does claim projectQ is "the first motherboard designed to run any operating system you choose."
One look at the specificiations makes the target market pretty obvious. This puppy combines an Ivy Bridge socket with dual Thunderbolt ports, an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller, multiple digital display outputs, USB 3.0, and two flavors of FireWire. Intel's Z77 Express platform anchors the board, which uses a microATX form factor but still provides dual PCI Express x16 slots.
Quo isn't exactly a household name, and it won't be making the awkwardly named Z77MX-QUO-AOS itself. The company is working closely with Gigabyte, which will manufacture the board if the Kickstarter goal is reached. According to the crowd-funding page, the prototype hardware and firmware are complete, and the first production boards could be ready by May.
131 backers have already pushed Quo more than halfway to its $87,000 funding target. The first 100 boards are up for grabs for those who pledge at least $219, and the effective price goes up to $239 after that initial batch runs out. If you're willing to commit $869 or more, Quo will send you one of several complete systems based on the motherboard.
ProjectQ would be less interesting if a reputable motherboard maker weren't already involved, and I'm curious to see how the venture pans out. The timing is a little unfortunate, though. Intel's next-generation Haswell processors are due out in just a few months, and they won't work in the Z77MX-QUO-AOS. Quo calls its Kickstarter campaign a stepping stone to creating graphics cards and additional motherboards, so perhaps it will be able to keep up with new platforms. Thanks to VR-Zone for the tip.
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