A piece by Lars-Göran Nilsson on SemiAccurate on how Intel's P67, H67 and H61 chipsets will lack native PCI support brings to my mind the need to get rid of a lot of the legacy support on motherboards altogether.
It annoys me how motherboards, even high end parts, come with support for floppy drives and Parallel ATA hard drives, and some even come equipped with ... wait for it ... modems! On top of that, boards still come with ribbon cables for PATA and floppy drives, which means that a regular system builder like myself ends up hip-deep in the things.
Seriously, if you're going to be spending $500+ on a mobo, do you really need PATA disks and floppy drives? Now, those of you still using XP might argue that floppy support is needed add drivers during the install process, but an XP SP2/SP3 CD (either original or one slipstreamed together) supports loading from a USB drive as long as it's mapped to A:\.
Then there's those LPT and COM ports. Again, who needs these in 2010? OK, I'll accept that there's perhaps a small number of people still making use of such devices, but again, the vast majority of those buying a new motherboard won't.
And while I'm in a ranting mood, why do notebooks, in particular high-end notebooks, still come with a frickin' built-in modem?
Excuse me while I go scream into a pillow .... ARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!
The reason why manufacturers do this is to give the impression of offering value, but so much of this legacy support is now valueless and pointless, so much so that it's laughable. It also makes for bad design. For example, in cramming unnecessary stuff onto a motherboard, placement of stuff that you actually want to use, like SATA and USB headers, are seriously compromised.
Time to cull the legacy support guys.