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Intel Technology

Intel Leaving Desktop Motherboard Business 219

An anonymous reader writes "As soon as its next-gen Haswell CPUs ship, Intel will start to leave the desktop motherboard business. It will be a lengthy process, taking at least three years, and the company will continue to produce chipsets. The company will be focusing instead on smaller and newer form factors. For one, it will be working on its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) boards, which are 4" by 4". Legacy support for old motherboards and the new Haswell motherboards will continue through their respective warranty periods. 'Given the competitive landscape, it's not a big surprise that Intel is refocusing its efforts on areas that have greater potential impact on future growth. All segments of the PC business are under extreme pressure, with sales slipping and users gravitating toward tablets and smart phones. Focusing on reference designs for all-in-one PCs, Ultrabooks and tablets will enable Intel's partners to more rapidly ship products that appeal to the new generation of mobile users.' AnandTech points out that one of the reasons Intel put out motherboards for so long was to assure a baseline level of quality for its CPUs. Now that the boards coming out of Taiwan are of good quality, Intel doesn't need to expend the effort."
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Intel Leaving Desktop Motherboard Business

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  • by Quakeulf ( 2650167 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:13AM (#42668203)
    I really need my high-end desktop computer to do my job. How long until something will happen to this market segment will disappear as well? I cannot, for the life of me, see me doing my graphics, game development and 3D on a tablet unless it gets powerful enough for my needs.
  • Re:Overpriced (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:18AM (#42668233)
    Compared to ASUS and MSI motherboards, Intel ones are much, MUCH better engineered. You get what you pay for.
  • Re:Overpriced (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slaker ( 53818 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:36AM (#42668367)

    In my experience, Intel's boards seem to be considerably more reliable. I'm sure my sample size is small, perhaps 100 systems per year, but I have had a much, much lower incidence of problems with Intel motherboards than with Asus or Gigabyte, and MSI doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with those two.

    Intel boards are actually made by Foxconn, so it's possible that this will be a change in name only, but I do also value the fact that I can get an RMA on a motherboard from Intel within two business days. Neither Gigabyte nor Asus offer anything like that level of service and paying a little extra for it is entirely justifiable.

  • by laffer1 ( 701823 ) <luke@@@foolishgames...com> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:45AM (#42668433) Homepage Journal

    That system only has a core i3 in it. There are reasons some of us need CPU power besides gaming. My desktop spends a great deal of time compiling software. Intel and AMD have made it clear they don't want me as a customer, but the problem is that I have no where else to go.

    Intel's on a race to the bottom with ARM. AMD is on a race to extinction.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:57AM (#42668531)

    There will be a need for high-power professional and enthusiast machines for a long time. You'll still be able to get them - but as they become a niche product and volume goes down, there may be a corresponding rise in price.

  • Re:Overpriced (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheNinjaroach ( 878876 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:19AM (#42668789)
    I tend to think that the high end ASUS boards are the best money can buy. I've always thought Intel motherboards only compete in the OEM sector.
  • Re:Overpriced (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @10:55AM (#42669163) Journal

    My expericne:

    ASUS will give you slightly better performance and flexibility, but is *SLIGHTLY* less stable. Almost nobody will ever notice the difference.
    Intel, is going to be more stable, but you have a slight speed loss and not as much flexibility (i.e. O.C., available feature sets).

    There are more reliable board than ASUS, that don't have the drawbacks of Intel, but they are generally much more expensive, and often not worth it, so I'm not sure if they'd detract from the 'best money can buy' statement...

  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:11PM (#42670095)

    The real reason the desktop pc is on the decline is that it can be upgraded and made to last a very long time. Contrast that with a laptop, ultrabook, tablet or phone which are all disposable devices. Most of them, now, you can't even replace the battery, let alone any of the internals. /.ers like car analogies, but I think stereos are a better one. Back in the day, the best stereos were all components. You had an amplifier, a separate tuner, turntable, tape deck, etc. You could purchase the best components your wallet and audio needs dictated. If something new came out, like CDs or a component broke, it didn't require replacing the entire system. That is how it is with desktop computers.

    On the other hand the new mobile market devices like tablets and phones are like the mass marketed all in one stereos that started to dominate in the late 70s. They were a marketer's dream, and the accountants loved them, because there were no user serviceable parts inside. If something new came our or something broke, the consumer went out and purchased a new one. Great for the bottom line.

    The typical desktop PC can be made to last far longer than its expected useful life (how many computers are still running XP out there?). That is not an option with tablets, phones, ultrabooks and the like. Eventually the battery will fail to hold a charge and since it is not user serviceable, the consumer will have to choose to pay the vendor almost as much to put a new one in or to buy a new device. Easy choice, buy the new device, even if you didn't need the new capabilities. All of those back lit displays also start to dim with time and again are cheaper to replace the device than to send off to have serviced. At least with a desktop, it would involve replacing just the monitor, not the entire computer.

    The average consumer convinces themself that the tradeoffs are worth it, but for many of them, they are wrong and they get frustrated and convince themself they just need to upgrade to a better model (Is the iPad X really that much better than the iPad X-1?). The vendors are counting on that! It's all about the marketing.

    How many people do you see who would scoff at a $200 netbook, but walk around with a $600 iPad plus keyboard? Both are underpowered, so that can't be it. The iPad does have a touch screen, but is that a $400 advantage, and if so, then why the keyboard? You'll even hear the argument that well, I can leave the keyboard behind and only take it for the times I truly need it -- which is true, but then why do they always have the keyboard with them? Because, they can't admit that a tablet solution wasn't the right solution for their needs and not only did they spend too much, they had to purchase additional pieces to make it work.

    Because the average life of the desktop PC can be extended relatively easily and inexpensively, vendors, who depend on ever increasing sales volume as a measure of performance have to switch to a product that allows them to meet that goal, even if it isn't in the best interest of anybody but the shareholders. After all, companies no longer exist primarily to meet a public need, the exist to keep the shareholders happy. If the shareholders are happy, the board is happy. If the board is happy, the executives are happy, etc., etc.

    The world has changed and the game is no longer about producing what people need, but instead producing what they will buy, particularly if you can get them to buy it over and over again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @02:31PM (#42671857)

    Which blithely ignores the fact that most of the PC market never "upgrades" anything except perhaps memory.

    My company purchases these cheapass HP tower PCs for ~$300 each. They have three drivebays and three expansion slots. Huge wasteful powersupply. They will never be upgraded, the expansion slots will never be used, they will never get an additional drive installed.

    WHY is an overkil tower the cheapest corporate PC option? Only because the PC market is a fucked-up dinosaur, completely stuck it's ways.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe