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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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  • Re:Overpriced (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trum4n ( 982031 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:33AM (#42668349)
    I have to disagree. Years of using MSI and ASUS has shown great reliability and performance. Every Intel board i have had were total junk. Short lived, cheaply built. Of course, it might have been the processors terrible form factors. Every MSI and ASUS i ever had was AMD powered, and far superior to that LGA crap simply because it had pins and wasn't completely disabled by a little vibration. With my years of experience in the field, i just have to say, i will never buy anything with the Intel badge again.
  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:46AM (#42668443)

    I have a Terminator-like vision of a dark future where everything is a all-in-one, laptop, or tablet--and all are walled gardens.

  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:50AM (#42668477)

    It's quite simple, really. Intel, monopolist or not, can make more money by utilizing its resources elsewhere than in the the desktop market. All of the hype is in the tablet/phone/ultrabook market and that is where they are shifting their resources. It's quite simple, really. The cost to design and produce a board for a tablet is not significantly different than that of a desktop. On the other hand, a tablet board will probably out sell a desktop board 100 to 1 if not more. As such, the ROI on the tablet board is far greater than on the desktop.

    For most users, particularly those that are simply consumers of content, the modern PC is overkill, at least in the world of online services where even the fastest consumer internet connection is a bottleneck for the underlying hardware.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:54AM (#42668515)

    I'm a professional photographer. I need vastly more processor power, storage space and screen real estate than any tablet or laptop could ever offer me. So yes, the desktop computer market still makes sense, maybe not for everybody, but at least for specialized groups.

    If anyone will ever come up with a 2x eight core, 64Gb RAM, 9.3Tb RAID5, Quadro 6000 and 30" + 24" IPS screens, I'll gladly switch. Until then, you can pry my desktop from my cold, dead fingers. (yes, those are the actual specs of the machine I just built last month, minus the screens which were transferred from the outgoing computer to the new one)

  • Re:Overpriced (Score:4, Interesting)

    by trum4n ( 982031 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @09:57AM (#42668541)
    Agreed. I've had a brand new system that i just built not boot due to incompatible RAM. It meets all the specs, exceeds some of them, but no good in an Intel board. Drop it in an MSI, works great for years. G.Skill told me it's because they wouldn't pay to be "I7 Certified".
  • Re:Overpriced (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TopSpin ( 753 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @01:30PM (#42671071) Journal

    I tend to think that the high end ASUS boards are the best money can buy

    My experience with ASUS has been frustration with low quality third party chips used to provide excessive numbers or SATA and USB ports and other features. These chips are never as good as the integrated Intel circuits. ASUS is the best of the non-Intel lot, but the others do the same thing; solder on whatever is cheapest and makes the specs look better, damn the bugs or driver issues. Intel also uses third party stuff but they're nowhere near as cavalier about it. Intel's work is not flawless [anandtech.com], but they fix it [pcstats.com] when they screw up. If some Silicon Image chip on a Megasustrix motherboard doesn't work right they aren't going to fix it, or even acknowledge the problem.

    I've always thought Intel motherboards only compete in the OEM sector.

    That hasn't been true for years. On Newegg only ASUS has more (Intel based) motherboard models available than Intel; Intel has been very responsive to the market of people that want good boards. People like me have long since stopped debugging the poorly engineered products of all these little Taiwanese board makers. My last three personal machines were Intel boards and they're all still running perfectly. Two survived transition from XP to Windows 7 with no driver drama; the OS recognized all the important bits out-of-the-box, which is exactly what I expected and intended.

    Dear ASUS, this is an opportunity beyond simply gobbling up the market Intel leaves behind. Now is the time to step up your engineering and qualification of components and produce a line of grown-up boards. I don't need or want 35 USB ports provided by 3 phy implementations, all different. I want conservative, well engineered boards that run cool and don't leak capacitor juice all over the place three years after I buy it. Thanks.

Variables don't; constants aren't.