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Thread: Intel to stop making desktop boards

  1. #1
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    Intel to stop making desktop boards

    Got a PR note from Intel stating that there was a "resource allocation and realignment" in the motherboards group, and that the desktop motherboard business will be ramping down over the next three years, with the resources going to reference design development, new desktop and mobile form factors, and Intel's NUC initiative.

    Intel won't be developing any new motherboards after the 2013 Haswell launch. The note to press said they'll be providing support to "Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and many others" for future desktop board development.

    Interesting. So does this mean that (1) Intel's percentage of the not-growing full-size desktop market was already so small that it's no longer worth the company's investment when the people could be better used on more lucrative laptop and future form-factor designs, or (2) Intel doesn't see a long future for the traditional ATX desktop market?

    Probably a bit of both.

  2. #2
    New Romantic
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    In a world where most people are talking about how laptops are increasingly a shrinking category, with more of the market moving to tablets (and ultrabooks increasingly crowding out big 'n' heavy desktop replacement laptops), I think it's fair to say that yeah, desktops aren't part of anyone's strategy going forward.

  3. #3
    Owns Amazing Spider-Man 2 DVD Social Worker
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    Their presence was already so perfunctory I don't know what single this sends. It could be part of the packaging change others have referenced but for now it seems to me to be more like them getting out of the discreet video card market: business acknowledgement of an already existing reality. Obviously they sold more motherboards than video cards but it just seems like corporate alignment rather than a harbinger.

  4. #4
    Mad Chester
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    There once was a time Intel didn't make motherboards. A long time ago... early 90s maybe. Will they keep making chipsets? Since so much chipset functionality is now in the cpu anyways perhaps that doesn't matter.

  5. #5
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    It's rare that an Intel board will get a top recommendation from the various tech review sites. It's always been Asus/Gigabyte etc that win these things, so maybe Intel just find little growth potential in that market?

  6. #6
    Mad Chester
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    It was only a few months ago that I learned that Intel had a motherboard businesses never saw one in retail, but maybe they only supplied in some restricted countries clearly it was not a priority business and also is clearly not a growing bushiness. Given that traditional PC business stopped growing Intel has to figure out how to continue to grow so it makes sense to cut nonessential branch to put resources into to new ones.

    Also just because the motherboard market is not growing and even is declining doesn't mean it disappears over night, sure there will be decline in competition but for there still will be a market in the foreseeable future.

  7. #7
    Mad Chester
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    My last two motherboards were from Intel. Never had a problem with them.

  8. #8
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    My experiences with Intel boards over the years were that they tended to be more stable than Asian boards in the late 90s through about 2003. But since then, that's no longer true. And the Asian companies build boards that are generally more feature rich. (Though I do really like the EFI BIOS on Intel's Z77 Extreme board.)

    Plus, outside of some OEM deals, Intel was never really a big player. So I think the only signal this sends is that Intel is reallocating resources from a marginal business (for them) to designing new form factors for mobile and AIO PCs.

  9. #9
    Mad Chester
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    The first rig I built 10(!) years ago had an Intel mobo. They were solid vanilla boards.

  10. #10
    New Romantic RickH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freezer-TPF- View Post
    The first rig I built 10(!) years ago had an Intel mobo. They were solid vanilla boards.
    My experience was an adequate board with mediocre driver support. My guess is the products won't be missed.

  11. #11
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    I always got the impression that the boards were popular among businesses that built custom systems. But I can definitely see that market moving to laptops.

    I've reviewed a number of the Intel boards, and they were always rock-stable, and in the past few years the enthusiast boards were easy and effective to overclock. But they could never match Asus/Gigabyte/etc. for features.

  12. #12
    How To Go triggercut's Avatar
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    The problem with Intel motherboards, from a builder's standpoint, is that they provide no out-of-the-box overclocking functionality. You buy an ASUS or Gigabyte mobo and it comes with an easy way to gently overclock your system out of the box.

  13. #13
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    That's not true. The Intel Extreme series motherboards support out-of-the-box, GUI or BIOS-based overclocking. My secondary system is an Intel board running a 4.1GHz Core i7, just using their GUI-based overclocking utility.

  14. #14
    Social Worker ARogan's Avatar
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    I've never used an intel motherboard in the 20 or so pc builds I've done. Gigabyte is my brand of choice now but I've used Asus and MSI in the past.

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