In a report regarding MSI's August revenues, DigiTimes has revealed that the company plans to introduce "ruggedized" motherboards and graphics cards. No additional details are provided other than the fact that these rugged models will be restricted to the high end of MSI's lineup.
Differentiating motherboards and graphics cards has certainly become increasingly difficult for manufacturers. There's only so much one can do with custom coolers, heatsink stickers, and integrated peripherals drawn from the same pool of auxiliary silicon shared by everyone else. Ruggedization would certainly be a unique approach, although it's hard to imagine how that might be achieved with a motherboard or graphics card. Unless something's been lost in the translation, ruggedization usually denotes increased resistance to damage brought on by physical shock, water, or dust.
PC enclosures accumulate dust like Justin Bieber attracts screaming tweeners, but rarely does the build-up of particulate actually infiltrate a motherboard or graphics card. Internal PC components don't face much in the way of moisture or physical abuse, either. There's no word on when MSI's reportedly ruggedized products will make their debut, but designs based on AMD's rumored graphics refresh and Intel's upcoming 6-series core-logic chipsets are likely candidates.