Intel to exit the desktop motherboard business

For years, Intel has produced its own line of desktop motherboards. Not for much longer, though. This afternoon, we learned that Intel will ramp down its desktop motherboard business over the next three years. As that division spins down, Intel will allocate more resources to reference design development, small-form-factor NUC devices, and "other areas to be discussed later."

According to Intel spokesman Dan Snyder, Intel will stop developing new desktop boards after it rolls out models designed for next-gen Haswell processors. After that, you’ll have to rely on boards from the likes of Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI, as most of you probably do already. Those firms are expected to fully support Intel’s upcoming roadmap, Synder says, so desktop boards aren’t going anywhere.

Desktop motherboards are pretty established at this point, and the market is well-served by the Taiwanese mobo makers. There’s loads of growth potential outside the traditional tower market, though. The tiny NUC box is a perfect example. So is Intel’s Thin Mini-ITX initiative, which standardizes components to facilitate a market for DIY all-in-one PCs. It’s unclear whether Intel will produce branded motherboards for use in Thin Mini-ITX and other new platforms or whether it will concentrate exclusively on developing reference designs for its partners.

Regardless of whether any of them bear Intel’s name, desktop motherboards will start looking a little different beginning with Broadwell, the generation after Haswell. A trusted source has confirmed that CPUs will come soldered onto the motherboard for some models, although socketed designs are on the roadmap through at least 2016.

Comments closed
    • clone
    • 6 years ago

    just more evidence that PC desktop sales are shrinking.

    • oldog
    • 6 years ago

    Well I say you can blame Apple for this. What with making those hand held computer thingies.

    Heck, why sit at a proper desk and get work done when you get your work done while driving to the office?

    Next thing you know people will be out sourcing their own jobs to China.

      • rwburnham
      • 6 years ago

      I understood that reference.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah, I thought that news story was freaking brilliant. The real trick would be to find some telecommuting jobs and self-outsource that way. The sky’s the limit!

          • oldog
          • 6 years ago

          Agreed!

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 6 years ago

    Not a surprise, but it does lend credence to the rumor that Intel is long term walking away from socketable processors. I’d be more concerned if Asus was leaving motherboard production.

    • thermistor
    • 6 years ago

    Rant on. I can with certainty that ALL except one Intel mobo I’ve purchased, assembled has/had issues. 1 x DG945 – went out within a year, didn’t bother to replace as it didn’t support Core2. 2 x DG965WH, electrical issues, no POST. Sold the replacement directly to e-bay, bought an ASUS instead. 2 x DG965RY, bad network ports, sound went bad on one. Only one that have ever come shining through is a DG33TL. I don’t even consider Intel boards in builds…

    In the 945 and 965 generations, I could almost guarantee a lock-up when putting in a thumb drive, across multiple boards/builds.

    Every other brand I’ve tried, ASUS, Foxconn, Biostar, yes even Biostar, has worked out of the box, and parts of them just didn’t quit working one day ho-hum.

    Good bye and good riddance. Love the CPU’s, won’t ever use their boards.

      • DarkMikaru
      • 6 years ago

      Totally agree man. Not from personal experience, but from going online and reading reviews from Newegg & other retailers I just couldn’t take the chance to throw them in a customer’s build. I mostly build AMD based machines, but the few Intel’s I’ve built were Asus or Gigabyte and still going strong. Guess you could consider Intel’s motherboards the OCZ of mobo manufacturers.

      What always surprised me was, how do you not know how to build motherboards for your own chips? Then again, I don’t think AMD has ever built there own motherboards either so….

      Anyway, as Therm says… Good Bye & Good Riddance.

    • barich
    • 6 years ago

    This is disappointing. I haven’t bought a non-Intel mobo in years. Every single one of them just works. I also had good luck with Biostar when I was still using AMD CPUs, but every other manufacturer that I’ve used has given me trouble at one point or another.

    • holophrastic
    • 6 years ago

    Mostly poorly written article to date:

    “There’s loads.. ”
    “any of them bear…”
    “it will concentrate exclusive on developing… ”

    Geoff, I’d always thought English was your first language. You must be ill today. Hope you feel better soon.

    • axeman
    • 6 years ago

    I wonder if they are going to continue to manufacturer their own boards for reference designs, or use another manufacturer for that purpose, like EVGA does for NVidia, and Sapphire for AMD/ATi.

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      Their reference boards were manufactured by foxconn as well.

        • axeman
        • 6 years ago

        Ah, once I wrote that I started thinking that likely they didn’t manufacturer the boards anyhow. I believe Foxconn builds motherboards for several major OEMs as well. Heck, now that Pegatron is a completely separate entity, even Asus doesn’t actually build motherboards any more. Most stuff is actually manufactured by companys like Foxconn or ECS apparently.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 6 years ago

    They should have done this a long time ago, as well as move to a non-upgradeable socket for their lower end offerings.

    That way they have complete vertical control over vendors they work with.

    • FireGryphon
    • 6 years ago

    Intel mobos were usually bereft of frills but very solid and reliable. Makes sense that Intel is leaving the business, as the desktop market is shrinking, and what’s left of it prefers cheaper, throw away parts.

    • Arclight
    • 6 years ago

    Well i supose it was odd that they got into this market in the first place…….i expected them to back down for a while now. Also, from what i know, it’s not like many enthusiats favored this brand of motherboards.

    • bacondreamer
    • 6 years ago

    Being someone who actually worked in custom PC shop in the past, Intel’s decision really didn’t come as a surprise. In terms of reliability, we’ve almost always (keyword: almost, there were a few bad apples) preferred Intel over any other brands. And when in comes to RMA replacements, their B2B RMA policy was second to none with next day CPU/Board RMA cross-ship (can’t really comment on retail side of things). But the bottom line is Intel continued to fail to carve into the market of enthusiast builders.

    Intel boards, sans a few exceptions, have always been considered the mid-range board because it rarely had extra “features” you’d find on boards from other brands until recent years when they started targeting enthusiast with the black box boards. I’ve personally over the years owned several Intel boards and every single one of them has been rock solid in terms of stability. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles compared to the like of Asus or Gigabyte, it always fitted my needs when building a system.

      • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
      • 6 years ago

      I build 2-3 Computers a year. For myself I like to try things out, but when building for others I always relied on Intel, and I was never disappointed.

      From Intel’s perspective, it makes sense: They are probably starved for good engineers, so they take them from the least profitable market.

      More importantly, Intel never wanted to make a dent in the mobo market. Their intention was to see that motherboards are available when they launch a new cpu generation (they always said as much). Nowadays, motherboards are on sale several weeks before that, so why bother?

        • Welch
        • 6 years ago

        I build about 1 or 2 computers a month for customers. And I can honestly say that only ONE TIME has any of the Intel specific boards caught my attention enough to make it worth the purchase. I’m not one of those builders that gets the lowest end, bargain basement board in an attempt to shave off my cost for profit back into my pocket. I strictly deal with quality parts that have always led me to using Asus boards and on occasion a good well proven Gigabyte board.

          • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
          • 6 years ago

          My own Asus board gives me lots of trouble. It keeps rebooting for 1-2 times until it passes post. The problem appeared some time after I bought the thing, so the store is several hundred miles away. Its not an isolated problem either. Friend of mine has the same P8P67 board and the same Problem. People may be wowed to see that a board has built-in wifi or bt, which lets you overclock the CPU from a cell phone, but at the end of the day, you want it to work. And that’s where Intel always delivered.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 6 years ago

    Too bad, Intel motherboards were decent if quirky at times (their BIOS didn’t resemble those from other mobo manufacturers.) They had good add-on chips like Intel NICs, those can be found on other motherboards but aren’t common and usually on expensive ones. But the best part of them was their power optimization, they commonly had ~20W lower power draw than comparable Taiwanese motherboards because they cared about component selection. I hope that part of their ‘recommended component reference designs’ at least carries over to the Taiwanese manufacturers…something like an ‘Intel optimized platform’ program would be cool.

      • stdRaichu
      • 6 years ago

      Was going to say the same thing; I’ve been using Intel boards for years for things where stability is more important than features, and I’ve recently been highly enamoured of the DH77DF and SK1200KPR boards for mITX projects; they’re the only mITX boards I’ve found that support Intel NICs rather than the usual Realtek dross (which have terrible reliability issues when you’re doing things like jumbo frames and channel bonding).

      As you say, power consumption has usually been best in class, and their replacement service is unparalleled. Hopefully they’ll still produce some awesome mini-server boards like the S1200KPR.

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        I just went through 3 bad DH77EB motherboards. Their RMA service is quick and they are one of the very few manufacturers that will accept linux/bsd bug reports. Once I got through their bad batch the fourth is working fine. One minor annoyance however with them. They have an issue where trying to get into the BIOS while hooked up to a 720 p display via hdmi will result in a reboot of the system.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 6 years ago

          What problem did you have with the motherboard?

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            There were multiple issues, a few BIOS updates fixed most of them but the ones that caused the RMA’s were no post issues.

            Other issues that were discovered:

            -Some PCI-e cards not recognized
            -mSATA drive not being selectable as a boot drive intermittently
            -not able to power down the system because of a chipset bug because enabling USB 3 support would cause the built on NIC to detect a phantom WOL packet (fixed by a linux patch that switched the USB 3 support down to usb 2 mode on a shutdown command being issued allowing it to shut down)
            -uEFI entries not being written (temp fix was to use legacy mode)
            -drive boot sequence not being saved
            -USB drive being plugged in would result in a failed boot attempt to USB despite USB boot being set to disabled.

            There were a few others but those are the ones I can think of right off the top of my head.

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    You know, with Intel switching to BGAs it makes you wonder why they don’t just shove motherboard manufacturers out of the picture… It makes perfect sense from a business perspective since they already do motherboard manufacturing… …or would that make it look like they’re trying to monopolize the market too much?

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      That’s a higher-cost, lower-margin business. Instead of trying to come up with a variety of mobos to keep enthusiasts of all stripes and budgets happy, plus all the OEMs, they can leave that to the mobo makers… and avoid having to dirty their hands with individual consumers with all their complaints and mistakes and RMAs. They still have to deal with the OEMs, of course, though once the mobos have the CPUs soldered on they can mostly take and arm’s length approach there too for all but the largest of box makers.

      When workstation mobos were a larger, more lucrative chunk of the market, Intel could justify being in that business — especially since they could essentially build reference platforms that would eventually filter down through the 3rd party mobo makers to the other segments. But there’s little need for that now that they have, or are about to, subsume essentially all significant mobo functionality onto their SoC — they are still building the reference platform, but it’s entirely inside the chip and the mobo is (or will be) little more than some slots and ports and power planes. Why would Intel want to be in that business?

        • Pez
        • 6 years ago

        Excellently put

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        Making a profit is still making a profit… unless they’re losing money doing it, there isn’t any reason to bail on it… They have an entire monopoly on their own chips. Add to it BGAs and they could cherry pick all the premium overclock or extremely high grade chips… or simply choose not to ship their processors to motherboard manufacturers at all, which means consumers would have to pay their prices if they want their chips.

        You can’t really make an argument for them not competing because they’re the ones that set the rules. Nothing says they have to play by everyone else’s.

          • EtherealN
          • 6 years ago

          Making “a profit” is not sufficient reason to be in a business. It’s all about return on working capital.

          If they have X margin on motherboards, but X times 5 margin on processors, it can make sense to drop the mobo business in order to put the capital towards expansing the processor business. Basically, even though the mobo makes a profit (if it does, I don’t know Intel’s numbers there), having capital in it incurs an opportunity cost compared to moving said capital to other, more lucrative, businesses.

          It can also be a risk management matter, like UberGerbil hinted at – less exposure to end-users allows a more streamlined organization and thus reduced overhead.

          And finally, it could also be that they’ve decided the return on mobos isn’t good enough and they have eyeball on something else that is new that they believe will have better returns, and thus want to move capital and other assets to the new stuff.

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            Since they’re using BGAs they could combine the two and shove other makers out of the market… That profit margin could be whatever they want it to be, with the only exception to this being AMD as competition.

            I agree there are opportunity costs, but you’re talking about a monopoly on their own chips and motherboards that go along with them.

            • clone
            • 6 years ago

            Intel sells the chipsets for every Intel motherboard on the market, Intel dictates the prices for those chipsets.

            you are proposing Intel invest substancial to Intel sums of money into additional manufacturing so that Intel can build all motherboards using their own chipsets and then charge more for the motherboards while at the same time losing all chipset revenue?….. thereby killing one revenue stream while drastically complicating another that will add nothing but additional risk & offer no benefits that aren’t already being had.

            this is part of the reason why Intel is walking away from desktop motherboards… not server.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          Using resources to make a tiny profit has an opportunity cost

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            Who says the profit would be tiny? When they’re the only game in town people have to go to them for whatever prices they set.

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          You know Bensam123.. what I love about you is your massive and shameless logical inconsistency from one day to the next. When the supposed “abandonment” of socketd CPUs first started, you went out made a (completely disengenous) “Think of the Childrens!!” argument crying and moaning about what this terrible move would do to those poor small motherboard makers who pay Intel for chipsets and produce motherboards.

          My response was: Yeah, Intel wants to turn away customers who pay them money because they don’t like making a profit.

          Your response was that I was completely wrong and that Intel wants to destroy smaller motherboard makers who likely pay more for each chip since they don’t have the bargaining power to buy chipsets at a discount like the bigger players. Intel will make money in the process… somehow.

          Now.. all of the sudden.. the mere theoretical possibility that Intel might make a penny or two on some motherboards should be all the reason in the universe to keep those motherboards in production forever since Intel making its own motherboards* is supposedly vital… or something (AMD never did it, but we don’t care about logic here).

          * (and by making, I mean designing & contracting the manufacturing out to Foxconn)

          Every Bensam123 statement usually boils down to this illogical train of thought:
          1. Intel is Evil.
          2. Therefore no matter what they do is bad!
          3. I pretend to like AMD, but in reality my “liking” of AMD is a reflection of my hatred of Intel and AMD is just a convenient “not-Intel” to trump up. If AMD goes down in flames but takes Intel with it in the process, I’m cool with that.
          4. Rules of logic and facts only apply to other people. I’ve concluded that Intel is evil, so anything goes.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            You know crazy people hate being analyzed, right?

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            You’re referring to Chuck, right?

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      Intel does not do their own MB manufacturing, foxxcon does it for them and as of 7 series motherboards they do not even do their own bios/uefi anymore either. That is farmed out to Phoenix now.

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        I didn’t know they made their own bios’s at one time (for motherboards at least).

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Hrmm… I said it first, and I said it funnier, but you still felt the need to chime in anyway.

    • Ethyriel
    • 6 years ago

    This rather sucks for those of us who build white box desktops for small businesses. It’s hard to find a well priced, reliable, no frills motherboard with a simple RMA process outside of Intel. I might just move to Thinkcentres for clients, not that I’ve been taking many these days.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    You can bet it’s a happy day in Taiwan today. Of course, that’s assuming the sort of boards we use now stays a while longer and the Taiwanese companies will be allowed to make future, smaller form factor boards.

    A better Chinese New Year couldn’t be had.

      • sschaem
      • 6 years ago

      To the contrary, I think its panic central in Taiwan for MB makers.

      • bacondreamer
      • 6 years ago

      Actually, majority of Intel boards are manufactured by Foxconn

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        Yes. I was talking about the OTHER Taiwanese mobo makers. You know, Asus, MSI, etc.

    • jjj
    • 6 years ago

    Clear indication that Intel doesn’t care about the desktop anymore and we won’t be getting good chips from them. So lets hope AMD and/or ARM take over ,or maybe Intel’s new CEO changes course.

      • just brew it!
      • 6 years ago

      Umm… by your logic, AMD *never* cared about the desktop, since they haven’t produced any motherboards that were marketed directly to consumers. (I do recall seeing pics of a few AMD reference designs back in the day, but nothing beyond that.)

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        Pretty sure they had some boards back when they produced their own chipsets (not rebranded ATI chipsets). That was like in the Athlon XP and AMD64 days if I remember right.

        That aside, I’m pretty sure he’s referring to the direction Intel is heading as a whole, not just motherboards.

          • just brew it!
          • 6 years ago

          The only AMD-branded mobo I recall ever seeing was a pic of an engineering sample of one of the early AMD64 reference motherboards. I suppose it is also possible that some of the early Slot A mobos were just Asus, MSI, etc. producing copies of reference designs, but that doesn’t count since they weren’t marketed under the AMD brand. I have *never* seen a desktop AMD-branded motherboard for sale in retail channels.

          If they ever existed I’d probably own one…

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            IIRC the early K7 days “reference” board for slot a was the old Asus K7M (which was not even listed on Asus’s website for months after it was released due to fear of backlash from intel.).

            • Bensam123
            • 6 years ago

            Yeah, I think I may be thinking of reference boards that weren’t sold, but were sent out to benchmarking sites.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            They had that Irongate Slot A motherboard but I think even then it was an ASUS-made non-branded board, not a retail box.

          • ronch
          • 6 years ago

          I think you’re referring to the time when AMD started cranking out K7 chips and were providing reference designs to the mobo makers. Everything was still hazy back then. Nobody really made an AMD-only board (earlier AMD chips plugged into Intel-compatible boards) before that and the board makers were shipping boards in ‘white boxes’, afraid of Intel’s wrath.

          [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3o38VLo7ZM[/url<]

    • just brew it!
    • 6 years ago

    Not surprising. I was actually wondering why they stayed in the motherboard business as long as they did; the margins have gotta suck pretty badly compared to most of the other products they sell.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 6 years ago

      I agree, you have to wonder how much money they really made on consumer boards.

        • cartman_hs
        • 6 years ago

        i bet its not about making any profit with those boards…its more toward making sure the mobo makers adopt and support whatever new features introduced…intel knew the margin will be razor thin…

          • yogibbear
          • 6 years ago

          This x a million. They were just setting the benchmark for features and saying to the OEMs, do this and beat it or whatever.

            • willmore
            • 6 years ago

            So, they were there to be a baseline for the industry? I’ll buy that. They were always pretty basic–they used all the features of the chipset, but never added in fancy extras. Well, except for sculltrail or whatever that thing was called.

          • uwsalt
          • 6 years ago

          Substantially correct on all counts. The desktop board business at Intel has always been justified strategically on the grounds that it leads, directly and indirectly, to higher sales of Intel sockets, greater and faster adoption of Intel’s latest sockets, and therefore higher sales of Intel CPUs (particularly newer CPUs). To a lesser extent, it’s also about providing a baseline in the marketplace for new features and stability.

          Not to say that the desktop board business (i.e. channel and OEM boards) was simply written off as overhead or expected to operate at a loss. AFAIK, it has always been run as a business, i.e. a profit center responsible for its direct operating costs as well as its fully burdened overhead costs, and managed with the goal and expectation of profitability. And, AFAIK, it has usually been profitable on an annual basis, albeit only slightly (probably less so and less consistently so during the past few years).

          On the primary goal of enabling better time to market and availability of Intel’s newest sockets and chipsets for the desktop market, whatever incremental gains might have existed 10 or perhaps even 5 years ago by Intel presence in the market have probably evaporated to little more than nominal. Given that, there is not a lot of justification for Intel’s continued operation of, and investment in, a non-trivial business operation that is break even at best and represents a drag (albeit a relatively small one) on the company’s all-important gross margins. Their strategic aims vis-a-vis desktop boards can likely be addressed by continuing to develop and provide third parties with RDVs, the cost of which will simply be absorbed elsewhere.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 6 years ago

    No more mediocre, somewhat reasonably priced boards with gaudy skulls on them? Dat iz teh suxxorz.

    • tfp
    • 6 years ago

    With all of the features they are pulling into the CPU/SoC there will be less and less on the MB. Intel could provide a reference design to the system integrator or MB manufactures, or work directly with one of them for a reference design and leave it at that. I’m sure in the long run they see it as exiting a business case that just doesn’t have the margin it once had.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      Right on. They’re not going to have the pricing advantage that they once had, because there’s not going to be any Intel silicon on the board, other than maybe an Intel NIC – but Realtek, Atheros, etc. NICs are cheaper and for most people good enough.

    • UberGerbil
    • 6 years ago

    And the next step is to get out of the retail CPU business. Not immediately, of course, but if the majority of CPUs are soldered onto the motherboard, and the rest are selling to enthusiasts who buy HSFs separately and buy OEM CPU SKUs anyway, what’s the point in having boxed retail CPUs?

      • Rand
      • 6 years ago

      The 3930K and 3960K SKU’s already come retail boxed without a HSF.

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 6 years ago

        You mean all consumer processors on the intel 2011 socket.

      • ludi
      • 6 years ago

      Actually, once the solder-down model becomes prominent, II could see Intel fading out the OEM SKUs on socketed CPUs (outside of the Tier 1 system builders) and maintaining total margin control over the remaining boxed SKUs.

        • UberGerbil
        • 6 years ago

        Well, that’s essentially what I meant: the distinction between OEM and retail goes away, and enthusiasts only have the one choice when building a system (which is basically an HSF-less OEM component at retail prices).

    • tootercomputer
    • 6 years ago

    I wager that within 5 years the ATX motherboard will be on its way out except for the enthusiast community. Intel is not going to get out of a market with any future. My 2 humble cents.

    • tootercomputer
    • 6 years ago

    I wager that within 5 years the ATX motherboard will be on its way out except for the enthusiast community. Intel is not going to get out of a market with any future. My 2 humble cents.

      • Rand
      • 6 years ago

      That’s pretty nearly the case right now, never mind 5yrs from now. Aside from enthusiasts there isn’t much of anyone using desktops anymore.

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]Aside from enthusiasts there isn't much of anyone using desktops anymore.[/quote<] The corporate world (and anyone doing any heavy work or like large displays) would disagree whole heartedly.

          • Rand
          • 6 years ago

          I thought about that, but even the corporate markets are rapidly moving towards AIO desktops in my experience.

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            If they are moving to AIO, it is usually Macs otherwise it is just usually your standard pc as cost is much lower with them being able to reuse their existing displays which have a slower upgrade cycle.

        • internetsandman
        • 6 years ago

        Sure there is, plenty of people still have their desktops, even if they’re a few years old and come from some crappy HP/Dell clone. I think most people are just using mATX and ITX systems, low power, low cost, but still more functional than the average tablet that they may also have

      • Sahrin
      • 6 years ago

      Intel got out of ARM.

      • Bensam123
      • 6 years ago

      AMD (if they’re around)

      • albundy
      • 6 years ago

      that’s a pretty damm big community. you might also notice that the existence of newegg, TD, microcenter, etc cater to us enthusiast folks, and are thriving pretty well.

      • axeman
      • 6 years ago

      I think the ATX motherboard is already a niche product. Major OEMs tend to do non-standard layouts, or possibly mATX in some instances. And more and more “enthusiasts” are realizing that 95% of the time mATX is adequate, in fact I can’t see why anyone would do full ATX anymore except for SLI/Crossfire setups (even then, there are limited options in mATX.

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<] in fact I can't see why anyone would do full ATX anymore except for SLI/Crossfire setups[/quote<] Expansion. Most of my systems are ATX for that simple reason as all their slots usually get populated with the likes of tuner cards, sound cards, raid cards, encoder cards, dual nics, etc.

          • axeman
          • 6 years ago

          I’m pretty sure you are in the minority. How many desktop users need two NICs or a RAID card? Servers, sure, but not desktops. Tuner cards are so ten years ago, and what do you mean regarding “encoder” card?

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            Actually tuner cards are probably more popular then ever with OTA digital broadcasts and media centers being readily available. Encoder cards such as h264 encoding cards (Hauppauge Colossus, PNY’s video encoder card or one of the many digital encoding cards that are available from asia.) Then there is also just plain old IO cards such as esata/fw/usb gen x cards. You don’t need to use both NIC cards, just that the crappy NICs that they put on most integrated boards are just horrible and replacing them with a simple Intel NIC makes all the world of difference in terms of performance. Also bonding of NIC’s is also a nice use if you have a larger home network. Don’t forget that putting in pretty much any video card now days eliminates one expansion slot being able to be used reducing the expansion capabilities of a mATX system and usually the slots available are just PCI-e x1 slots.

    • dpaus
    • 6 years ago

    Probably a necessary strategic move with soldered-on CPUs coming.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    SHUTUP! EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT INTEL IS KILLING THE SOCKET SO THAT YOU ARE FORCED TO BUY THE MOTHERBOARD FROM INTEL! IT’S A TRAP!

      • Celess
      • 6 years ago

      COULD YOU SCREAM LITTLE LOUDER? I CANT HEAR YOU OVER MY P4 EE. THIS THINGS AWSOME!! PRY FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS…

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        I’LL TRY! HAVE YOU GOT THE HOVERCRAFT ATTACHMENT FOR THAT FAN?

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