ECS factory tour

FOR YEARS, ECS HAS churned out budget motherboards destined for pre-built systems and value markets. Recently, however, the company has expressed a keen interest in building high-end boards for gamers and enthusiasts. This interest manifests itself in the new “Extreme” motherboard line, which taps the latest chipsets from ATI, Intel, and NVIDIA, and has many of the features and capabilities one might expect from a high-end enthusiast board.

While we were in Taiwan covering Computex, ECS whisked us away for a quick tour of its manufacturing facilities in China and showed us exactly how these motherboards are built. We saw it all, from traces being etched onto individual PCB layers, to the mounting of surface components like DIMM slots and capacitors, all the way through testing and retail packaging. Join us as we walk through ECS’s Golden Elite Technology campus and witness the birth of a motherboard.

Golden Elite Technology
ECS’s Golden Elite Technology center is a brand new facility located in Shen Zhen, China. The facility’s actually only an hour and a half drive from Hong Kong, a location that allows ECS to easily ship products by land or air to the rest of the world.

Currently, Golden Elite has 1,500 employees, but that number is expected to grow to 5,000 by the end of the year and 8,000 by the end of 2007. There’s plenty of room for ECS to expand Golden Elite’s facilities, as well. The campus sits on a lot that measures 372,720 m² roughly the size of 69 football fields. Phase I of the facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year and offer a whopping 200,000 m² of floor space, with an additional 180,000 m² of floor space coming online in Phase II by the end of 2007.

With such a massive facility at its disposal, ECS will be able to build everything from motherboards to complete systems in one location. Even motherboard PCBs are manufactured on-site, giving Golden Elite the ability to assemble a complete system from the rawest of components. Component suppliers are close, as well. Travel time to ECS’s PCB and passive component suppliers is about a minute, and its connector suppliers are only 15 minutes away.

In addition to the close proximity of its component suppliers, there are other benefits to the Golden Elite plant’s location. Building in Shen Zhen, China gives ECS access to government tax reductions and exemptions in addition to R&D subsidies. The facility itself is a bonded factory, which allows ECS a level of autonomy for land use planning, construction, and even in-house customs. After the hoops we had to jump through just to get into China, it’s easy to see why ECS wants to handle customs in house.

Golden Elite’s motherboard manufacturing facilities are capable of building four- and six-layer RoHS-compliant boards. Currently, the plant has 16 active lines producing 800,000 motherboards per month. By year’s end, ECS expects to have 32 active lines producing 1.6 million units per month. Production is expected to scale to 2.4 million units per month by the end of 2007, when ECS bolsters the number of active lines to 48.

As one might expect, the facility conforms to ISO 9001 and 14001 quality control requirements. In fact, Golden Elite also meets to the now-defunct MIL-STD-105E military quality control standard.

 

PCB production
Perhaps the most interesting part of our ECS factory tour was a walk through the PCB production plant. This is the first stop on the line for a motherboard, where conductive copper traces are sandwiched between insulating substrate layers.

PCB production begins with etching. Here, traces are carved into the first layer of copper to coat the top and bottom of the board.

Automated machines do this to multiple boards with almost frightening speed, and ECS has plenty of them going simultaneously.

After its first layer is etched, the boards are chemically cleaned and rinsed—a process that’s repeated throughout the manufacturing process.

Boards then go to a lamination stage where they get an extra layer of substrate and copper on each side. Then they’re cured, trimmed, and have their edges beveled.

Drilling follows, which is essential for not only connecting some surface-mounted components, but also for linking various layers of the board. You need holes to mount the board in an enclosure, too.

Throughout the process, boards are subjected to numerous automated and manual inspections.

After the boards are drilled, the holes are coated with a thin layer of copper. That’s soon thickened by an additional copper plating process before the boards go off to have traces grafted to their new layers.

Finally, the boards move onto a solder-masking stage. Holes are plugged, the boards are dyed the desired color, and labels and logos are added to the outer surfaces. They then head off to final finishing before being subjected to a last visual inspection and electrical test.

 

PCBA manufacturing
With a motherboard’s printed circuit board complete, the process moves to PCBA manufacturing. Here, the motherboards begin to resemble a finished product.

Boards are assembled in racks and fed through a surface-mount technology (SMT) machine that populates them with components.

Surface-mounted components are stored on massive reels that are fed into automated machines.

Those machines are capable of mounting approximately seven components per second. Mounting TSOP, BGA, and other chips is a little slower; the machines populate boards with those chips at a measly two chips per second.

Once they’re populated by the SMT machines, boards proceed to a reflow oven. From there, it’s on to a visual inspection.

Boards are also fed through an X-Ray machine that examines components that aren’t covered by the visual inspection. Then, an in-circuit test validates roughly 90% of the board. This test probes between 1300 and 1600 test points in about 12 seconds.

Once this automated assembly validation is complete, the boards move onto manual assembly. Here, workers populated the boards with components by hand.

And I’ve never seen faster hands.

Larger components, such as ports, slots, and even capacitors are installed by hand.

Once a board’s component diet is filled, everything’s soldered in place and baked to perfection.

Boards are then cooled before final assembly takes place.

Final assembly is rather short, with only a few components being added after the oven. Next, it’s on to a final visual inspection before boards are run through a number of test stations.

There are three stages to ECS’s testing regime, and each test is applied to every board on the line. First, boards are subjected to a basic power-on test. A functional verification in DOS follows.

After the DOS test comes a more comprehensive Windows XP functionality verification test. If a board passes all three tests, it moves on to final packaging.

During the packaging stage, the board is boxed, bundles are packed, and stickers are applied. This is the final stop for most boards before they’re shipped off. However, ECS also randomly samples 1% of the boards that come off the line for additional inspection and compatibility testing.

Compatibility testing includes loops through 3DMark2001 and Content Creation Winstone 2003. 0.2% of boards that come off the line are also subjected to a 72-bour burn-in test consisting of 3DMark2001 looping in an environment that ranges in temperature from 30 to 55 degrees Celsius. Ongoing reliability tests with more extreme environments are also conducted with select boards. These tests push temperatures from -40 to 150 degrees Celsius with between 10% and 90% humidity. ECS even simulates transportation, including a drop test that examines how well a packed board can withstand physical shock.

 

Systems too
We didn’t spend as much time touring ECS’s system manufacturing facilities at Golden Elite, but we did get to see some notebook assembly. More impressive, however, was a burn-in room used to test row upon row of assembled systems.

ECS builds complete systems for numerous clients, and while we can’t reveal the brands of systems we saw, suffice to say we saw a lot of familiar logos.

We also saw a rather curious briefing given by one of the team leaders. Before every shift, a team leader will outline the goals for the day while employees stand at attention, listening intently. I’m used to seeing a fair bit of goofing off in the workplace, or at least some idle conversation, but that was strangely absent from ECS’s Golden Elite factory. Workers performed their duties with an almost mechanical precision, barely taking notice of the dozen or so journalists on the tour. We darted up and down the line taking pictures and asking questions, but not once did our presence seem to slow anyone down.

Conclusions
ECS’s production capabilities are already impressive, and with the Golden Elite campus scheduled to be running at full capacity by the end of the year, production will increase by over a million motherboards per month. That’s a lot of mobos, and if ECS is able to tap successfully into the enthusiast market, that extra capacity will surely come in handy. 

Comments closed
    • FuNky-MuNky
    • 13 years ago

    Talking about using labour instead of machines. Does ECS recieve tax-cuts/subsidies from the Chinese Goverment to use humans instead of machines? It would seem logical.

    I live in South Africa and the goverment employes unskilled people to wave a danger flag at road works. A flashing light and sign would work just as well but then you would have one more jobless person which means one (even) more struggling family. I don’t mind paying a little more tax for that. The highest drive behind non-violent crime is unemployment here. I see it as indirect insurance (or at least lower risk) of my stuff getting stolen.

    Another place of unskilled job-creation is car guards at malls and outside stores. I don’t know if you get it in other countries but here we have people who shows you a parking spot, and then looks after your car for a tip. They wear distincly bright orange or yellow overcoats so you know that they are entrusted to work there.

    • cRock
    • 13 years ago

    ยง[< http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-335-7.htm<]ยง Shock and awe, another writer that took the same tour felt the need to address working conditions. What an arrogant, western centric bastard, eh? Incidnetally, it sounds like working condition are quite good. I couldn't be happier nor am I surprised. That's all I wanted. I'm not trying to make some bold political statement. I'm not serving some wacko American centric agenda. If the exploitation of people is a political issue to you, then I would suggest that your value system deserves some scrutiny. I still think that some cursory investigation of environmental impact would be benefical too. You don't need a degree in environmental science. Just ask some common sense questions like "where does your waste water go?" It's a very serious issue right now among the Chinese as a result of several river systems having been hit by severe chemical spills in the last year. It's not some cultural taboo. Everyone needs clean drinking water. Look at the fuss over water usage in AMD's new NY fab. For the record, I have a Powerbook that I feel pretty good about. However I'm sure you could find something offensive diggining into the origins of my complete electronics collection. I'll be the first to admit I'm imperfect, call me a hypocrite if that pleases you. I've been living in Australia the last 6 months attending international business school. I'm keenly aware that the world does not revolve around American values, but I also maintain that moral relativism is a road to nowhere as sure as fundamentalism.

    • Mac_Bug
    • 13 years ago

    Given the millions of people in China without jobs, I’d really like to see any wanna be economists here seriously suggest that wage floors would do most of them any good

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    Nice article. Certainly I think that component placing (in a clean, air conditioned factory) is a better job than flipping burgers, even if they’re both minimum wage in their respective countries. Arguably flipping burgers and burger assembly could be automated by a machine too, but poor people who need money are widely available even in us ‘advanced’ countries, and they’re cheaper.

    Too many people decide to impose their own country’s situation, wages, society, morality on another country when judging them. If there’s one bad thing about the situation, it is that the main beneficiaries of cheap (not slave) labour in China and elsewhere is us western world people, who consume these inexpensive products whilst bemoaning the death of industry in their country (but who would not pay 10x the price for the goods anyway).

    At some point in the future wages will be far more even around the world, and new sources of cheap labour will run out, and then products will start getting more expensive for us (hopefully counteracted by products having a potential market of billions, rather than 100s of millions, and more automation). So we should enjoy the cheap technology, and know that some of the money is improving things in China, etc.

    Now other situations, e.g., child labour to make jeans, trainers, etc – that is reprehensible in our society, and buying those goods benefits no-one but the company making them. I’m all in favour of tariffs or blocking imports of goods made under conditions that would be highly illegal in our own society – although it would be hard to monitor.

    There’ll be counterarguments to what I’ve said above, I’m sure. It’s just one view about a highly complex situation.

      • Convert
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah but the occupational hazards are worse when working at one of those factories. You are basically guaranteed to get hemorrhoids.

      /ewww

        • paulWTAMU
        • 13 years ago

        Try flipping burgers and frying things all day long. I used to get grease burns up and down my arms every day, and once burned my hand on the grill we used for burgers–it’s 300+F. It hurt. You’d have to really try to get killed, but burns and cuts are very common, and not usually all that minor–hot grease splatters far and burns badly.

    • Convert
    • 13 years ago

    Great article, it is always interesting to see stuff like that.

    Is it normal to only do a basic power on test? Seems like the boards would need a little more testing than that.

      • Smurfer2
      • 13 years ago

      Yea, I agree, very good article and well written!!

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 13 years ago

    I wonder if any of those computers at the plant are running legal copies of Windows XP LOL!

      • Thebolt
      • 13 years ago

      They probably have purchased an unlimited install type license similar to xp corporate ROFLCOPTER!!!11

        • absinthexl
        • 13 years ago

        A huge company would be pretty stupid to run on pirated software, whether in this country or another LOLLERCAUST

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Great article, my personal experiences with ECS is it’s a sub-par QC-lacking board. Three different boards/models, two died within a year, and the third had flaky crashing whenever the USB ports were used and confirmed on boards all across the web. I know “personal experience” shouldn’t be used to make a judgement, but what else can one dog{

    • Danger Mouse
    • 13 years ago

    Women are used more in fine assemblyline work because they’ve got smaller hands/fingers, usually.

    Why did there used to be and still are more men on auto assembly lines? Generally, they’re taller/stronger.

    I don’t know about the bullying and such, given that a decent looking woman can make far more money as a prostitute in China than as a factory worker. (That assumes that someone would rather turn to prostitution than be severely bullied or WTF have you)

    It’s not “slave labor” that builds things in China. It’s lower cost (than the USA) labor that builds things there. The RMB is kept artificially low to stay pegged to the dollar, even though they claim it is not anymore.

    The amount that a factory worker gets monthly in Shen Zen may not seem like a lot to Americans, but it can easily be a year’s salary to some in China. The cost of living is VERY different.

    Americans lost the moral highground when talking about human rights once word of Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo and othere incidents popped up.

    If you’ve kept up with the interesting recent evolution of the civil court system in China, you’d be surprised to hear how similar it is in theme to the American civil legal system. They’re not quite so convoluted yet, but give them time.

    I liked the article. My understanding is that ECS makes motherboards for Shuttle, Abit, Chaintech, Biostar to mention a few. I’m sure that there are a LOT more “big” names that would pop up. There was a similar tour of a different facility that was covered on another website (Hexus?). The implication was that the end product’s quality was dictated by the contract rather than the facility or the company’s ability.

    The only thing that I am curious about is why the larger components aren’t automatically mounted/soldered and are done manually instead. Is that due to a lack of the appropriate machinery or a cost/benefit anaylsis? One would think that you could completely automate everything except parts of the operating system/stress testing.

      • sluggo
      • 13 years ago

      There are a couple of reasons that parts are manually loaded:
      – Some parts are impractically shaped/sized for the autoloaders. The high-speed machines do not grip the parts mechanically, they use vacuum suction pads to pull the part out of a magazine and place it onto the board. If the part has an uneven upper surface or it’s weight exceeds the machine’s lift/move capability (think DIMM connectors or inductors), then it’s loaded elsewhere.
      – Some parts can’t be run through the infrared ovens. Some plastics will deform and some parts have internal solder connections that will reflow in the oven. These parts have to be manually loaded after the ovens.

      Manual insertion probably doesn’t slow things down in this factory. Final test is typically the bottleneck. You can add MI stations with minimal cost, whereas adding a single automated test station will cost tens of thousands of dollars.

      • rythex
      • 13 years ago

      What a joke. “Americans lost the moral highground when talking about human rights once word of Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo and othere incidents popped up.”

      You think those incidents put the US on equal footing with countries like N Korea and China in terms of offensive human rights treatment? You sir have some flawed ideas… I’d suggest you do some more reading about how people in China and North Korea are treated for dissenting views before you say anything else that makes you look more foolish.

      lol.. what a joke.

        • crabjokeman
        • 13 years ago

        At least those other countries don’t make pretenses about being lovers of liberty.

          • rythex
          • 13 years ago

          When George W Bush starts throwing people in jail or kills them because they speak out against him in public, come back and you’ll have a valid argument. Otherwise go move to some neutral country like Switzerland.

    • shank15217
    • 13 years ago

    Its so nice to see a manufacturing plant tour. I am always impressed by those automated machines. There seems to be so much cool manufacturing technology. Thess machines seem so complicated and yet they work tirelessly without hardly any failures and breakdowns.

    • sigher
    • 13 years ago

    Are those pictures made by the techreportguy or are they company pictures? because they look about as company-supplied as can be.

    I’m impressed that they test them with windows, that must be an extremely labourious part of the final stage, although they obviously use pre-installed windows on a HD seeing all the components are always the same it would still take a longass time for thousands of boards.

      • d0g_p00p
      • 13 years ago

      I hear you. Back when I did video game testing. We would build a machine, stress test it to make sure it was stable. Install the OS (no ghost or anything like that at the time) Stress test that. Install the game, stress test that. It took well over 2 days for 9 configs. I cannot even imagine the scale of testing they do.

        • A_Pickle
        • 13 years ago

        Especially when it comes to pumping 800,000 motherboards a month. 800,000 Windows XP installations. Wowza.

    • danny e.
    • 13 years ago

    the LAST thing i would want to read in a article about motherboard manufacturing would be “human rights” progaganda from some american.

    Seriously, all americans who are so “concerned” about this should go live in an asian country for a few years and gain a little perspective. .. and i mean LIVE there. .. not vacation there and come back with the tainted tourist viewpoint.

    If you dont like it.. quit buying chinese products and build some american factories to build everything that you get for cheap now and see how many people buy your $10 pens, $500 motherboards..

    cRock: Damages response was appropriate in that computer reviews are not meant to be political in any way. The factory that builds these has no control over the regime they are under. It would be like Damage taking a tangent about the taxes and poor spending choices of congress in reviews of US built products.

    /end rant

    • Dposcorp
    • 13 years ago

    Excellent Article.
    Those were great responses, Scott, to issues that had nothing to do with anything else.

    Hell, if i wanted to be that anal, everytime you talk about a Intel CPU, I would complain that you did not mention how Intel components helped NASA and the US Military place nuclear missles in outer space, but that you didnt talk about it so you suck ๐Ÿ™‚

    But some of us understand this is Tech-Report, not <place your favorite non-profit, complaining on behalf of everyone else, the sky is falling down and no one cares> organization here.

    P.S.
    I know there is no dash in Tech-Report, dag-nabbit.

    P.S.S.
    As my brother and I both know, it is not word, it is WERD, BITCH!, or WERD LIKE A MO-FO!

      • jobodaho
      • 13 years ago

      Geoff wrote the article ๐Ÿ˜‰

      EDIT: Was this meant as a response to Damage’s #4 response?

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    Anybody else notice that anti-static strip that that one gal was wearing?

      • Bauxite
      • 13 years ago

      What about it? Lots of ‘pc toolkits’ come with one, I use it if I know I’ll be tearing down a finnicky pc all day long. ESD death to chips is a biiiiitch, better safe than sorry.

    • Bensam123
    • 13 years ago

    Informative article

    • HiggsBoson
    • 13 years ago

    Did anyone else notice that the vast majority of those assembly line workers were women?

      • tu2thepoo
      • 13 years ago

      if my anthropology class taught me anything, it’s that many high-tech factory workers in asia are women because – in short – they’re easily bullied/coerced into lower wages and don’t speak up as often about labor conditions.

      it was something about men making society such that women are always subservient and so on. personally, my eyes glazed over after reading a few pages of the assigned article.

      …and that’s that!

        • cf18
        • 13 years ago

        In similar factory in US or Europe you will probably also find more woman, especially in QA/inspection.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 13 years ago

    Time for me to reassess my opinion of ECS. RoHS compliant also.

      • dslegend
      • 13 years ago

      If you want to do any Electronics business globally, you have to be RoHS by July 1st. In the US, California and possibly Mass. have semi – implemented the RoHS requirements.

    • SpotTheCat
    • 13 years ago

    1. I wonder if they had special “work hard and be quiet” orders because of the journalists.
    2. I like the video feeds from the last factory tour. Those speeds are crazy.

    • Joobers
    • 13 years ago

    I really enjoyed this article. I am impressed with how everything is organized and that there was some human hands working on these motherboards. Although, I couln’t imagine working in that type of job.

      • Peldor
      • 13 years ago

      I was surprised at how much manual assembly is involved. Is that pretty standard or do other manufacturers have more fully automated assembly for motherboards?

    • Looking for Knowledge
    • 13 years ago

    Impressive article Geoff!

    I just wish my last ECS mobo worked out better.

    • cRock
    • 13 years ago

    Maybe I’m getting upity in my old age, but this article reads like it was ripped out ECS marketing materials.

    When you’re touring a factory in China, some mention of human rights conditions (which you do tangentally allude to I suppose) and environmental sustainability should be absolutely mandatory. I know you want to preserve a good relationship with ECS and other mobo makers, but these types of articles are pretty pointless if you can’t address the big issues that people are really concerned about.

      • Damage
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah, I’ll be talking about abortion and euthanasia in my Conroe review. Word!

      Seriously, some perspective here, please. I didn’t send Geoff over there to come back with a human rights and environmental impact report. That was not part of his mission. ECS didn’t invite us so we could address those issues (of course), and we didn’t go into the factory tour expecting to collect much useful info on those topics.

      If they were dropping the mobos on the floor and dusting them off when no one was looking, then we might have an issue. ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you want us to do a tortured, 12-part series on our political ambivalence toward China’s attempts to combine authoritarian government with capitalist economic practices, we could consider doing so, but that is not our area of expertise. We’d have to learn Chinese and environmental science, among other things. Hell, Geoff’s a Canadian hippie who would have to learn capitalism. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not sure I’d send him to do a politically-charged report. Fortunately, that’s not why he went.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 13 years ago

        #2, you’ve been pwn’d!

        Great response Damage. I cracked up about the Canadian Hippie part learning capitalism. Mostly becuase I’m a Canadian in the oil and gas industry.

        It’s interesting cRock that you bring that issue up. Yes, the working/labor conditions in China are apalling, but are we in N.America ready to do anything about it, such as boycotting their goods? I know that 98% of the stuff I own was built with slave labor, but I’m not willing to give it all up in protest. Call me a hard core capitalist (which I am, btw), but this is life.

        This isn’t directed at you, but at a general audience. It’s starting to irratate me that people are complaining about the conditions in China/India, but continue to buy their stuff. Kinda like enviromentalists driving SUV’s. All this talk, and yet nobody is doing anything about it. If somebody really cared about the conditions in China, they wouldn’t buy anything with the “made in China” logo on it.

        Sorry to go off on a rant. I’m gonna go read the article now.

        • sativa
        • 13 years ago

        Geoff seemed flattered to be invited; that definitely contributed to the tone and flavor of the article.

        poor taste in my opinion, as The Tech Report LLC should realize that they are in the business of technology b[

          • Damage
          • 13 years ago

          I suppose if I tell you that it wasn’t so–that Geoff wasn’t excited to go and really would prefer to stay at home and review stuff–you won’t just take that at face value, right? Even though you see the testing-intesive reviews he produces constantly? It’s like pulling teeth to get the guy out of his office, and he wasn’t exactly starry-eyed at the prospect of a factory tour. But you’ve decided his polite tone and attempts to make the subject matter interesting to the reader are a clear tip-off that he’s finds SMT lines dreamy–so much so that it’s corrupted his judgement.

          I guess at the end of the day, all I can say is that you have to decide for yourself whether to trust us. I can tell you that as his editor, I trust Geoff to tell the truth and not pull punches when it comes to the subject matter that is our focus.

          I’m OK with us having a factory tour article that doesn’t really address the complicated human rights issues involved with labor in China. That does not constitute an endorsement of those practices, though. I hope you can understand that.

            • sativa
            • 13 years ago

            I didn’t expect the article to address complicated human rights issues. I didn’t intend my post to be taken that way.

            When I ‘bolded’ the word journalism, I referring to the fact that I thought that such a significant trip for Geoff would produce more than just pictures with descriptions (a slight simplification but applicable).

            Don’t get me wrong though, I did enjoy the pictures and descriptions.

          • Logan[TeamX]
          • 13 years ago

          The both of you need to chill. (cRock and sativa)

          You think you’d do any different if offered to tour a major motherboard manufacturer’s plant?

          “No, I’ll pass… you beat your people off-camera”.

          If you actually understood the nuances of the article, you’d see that there weren’t any “desperate eyes” trying to plead for their escape, nor were there unsafe working conditions. If anything, that place rivals or exceeds a few assembly points I saw for electronics in Toronto.

          So, when you have people that understand that being a jackass for the camera is less important than doing their job well… what’s wrong with that?

          Sometimes, the people in the most “developed” countries have the worst sense of workplace responsibility and ethics I’ve ever seen/heard in my life.

          Back to the tech ๐Ÿ™‚

          Geoff, great article man. It’s always nice to get an “insider” look at different prominent players in the industry. The OEM system assembly was probably the most interesting part to me. I never knew they had THAT much trust for complete systems. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

        • DrDillyBar
        • 13 years ago

        Word eh.

        • cRock
        • 13 years ago

        Damage, I think you need to settle out. I’m trying to offer some constructive criticism, nothing more. I don’t think a Cheneyesque rebuke was appropriate.

        I’m pretty sure that Intel doesn’t engage in abortion or euthanasia to manufacture Conroes. Hence, those issues are irrelevant. However, some Chinese electronics companies DO engage in dubious labor and environmental practices. Addressing those issues certainly is relevant so I can vote with my dollars and buy from responsible companies (and there are many in China).

        I come to TR because you guys usually go the extra step and dig a little deeper than the other sites. This article simply doesn’t meet that standard in my opinion.

          • DrDillyBar
          • 13 years ago

          cRock. Seriously. I personally think that the Human rights situation in China is beyond the scope of the TR’s Professional oppinon in this line of thought.

          • Bensam123
          • 13 years ago

          I don’t think any of what you mentioned was constructive…

          • gratuitous
          • 13 years ago
          • cf18
          • 13 years ago

          So cRock do you think Techreport should mention the crap between Israel and Palestinian when they write about anything from Intel’s Israel’s team, like Conroe? May be they should take side too?

      • absinthexl
      • 13 years ago

      I like Tech Report because they’re not constantly addressing the “big issues.” I don’t need to be reminded of China’s 8000-10000 executions per year, or the rampant organ harvesting market, or the newest fleet of mobile lethal injection vans every time I read a motherboard review.

      Besides, if any marketer began any material with “FOR YEARS, ECS HAS churned out budget motherboards destined for pre-built systems and value markets,” he’s be canned within a day.

      Edit: There are the Friday Night Topics, but they’re nicely contained and easy to gloss over.

      • sluggo
      • 13 years ago

      I’d be interested in knowing what brand(s) of consumer electronics hardware you own and what you know about the conditions in which they were built. If you can tell us who we should be buying from and why, I’m listening.

      If, on the other hand, you’re like most of us and you try to buy the most reliable and technically advanced stuff you can from reputable manufacturers, a well-written article on a plant tour goes a long way toward advancing that particular cause.

      I’ve been to mainland China many times to visit manufacturers. I would never even /[

      • PerfectCr
      • 13 years ago

      You expect TR to deliver political commentary? This is a TECHOLOGY NEWS website. Not human rights watch.

        • Capsaicin
        • 13 years ago

        This isn’t Ars. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • PerfectCr
          • 13 years ago

          Yeah haha. “Noble Liberal Intent”.

      • crabjokeman
      • 13 years ago

      Did you see any human rights violated in this article?
      There’s no more reason to talk about human rights here than there is to talk about Bush’s anti-gay legislation if they toured a factory in San Fran. or to talk about the anti-immigration laws if the factory was in Southern Texas.

    • jobodaho
    • 13 years ago

    Great article, it’s nice to see an in depth look at such a complicated process.

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