Is Intel Killing The Motherboard Market?

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bdecot

I'll admit that my last gaming rig I went with the core i7 920 but since the CPU means very little when playing games (my 2x680's just recently proved that), my next rig will be an AMD for sure... go back to my roots.

I'm just glad my HTPC I put together was all AMD as well since I figured I needed low power and something to handle many tasks at once... hence the 8 core seemed like the right choice.

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joeyjr

Both Intel and AMD have got very good processors, its just that Intel in bigger, have there own fabs, have more money for R & D, and have the best products at this time. I really dont see the day AMD will be able to catch up with Intel. The near term 3 to 5 years will not affectsome ones abilty to build a power user PC. As the dies shrink and more things can be encorperated on them the PC will get even more powerful. We may see the need for smaller mother boards from ATX to mATX that are more capable with more bandwidth where you only need one descrete multi core GPU and use less power. Its just the nature of the beast.

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warptek2010

From a consumer point of view, your reasons for going with Intel are invalid. When I buy a car do I skip over buying Subaru because Nissan has more and better equipped plants? Your reasons would be valid if you were a stock holder. Are you a stockholder?

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joeyjr

I was but that doesnt have anything to do with the artical.I have been using Intel CPUs and ATI/AMD GPUs for the last 8 years. As a consumer I can choose to buy what ever I want and my logic is my business. Hopefully ypo can comment about the artical next time and not be an ass.

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Xenite

I think APU's are the future anyways. Simply no real good reason why a GOOD graphics processor can not be on the CPU and share what is now an abundant amount of system memory.

Was a time when you didn't want integrated graphics mooching from your system memory, but now 16+ GB of RAM is not only possible but not that expensive either.

The real issue I think will be cooling the CPU die.

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kixofmyg0t

"Intel doesn’t just want to kill off AMD and Nvidia. They want to be the one and only vendor PC makers ever need to purchase components from while building your next machine."

I can almost hear the maximumpc readers squeal with delight.

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Strangelove_424

You're a MaximumPC reader too, but I'll forgo the separatism. Don't confuse anyone's desire to buy the highest performing chip in the $300+ range with a desire for the company that makes that chip to become a monopolistic empire. I'm an Intel user, but like the majority of Intel users, I root for AMD because if it weren't for AMD's competitive progress, Intel chips would suck. Competition and choice is what drives the market. If AMD ever gets their act together again, and outperformed Intel at the $300+ price point, you're damn right I would rock an AMD proc again. This CPU fanboyism is silly, and isn't helping the situation in the slightest bit. Fanboyism (for either company) is a dirty-cheap substitute for actual R&D, and progress, and it hurts everybody.

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warptek2010

The only pragmatic reason I am what you'd call and AMD fanboy is the price/value ratio (not the price/performance ratio which is a fallacy). The superficial reason is, plain and simple, I root for the underdog.

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tekknyne

You know it is funny how archaic huge ugly video cards look. In ten years, they will probably seem ridiculous.

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captainjack

Except for the 690. That thing is sexy.

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bdecot

Agreed, it's a work of art!

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Electrik

They could put a dent in the graphics card market, but I am not aware of after-market north and south bridge chips. Let them integrate them. What about RAM?

I don't see the MB market dropping off any time soon.

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Hey.That_Dude

RAM will be placed on top of or directly to the side of the IHS but still integrated into the socket (Just like all the SoC based on ARM do.)

The only thing keeping mobos afloat is the PCIE bus. plain and simple.

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DarkMatter

I think the mainstream builder's market may be hitting a wall. As for the workstation/server market ( multiple CPU systems that are built more for memory throughput and discrete connectivity) is going to be around for some time. Yes the mainstream CPUs are getting powerful but unless overclocked you would be hardpressed to say that a Core i7 3770K can beat a dual SandyBridge EP 8 core socket 2011. But then again building a system like that will be up in to the thousands of dollars and since mostly this is a gaming world I am sure that many people are not going to run Dark Souls or Max Payne 3 on a Dual Xeon running a Nvida Quadro with Nvidia Teslas in SLI nor AMD Firepro in 4x Crossfire... but atleast you have choices ... enjoy them while you got it.

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USraging

I don't know why everyone is complaining, i recall a time when AMD first started calling crossfire xfire. They tried to create their own plateform from top to bottom. all 'at the time' AMD and ATI components . They had in mind that this would increase stability and performance. also AMD is competing on the same field trying to push its APU. If im not mistaken AMD was the first to try to make a big push to APU's, intel soon followed suit. Well if you do the math everyone wants their products smaller and more powerful, so it only makes since that they are trying to integrate more features. It does suck that the 4% of the public that likes to build their own systems over time will not be able too. In the repair field we have saw this coming for a few years now. When everything is integrated and its cheaper to just throw away and replace than to get repaired. When that day comes it is time to throw my CIS repair technician certification into the garbage can.

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dgrmouse

I would love to see motherboard vendors put back into their place. Motherboard vendors already have been given too much time to create artificially stratified product lines. The vast majority of the motherboards currently for sale would be profitable at one half or one third of their current retail price points; they sell because they've cultivated the air of premium products. We need fifty motherboard manufacturers selling the same basic design with only the most superficial and trivial differences as much as we need fifty video card companies selling rebranded ATI and NVidia boards at premium prices. There are plenty of idiots out there buying $50-$100 air coolers when the freebie that Intel ships with their processors is far beyond sufficient. Those same idiots will surely continue to buy expensive motherboards - even without tangible benefit, so although I'd love to see motherboard vendors put into their place, I doubt Intel can really kill them off.

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Arnulf

I bought my heatsink/fan to get rid of the noise and to keep temperature down at the same time. It performs admirably, worth every cent I spent on it. My computer runs 24/7, I just couldn't stand the noise and the ever-changing pitch of the stock (Intel) fan. I was told that AMD's stock CPU coolers are even worse in this regard.

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tekknyne

+1 spot on

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praetor_alpha

Intel is the king of artificially stratified products. Want to overclock a Sandy Bridge and use the onboard graphics at the same time? Can't do that. Intel also leaves out the virtualization extensions on several CPUs for no apparent reason, whereas AMD has included them on all CPUs since they introduced their extensions.

And don't trash CPU heatsinks. True, the stock heatsink might be fine for mom. Other people like to overclock and/or have silence while running their CPU at 100% for hours on end without frying their CPUs. In the latter case, the stock heatsink is not "far beyond sufficient".

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Rift2

Just look at EA games if you think for a second that Intel processors are so l33t.

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praetor_alpha

Comparison fail.

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Ghost XFX

Give up on the excuses Intel Geeks. This is exactly what you wanted, right? I mean, every time AMD tries to show something different to the public, you slander them under the table, and then go running back to Momma Intel to suckle and snuggle next to their next big MB and chip, as if you're completely innocent of any wrong doing. Forget about the clucking hens of The View protecting Obama at every turn, you geeks are truly the worse of the worse! And to think, none of you seen this coming, so now you're saying this isn't what Intel wanted.

Really?

Go back over the last 10 years and see their progression. You don't find some of the transactions a bit daunting, with the meteroic rise and the random cheating in the market, to prevent AMD and others from being competitive?

We're looking at how Apple became Apple and how Microsoft became Microsoft, all over again. And we have you chumps to thank for it.

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Sty

Dude, you're not making any sense. Are we to blame because we want the best components in our PCs? Are we to blame because we can afford the quality stuff over the crap that AMD releases?

nVidia > ATI
Intel > AMD

This is the way it has always been and always will be. The only reason why people build AMD machines in the first place is because they're cheaper, not better.

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kixofmyg0t

"nVidia > ATI
Intel > AMD

This is the way it has always been and always will be."

Holy crap you have severe memory loss! You may want to see your doctor.

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Andrew.Hodge

One flexFP in an 8150 is about as strong as one FPU in a 2600K in single threaded work. An 8 core 8150 actually offers more total flops than a 2700k. This is all offered at a lower price point than an i5, so yeah, you're right. they are cheaper. They are also faster in many circumstances. It is all dependent on what you do with your computer. If you play modern games, edit or encode video, render anything, duo any floating point intensive work on leas than five threads such as matlab, use anything compiled with a non Intel compiler- especially GCC, or do any of these things at once, bulldozer and piledriver trump sandy and ivy. Add to this the fact that AMD has drivers that allow their cards and procs to work together better than Intel and Nvidia not only for gaming and rendering but also for Gpgpu, it makes Intel seem a whole lot less superior.

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thematejka

I'd like to develop on ApathyCurve's reply. I've been working with computers for quite some time, and I have to say that AMD and INTEL have both been in either a better or worse position. Honestly, though, it has mostly never mattered.

Many people who get the biggest baddest CPU don't even use the power it is capable of. Yes, I know my Phenom II X6 1100T is not as fast as a number of quad core Intel chips, but it does everything I'll ever want it to. Together with my Radeon 6870, I can't ever slow them down. The fact is, I may never be able to slow them down, they are just really fast. Other chips may be faster, but many consumers will never see the difference.

Those who play the fanboy for either AMD or INTEL are just playing a vanity project. It's like owning an overly souped up car that never sees past 80km/hr since its owner lives in a city. The owner has no practical purpose for its capabilities. This does mean that I think that an overly fast car is necessary, its just an example.

My reasons for choosing the AMD parts I did were based partly on price (there is nothing wrong with getting performance for less money), longevity, performance/price ratio, and overall need. Six cores is wonderful for me, since I tend to run many things on my desktop at once, some more intensive than I wish they were. The X6 was a great deal, and has never crumpled for me and what I do. Also, the 6870 was on sale for $160 when I bought it, while the equivalent nVidia part was $100 more. It's a no brainer, that card is technically really good.

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ApathyCurve

Over the last 15 years, I've built both AMD and Intel machines, with both ATI and Nvidia cards. My current box is Intel CPU and AMD (ne ATI) video. I evaluate parts based upon a price/performance ratio, but that doesn't mean AMD is always the cheapest option, nor Intel/Nvidia the best option. For example, AMD (ne ATI) offered a single-card Eyefinity solution long before Nvidia's equivalent part was available. When one manufacturer is offering something I want and the other is not...

The point is that I've had great AMD parts and crap Intel parts, and vice versa. Your bias is blinding you to opportunities if you're restricting yourself to building boxes with parts from only certain manufacturers. True, there are crap MB builders out there; I won't dispute that point. But categorically stating that X > Y when the evidence does not support that conclusion is just fanboy-ism at its worst.

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MrFluffyThing

I hate to break it to you, but AMD and Intel are very competitively priced. While many users see AMD's offerings as a great price to performance ratio, it's actually a smoke and mirrors effect. Per dollar, all AMD processors are roughly equal to the similarly priced Intel offering. I know that an AMD A8-3870K (Highest AMD FM1 CPU) is on par with an Intel i3-2100 when it comes to benchmarks, only leading in graphical applications. All things considered the best AMD CPU still sets it between an i3 and an i5. I think that's a valid argument for Intel > AMD.

Regarding AMD GPUs, I've had nothing but trouble with them. I've had to replace the same 5870 a total of 3 times since purchase, and Catalyst Control Center has been one of the biggest piles of crap I've ever worked with. The last NVIDIA GPU I've had fail was in 2002 and the drivers have never stood in the way of the system operating as it should.

I give credit where it's due, AMD is still fantastic, but know your market. Intel is still much faster than AMD when the top dogs are on the line.

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MrFluffyThing

Let me add a detail I seemed to have missed in my initial reply. While I believe that at this time Intel has the stronger consumer processors, AMD shouldn't be completely ignored. Some of their products are priced very competitively and have practical applications, much more so than some of the $500+ Intel CPUs. I've used many Phenom II X4s in the past and they're still serving me well today. Intel just has some additional range in their product line. In terms of performance, the top consumer level AMD CPU ranks 64 on PassMarks list, behind a large number of Intel Xeons and i7 CPUs. Only one AMD Opteron CPU is above the FX-8150 on this list. This says a lot about where AMD currently stands, they are still behind Intel and have been for a few years. Because of this they have competitive pricing with high-performance CPUs, however their low end offerings are on par with Intel. The X > Y argument is based heavily on opinion, and I sway back and forth with Intel and AMD.

Regarding AMD's GPU line, I have a hard time using them. I'm a fan of buying for features and not for brand name, however reliability plays into this for me. I've had a solid run with NVIDIA, having only one failed GPU out of dozens in the last 10 years. Almost all of my AMD cards have failed within two years, even while running well below the advertised heat tolerances. Several of these failures have been because of Catalyst Control Center, which completely disabled the GPU fan for one reason or another while the system was idle. Ever since then I've had a fiery hate for AMD's drivers and software suites.

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warptek2010

Actually, this reply sounds more like smoke and mirrors to me. Since around 2002, I've built all my rigs around AMD parts. I have never once had an issue with any part or any driver on operating systems ranging from Windows Millenium, 2000, XP, XP 64bit, Vista and Win 7 64. The only issue I ever experienced was on Linux and I'm not sure it was due to a driver issue or driver maturity or my somewhat limited Linux experience.

I also, strongly agree with a previous poster about the vast majority of users do not top out their processor whether they're AMD or Intel and will never use the full magnitude of either unless all you use your computer for is running benchmarks 24/7. Then of course, hell yeah, Intel will definitely run those benchmarks faster for ya.

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illusionslayer

You've completely missed the point of the post you're responding to.

Sure, you can buy low power Intel dual-core and then complain that they're not as powerful as AMDs quad and hexacore machines, but the only reason those chips exist are to keep AMD from just having the low power market.

Sty asked if we're to blame for wanting 'the best' in our computers. Intel almost universally offers the best, and is therefore the better option for those who want more power.

AMD was the price/performance king, but it's slowly losing ground in computation and will probably lose the graphics game at some point. But Price/performance only goes so far. Once you get to the top of the line AMD proc, where do you go for more power? Intel.

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vistageek

Not onboard audio, but integrated audio. You just plug your speakers into the 3.5mm's on your cpu fan, right?

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tony2tonez

I dont think intel will kill MB, but rather we will see a evolution in MB. Yes most product today are for the mobile person, so MB makers are losing their share to them, rather than Intel killing off MB makers by integrating everything.

You will still have your custom pc builders who want more. So MB makers wont go anywhere (we may end up with fewer choices), possibility for these MB makers would be boards for mobile devices. Think Raspberry Pi and Via boards, small form factors offering great possibilities. Maybe Asus and others could get in on this action.

Intel cant take over part of the MB because Intel doesn't do it all. (though as the article states is trying)

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aaronj2906

Haven't Intel's graphics always followed way behind AMD & nVidia?

I am reminded of Larrabee.

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tony2tonez

They are but what they are offering is a decent solution integrated into 1, reducing cost for the consumer. Avg PC user > power user by volume.

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aaronj2906

Good point.

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slibinz

"Could Intel conceivably kill off the motherboard market within the next 3-5 years?"

Not if we stop buying their products. Intel is a bully. They've been a bully for the last 15 years, which was about the time I stopped buying anything Intel made. Since then I've built dozens of (Intel-free, as much as possible) systems for friends, family and co-workers and six for myself, with ZERO regrets from myself or anyone else.

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illusionslayer

Fanboy.

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Andrew.Hodge

Agreed. Never built an Intel rig. I might if I was given an unlimited budget to blow and had nothing to lose, but even then I would still use amd graphics.

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T3RR0RH4WK

I don't regret anything, either.

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diedrichg

We need free enterprise! We need competition. I appreciate and applaud the Intel product line but at the same time you need someone else providing a competing price point. It's this God complex that has lead me to build my HTPC (a few months ago) with the AMD A8-3870K APU and my new mainstream AMD FX-6200 budget computer that will no doubt keep me going until at least Skylake or even Skymont. AMD makes a fantastic product and I hope they can keep the spreadsheet in the black for everybody's sake.

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warptek2010

"We need free enterprise! We need competition."
Tell that to the Intel fanboy "Intel crushes AMD" acolytes. This article is exactly why Intel can kiss my ass. I, like you, do indeed admire their product line while despising them as a company. AMD's products are fantastic and provide more than enough for the average user. I would even argue they're enough for enthusiast class machines as well but you can't argue with people that claim they notice a difference in frame rates and a smoother response gaming on 120hz monitors (nothing more than a marketing gimmick)while having to wait up to 40 seconds less in their video transcode times of which they do 3 times a year or less.

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LatiosXT

I'd argue on the last point, as I'm finding more of my friends who do PC gaming to stream their stuff live at the same time. I occasionally do it as well, and I notice that (though this just may be an artifact of leaving YouTube open), some games I routinely hit 95% CPU while streaming.

Either way, live streaming isn't exactly a free lunch.

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Sir Hobbes3

and to think i was about to buy an intel mobo, i hope this doesnt actually happen

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Andrew.Hodge

No, they won't die, but they will change considerably. It is this same concept that years ago created the AMD we all know today. Intel is doing what any company would: gaining a grasp on every aspect of the product market that it can. Back in the day when Intel cut AMD off, it forced AMD to take drastic measures or die. That move created the market we have today and the checks and balances that have kept Intel or AMD from becoming complacent and kept the pace of innovation high. Things will be no different here. There will be mergers and bankruptcy, but in the end something new will emerge. That is the circle of life in a capitalist economy.

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Happy

Capitalism is about competition. Capitalism is flawed though when mergers eliminate the competition and use their newfound power to gouge the customer. When mergers happen in industries that already have very few players then it only hurts competition and undermines and circumvents how capitalism is supposed to work.

Just look at the T-Mobile merger with AT&T that almost happened. If Google hadn't complained we would have only three players in that industry instead of the four we have now (four still isn't very many).

Same thing with motherboards. Just look at Asus wanting to buy Asrock now. It will only greatly damage the motherboard industry and eliminate competition.

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tekknyne

The FED regulates the money supply by printing or destroying money. All of your capitalisms rhetoricz is laughable when government and corporations are in bed with eachother and a private corporation prints your money.

In other words, keep dreaming

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avenger48

Motherboards will be necessary as long as dedicated graphics are better than integrated graphics. Unless Intel buys nVidia, or AMD suddenly releases a master chip (doubtful), motherboards will still be around.

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JLloyd13

solutation: tell amd to pick it up so we can all ditch intel

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Formedras

No. Solution is to have AMD threaten to cease AMD64 extensions licensing. Intel is too powerful for AMD to make headway even if Intel does something so anti-competitive. (Unless they and VIA sue and win.) AMD64's the only card that they've got without getting the lawyers more involved.

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