As Intel's Haswell refresh looms, Asus and other mobo players look to other areas to boost profits
Intel is getting ready to refresh its Haswell platform, and when that happens, it should spark some sales in the motherboard industry. Motherboard makers should also get a boost from XP users looking to upgrade their ancient boxes. Despite these market drivers, however, word on the web is that Asus and other motherboard players have begun pushing their other products much more aggressively in hopes of pulling in a bigger profit.
Gigabyte will try to surpass Asus as the No. 1 motherboard player (in terms of shipments)
Top tier motherboard makers Asus and Gigabyte continue to dominate the mobo market just as they did in 2013, but only one can take the top spot. It was a close race between the two last year, and it could be another photo finish this year, with Gigabyte expecting to ship over 5 million motherboards in the first quarter. If so, that could give Gigabyte an early lead over rival Asus.
The Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H offers a lot of features for the price.
The world’s economy may be on the mend but a lot of people still want to justify every cubit spent on technology. For some people, spending $280 for the Asus Z87-Deluxe (reviewed in October) or even $260 for the Intel DZ87KLT-75K may seem exorbitant. Fortunately for you, budget-minded power user, Gigabyte has its GA-Z87X-UD5H board. OK, we’ll admit, $210 isn’t really budget, but you’ll see that it’s a pretty modest price given the board’s features.
We’ve seen a mixed reaction to Intel’s new Haswell CPU and LGA1150 socket from enthusiasts. Some, like us, see it as a solid piece of hardware with welcome improvements for the platform if upgrading from older hardware. Others have unfurled “Don’t Reboot Me” flags and refuse to give up on their LGA1155 socket until we pry it from their warm, moist hands.
Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
It's been quite a ride for ASRock, the motherboard maker that came into this world as a budget-oriented subsidiary of Asus. ASRock is now owned by Pegatron, which itself is a spin-off of Asus, and these days it competes with all comers (including Asus) in every section of the motherboard market, even the high-end. Pegatron's spunky subsidiary ended 2013 as the third largest motherboard maker in terms of shipments, though it may relinquish that spot to MSI before the new year is over.
Honoring the PC components that don't get the credit they deserve
If you built your first PC more than a decade ago, you know that PC building has come a long way. Modern conveniences like cases with holes for cable routing, motherboards with labels, and right-angle SATA cables certainly help with the cumbersome bits. This article aims to pay respect to these unsung heroes of the PC universe. You can check out our picks in the gallery below.
In what will only be interpreted as more evidence of the dawn of the “Post PC era,” Intel announced today that it will quit the consumer motherboard business after 20 years and end all production and development of mainboards after its next CPU is introduced.
Asus, the top motherboard maker ahead of Gigabyte, may be looking to further strengthen its position by acquiring ASRock, the third largest player in the mobo business. It's an interesting development, not just because it would combine the world's first and third largest motherboard entities, but because it would be the second time Asus has owned ASRock. A quick history lesson is in order here.
Are you one of the countless power users wondering why Intel is putting so much effort into integrated graphics over the last few years? Especially after decades of complacency? The answer is actually much more complicated than it appears. 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.
Apparently budget board means legacy support. That’s what we inferred from Asus’s P8Z77-V board, which has a quaint PS/2 port and not one, but two PCI slots. Don’t think that means Asus cheaped out on more modern amenities, though. Although there’s no eSATA or FireWire, Asus includes some truly compelling features such as onboard Wi-Fi, an Intel LAN controller, incredibly fast USB 3.0, and a revamped Fan Xpert 2.