motherboard en Asus May Sue X99 Motherboard Competitors Over OC Socket Design <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rampage_v_extreme_socket.jpg" alt="Asus Rampage V Extreme Socket" title="Asus Rampage V Extreme Socket" width="228" height="210" style="float: right;" />A suppy chain leak may have led to patent infringement</h3> <p>It's said that all is fair in love and war, but in the motherboard war that's currently taking place, some companies may have went too far. That's the reported opinion of Asus, anyway, <strong>Apparently Asus thinks competing motherboard makers infringed on pending patents related to its OC Socket technology</strong> found in boards based on Intel's X99 chipset for Haswell-E. Asus developed its OC Socket technology in-house.</p> <p>What is OC Socket? It has more pins than a standard LGA 2011 socket. The six additional pins are strategically spread out around the socket and allow you to tap into additional Haswell-E voltage lanes to enable higher and more stable overclocks.</p> <p>"Designed to break performance barriers, Asus OC Socket utilizes extra pins to connect a proprietary circuit to contacts found on Haswell-E's land grid array (LGA). Combined with our customized UEFI, this exclusive feature enables higher DDR4 memory frequencies, lower latencies, and enhanced stability while overclocking, extending all the way to extreme overclocking conditions, such as Liquid Nitrogen (LN2). OC Socket is 100 percent compatible with new Haswell-E LGA 2011-v3 CPUs, ensuring the ideal combination of overclocking performance and compatibility," Asus explains.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, an investigation by Asus has lead the company to believe that supply chain makers leaked confidential OC Socket designs to competitors. As a result, Asus is considering legal action against competing motherboard makers, including ASRock, MSI, and Gigabyte.</p> <p>Stay tuned, as we'll be watching to see how this develops.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC Hardware legal motherboard oc socket Patent Infringement x99 News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:09:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 28554 at Twice as Nice: Asus Unveils Z10PE-D8 WS Workstation Board with Dual CPU Sockets <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/asus_z10pe-d8_ws.jpg" alt="Asus Z10PE-D8 WS" title="Asus Z10PE-D8 WS" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Two is better than one</h3> <p>We're not at the point where we need to worry about running multiple processors for gaming and daily computing chores, though if you're piecing together a workstation for some heavy lifting, that second socket might be more of a necessity than a luxury. If that's what you're after, be advised that <strong>Asus just announced its Z10PE-D8 WS motherboard</strong>, a dual-CPU socket mobo based on Intel's C612 chipset.</p> <p>The dual sockets support Intel's recently announced Xeon E5-2600 v3 processor family based on the company's Haswell architecture. Intel's product family tops out at 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache, so with two flagship chips plopped into the Z10PE-D8 WS, you could be rocking 36 physical cores - yeah, we just wet ourselves a little bit, too.</p> <p>You can also run up to four dual-slot graphics cards with support for 4-way SLI or CrossFireX, along with RAID cards, PCIe-based SSDs, video capture cards, and other high-speed components (the board is equipped with seven PCIe 3.0 slots).</p> <p>Since reliability is key in a workstation, Asus gave the board its high quality component treatment. It has integrated Driver-MOSFETs (Dr. MOS), Asus-exclusive Beat Thermal Chokes II (supposed to deliver up to 94 percent poer efficiency and lower temps), and 12K solid capacitors, which Asus says is a first on a server board.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Z10PE-D8 WS</a> will be available soon for $599 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC Hardware motherboard workstation z10pe-d8 ws News Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:31:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28515 at Asus Reportedly Slashing Motherboard Prices to Maintain Market Share <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_x99_deluxe.jpg" alt="Asus X99 Deluxe" title="Asus X99 Deluxe" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />It's your move, Gigabyte</h3> <p>We've heard time and again that things are getting super competitive in the motherboard business. In terms of the top spot, there are really just two top-tier players, those being Asus and Gigabyte, and last we heard, <a href="">Asus held a slight lead</a> in shipments as the two companies head towards a <a href="">photo finish</a>. Not looking to leave anything to chance, it's being reported that <strong>Asus cut its motherboard pricing by up to 10 percent</strong> in order to keep its global market share.</p> <p>That info traces back through <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a>, which itself is citing a Chinese-language <em>Economic Daily News</em> (EDN) report. According to the report, these are retail prices of Asus' own-brand boards that have been cut anywhere from 5-10 percent, so you should be seeing lower prices on store shelves.</p> <p>It's estimated that Asus has shipped 10.4 million of its own-brand boards in the first half of 2014; the company's goal is to ship 22.1 million motherboards by the end of the year.</p> <p>This price cut play by Asus could get the company there. If so, it will come at the expense of Gigabyte, which may now see its motherboard shipments fall below its goal of 5.5-6 million units. According to the report, Gigabyte is now likely to end the year with 20 million motherboard shipments rather than 21.5 million as originally predicted.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC Hardware motherboard News Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:12:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28506 at Asus Rolls Out Trio of X99 Chipset Motherboards <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_x99_boards.jpg" alt="Asus X99" title="Asus X99" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />Hello, Haswell-E</h3> <p>Now that <a href="">Haswell-E has finally arrived</a>, have you started thinking about a new build? If so, you have plenty of options. In terms of motherboard choice, <strong>Asus today announced three X99 Series boards</strong>, including the X99-Deluxe, X99-A, and X-99 Pro. All three sport the latest LGA 2011-v3 socket for Haswell-E processors and feature DDR4 memory support, along with exclusive Asus technologies.</p> <p>Out of the three, the <a href="" target="_blank">X99-Deluxe</a> is the top-end model. It comes bundled with an Asus Hyper M.2 x4 expansion card for ultra-fast 32Gbit/s transfer speeds, onboard 3x3 antenna for 802.11ac connectivity, and an Asus Fan Extension Card for flexible cooling options.</p> <p>One feature that's on all three boards is Asus's patent-pending OC Socket. This is a unique socket with extra pins that connect proprietary circuitry to extra contacts found on Haswell-E's LGA and is fully compatible with Intel's new LGA 2011-v3 chips. According to Asus, its OC Socket allows for higher DDR4 memory frequencies, lower memory latencies, and enhanced stability when overclocking.</p> <p>The X99-Deluxe is available now for $399. Look for the X99-A to land in early September for $279, and the X99-Pro in October with a price that's yet to be determined.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC Hardware haswell-e motherboard x99-a x99-deluxe x99-pro News Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:56:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 28451 at EVGA Posts Teaser Shot of Classified X99 Micro ATX Motherboard on Instagram <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/evga_x99_micro.jpg" alt="EVGA X99 Micro" title="EVGA X99 Micro" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />Haswell-E can't come quick enough</h3> <p>Hoping to build a small form factor (SFF) system around Intel's upcoming Haswell-E and X99 chipset launches? That seems to be the trendy thing these days, and you can bet motherboard vendors will step to the plate with smaller size motherboard options. These won't be chintzy slabs, either. EVGA posted a picture to Instagram showing off a small board built around the X99 chipset.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">EVGA X99 Micro</a> is an mATX board ready for Haswell-E. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Fudzilla</em></a>, it sports a 10-phase VRM design. You can also see four DDR4 memory slots (two on each side of the CPU socket), six SATA 6Gbps ports, three PCI-Express 3.0 slots, mSATA slot, USB 3.0 and 2.0 connectivity, on-board power and reset buttons, and LED POST.</p> <p>It's rumored the board will sell for about $250, which is a bit high for an mATX motherboard, though keep in mind it's part of EVGA's Classified family aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts.</p> <p>As for Haswell-E, there's no official launch date, though recent chatter now has it pegged for August 29th. All Haswell-E chips will require a new X99 motherboard with the revised Socket 2011-3 layout. These boards will also support DDR4 memory.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> classified evga instagram matx micro atx motherboard x99 News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:02:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 28399 at Take a Sneak Peek of Three Upcoming Gigabyte Motherboards for Haswell-E <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_x99_gaming_g1.jpg" alt="Gigabyte X99 Gaming G1 WiFi" title="Gigabyte X99 Gaming G1 WiFi" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />A colorful collection of motherboards</h3> <p>Intel's next generation Haswell-E processor launch is just around the corner, and the closer it gets, the more products we're seeing from its hardware partners. Haswell-E will usher in a new Intel X99 chipset with support for DDR4 memory. The upcoming CPUs will slip in socket 2011 motherboards, of which we've already seen several. You can add three more options to the list -- while details are light, <strong>we have pics of three upcoming Gigabyte motherboards for Haswell-E</strong>.</p> <p>The three boards include the Gigabyte GA-X99-UD7 WIFI, Gigabyte GA-X99-SOC Force, and Gigabyte GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI. As suggested by the model numbers, all three are X99 motherboards. Unfortunately, we don't have any fascinating details to share about any of the boards, though we do have a trio of pics you can click through in our gallery below <a href="" target="_blank">courtesy of <em>Fudzilla</em></a>, which got its hands on the product shots.</p> <p>Word <a href="" target="_blank">around the web</a> is that Intel will launch its next flagship Core i7 HEDT (high-end desktop) processors, otherwise known as Haswell-E, on August 29. It's rumored the chip maker will debut two 6-core CPUs and a single 8-core part, the Core i7 5960X with 20MB of shared L3 cache and a 3GHz clockspeed.</p> <p>The two 6-core parts include the Core i7 5930K (15MB of shared L3 cache, 3.5GHz) and Core i7 4820K (specs unknown).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI GA-x99-SOC Force ga-x99-ud7 WIFI gigabyte Hardware haswell-e intel motherboard News Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:51:11 +0000 Paul Lilly 28367 at Crossblade Ranger is Asus ROG's First AMD FM2+ Motherboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/crossblade_ranger.jpg" alt="Asus Crossblade Ranger" title="Asus Crossblade Ranger" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />Loaded with gamer friendly amenities</h3> <p>When you see the Republic of Gamers (ROG) tag on an Asus product, you know the company has it done it up right, and that's certainly true of the division's first ever AMD FM2+ motherboard. <strong>Asus ROG makes it debut into FM2+ territory with the Crossblade Ranger, a high end motherboard</strong> packed with features and technologies designed to give gamers an edge on the virtual battlefield.</p> <p>Even the LAN port is beefed up. Asus opted for a "state-of-the-art" Intel GbE LAN port with better throughput and lower power consumption than competing solutions, which is further aided by GameFirst III, an exclusive ROG technology that assigns top priority to game data packets. The cherry on top is LANGuard Ethernet socket technology, which is comprised of advanced filtering components with low impedance capacitors to reduce noise and improve throughput. It also includes ESD and surge protection.</p> <p>On the audio front, the board boasts SupremeFX 2014 with PCB isolation techniques to minimize electromagetic interference (EMI) and premium ELNA audio capacitors for precise 7.1-channel audio that's on par with the best soundcards, <a href="" target="_blank">Asus says</a>.</p> <p>There are four DIMM slots that support up to 64GB of DDR3-2666 memory, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, two standard PCI slots, 8 SATA 6Gbps ports, 6 USB 3.0 ports, 8 USB 2.0 ports, and lots more.</p> <p>The Crossblade Ranger will be available this month for $160.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd asus Build a PC crossblade ranger fm2+ Hardware motherboard Republic of Gamers ROG News Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:13:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28305 at Biostar's Hi-Fi B85S2G Motherboard Means Business <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/biostar_hi-fi_b85s2g.jpg" alt="Biostar Hi-Fi B85S2G" title="Biostar Hi-Fi B85S2G" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />A business-friendly board for big and small firms</h3> <p><strong>Biostar this week added to its motherboard lineup with the launch of its Hi-Fi B85S2G </strong>built around Intel's B85 chipset. The B85 is intended to be a budget option for businesses, though Biostar is reluctant to pigeonhole its board into a single demographic -- the company says it's a suitable option for big IT departments in larger companies, small firms, or even virtual currency miners.</p> <p>Some business friendly features include dual GbE LAN ports with Load Balancing support, Intel Small Business Advantage (SBA), and 100 percent solid capacitors for added reliability. As for the virtual currency mining crowd, it's the expansion slots that <a href="" target="_blank">Biostar uses to justify</a> its claim (1 x PCI-E x16 3.0, 1 x PCI-E x16 2.0, 1 x PCI-E x1 2.0, and 3 x PCI).</p> <p>Other features include two DDR3-1600 DIMM slots with support for up to 16GB of RAM, four SATA 6Gbps connectors, two SATA 3Gbps connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 header, two USB 2.0 headers, Realtek ALC892 8-channel Blu-ray audio, onboard headphone amp, and various other bullet points.</p> <p>No word yet on when the Hi-Fi B85S2G will be available or for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Biostar Build a PC Hardware hi-fi b85s2g motherboard News Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:39:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28237 at Asus ROG Introduces Aggressive Looking Maximus VII Formula Motherboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_maximus_formula_vii.jpg" alt="Asus Maximus VII Formula" title="Asus Maximus VII Formula" width="228" height="165" style="float: right;" />Only power users need apply</h3> <p><strong>Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) today topped off its crop of Intel Z97 chipset motherboards by introducing the Maximus VII Formula</strong>, a mean slab of tasty features for enthusiasts covered in an awesomesauce cooling solution to help with overclocking and stability. This particular flavor of awesomesauce is called CrossChill Copper, which is a hybrid-cooling solution engineered around a highly-conductive, corrosion-resistant copper cooling channel.</p> <p>You can't help but spy the hybrid cooler, though what you won't spot at a glance are the internal fins that add to the surface area to keep temperatures from getting out of control. If you take advantage of the built-in 1/4-inch thread fittings and go the liquid cooling route, Asus says you can expect MOSFET temperatures to be lowered by up to 23C.</p> <p>Getting down to the nitty gritty, there are four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR3-3300+ memory, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, a mini-PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, 10 SATA 6Gbps ports (4 shared with SATA Express), two SATA Express ports, a single M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, GbE LAN, eight USB 3.0 ports, 6 USB 2.0 ports, ROG SupremeFX Formula 8-channel audio with a 120dB SNR, and a few other odds and ends.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Asus says</a> the Maximus VII Formula with Watch Dogs tossed in will be available next week for $369. There will also be a standard edition (no Watch Dogs bundle) that will be available shortly afterward for $319.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC Hardware intel z97 maximus vii forumula motherboard Republic of Gamers ROG News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:13:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 28194 at Asus, Gigabyte Headed for a Photo Finish in Motherboard Shipments <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_motherboard_3.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Motherboard" title="Gigabyte Motherboard" width="228" height="162" style="float: right;" />Top two motherboard makers fight for pole position</h3> <p>In the grand scheme of things, <strong>it really doesn't matter if <a href="">Asus edges out Gigabyte</a> in motherboard shipments, or if Gigabyte manages to swipe the shipment crown by a hair</strong>. However, it's fun to watch these two race to the finish line, which is partly why we keep covering it. The other reason is because both companies want the crown, and that could mean price cuts at some point. So, which company is going to win?</p> <p>Go ahead and flip a coin. The latest chatter <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> is hearing</a> from its sources within the supply chain is that both companies are expected to ship 5.1 million to 5.2 million branded motherboards in the second quarter of 2014. Looking ahead, those same sources say Asus and Gigabyte are likely to ship 6 million more in the third.</p> <p>At last count, Asus was ahead of Gigabyte by a mere 100,000 units back in the first quarter. Depending on how things shake out, Gigabyte could close the gap by the end of the second or third quarter, and then it would be a fierce race in the fourth.</p> <p>That could be where the price cuts come in. There's been speculation of an <a href="" target="_blank">aggressive price war breaking out</a> in the motherboard industry. This would include Asus and Gigabyte, but also smaller players like ASRock and MSI.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboard News Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:10:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28083 at Biostar Pushes TB85 Motherboard at Gamers and Bitcoin Miners <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/biostar_tb85.jpg" alt="Biostar TB85" title="Biostar TB85" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />A motherboard with half a dozen PCI-E slots</h3> <p><strong>Biostar wants gamers and Bitcoin miners to take notice of its new TB85 motherboard</strong>. This slice of silicon supports up to Intel's 4th Generation Core i7 processor line in the 1150 package and has six PCI-E slots, though all but one are of the PCI-E x1 variety. Nevertheless, if you want to load up this board with six graphics cards for a dedicated (and value oriented) mining machine, the option is there.</p> <p>This is a board in search of an audience, and from reading over the <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a>, it seems Biostar isn't entirely sure which one is the most appropriate. In nearly the same breath it mentions gamers and Bitcoin miners, Biostar points out "features that are useful for IT departments in larger companies as well as small firms." We suspect Biostar is referring to things like Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Intel Small Business Advantage, the latter of which offers after-hours virus scans and data backups, and blocks recognition of unwanted USB drives.</p> <p>The TB85 offers up two DDR3-1600 DIMM slots with support for up to 16GB of RAM, four SATA 3 ports, two SATA 2 connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 header, two USB 2.0 headers, audio ports, 100 percent solid capacitors, and a few other amenities.</p> <p>No word on how much the <a href="" target="_blank">TB85</a> costs or when it will be available to purchase.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Biostar bitcoin Build a PC Hardware motherboard tb85 News Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:50:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 28054 at Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force LN2 Motherboard Breaks Multiple Overclocking Records at Computex <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_record.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Record" title="Gigabyte Record" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />Motherboard built specifically for overclocking doesn't disappoint at Computex 2014</h3> <p>There's no mistaking Gigabyte's Z97X-SOC Force LN2 motherboard for a standard mobo. That slice of silicon is built for the extreme overclocking circuit, which is why there aren't any CPU fan mounting holes -- it's all about liquid nitrogen. Case in point, <strong>Gigabyte's Z97X-SOC Force LN2 broke multiple world records at Computex 2014</strong>, which includes the highest DDR3 memory frequency every achieved -- 4.56GHz, up from the previous record of 4.4GHz.</p> <p>"One of the greatest parts of working for Gigabyte as an overclocker is the ability to come out with what at first seems like a crazy idea, have our skilled engineers be able to build it, and have the backing of our management to allow the concept to go into production for sale," <a href="" target="_blank">commented Hi Cookie</a>, Chief Overclocking Evangelist, Gigabyte Motherboard Business Unit. "The Z97X-SOC Force LN2 is a true testament to this forward-thing philosophy, and I can’t wait for other overclockers around the world be able to use this motherboard to break even more world records."</p> <p>Gigabyte's board set new records for Aquamark3 (both single GPU and dual-GPU), 3DMark05 (dual GPUs), 3DMark2001 SE, Unigine Heaven (single GPU), and more.</p> <p>It's a gnarly board, though obviously the lack of CPU fan mounting holes limits its appeal to extreme overclockers. In that sense, the bevy of features are somewhat wasted, as this board will never serve as anyone's daily driver. That said, there is a version of this board that includes traditional CPU fan mounting holes -- the <a href="" target="_blank">GA-Z97X-SOC Force</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC computex gigabyte Hardware motherboard overclocking z97x-soc force ln2 News Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:53:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 28021 at Asus Edges Out Gigabyte in First Quarter Motherboard Shipments <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_a88x_pro.jpg" alt="Asus A88X Pro" title="Asus A88X Pro" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Just 100,000 motherboard shipments stand between leader Asus versus Gigabyte in race for first place</h3> <p>It might be a photo finish at the end of the year to determine which top-tier motherboard vendor comes in first. As it stands, <strong>only 100,000 motherboard shipments separate Asus and Gigabyte</strong>, the big guns in the mobo shootout. For now, Asus can enjoy pole position with 10.4 million motherboard shipments -- just enough to keep Gigabyte at an arm's length with 10.3 million shipments.</p> <p>Those figures come from news and rumor site <em>Digitimes</em> and are based on the "sources from channel retailers" it spoke with. The race for first place is solely between Asus and Gigabyte, both of which already widened the gap with competing motherboard makers. In addition, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> says</a> some of the smaller players may exit the market altogether in the near future.</p> <p>Since Asus and Gigabyte are in a league of their own, companies like MSI and ASRock are turning their attention towards nabbing market share from even smaller players. These include mobo makers you might not have heard of, such as Colorful, which is the largest China-based mobo maker.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboard News Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:00:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28020 at MSI Expect to Boost Branded Motherboard Shipments by 1 Million Units <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_motherboard.jpg" alt="MSI Motherboard" title="MSI Motherboard" width="228" height="208" style="float: right;" />MSI is riding high on demand for its gaming motherboards</h3> <p>Competition is downright fierce in the motherboard market where only a handful of players remain. It's the reason why a <a href="" target="_blank">price war may break out</a>, which in turn could help motherboard makers sell more units. We're not talking about thousands of mobos -- <strong>MSI is hoping to ship 7 million branded motherboards in 2014</strong>, up from 6 million in 2013. In addition to engaging in a price war, MSI is benefiting from increased demand for its gaming boards.</p> <p>Charles Jiang, MSI's executive vice president of motherboards and graphics cards, <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>Digitimes</em></a> that demand for its gaming boards jumped up after it expanded its gaming brand Dragon Army to cover mobos and video cards. In other words, a combination of added bling and clever marketing.</p> <p>The Dragon Army branding was originally used for MSI's line of gaming laptops and helped turn the company profitable, Jiang said. As for its motherboards, MSI shipped around 1.8 million in the first quarter of this year and expects to ship between 1.5 million to 1.7 million in the second quarter, noting that the drop is due to seasonality.</p> <p>These figures don't included MSI's OEM motherboard businesses, just its branded boards. It's OEM business shipped about 11 million units in 2013 and is on pace to do the same in 2014. MSI's biggest clients for OEM boards include Lenovo, HP, and Dell.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware motherboard msi News Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:51:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 27957 at Is a Motherboard Price War Beginning to Break Out? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_maximus_vii_gene.jpg" alt="Asus Maximus VII Gene" title="Asus Maximus VII Gene" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />Your next motherboard purchase may be cheaper than you anticipated</h3> <p>The motherboard market has already whittled itself down to just a handful of key players (remember when DFI was an enthusaist brand?). That's made the landscape hyper-competitive, and with new chipsets and processors prompting upgrades and new builds, <strong>motheboard makers are reportedly reducing prices</strong>. There's speculation that this might be just the beginning of what ends up being a price war.</p> <p>Citing "sources from the motherboard industry," news and rumor site <a href="&lt;em&gt;Follow Paul on &lt;a href=&quot;; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Google+&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=&quot;!/paul_b_lilly&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Twitter&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href=&quot;; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Facebook&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> says</a> players such as Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI have all started reducing prices of their 9 Series motherboards and even their 8 Series mobos as each one looks to retain or gain an competitive advantage over the others.</p> <p>This is in contrast to what motherboard makers had hoped and expected with the 9 Series release, which is that it would bump up the average selling price of their product lineup. However, "aggressive price cutting," especially in China, has thrown a wrench into those plans.</p> <p>As it stands, <em>Digitimes</em> says Asus is on top of the pricing ladder with prices that are about 3-10 percent higher than Gigabyte's boards for the same specifications. ASRock and MSI are both about 10-15 percent lower than Asus, and the gap gets wider as you move down to ECS and Biostar.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asrock asus Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboard msi price war News Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:36:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 27942 at