Intel to exit desktop motherboard business after Haswell

By on January 23, 2013, 8:30 AM

Intel has announced plans to shutter their retail desktop motherboard business after more than 20 years on the job. The chip maker informed a number of tech publications of the decision late yesterday, stating that there will be no more retail boards from Intel after the fourth generation Intel Core processors are released later this year. This includes all standard ATX, mini-ATX and micro-ATX offerings.

It’s worth clarifying that the announcement won’t impact Haswell production as Intel still plans to volume produce motherboards based on that architecture. The decision to stop making boards after that shouldn’t deter buyers from picking up an Intel-branded board, however. The company has confirmed that they plan to offer traditional warranty and BIOS support that previous boards have enjoyed for years.

After Haswell’s life cycle of 18 months to two years, Intel and buyers alike will have to rely on motherboards from third party manufacturers like Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, just to name a few. Chipzilla plans to reallocate resources from the motherboard division to other product teams like those working on all-in-ones and Ultrabooks.

It’s also worth pointing out that Intel will still be responsible for making motherboard chipsets found in aftermarket boards.

At the end of the day, this really won’t mean much of anything for the average consumer that buys a PC off the store shelf. For enthusiasts that build their own systems, it simply means that you’ll have to select another board maker to base your build on. That said, one has to wonder how often a DIY PC builder selects an Intel-branded board to begin with.




User Comments: 24

Got something to say? Post a comment
hitech0101 said:

I have an intel mobo kinda sad to seem them leave.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Hopefully they'll still print workstation boards.

jizzyburnizzy said:

Wow very surprised to hear this as Intel actually sells a lot of mobo's

RH00D RH00D said:

Well that's disappointing. I was considering getting an Intel board since they were so renowned for their stability. Guess I'll probably end up getting Gigabyte or Asus.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It doesn't comes as any surprise. Their mobo division is very tiny (for Intel standards) and it's staff will absorbed into Intel's greater scheme of things (like taking over the world). Although it never ran at a loss it wasn't all that profitable. There are plenty of capable mobo makers out there so it's not a disaster by any means.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To be honest, Intel hasn't been very relevant to me personally in the motherboard arena for over a decade. I think one of my first home built PCs had an Intel mobo, but since then it's always been other manufacturers. The only exceptions to this have been a few Atom-based motherboards that I've put together for some more custom embedded systems, but those probably wouldn't tend to fall into Intel's definition of "desktop motherboard" anyhow.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

It doesn't comes as any surprise. Their mobo division is very tiny (for Intel standards) and it's staff will absorbed into Intel's greater scheme of things (like taking over the world). Although it never ran at a loss it wasn't all that profitable. There are plenty of capable mobo makers out there so it's not a disaster by any means.

Agreed. Motherboards always seemed to be the domain of the main players like Asus and Gigabyte. Intel's boards were made mostly for people and businesses that just wanted Intel's name on the mainboard as well as the processor. It's not surprising that they're exiting the business and it's not cause for panic.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I can't say I have ever ordered an Intel Mobo - always been a third party like Asus, Gigabyte, AsRock or MSI.

Guest said:

Intel make/made mobos?

No. Really. This is news to me, and I'm the kind of guy that reads Techspot...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well that's disappointing. I was considering getting an Intel board since they were so renowned for their stability. Guess I'll probably end up getting Gigabyte or Asus.

I thought the plot would be to buy a Foxconn, since AFAIK, that's who is, or was, manufacturing them.

Intel make/made mobos?

No. Really. This is news to me, and I'm the kind of guy that reads Techspot...

Intel "made" boards for many years. However, they had very limited BIOS options, and all but a select few, were prevented from overclocking. So, they weren't embraced by the enthusiast market. In fact, they were pretty much avoided like the plague. Good product though.

Guest said:

Yeah, if you go to Newegg or similar and search for motherboards with recent Intel chipsets you'll likely find a few Intel-made boards. But they've always been kind of rare. There usually aren't a lot of options and the Asus/Asrock/Gigabyte/etc. boards are usually just as good or better choices, so this really isn't much of an issue.

Guest said:

I may be wrong on this...but aren't the other 3rd party motherboards based off of the Intel designed boards? Just with different features and optimizations? If so, what would this mean for the stability of future products released by ASUS,Gigabyte, etc? Could it mean proprietary motherboards with new form factors?

Win7Dev said:

I honestly don't care about this at all. ASRock and Asus tend to be my choice brands for motherboards.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I thought the plot would be to buy a Foxconn, since AFAIK, that's who is, or was, manufacturing them.

Yeah I thought so too. Intel designs, Foxconn manufactures.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I may be wrong on this...but aren't the other 3rd party motherboards based off of the Intel designed boards? Just with different features and optimizations? If so, what would this mean for the stability of future products released by ASUS,Gigabyte, etc? Could it mean proprietary motherboards with new form factors?
Well if it's an "Intel" board, it's a Intel chipset. For example, Intel manufactures an "H66" chipset, the other manufacturers buy those ICs, and solder them into what's is basically a template derived from Intel design specs. Is that what you mean?

It would mean nothing for performance of the chipsets. They just wouldn't have Foxconn solder them into boards marketed as an "Intel" branded board.

Most aftermarket makers, offer boards with higher performance capability than Intel anyway, whose boards are restricted for stability and long term reliability. Intel won't let you void the warranty by "abusing their boards, trying to milk more performance out of them.

Universal "Plug and Play" requires form factors be standardized. New form factors could be produced, but in the end, everybody in the industry would need to be involved, since people need to build cases to accommodate them, heat sinks to clamp onto them, etc. Not to mention the electronic specs involved with I/O operations.

If you're the Apple corp, it seems you can do whatever suits you, since it's a closed system. Which has changed a bit, because Apple found their CPUs couldn't compete with Intel's.

Does that answer your question?

Guest said:

Intel will be first, then others OEMs follow them...

two years more... you'll see !!!

EEatGDL said:

I have had 3 different mobos from them and no complain on quality, just on the lack of features on-board and BIOS settings; one of them was from the "Media Series" (DP35DP) and a colleague still has a PC with that board and we both agree it was a good buy, not the best of the options at the time, but a very good one.

I've seen some of similar chipset-based boards of Gigabyte (in the budget zone) causing a lot of BSODs with the default BIOS settings and even after "correcting them" needing to update the BIOS version, even some headaches with specific amount of RAM and OS [one had a bug that caused a BSOD during W7 installation because it had 3 GB of RAM -same brand and frequency, no problems in other mobo; had to update BIOS to work well with the 3 GB].

The only ones I wouldn't ever buy are the Intel "Extreme Series" ones, very expensive and clearly with a lot less features and slots compared to mobos from ASUS or Gigabyte in those prices.

veLa veLa said:

I had an Intel motherboard once and really liked it. My preferred choice of brand is Gigabyte however.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I had an Intel motherboard once and really liked it. My preferred choice of brand is Gigabyte however.
No kidding. The board in my eMachines T-5026 is ostensibly a slightly modified Intel 915. I'm looking forward to celebrating its 8th birthday this coming Valentine's Day.

That computer has, honest to God, never pitched up a blue screen in all the time I've had it...!

(Anything I've built though, has a Gigabyte board in it).

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My PC still has an Intel board DG43 (something, forgot that because I've used it only 2/3 times in 2012), and it was a replacement board for DP35DP (a very good option in its days *nerd* ) but for those who don't care for OC. I'd say Intel boards were very good/stable+durable and competitively priced.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'll have to agree with everyone one Intel's quality. I've never had any issues while using their motherboards. However as CaptainCranky mentioned they were pre-builts that included the Intel motherboards.

havok585 havok585 said:

All mobos have some chips from intel, that's for sure ! Now let's see what the other players are going to implement as extra hence one manufacturer wont be supplying !

nismo91 said:

Years ago used D946GZIS board and it failed within 2 years. switched it with Gigabyte. also used GB for newer build.

Damia Damia said:

Theres nothing to worry here...Intel boards had there own durability issues..most peoples recommend Asus..practicaly I know intel boards doesnt get the built quality of asus.....I never used intel board for my personal uses (only for some customer needs) only gigabyte asrock and now I used asus .....

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.