Motherboard manufacturer merger mayhem

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2012 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: purchase, merger, asus, asrock

The news from DigiTimes yesterday that Haswell will take even more features away from the motherboard and place them on the CPU signalled a problem for second and third tier manufacturers was worrying.  With less and less features being available for motherboard manufacturers to use to distinguish their products the market becomes less profitable for those boards which can't afford the additional costs incurred by including Thunderbolt or other high end features.  That could well spell the end of several current motherboard manufacturers.

If that wasn't enough to worry you about the possibility of having less choice in system parts in the future, how about the news coming out of SemiAccurate that ASUS is looking to purchase ASRock's motherboard business.  If that was to occur ASUS would own a huge portion of the first tier of motherboards and swamp Gigabyte with the volume they could produce.  At the same time they could leverage ASRock's lower cost motherboard business and compete with the second tier motherboard manufacturers.  With the competition being so fierce and the added features being so limited, at least for Intel boards, the third tier would not have a snowballs chance in the market and would collapse except for a few custom boards for niche markets.   Not the best news for enthusiasts or cost conscious consumers.

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"Currently word has it that an offer has been made for Asrock, and Pegatron is essentially fine with the terms. This would take the #1 and #3 mobo makers and combine them, leaving the industry with one massive behemoth, one solid player, and a lot of minnows struggling to make waves. As of now, there is a first tier of Asus and Gigabyte, then Asrock, MSI, and ECS at less than half of that volume, plus a few niche players in the motherboard market."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: SemiAccurate

September 28, 2012 | 11:48 PM - Posted by Mark Harry (not verified)

I was under the apparent, mistaken assumption that ASRock was second tier Asus. I don't know how I got that impression, must have read it on the internet. My current build used to have an ASRock X58 Extreme, two of them actually. It was a Tom's Hardware Recommended board. The first one went poof in 1 day after running Prime 95 for 6 hours. The second one slowly degraded over 2 years and became completely unstable.
I now have an Asus Sabertooth X58, Intel I7-920 running at 3.8 GHZ for over a year. This is a rock solid board. If they buy them, do I have to worry about Asus or are they going to fix ASRock?

September 29, 2012 | 01:24 PM - Posted by Sublym3 (not verified)

I also made the same assumption and now I can't even remember where I got the idea from. But all this time I though ASRock was already a subsidiary of ASUS.

September 29, 2012 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

I was also under the impression that it was an Asus subsidiary. I recall being told that by a vendor.

There may be need for worry from Asus - like with any other business (Intel??) - if competition decreases at that tier. As for the ASRock brand, it can go any way; up or down in quality and/or price. Things will also depend on how the buyout affects efficiency and the competition's response.

October 1, 2012 | 06:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How exactly do you "manfacture" a motherboard? Sounds kinda dirty.

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