Motherboard: The Soul of the Computer

(Part 2)

 

III. Motherboard Manufacturers
A. Manufacturers and their Profile
INTEL
Intel’s first motherboard released was the “Batman” motherboard. Prior to this release Intel had only produced reference boards. Since Intel was primarily a chip manufacturer it was stuck in a chicken-and -egg problem, where they would release a chip but no motherboard on the market would support it. The best solution to this was for Intel to release both items (chips and motherboards) together. Hence the Intel company’s motherboard group was tasked the development of Intel motherboards and the “Batman” motherboard was their first commercial release. Intel manufactured many other motherboards afterwards, some of which were with Plato, Thor, Seattle, Juneau, Vancouver and others.
ASUS
ASUS is one of the leading manufacturers of motherboards today. With a group of brilliant minds, their Research and Development team first introduced motherboards supporting Hyper-Threading Technology, P4 CPUs of up to 3GHz and beyond, Intel® Core™2 processors, AGP8X and Serial ATA, and Windows Vista.
Diamond Flower Inc.
DFI has earned its place in the motherboard industry as a major manufacturer of the said technological device since 1992 and still continuing to produce top-notch Research and Development efforts for their products and company partners.
GIGABYTE Technology Co., Ltd.
Gigabyte is one of the top motherboard manufacturers around. They have a number of factories in Taiwan and China but the Nan-Ping site in Taiwan is one of the largest which is an 8-storey factory with 1,200 employees and covers 45,000 m2. They can produce 800,000 motherboards a month. Gigabyte impels the market with novel ideas like USB 3.0 which their current motherboards support. In addition, their motherboards pride the feature of overclocking, which would mean that the computer would run at a clock rate faster than it was designed for. One example for this is the GA-X58A-UD9, being the best overclocking motherboard and setting some world records.
American Megatrends Incorporated (AMI)
AMI is an American company that manufactures firmware and hardware. They started as a manufacturer of motherboards with their first client to be PCs Ltd., now called as Dell Computers. As a motherboard manufacturer in as early as 1985, they claimed some of design innovations such as the following:
• First to produce motherboards based on Intel’s 386 and 486 processor platforms
• First to support USB in BIOS
• First to support SATA in BIOS
Micro-Star International (MSI)
MSI is one of original “mainstream” motherboard maker. When MSI started in 1986, they concentrated on developing computer motherboards and graphics card. The year after that, they produced the first overclocking motherboard. MSI’s yearly production of motherboard reached 20.8 million units.
FOXCONN TECHNOLOGY GROUP
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. which was established in 1974 is a business group based in Taiwan that manufactures computer, communication, and consumer electronics components. Its main focus is on the development of nanotechnology, wireless connectivity and heat transfer. It also produced the first motherboard that met the meticulous standards of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS).
EVGA Corporation
EVGA was founded in Brea, California on 1999 which creates Intel-based motherboards equipped for immense overclocking. The motherboards that they manufacture are of great quality and design and thus quite expensive.
B. Comparisons
There are a lot of motherboard manufacturers in the world. In this note, it would be hard to choose the best motherboard to purchase but the good thing is, there would be a lot to choose from with different range of features. Given these facts, some brands have a propensity to be notable from the rest.
Based on Customer Reviews
Some internet sites specially the ones that are popular in selling computer hardwares, provide customer feedback and rating of items that are available for purchase. These ratings and comments are totally relative since a satisfied customer may like a certain product while another person may totally be unsatisfied. Subsequently, it may provide what products really impresses consumers. Many products possibly will have up to a thousand reviews by consumers, making the general impression more valuable than an expert opinion. A few sites like Newegg, TigerDirect, Bestbuy and Amazon include the following manufacturers of motherboard that obtained a majority of positive reaction:
• Gigabyte
• EVGA
• Intel
• Asus
• MSI
Gigabyte and Asus receives consistent and above average ratings from consumers from these sites. Gigabyte is excellent at keeping up at new technologies while Asus have a variety of motherboards to choose from. Other consumers went for Intel and its Extreme series motherboards for its high-end gaming builds. Generally, all motherboards will receive some bad reviews but the manufacturers that received positive reviews have to be capable of doing what people need.
Based on Purpose
Motherboards for Gaming
Several factors are considered when buying a computer for gaming purposes. With regards to gaming, this corresponds to games like Need for Speed, God of War, The Sims and the like, that need powerful system features in order to be played. Some common factors that are regarded are graphics card, processor and RAM. Though, this would normally be the case, the motherboard should also be integrated into these factors. The hardware requirements or criteria that a motherboard for gaming should have are Processor Compatibility, RAM slots, Graphics Card, PCI Slots and USB ports. A gaming computer usually requires a fast and powerful processor, copious RAM and a high-end video memory but it is very important that they would be compatible with the motherboard. Here are some motherboard models which would be excellent for gaming:
• Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H
It was built to be compatible with some of the AMD processors. This motherboard has a RAM capacity of up to 4GB for 32-bit Operating System and 16GB for 64-bit. It has 4 memory slots, 12 USB ports, 2 PCI slots and an on-board ATI Radeon HD 4200 video card.
• Asus M4N78 PRO
This motherboard supports a wide range of AMD processors. This motherboard has a RAM capacity of up to 4GB for 32-bit Operating System and 16GB for 64-bit, just like the previous stated. This motherboard has 3 PCI slots, 12 USB ports, 2 PCI Express X1 slots and an on-board NVIDIA GeForce 8300 chip.
• Intel DX58SO
Four DDR3 SDRAM slots is one of the first things that will get your interest. The motherboard supports a maximum of 16GB of RAM. Two graphic cards handle the video memory, the Nvidia SLI series card and an ATI CrossFire counterpart.?
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