Intel motherboards might not be the most popular desktop motherboard brand, but it is certainly an indication towards the days to come. Intel has announced its decision to wind down its desktop motherboard division gradually over the next three years. The last of the desktop motherboard from the chip giant will be the next generation Haswell motherboards, which is set to come out in the next few months.
Thankfully, Intel’s decision to exit from the desktop motherboard business does not affect its desktop CPU business. Contrary to earlier reports, which suggested Intel would completely stop supporting Land Grid Array (LGA) socket, it will continue to provide desktop chipsets to other motherboard manufacturers such as Asus, Gigabyte, Biostar etc.
“Intel expects the broad and capable [desktop] motherboard ecosystem…Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and many others…to fully support Intel’s growing roadmap and large worldwide customer base,” Intel said.
“We are making significant investments in the enthusiast platform with our K SKU portfolio and new 3rd Gen Intel Core Extreme Processors,” Intel informed CNET.
The main reason for this decision, it seems, is priority. Desktops are no longer a priority for Intel as these motherboards have a low margin of profit per piece and with desktop sales on the decline it means it simply does not justify the resources being spent on its development. Form Factor reference designs (FFRD) – boards with soldered CPUs – meant for ultrabooks, smartphones and all-in-one desktops is where the money lies. Thus the engineers and scientists from the desktop motherboard division will be absorbed into other divisions, mostly into development of FFRDs.
Desktop PCs as we know it might not become extinct anytime in the near future, but at one point of time demand for desktop PCs will only come from enthusiasts (read: PC gamers) and other groups of dedicated users. At this point desktop hardware might start to become a niche product.
Source: AnandTech, Reference: CNET