Intel to shut down production of desktop PC motherboards

It's the end of an era at Intel, or at least it will be in the near future. The PC processor maker has also made its own motherboards for desktop PCs as well for decades. Today, the company admitted that it is getting out of that business.

CNet.com reports that, according to a statement from Intel, "We disclosed internally today that Intel's Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years." It added, "The internal talent and experience of twenty years in the boards business...is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors."

Those new form factors will likely include small PCs as well as notebooks, tablets and mobile phones. However, the days where Intel will make motherboards for the traditional tower case desktop PC will be over.

While Intel is getting out of this particular market, other PC hardware companies such as Asus, Gigabyte and MSI are expected to continue to make new desktop motherboards. Intel says it will keep supporting those platforms, stating, "We are making significant investments in the enthusiast platform with our K SKU portfolio and new 3rd Gen Intel Core Extreme Processors."

A couple of months ago, there were rumors that Intel was planning to move to a new PC processor model that are designed not to be removed from the motherboard. Intel later said it would offer removable PC chips "for the foreseeable future".

Source: CNet.com | Image via Intel

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> Today, the company admitted that it is getting out of that business.

Callaham, for the love of ****, look up the definition of "admit". Intel made a statement; there's nothing for them to "admit".

Intel boards, especially in the business desktop market, are rock solid. The company I work for builds systems with Intel-built motherboards exclusively for two key reasons.
1) Driver stability.
2) Overnight replacements.

#2 is essential if you build custom systems and want to offer quick warranty turnarounds. Name 1 other component manufacture that offers this. ASUS, Gigabyte, EVGA, ASRock, and others don't even come close. 99% of systems we have built (we have built hundreds) have been rock solid and last well beyond the Intel 3-year warranty; those that experience an issue have been swiftly replaced for our clients. When it is your business model to keep your customers up and running, INTEL motherboards are(were) the only option.

Edited by betax, Jan 24 2013, 2:03am :

Desktop gaming pc's are not going away anytime in the next 10 years if you think they are you really need to rethink . Tablets are a nothing more then a fad and will Never have the power of a gaming Pc.

Bout time. Cheap. Never bought one. One came with the CTX, Alienware and HP. They all had a tendency to suck. AMD went in there right away. Wasn't Asus was another brand and they don't make those anymore. started with an A. Asus was my second choice. Oddly the Mercury branded AMD board has lasted longer than the Asus board. Don't know why. Drivers suck for Mercury because they sorta got out of the biz. but it works nonetheless. only problem is with shutting it off. Only ubuntu would it shut off. Windows. just restarts.. But Intel branded motherboards.. generic?? Thats the only time I ever had Intel branded motherboards. They came with the PC.. When I bought pre built PC's. I've built my own since the Alienware. the HP's lasted a couple of years. not much longer after that... emachine same thing.. Intel board gone to crap. So sorta makes sense to me. Course we can't actually build our own laptops normally. although one in our A + did. but finding a case for that is kinda absurd. Be easier to build an apple desktop

I have my first Intel board...it was given to me. I would NEVER EVER buy one. Cost to much, low in features, but does have one of the best in driver support. Oh and the boards are unappealing and ugly.

TechieXP said,
Oh and the boards are unappealing and ugly.

Has it really come to the point were we buy a fracking motherboard because it's pretty.

ive never been a fan of intel boards, they have allway slacked features that other manufactures have had. so no real great loss to be honest as ive never ever bought an intel board

There's no reason for an enthusiast to get an intel board (apart from the fact they probably have the best driver support), but I've seen quite a lot of OEM machines with Intel boards in my life.

Bugger, ive always bought an intel board over the others. except for for my last board, they wouldn't give me an eta on the intel z77's so I went with an asus board.

I considered buying an intel board recently, seriously considered, but it just didn't come with enough fan headers
Thankfully ASUS appear to have picked up their game and now boards that aren't unstable

There won't be many micro atx boards in 2015 as intel's cpu's will be SoC. You will be able to get tiny computers then, no need for such a large board and case. Mini ITX and smaller will become the normal.

This is disappointing news. As someone who is completely uninterested in overclocking and tweaking, and who just liked a solid reliable motherboard, the Intel boards always appealed to me. I never actually bought one as a retail customer (always found them hard to source for some reason) but liked them in my business PC's - always incredibly reliable.

Sad times.

Chicane-UK said,
This is disappointing news. As someone who is completely uninterested in overclocking and tweaking, and who just liked a solid reliable motherboard, the Intel boards always appealed to me. I never actually bought one as a retail customer (always found them hard to source for some reason) but liked them in my business PC's - always incredibly reliable.

Sad times.

My feelings exactly!

That is, in fact, the other issue - buying Intel is FAR easier online (Newegg, TigerDirect, etc.) than retail (even MicroCenter, which isn't exactly small, doesn't carry a complete lineup of Intel desktop OR server boards). And online, Intel boards cost more than identical (as in exactly identical parts-wise) boards from Gigabyte or even ASUS - and ASUS is not exactly cheap.

Seriously. Tablets and smart phones are generally designed for media consumption. There will always be a need for content production, arguably more so in the future; therefore, there will always be a need for workstations. Certainly there is a shift away from the standard desktop for the average consumer, but they will continue to dominate the workplace for the foreseeable future.

lomas said,
Desktop PCs are dying...

I wonder who's still using a desktop PC...


Not sure what you're counting as a "Desktop PC". I have been using a laptop as my main PC for pretty much the past decade. It's often connected to a mouse, keyboard and huge external display though… On the other hand, I'm not going to (completely) abandon the laptop for a tablet anytime soon.

Something like the Surface Pro to combine the tablet with a laptop is certainly nice in theory if it allowed me to eliminate one of my devices. Yet in practice I imagine it's too compromised used both as a tablet as as well as a laptop. Not that I don't see the appeal, and it might work for others.

Edited by Deactivated., Jan 23 2013, 9:21am :

lomas said,
Desktop PCs are dying...

I wonder who's still using a desktop PC...

i know i will allways have a desktop pc: this thing is hooked to everything in my house, the outdoor speakers my tv my nas on my router the billion hdds that are hooked up for streaming, my tv cards to stream to my tablets and phones , yeah dont thinkt he desktop is dying

DKAngel said,

i know i will allways have a desktop pc: this thing is hooked to everything in my house, the outdoor speakers my tv my nas on my router the billion hdds that are hooked up for streaming, my tv cards to stream to my tablets and phones , yeah dont thinkt he desktop is dying


None of that requires a Desktop PC though? :confused:

But, yes, fewer and fewer Desktop PCs are and will be sold and used. That's regardless of the fact that you and a niche of other users and professionals will continue to use them for some time yet. The Desktop PC form factor as we know it is indeed "dying".

Chicane-UK said,
Er - isn't the general consensus that the desktop PC is increasing in uptake again as people get bored of the limitations of consoles?
For certain gamers perhaps, but judging by the drop in PC sales over this past holiday, I'd say the general market is falling and will probably continue to do so. (not including the professional and enterprise environments)

Concerning consoles, the fact still remains that multiplatform titles say it all. In that the console edition still outsells its PC counterpart by a pretty wide margin in most (if not all) cases despite the assertion that PC gaming is making a come back.

I think it all comes down to a very simple reality. People (general mass market) want technology to compliment their lives, not dominate it. In these minds, tablets and smart phones (even consoles) fall into the former, and PC desktops the latter.

Well Lets see...

I have a 4 Monitor workstation desktop win8 system downstairs
I have a server desktop win7 system sitting next to it
I have a probook laptop win7 system with the lid closed running 24 /7 as my quickbooks computer that I RDP into.
I have a Desktop Media center win7 hooked up to my tv
I have a Probook laptop win8 system with the lid closed running 24/7 hooked up to 2 monitors that sits next to my couch. It's my couch computer.

I also have a Acer w500 Windows 8 x86 tablet (gets almost no use)
I also have a Nexus 7 : gets used about once a week
I also have a ipad 2 : Gets used maybe once a week.

Last night I acquired a Macbook Pro early 2011 8GB i7 15inch laptop that may replace my current probook win8 couch computer.

Edited by warwagon, Jan 23 2013, 5:26pm :

nVidia don't make video cards for desktops, they make the graphics chipsets for vendors like Gigabyte to make into graphics cards. Intel will do something similar - they will continue to make the CPUs and chipsets and so on while others make the boards.

In any case, at least nVidia can make a decent driver, unlike AMD.

Douglas_C said,
nVidia don't make video cards for desktops, they make the graphics chipsets for vendors like Gigabyte to make into graphics cards. Intel will do something similar - they will continue to make the CPUs and chipsets and so on while others make the boards.

In any case, at least nVidia can make a decent driver, unlike AMD.

Actually, they do. NVidia makes reference boards and many companies just use those and add their own branding and fan.

GreyWolf said,

Actually, they do. NVidia makes reference boards and many companies just use those and add their own branding and fan.


AFAIK nvidia, like all IC production companies, makes a datasheet that includes a 'basic' reference diagram that OEMs can use to have a basic functioning board then they get to make the layout and add any other components or functions for overclocking/cooling etc. but nvidia themselves do not produce any boards for sale/OEMs, though they will have some prototype boards to test the chips work.

Douglas_C said,
nVidia don't make video cards for desktops, they make the graphics chipsets for vendors like Gigabyte to make into graphics cards. Intel will do something similar - they will continue to make the CPUs and chipsets and so on while others make the boards.

In any case, at least nVidia can make a decent driver, unlike AMD.


I've had more stability problems on my current GT520. Whereas on my previous Radeon 3450 I had zero problems. It isn't to bad since I switched to NVidia's beta drivers. But it still refuses to play a few games or crashes a few min into the game.

Perhaps I need to refer to overscaling/underscaling problem of so many Radeon cards (6-series and 7-series) when connected to a HDMI display, incorrectly detected as TV, with no fix in sight (unless you call regedit a fix)?
My RMA schedule has been fairly populated recently with exactly this problem. To avoid queue, some people asked their money back and opted for Nvidia, even though it does deliver less performance.

While I have a polarizing opinion on the quality and they're *freakin' ugly*, they also have had really good BIOS/UEFI. Especially one of the latest Z77 (I think), which was pure awesomeness with all the details and configuration possibilities - probably the only one that actually looked like those concept pics when UEFI was first unveiled.

There are 5 categories of motherboards if I remember correctly. If you want overclocking and pure awesome bios you have to buy in the enthusiast line... very expensive - but everlasting.

Not necessarily - their midrange (Media Series) also offers surprisingly smooth overclockability (especially the Z77-based Media Series boards). Part of Intel's problem is that the other AIBs (especially Gigabyte) have started matching Intel in features (and outstripping them in some areas) for the same price, if not less (such as the GA-Z77X-DS3H, which trumps the Intel Media Series DBZ77SL-50). The other part of the problem is that each of Intel's business lines is having to justify itself (hence the recent lashup between the line of business that created the NUC and Gigabyte to enable semi-white-box AIOs that anyone can build) - could part of the price be the shutdown of Intel's desktop motherboard business?

In other words the perfect boards for business. And with the advantages for partners you could call Intel to give you replacements for anything you bought from them before you sent the failed one back. Used that option only once - when someone broke a server motherboard.

Their motherboards were never appealing to me anyways... Always seemed like they were higher price than every other company for little benefits.

They may have been higher priced, but they always had excellent driver support, were high quality and used what I consider better components (e.g. last year they used Renesas USB3 chipsets instead of the less reputable Etron and Asmedia ones) as well as always seeming to have more modern ports than other boards, DVI and HDMI being big ones.

They also had sane BIOS\UEFIs - none of this clickable GUI junk that generally made things more confusing and more attractive to people who shouldn't be playing with them.

RedFlow said,
Their motherboards were never appealing to me anyways... Always seemed like they were higher price than every other company for little benefits.

Go back 10-15 years and their premium pricing was not without merit. The gold standard of motherboards. Those days are long gone now though.

yeah, intel boards may not have been the newest latest and greatest, but you can bet that it was solid and if you HAD to buy a board you couldn't go wrong with buying intel.

Douglas_C said,
They also had sane BIOS\UEFIs - none of this clickable GUI junk that generally made things more confusing and more attractive to people who shouldn't be playing with them.

+1 the whole friendly GUI thing is nice to have but it makes computer novices think they can play with it where as text/keyboard navigation tends to scare them off!

I am Reid said,
yeah, intel boards may not have been the newest latest and greatest, but you can bet that it was solid and if you HAD to buy a board you couldn't go wrong with buying intel.

I got an Intel Board laying here bricked after a BIOS update. Turns out I wasn't the only one, so far I only had crappy support for it and bad build. It's a mATX board for my HTPC LGA 775, got an Asus one and it's rock solid.

Douglas_C said,
They also had sane BIOS\UEFIs - none of this clickable GUI junk that generally made things more confusing and more attractive to people who shouldn't be playing with them.

Yeah lets also use MS DOS. None of this clickable GUI junk! It's so confusing and not at all user friendly! /s

Asus motherboards like the Rampage Extreme and Formula have great GUI interfaces, and it's often much quicker to navigate with a mouse and scroll wheel.

Having those old blue screen BIOS' that you can only navigate with keyboard is simply pathetic in 2013. The BIOS is also extremely limited and many decades old tech that hasn't changed at all. UEFI with PROPER interfaces was seriously needed.

ingramator said,

+1 the whole friendly GUI thing is nice to have but it makes computer novices think they can play with it where as text/keyboard navigation tends to scare them off!

Yeah lets not make things easier for people and novices. Lets just keep it text so people like us can feel good about ourselfs because we can use the arrows keys. We're so l33t! /s

Douglas_C said,
They also had sane BIOS\UEFIs - none of this clickable GUI junk that generally made things more confusing and more attractive to people who shouldn't be playing with them.

There's nothing wrong with mouse-based interfaces for UEFI. I'm an experienced computer enthusiast and I appreciate being able to use a mouse and an attractive interface. More importantly, the BIOS was one of the most horrifically dated elements of computing. Consumers demand innovation everywhere else, which is why it's ridiculous to suggest the BIOS was fine as it was.

RedFlow said,
Their motherboards were never appealing to me anyways... Always seemed like they were higher price than every other company for little benefits.
I was going to say exactly the same. But Intel's boards I dont think were meant for consumers. I think they were for small businesses who found it cheaper to build whiteboxes.

Douglas_C said,
They may have been higher priced, but they always had excellent driver support, were high quality and used what I consider better components (e.g. last year they used Renesas USB3 chipsets instead of the less reputable Etron and Asmedia ones) as well as always seeming to have more modern ports than other boards, DVI and HDMI being big ones.

They also had sane BIOS\UEFIs - none of this clickable GUI junk that generally made things more confusing and more attractive to people who shouldn't be playing with them.

What boards were you looking at because Asus and EVGA make some awesome board with plenty of hookups. Even Wireless on many Asus series boards and they still were cheaper than Intel. Where were you shopping?