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  #1  
Old 07-07-13, 09:00 AM
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sheroo sheroo is offline
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Tailored Motherboards

Ok, so this started by me doing some research into buying a new motherboard to upgrade my current home server.

So for this setup all I wanted was a basic board (under £80) with as many sata ports as possible (10 would be about right), a good Intel NIC, basic D-Sub and PS2 KB & mouse for my KVM.

I don't need any fancy audio chips or XF/SLI. I don't need fancy vrm cooling and phases, don't need a million usb3 port and all the other bits of crap that make the board more expensive.

But could I find one NO!!! It’s easily fixed by buying a sata expansion card, but that's not the point.

I had a similar problem when I was looking for a motherboard for my folding rig. Now this had a completely different set of criteria.

Don’t care about sata ports for this one, what I want is beefy vrm and power phases to keep my overclock stable. The cheapest one I could find had 8 sata ports – what a bloody waste…

The way the motherboard manufacturers seem to do business is by producing a basic model and then upgrading every component to justify a price hike until you get to their top of the range which has absolutely everything – half of which you will never use.

So why don’t they give us some tailored boards?

Home Server Board
Overclocking Board (I know Gigabyte have brought out the GA-Z87X-OC, but there’s a lot of superfluous crap on there you just don’t need)
Audiophile Board
Media Centre Board

Why are they just churning out these boards and beefing up every component as the price increases? To my mind they are manufacturing a set of hammers – from the small diminutive pin hammer all the way up to an oversized and unwieldy sledge hammer.

What I want is a more refined tool, one that is more specific for the task at hand, tailored to my specific needs.

At the end of the day computers are tools, and like any other tool they can be crafted and designed for a specific purpose. Not everybody wants to enter their rig in a beauty pageant.

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Old 07-07-13, 11:13 AM
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Feronix Feronix is offline
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Completely agree. Truth is that all these manufacturers are businesses and just want to make a good profit. Making boards for such small markets probably won't give them that.

Also, if they were to make a board with a good audio solution but overclocking it's inevitable that the board will be compared to things like the MSI Gaming and G1 Series in reviews, thus having your board show as the weakest cause it can't do anything else. Not many reviewers actually look at the pricing on the boards.

That being said, for real audiophiles there probably won't be any on-board audio chip that's good enough for them and they will resort to sound cards. For people who want quick mass storage, the Sata2 ports won't be quick enough, so they'll resort to a Sata expansion card.

In simpler words: These expansion cards are specially designed for doing whatever it is that they do by companies that know how to do them. There's probably a reason why an Asus Xonar STX costs the same as a mid-range motherboard (actually more expensive than a whole Gryphon motherboard). If they merged these things together it would be mad expensive (€300,-) and it would still offer features that you don't need.

Or if you would merge it with a cheaper board, it's good at audio and audio only. But seriously, who would spend €200,- on a board that's just good at audio while you can also buy a board that's decent at audio, has good overclocking and multiple Sata ports (like a Sniper M5) and probably still have money left. Who would spend €200,- on a board for a multimedia PC anyway?

The only company that I can think of that's on the right track is Biostar. They're not very widely known but tbh, their boards are of good quality. All they need to do now is fix the lay-out (no connections on the middle of the board) and their EUFI Bios.

Their Hi-Fi series offer pretty good audio solutions at not too high prices. The Hi-Fi H87S3+ is a simple m-ATX board with 6 Sata ports, H87 chipset, 4Pin CPU header and no overclocking that still has a seperate part of the PCB for the audio chip. The thing costs €80,- (probably around 70 pounds) and tbh, I think something like that would make a perfect home theatre/ Multimedia PC.

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Old 07-07-13, 11:23 AM
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I understand why they just make these "jack of all trades" boards, and get that the audio and graphics will never be upto the serious needs of certain individuals. But I think the case is more clear cut for OC and Home Server boards - they could do these quite easily...
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Old 07-07-13, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheroo View Post
I understand why they just make these "jack of all trades" boards, and get that the audio and graphics will never be upto the serious needs of certain individuals. But I think the case is more clear cut for OC and Home Server boards - they could do these quite easily...
I would agree that a home server board would be pretty cool but then still most people would use:
1- SSD for the OS
1- DVD/ Blu-Ray burner
1 or 2- 3TB drives.

Four to six Sata ports would be enough for most people tbh.

Can always mail manufacturers your idea and maybe it would open their eyes, although I seriously doubt that...

...Or solder your own
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Old 07-07-13, 11:41 AM
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You can buy a 4 port sata 3 add-on card for £30. As you say though if 6 sata ports is enough for most people then why do the high end boards have 8 or more? It just doesn't seem like they are building for purpose?
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Old 07-07-13, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheroo View Post
You can buy a 4 port sata 3 add-on card for £30. As you say though if 6 sata ports is enough for most people then why do the high end boards have 8 or more? It just doesn't seem like they are building for purpose?
I honestly wouldn't know. You'd have to ask a manufacturer that
Maybe they just assume that everyone is like Linus and runs 8 SSDs on their pc

Tbf, I'd rather have some options that I don't need than miss some options that I want.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:54 AM
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I suppose they are manufacturing for a price point...
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