We have already discussed multiple times all sorts of problems that contemporary computer industry is suffering from these days. We can be as happy as we like about high consumer qualities of Intel processors, but we can’t overlook the fact that the absence of decent competition from AMD is already telling and will have an even greater effect in the future. One of the obvious examples is the postponed mss production of 45nm quad-core Yorkfield processors. Of course, this change of plans could have been caused by the existing problems and urgent need to eliminate them in the new processor stepping. However, numerous analysts assume that the real reason lies with the new quad-core AMD processors that turned out unable to compete even with the old 65nm Kentsfield. There was simply no worthy rival to the new Yorkfield CPUs that is why they could be painlessly postponed.
The situation in the graphics card market is just as good, even if we put the eternal rivalry of two graphics giants aside. While the CPU makers do everything they can to increase the performance at the same or even lower power consumption level, graphics accelerators develop extensively: each new flagship solution here requires even more power then the previous one. At the same time, we still couldn’t play Crysis with maximum quality settings, because none of the existing graphics cards could cope with this task. Moreover, nothing seems to be changing this situation in the near future. So, our only hope is that Larrabee will calm then all down a little bit.
If you are looking to build a high-performance platform, ASUS mainboards are almost a complete analogue of remarkable Intel CPUs that have almost no alternatives in the market these days. It is really cool that anyone can find an ASUS mainboard to suit their needs. But is there a worthy alternative to them? Unfortunately, our experience suggests that other manufacturers’ solutions may offer us a few selected advantages, but we will still have to sacrifice something: features, comfort or even operational stability. And no matter how great ASUS mainboards are, they are not ideal and still have their own drawbacks.
The method of exclusion suggests that the only mainboard manufacturer that can challenge ASUS on equal terms these days is Gigabyte. Only Gigabyte can compete with ASUS in all aspects of mainboard making: production volume, dealer network, technical support, rich product range, extensive features and functionality of their products. Now we have to do only one thing: find that ideal Gigabyte mainboard.