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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 1:04 pm 
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Part 2 and discussion is here

As I’m seeing posts AND receiving emails: I am listening. And wish to convey my take as clear and accurately as I can. But also take a deeper look from the tech industry side of it as well.

If you want to just skip the background, I suggest you don’t though, move on to the second post.

I want to take a moment, to explain some things, from an unofficial side of things. Building off of Chris’s official post on “the motherboard game”.
This is not an official guide or set of rules; rather the musings of a tech that has a glimpse behind the curtains of both technology and recycling. Oh, and generally my percentage numbers are fudged averages in general, not quotable facts.

Let me first touch on the more business facts aspect, the boring stuff. If you read through this it will help you understand not just motherboards but the constant changes in classes and values.
From there we will move on to the changing classes.

There are currently 8 major motherboard branding supercompanies creating more than 50% of the motherboards in use. This includes AMD, Intel, ARM/RISC and other chip set—socket boards. These are the big names like BFG and Asus.
There’s a few dozen companies making highly modified non-spec boards that you won’t find in normal stores (realtor web), but show up on auctions and social site sales often. Making another 5% or so of what’s available. Such as eX-Geer and Rapid Computing. Motherboards that maintain pricing in both new and used states in the thousands.
Finally there’s dedicated board press companies pumping out hundreds of millions of huge speed production, low cost, boards for generic rebranding. Making up roughly half the industry.

And there we already have the basics on where the price problems are across all types of boards. Half the boards are good quality boards, worth say $2.00 and half are junk worth, say, $1.00 so you average the class at $1.50. But wait, we’re not done. Super high end boards make up more than 90% of the sub-one-year use market. So those Rapid boards et al that are overclocked at the chipset running an FX level Threadripper at 6.5GHz under compressed freon live pump, and the like, are many times more disposed of than any other motherboards on the market. For every ton of motherboards you’ll find a few of them. So rather than sort out that single board per week or month and set them aside (all year long) you boost the price slightly to accommodate the reality. So you get, say, $1.55 or $1.60 per pound.

That’s the basics since the mid 2000s. But that’s not today. The last, Apx 10 years, has seen a major change in “personal” computing. Gone are the days of big boards with lots of chips. AMD64 from both Intel and AMD has turned into literal system on a chip (SOC) CPUs. I/O, CPU, graphics, USB, audio, clock, UEFI, system ram… all on top of mutant versions of the CPU idea with more chip memory than many computers had in total just 20 years ago, on the flagship super chips.
The vast majority of what was once on the board is now part of the CPU itself.

One main fact overall is who is best at chip integration. AMD has, in 10 years, pulled far ahead of Intel on the consolidation front, if not power. The new next gen boards can be as small as a paperback book! Having personally seen a boutique design for a new AM5 board that is 6 inches square! With just 4 custom ICs (in reality ASICs) and the socket… and a dozen ports.

And we’re still not discussing RISC!
Ignoring cell phones and true tablets? RISC has passed 50 percent of the total market of computers that would qualify as PCs (or servers) under the windows XP or 7 ready requirements aside from the processor. Just plug in a USB disc drive!

Times are surely changing!

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