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Abit To Bow Out of Mainboard Market 97

Posted by timothy
from the market-dynamics dept.
Steve Kerrison writes "Taiwanese technology firm Abit will be pulling out of the mainboard market at the end of this year. HEXUS.channel, citing sources close to South East Asian distributors, reports that the company will continue to deliver mainboard products until the end of 2008 and will still honour all warranties in subsequent years. Rumours of this decision circulated in May but were dismissed. Apparently the decision was made in the last couple of weeks. Abit is a popular brand amongst PC hardware enthusiasts, many of whom will be disappointed to see it leave the market."
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Abit To Bow Out of Mainboard Market

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  • RIP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by everphilski (877346) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:53PM (#24783071) Journal
    I think I'll fire up my dual processor 366 MHz BP-6 [bp6.com] for old times' sake.
    • Home server for my folks. Works great. Was way ahead of its time.

    • by jmenezes (100986)

      Ah, the BP6.
      One of the funnest computers I built for myself. Had my 366's OC'd to 602 for years, with a Matrox G400 for dual monitors, and a separate Promise card for a RAID setup.
      Was great having a home computer that had twice the CPU, Monitor, RAM and Hard Drive that most people had at the time (and still nowadays, even)

      Ran like a champ.
      All for less then most people paid for a single 500MHz box at the time.
      And for certain tasks, it still feels faster then a 1.xGHz Celeron box I had to deal with recently,

    • by knarf (34928)

      No need to fire up the BP6 as it has been running more or less non-stop since I bought it in 1999. First as a workstation, later - and still - as a server. In tandem with a Webplayer [wikipedia.org] it serves all our needs. Eventually I will replace it with something smaller and less power-hungry but for now it seems content serving our net from underneath the stairs...

    • Re:RIP (Score:4, Interesting)

      by T5 (308759) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @05:37PM (#24785551)

      Mine ran dual 300 Celerons overclocked to 504 MHz for *years* with only the slightest of hitches: at power on after being off for a few hours, I'd have to hold the power button in for 4 seconds to turn it off, then immediately hit the power again. It would run indefinitely after that.

      That was truly an amazing product for several reasons. First, Celerons weren't supposed to run in an MP configuration. Second, the main engineer for that board, who went by the Westernized name of "Rocky", was 18 years old when he did the work. Third, understand that at this time the fastest PII processors were 450 MHz. Essentially the machine in question was the first gigahertz (504 x 2) box that I'd ever seen.

    • My VP-6 [vp6-board.com] w/ 2x 1Ghz PIII is still my main home PC. My board fortunately seems to have dodged the stolen-formula Taiwanese capacitor problem [badcaps.net] that plagued Abit and others around 1999/2000 and led to a class action suit and settlement [theinquirer.net].
  • Capacitors (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ark42 (522144) <slashdot@nosPaM.morpheussoftware.net> on Thursday August 28, 2008 @02:55PM (#24783099) Homepage

    Abit was the only brand of motherboards I knew of that acknowledged the capacitors problem and claimed to use 100% known-good Japanese caps in their boards. With them gone, does that leave any good companies, or will all motherboards still be doomed to leaky budging and exploding capacitors?

    • by pegr (46683) *

      Wow, didn't see you post that before my tirade, but, when it comes to bad caps, Abit is just as guilty as anyone else. I have the boards to prove it.

      • by Amouth (879122)

        and you can send them in and they will replace them .. either the whole board or the caps..

        • by jonnythan (79727)

          They refused to fix or replace my KT7 back in the day after too many caps had finally blown.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Amouth (879122)

            i'm very supprised.. all of the boards we had with bad caps they replaced with no questions.

            at first they didn't but after about 2 months of them being out and they made the public acknowlagement - they replaced them

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ark42 (522144)

        Yeah, Abit *was* just as guilty, when the problem was first noticed, but they admitted there was a problem, and took a stance of Japanese-only caps later on. Newer boards from Asus and Epox have STILL had bad caps as recently as a year ago, while Abit boards no longer have any problems. This is from my limited experience with all my relatives and friends that I buy parts for and/or fix computers for.

    • I hardly think this a problem any more.

      My MSI K9N neo has all solid caps, and thankfully it seems many boards are going this way, filtering in from the high end down.

    • Abit was the only brand of motherboards I knew of that acknowledged the capacitors problem and claimed to use 100% known-good Japanese caps in their boards. With them gone, does that leave any good companies, or will all motherboards still be doomed to leaky budging and exploding capacitors?

      Can you please explain when this started happening? Cause unless this is a recent development, and if you would like to pay shipping, I can offer you a motherboard that says otherwise.

      • by Xest (935314)

        Indeed, I'm intrigued also as I've yet to have any problem with capacitors on my various motherboards through the ages.

        I know at work there was a dodgy batch of MSI motherboards with capacitors that blew but it was literally just a single batch.

      • by Nick Ives (317)

        Read around the thread; They've admitted liability. Get in touch with them and tell them your caps have started leaking. They should sort you out.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Giga-Byte

    • by Xtravar (725372)

      I was a big Abit fan until I had to return a faulty motherboard to NewEgg. Purchasing items online leaves no tolerance for that sort of thing.

      Ever since then, I've only bought Asus boards, and I've been completely satisfied.

      • by pyite (140350) *

        I was a big Abit fan until I had to return a faulty motherboard to NewEgg. Purchasing items online leaves no tolerance for that sort of thing.

        Uhh, components fail. Having one failure is hardly a statistically significant sample. It could have been Asus, it could have been Intel, it could have been anyone.

        • by Xtravar (725372)

          I have a zero tolerance policy.

          Anyway, a lot of other people had the same problem with that board.

          • by pyite (140350) *

            I have a zero tolerance policy.

            And that makes no sense as it does not take into account how hardware fails and plain old statistics.

            • by Xtravar (725372)

              So if I buy a product that sucks, I'm supposed to say, "Well gee, this could have happened to any company. I will give them a second chance."

              Companies aren't all that compassionate, why should consumers be?

              • by pyite (140350) *

                So if I buy a product that sucks, I'm supposed to say, "Well gee, this could have happened to any company. I will give them a second chance."

                "Sucks" is a very subjective term. There's a difference between you making a subjective decision that "this product isn't for me" and saying under the guise of objectivity that "this product failed so it must suck."

                • by Xtravar (725372)

                  Well, shit, I give up!

                  I'll continue on doing what works for me. Maybe you should buy two items from every vendor that sells me one faulty one, just to even out this grave injustice.

            • by ckaminski (82854)
              I have a zero tolerance problem with companies that choose to make it hard to fix/repair their defective shit: ECS, I'm looking at you!

              Dodgy manufacturers shift support responsibility onto retailers, but when those retailers are horrible (not newegg, thank the godz), they refuse to pony up and support you.

              Promise... now you are amazing, yes, I had to give you my credit card number before you'd cross-ship the warranty replacement, but you did, and it only cost me shipping.

              ECS, you morons left me with no alt
          • by HuguesT (84078)

            Receiving a bad part is good evidence of a faulty manufacturing process around the time of purchase, but maybe they had improved after that? Even great manufacturers go through bad patches : IBM (disks), Sony, Apple, etc. Usually the situation corrects itself or the company doesn't stay in business.

    • Gigabyte uses sold-state Japanese caps on a lot of its motherboards.

      They work well with linux, and have got a lot of overclocking options (for those of you into that sort of stuff). With Asus seemingly moving towards actual computers (their latest boards are lackluster compared to the gigabyte ones, sort of like nvidia chipsets) Gigabyte is filling their void.

      (not a shill, just satisfied gigabyte customer)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Agripa (139780)

      Many of the motherboard makers including Gigibyte and Asus have switched to using OSCON style solid electrolytic capacitors which do not suffer from the same problems that normal aluminum electrolytic capacitors do. While they like to brag about how noble this makes them, I suspect the real reason is that it just became more economical because of the increasingly stringent requirements for the processor's voltage regulator. In designs where the capacitors' equivalent series inductance and resistance have

  • by pegr (46683) *

    As I was when my KG7 and KT7 both quit last month with bad caps. To heck with ABIT!

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by pegr (46683) *

      Hey mods! This was post number two! Redundant? You're a bunch of dumb fcks!

      • by pegr (46683) *

        //Post calling mods a bunch of dumb fcks modded redundant... Priceless!

  • Good night, sweet prince, And packs of capacitors sing thee to thy rest.
  • Given the generally good quality of Abit main/motherboards, and the fact that they were reasonably priced: will the loss of their competition raise the price of their competitors? Or is the market broad enough this won't impact the price points? (I would place them in the same field as Asus / ASrock / MSI / BIOSTAR / Foxconn / etc.)

    Either way. It is a loss.

    • by Depili (749436)

      My experiences of abit boards are nothing less of horrible. For example the AB9 Pro motherboard's bios didn't use ACHI or left a whole sata-controller uninitialized depending on the version.

      So good riddance, where can I get my lost hair back?

  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Thursday August 28, 2008 @03:12PM (#24783345)

    It looks like the margins have become too tight for all but the largest mainboard makers to survive, with massive companies like Foxconn able to exploit extreme economies of scale.

    Which is exactly what the TV industry went through. Even the big players left and licensed their names to Chinese companies. Do you really think the Sony TV is really a Sony? Or RCA or GE .... It's just a commodity.

    The margins are just too low to even bother with them.

    • by RManning (544016)

      Do you really think the Sony TV is really a Sony? Or RCA or GE ....

      I did! Citation? URL?

    • by k_187 (61692)
      Sony still makes their own screens. RCA is owned by the Chinese now. I'm pretty sure you're right about GE though.
    • Sony doesn't license their name out, though they do have other companies make many of their products and components for them, then Sony sells those products under their own name. I think Toshiba rebadges someone else's TV with their branding for at least some models.

      Westinghouse is another one of those names that was licensed to some other company to make TVs and computer monitors.

  • I think Abit is the manufacturer of my girlfriend's computer who's motherboard just died. It better be coincidence only!
  • I've been using exclusively Abit boards for my main PC for the last 6-7 years or so. I've loved every one of them, KR7A-RAID, IC7-MAX3, and now the IN9 32X-MAX are the ones that stick out in my memory best. Always top quality, and top performance.
    • by n1ckml007 (683046)
      Yes the ABIT IC7-MAX3 is still an awesome board (I'm sadly still using it). I disconnected a (northbridge?) fan that was making too much noise, and my SATA DVD drive disappeared with I tried to overclock my P4 3.2ghz chip, other than that it's still running strong. It replaced an ASUS board which after 4 RMAs still wasn't working, the IC7-MAX3 worked the 1st time.
    • by bryansj (89051)
      I'm still using an IC7 (dash nothing) and it has been working very well until the last few months with a minor issue. This is the longest that I've ever used the same PC (five years). I disconnected the motherboard fan due to noise within the first year and never had any problems. Now the only issue that I have is that I have to hold its hand while rebooting. It often freezes at the initiation screen. Simply resetting it gets it to properly boot. Before that I only used Abit boards and built about 25
      • by tixxit (1107127)
        I ran an Abit IC7-G with a P4 2.6GHz overclocked to 3.2 for 4 years. Good machine, good board.
    • Yes, I love my ABIT IC7-MAX3. Still my main desktop computer at home, although I primarily use my laptop for most things these days, it still makes a great file and print server. Plus, it's got a lot of funky lights: http://bis.midco.net/black/ [midco.net]
      • by n1ckml007 (683046)
        cool LED chipset fan, I found that my 92mm heatsink fan pushes enough air to cool the northbridge despite the disconnected mobo fan.
        • by n1ckml007 (683046)
          Oh did you ever notice that the BIOS will change the boot order of devices if you plug in a new HDD? I reformatted my computer before I figured out the MOBO was changing the boot order on its own. I'm sorry Dave...
    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      you're on crack. IN9 32X-Max board was a dismal failure in terms of product quality and actual function. Certain high level Abit officials have already made comments suggesting that they knew the boards didn't work when they sold them. Abit RMA'd most of their production runs from that model. Though most of the blame lays on nvidia for a crappy chipset and faulty memory controller design, the real blame lays on the company who wrote the BIOS software and the company who sold it to me.

      • I'm aware of the reputation the IN9 32X-MAX has garnered, and I'm sure it may be deserved. However, I haven't had any issues with mine, and it is running like a champ. Though I've not gotten around to overclocking with it yet as I'm piecing together a watercooling setup and am still using the stock Intel cooler. I'm not expecting much of an overclock from it, but that's ok. This board will get me through for a while, then I'll look for something preferably in an Intel chipset.
  • I remember getting the Abit BH-6 and the Celeron 300A which easily took to overclocking @ 450mhz.

    Most stable, rock solid board I've ever owned.

    RIP.

    • I had one of the first ABIT soft-set motherboards (I put an AMD K6-200 in there to give you the vintage) - to be honest it was a piece of crap. It frequently forgot the settings and forced you to go into the bios.

      I got it replaced because it died one day, and the one that replaced it wasn't much better.

      Sadly - last abit board I ever had.

    • by FleaPlus (6935)

      I had one of those and it was wonderful. It was really cool to have more-or-less the fastest computer that any of us had ever seen back in high school, to impress all of my other nerd friends. I was even able to overclock it to 504mhz for a bit, but it was a little unstable.

  • All ABIT motherboards I have ever owned had bad capacitors even though they claimed they didn't. I have owned the KT7E with the AMD Athlon XP 160++ and it ran OK for the first year and then ever since it couldn't run for more than a few days without becoming fubared. I then looked over the motherboard carefully and noticed the capacitors were going bad, so I went and got myself an NF7 nForce2 MB w/ an AMD Athlon XP 1700+ and didn't even think about RMA'ing since I figured at the time the KT7E was pretty muc

    • I got myself an ASUS Maximus Extreme board with a Q6600, 2GB (2x1GB sticks) RAM, and a GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E x16 card, and I have been enjoying it ever since, but it hasn't been a year or two yet so I cannot vouch for how long lasting it is. :)

      I've most likely built 20-30 computers and have always used ASUS boards. My mom has one of the systems I built in 2001 with a A7V266 board which is still running strong with no issues. My current M2N32-SLI has survived a catastrophic PSU failure and all the other various things I subject my PCs to. I'll vouch they are long lasting.

    • well I'm still using an Abit NF7-S v2.0 board at home.. have been since buying it used in 2003.

      It is occasionally flaky every couple months I will have to screw around with it a little to get it to post, but getting 5 years out of it I've been pretty happy with it.

      Seems quick enough, and some people will know the NVidia Nforce 2 Ultra's South bridge contains a quite decent onboard sound chip, similar to the XBOX (v1) sound chip, the NVidia SoundStorm...

      That's all for now

  • My motherboard was never great to begin with, but they haven't released new drivers or a bios update in over 2 years, and the board has only been out for 3. This means the motherboard doesn't support more than 2.5GB of ram even though it can theoretically support 8GB, and is one of the reasons I'm not running Vista right now. Abit seemed to go way down hill after socket AM2 and 754 came out.

    Then again, with board manufacturers all over the place (Palit, Zotac, Asus, Intel, Foxconn, ECS *shudder*, Gigabyte
  • Anyone who calls a motherboard a 'mainboard' deserves to fail.

    • by mikiN (75494)

      Anyone who calls a motherboard a 'mainboard' deserves to fail.

      To call it a mainboard is the PC way (yes it's a pun). Or would you rather have Fathers for Justice coming after you for being gender-biased? Wouldn't fatherboards be able to take care of all those electronics too?
      BTW, why are all CPU's heterosexual males anyway? They always mate with female sockets.

      • by Ed Avis (5917)

        You say motherboard / daughterboard. I guess fatherboard / sonboard just doesn't have the same ring to it.

        Compare mother cell / daughter cell in biology.

        IBM always used to call it a 'planar' which at least sounds suitably nerdy.

      • "why are all CPU's heterosexual males anyway? They always mate with female sockets." Intel 775s have the pins on the mainboard. The processors have flat electrical contacts.
        • by mikiN (75494)

          Thank goodness! Emancipation at last. It probably shows my age and lack of finances that I'm still using a Socket 478 mainboard/CPU from before the sexual revolution.

  • Abit is a popular brand amongst PC hardware enthusiasts, many of who will be disappointed to see it leave the market.

    In the late 90s and early 00s maybe. They've been more of a problem-child as of late. Frankly, I thought they were already out of the market.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The old Abit died a couple years ago. The current Universal Abit [wikipedia.org] company has sucked since then.

  • by Traze (1167415)
    I used to use Abit years ago. Never had any issues myself. Asus user now, and don't know if I'd go back, even with out this.
  • Impossible (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Just Some Guy (3352)

    I just bought a Gigabyte motherboard last month, so they're the only manufacturer allowed to get out of the business this year.

  • First VIA drops Chipsets, and now Abit drops boards. Couldn't happen to a better MB manufacturer.

    Worst board I ever owned was an Abit KT7A. To this day I'm convinced that Abit Golden Sampled the reviews of that board.

    My KT7A was blue screen after Kernel Panic after lockup, And half the time, it would corrupt the drive even though it would pass every hard drive, Processor and Memory test known to man. Abit Finally put out a BIOS that removed the suck from it, but it was pretty much EOL when it came out and c

  • they had good support and a good product so let's hope they still have a foot in the market. UMPs might be a good place for them to shine again.

    LoB

  • by flar2 (938689)

    Sad to see this company stop making mobos

    I remember my trusty NF7 fondly

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