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motherboard manufacturers TOO SIMPLE?

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Identifying Hardware » motherboard manufacturers TOO SIMPLE? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 4:49 am:   

Can anyone explain to me,(a simple country boy) just WHY the motherboard mfg.companys do not identify thier own boards? Are they that afraid to admit they sold such junk to the public? Seems to me they would want people to recognize a product by name,(if they were interested in selling quality stuff!) Charles Wilson
P.S. How do we go about asking for at least an FCC# on each board?
Posted on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 10:06 pm:   

Essentially it works like this:

Most of the Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers originally intended for their products to go to system integrators, i.e., Dell, Compaq, HP, MicronPC, etc., and their price structure was based upon the assumption that they would be asked to provide NO SERVICE OR SUPPORT whatsoever. Since competition was fierce between manufacturers for the available market, and profit margins were very low, typically only a couple of bucks per motherboard, they could not afford to provide support, and the last thing they wanted to do was put identifying markings on their motherboards that would lead joe six pack to their doorstep looking for long term support.

Of course, the reputable manufacturers today always have their name silkscreened prominently on the board. They are fully cogizant of the fact that many people build their own PC's and expect to have support built in to the price. In fact, you can pretty much tell a good motherboard from a bad one by whether it has the manufacturer's name printed on it.

The Taiwanese manufacturers still aren't really up to speed in the support department, however. They usually have websites where you can download drivers, bios, and manuals, but don't count on much in the way of tech support, either via phone or email, even if you buy one of the expensive brands such as ASUS or Gigabyte.

The bottom line is that you generally get what you pay for. If you spend $89.99 on a generic bare-bones PC, don't expect to get the manufacturer's home phone number with the package.
If you get a unidentifiable motherboard out of the scratch and dent bin at the computer store down the street for $11.50, chances are that the manufacturer omitted putting their name on there for the simple reason that if they were asked to support that board they would end up operating at a loss. In fact, many of the manufacturers will ONLY sell boards to system integrators, and they really couldn't care less what you or I or anyone else think about them. It's shortsighted, but it is what it is.

As for FCC ID, there used to be an FCC ID required on all devices that might possibly emit radio waves, and the FCC would not grant that ID until they were satisfied that the device would not cause interference with other devices under normal use. That was all well and good when a device was designed over a period of years, and might expect to remain on the market relatively unchanged for many years afterward. Today, electronic products are developed in weeks, and they become obsolete in months, which means that it isn't economically viable for the FCC to demand that manufacturers wait for months for the approval process to complete. So now manufacturers simply send in a document to the FCC for every device they sell in the US stating on their honor that the device doesn't emit radiation that will interfere with other devices, and the FCC only gets into the act if there are complaints. This saves a lot of taxpayer dollars, and allows the manufacturers to bring thier products to market a lot faster. Unfortunately, it also means that we PC techs lose the ancillary benifit of being able to track the manufacturers down by FFC i.d. You win some, you lose some. Of course you can always write to your congressman and demand that they bring back the FCC i.d., but I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

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