Drop the prices already!

I've trawled through a crapload of forums and sites, but I'm still trying to find a satisfactory answer to a question that's been bugging me a while:

With all the competition in the motherboard sector (as compared to the processor or GPU sectors), why aren't prices going down or normalizing like the other said sectors?

I mean, as a gamer, I'm not exactly spoiled for choice on processors. Intel. Enough said. It's a little bit better for GPU's (I'm an ATI fanboy, by the way). But when it comes to mobo's, I could get an nforce 780i, 790i, an Intel X38, X48, P35 and on and on. And these are boards that I probably won't change for a while (unlike GPU's).

Once again, with all the variety and competition, why are prices so static?
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  1. Well X48, 790i and P45 are relatively new if I remember right, so they won't drop in price for a little while. As for why the older stuff hasn't really changed much, I'm not quite sure.

    My guess is that once Mobo models have been designated for their appropriate level (i.e. 'Entry-level', 'Performance', 'Enthusiast', etc), that the only thing that will really shake their prices is the release of a next generation. I believe that's what happened with Intel's X38 board.

    Probably another reason prices don't change as much is because competition in the Mobo sector (far as I know) isn't quite as fierce. I mean, I've never really heard of Mobo 'price wars', have you? Not to mention Mobos are the central piece of a PC and probably one of the more expensive parts to manufacture, so in that case it's no wonder prices don't budge much.
  2. mathiasschnell said:
    Probably another reason prices don't change as much is because competition in the Mobo sector (far as I know) isn't quite as fierce. I mean, I've never really heard of Mobo 'price wars', have you? Not to mention Mobos are the central piece of a PC and probably one of the more expensive parts to manufacture, so in that case it's no wonder prices don't budge much.


    But that's my point. There is definitely NO fierce competition (read: price wars) in the processor sector, but prices still drop anyway.
  3. That's mostly for two reasons.

    1 - AMD keeps dropping their prices in order to be competitive on the lower to mid-range end of things with Intel.

    2 - Intel is releasing new processors and changes around prices to make room.

    And really, both of those take a while. To my knowledge, the E8000 series processors released around Q4 07 to Q1 08, which means they've been out at least 4 months already. But their prices haven't shifted at all yet because Intel isn't releasing anything new yet and AMD's not putting up much of a fight.
  4. Motherboards aren't exciting as processors and GPUs are. Getting a better motherboard will not give you more fps in Crysis.

    People tend to build computers around the processor and graphics card (I personally think building around the motherboard is better). Motherboards also seem to get a lot of the blame when something goes wrong in the building process. This is partly why people are not fan boys of motherboard manufacturers, as they are of ATI and Nvidia or AMD and Intel.

    I guess you could say it's a less "emotional" market.
  5. To add to my post, if motherboard companies were competitive we would see a lot more socket type improvements. How long have we been on the LGA 775? Since AMD and Intel dictate the socket type, and it is in their business interest to keep it the same socket for as long as possible, well that leaves little opportunity for big advancements of motherboards.
  6. I get what you're saying. The mobo life cycle and mobo market is much shorter lived than the gpu market. Every time a new processor is released, there is a new chipset to go along with it. And, once a new chipset or processor is released, the last chipset effectively becomes old news. AMD created a debacle with the move from the AM2 to the AM2+ and the 790/790FX chipsets. Skt775 is another example, how many chipsets are there for Skt775, at least 8 off the top of my head; the 780i, 790i, P33, P35, X38, P43, P45, and the X48. Not only that, but Nehalem comes out Q4 and that will have a new chipset, the X58! So what happens to the older chipsets, they slowly fade into the background and are eventually no longer supported and/or available on the retail market.

    As a result of this life cycle, mobo makers need to get as much money as they can for each chipset release and for each version/line of mobos they make with the same chipset. It's also a function of supply and demand. What's the incentive to lower P35 mobo prices once the X48 was released especially if the mobo maker stopped production on that line of mobo? If the mobo makers no longer produces a line of P35 mobos but there is a still a demand in the market, then retailers can charge whatever the consumer is willing to pay.

    There are also any number of unknown factors, like; who knows how much nVidia, Intel, and AMD charge mobo makers to use their chipsets, who knows that mobo makers margins are, who knows how much it actually costs to produce and release a new line of mobos every time a new chipset comes out. All these factors are relevant in that they eventually get passed down the supply chain to the consumer.
  7. Motherboards have never been cheaper; there's too much competition, that's why abit is in trouble. The high end boards will always cost more, the companies have to make money somewhere.
  8. why is the badaxe2 still $190?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121060
    it actually costs more now, than it did back in january...
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