Hello Intel, thanks for shutting down your mainboard business

December 7, 2013

Three weeks ago I dared to flash the BIOS of my home server’s Intel DQ77KB mainboard to address a number of smaller issues related to BIOS settings not being applied. Apart from the fact that anno 2013 Intel still requires you to create a bootable USB stick, a process still complicated enough it makes you wonder how companies seriously expect users to be able to master it, where other companies such as Asus have been including the flash utility as part of the BIOS itself for a long time: the flash utility indicated success but afterwards the board was dead as a brick. POST beep codes indicated memory trouble but neither changing memory modules nor clearing CMOS and trying the BIOS recovery facilities helped — the board was a case for technical service. Tough luck to have no mailsystem any more, especially if you have dental surgery scheduled the next day.

But here comes the real amusing part: despite Intel’s announcement to only slowly exit desktop mainboard production, the DQ77KB was no longer available anywhere in Germany. Intel silently shut down everything so quick that a product of the current lineup faces supply problems as confirmed in Intel’s forums and by commercial sourcers. In my eyes a shame for a leading technology company.

In my case I was forced to switch to the current Haswell generation because the market offers no other Thin Mini-ITX mainboards with 19V power supply and Q77 chipset. I went for the Asus Q87T mainboard, a decision I did not regret. I can only recommend this board — finally we begin to see some real advantages of an UEFI BIOS.

Posted in Hardware by Pieter Hollants

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