中文版 | News | Archives | Reviews | Forum | $ DealsLinks | History | Contact | Privacy

Interview with Scott Thirwell, Marketing Director, ABIT TAIWAN (1)
Bluetooth 2 Dec 2002

 

Recently, we did an interview with Mr. Scott Thirwell, Marketing Director of ABIT Corporation Taiwan. The following are excerpts are the interview and if you do have questions for him, feel free to post it in www.ocworkbench.com/abit or email me at [email protected] and I will try to get an answer from Scott.

1) What is the manufacturing distribution of Intel and AMD boards at ABIT ?

Over 2002, ABIT has seen our mix go from 70-30 in AMD's favour to our current 50-50 mix. The ramp up of the Pentium 4's and the stabilisation of the chipset lines on Intel's part as well as Intel's huge Marketing push have resulted in Intel becoming more acceptable in ABIT's market. Whereas a year ago, no real gamer or performance user talked about Intel, today many of those same people are also using Intel for their performance systems. Personally, I have an AMD system using the AT7-MAX2, a 2700+ (333FSB) with 1.5GB of memory and an OTES Ti4200 AGP8X and also an Intel system using the IT7-MAX, a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 1.0GB of memory and an OTES Ti4200 AGP4X. Both are sweet systems and I would not give up either of them.

2) Which are the sort of boards which would be contract manufactured by EliteGroup? Will it be OEM boards or retail boards ?

As your readers are aware, ABIT was the creator of, and has been the leader of Performance motherboards. These are ABIT branded motherboards that are found world-wide in retail stores, chain stores, web-resellers and other channels I'm sure. ABIT has specialised in these ABIT-branded motherboards, but at the same time wanted to be more involved in OEM and SI. OEM is the production of motherboards for the huge players such as Dell, Compaq/HP and IBM, whereas SI are System Integrators who use a non-branded motherboard to put into their own branded PC line or into a no-name white box system. For the OEM and SI lines, the motherboards are a basic board with no overclocking, no brand and most importantly low cost. For this segment, ABIT has cooperated with ECS for production of some of our non-branded motherboard line. This non-branded motherboard line is generally the smaller micro-ATX form factor motherboard, with no BIOS tweaking, with few features, alot of integration and a low price. For this non-branded segment, ABIT is fully in charge of all design and quality control, regardless of ECS' own policies. The ABIT users buying an ABIT branded motherboard such as the nforce2-based NF7 Series or the MAX2 Line or the Intel-based 845PE/GE-based boards like the BE7 Series or BG7E or even the KT400 line such as the KD7 Series will be receiving a board 100% designed, engineered and produced at the ABIT factory (think of 10 football fields for an idea of size) located in SuZhou, China (across the street from ASUS) and 100% quality-control by ABIT. If users are buying an SI board in a no-name system for their grandma, they won't know what mobo is inside anyways, but now it could be an ABIT.

3) In your opinion, which is best selling mainboard for the past 1 yr ?

The year is not over yet, but by the end of the year the MAX2 boards will take over as the year's best seller. Right now the Intel-based IT7-MAX2 and the AMD-based AT7-MAX2 are both within 5% of each other in terms of sales. ABIT listened to our users and added the PS2 back to the MAX2 line and with that sales have increased in a huge way!

4) How does ABIT view Granite Bay ? I heard that ABIT is not making one, why is that so?

The Granite Bay-based board, the GB7 has been cancelled. Granite Bay was originally scheduled to be released by September, but Intel has been delaying and delaying until mid-December for mass production at the very earliest and probably early January for really hitting the retail channels. I think we will start to see the media/distis/resellers world-wide reporting that Granite Bay is too little and too late. I expect that we will hear the media/disitis/resellers say that currently, the 845PE (IT7-MAX2 Version 2.0 and BE7 Series) offer much greater value than Granite Bay. Granite Bay is extremely expensive for what you get. I think that the Granite Bay board will have a short life span. Intel outdid themselves now with the 845PE/GE chipsets and it has led to a lessened interest in Granite Bay. The clear choice now is 845PE. If ABIT promoted this Granite Bay, I feel that we would be pushing a product to end users and resellers, while believing that there was a better choice available. It may be a nice boost for sales and marketing, but overall this is not the right product for resellers and end users. Let's be honest to this group.

5) When will we get to see the nForce2 boards from ABIT ? Are there any special features that will entice us ?

The nforce2-based NF7 Series is now available from ABIT. We will first see the NF7-S which offers onboard LAN, 6 Channel Dolby Sound and Serial ATA. This will be followed by the NF7-M which includes nVIDIA's Quality Graphics and the NF7 which is a scaled down version of the NF7-S. For mass production of the nforce2, ABIT and ASUS should be the first to really hit the market, while the others will continue with their paper launches for a few more weeks. Special features from ABIT? ABIT has included some ABIT Engineered features. ABIT Engineered are features developed by our engineers deep in the bowels of ABIT. They create industry standards which the other players then try to copy. Without ABIT, we would all probably still be playing with jumpers onboard. SoftMenu will offer 'guaranteed' voltage settings. Basically, our R&D and FAE team torture tested these settings and now feel confident that users can take advantage of all of these options. Also, our FSBs were torture-tested so that our users can actually overclock. I always get a kick out of the boards offering the 250FSB that can't overclock past a 138. A couple other things we added were 5-bit Frequency ID (5-bit FID) This overclocker friendly FSB allows the FSB multiplier to be adjusted from 5-21. Other motherboards use a 4-bit FID, meaning the FSB multiplier can only be adjusted from 3-13, resulting in higher possible overclocks on the FSB. ABIT also added 3-phase power and a ATX12V connector. Why did ABIT include these, while no other motherboard did? We did it as the AMD CPUs are consuming a lot of power. Without the 3 phase power or the ATX12V connector, users won't be able to overclock and run the risk of an unstable system or even damage to their system. Why did't the others include these? They should have.

Next

(C) Copyright 1998-2009 OCWorkbench.com