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ASUS and the high-end component market

by Scott Bicheno on 4 July 2011, 17:27

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa6kd

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Republicans

Computing giant ASUS recently held an event to showcase its Republic Of Gamers (ROG) sub-brand of enthusiast PC components and systems. We spoke to ROG product manager Andrew Wu to get an idea of what kind of market there is for components that sometimes cost as much as complete low-end systems.

ROG products are designed specifically for enthusiast PC users and/or high-end gamers. As well as claiming to offer the best materials and components, their major selling point is the extent to which they assist enthusiast users in overclocking their systems. While the continued success of HEXUS is testament to the market for such products, we were still sceptical about the side of the market.

So we asked Wu why anyone would pay £300 for a motherboard. "These have many overclocking features, they're more like Porsches than Mercedes," he explained. "The high-end desktop market has not declined, but maybe we've taken some share from our competitors. We sell a lot and the market is growing - mainly through e-tail in the West and retail in the East."

While much of the technology world has become preoccupied with mobile devices, the enthusiast PC sector is largely untouched. While mobile devices are more powerful than ever, they will never be able to offer the sheer computing grunt of a high-specced PC, let alone lend themselves to overclocking.

It is now normal for consumers to own multiple devices, but if you're a gamer, or simply want a system with the best possible performance, there's still no substitute for a desktop. ASUS considers it worthwhile to invest in a niche, high-end sub-brand to cater for such users, whose desire for powerful PCs is undiminished by the lure of the smartphone or tablet.

In fact ASUS is so committed to the ROG brand that Wu revealed it plans to launch a peripherals range in the near future, despite that already being a highly competitive market. And the channel is happy about the continued strength of the enthusiast market, as higher-value products equal better margins.

To conclude we asked Wu to spill the beans on the Intel X79 platform, which will support the Sandy Bridge Extreme processor. "I can't talk about it too much right now," said Wu, explaining he'd been sworn to secrecy, "but it's the most important product for us and we have some secret weapons."

We'd be interested to hear from HEXUS readers who invest in this kind of high-end kit. What do you get for your money? Is the enthusiast market as healthy as ever? How does ROG kit compare to the competition? Let us know in the HEXUS.community.

 

 



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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While the ROG brand is a strong brand and synonymous with high performance and quality, I don't believe that they have completely agreed themselves with what that market is. The example I give is the ARES graphics cards - These are a “what's the best possible permutation at any cost” version of an item, whereas with the motherboards, they are not following this ethos. To me, that is indicative of a lack of focus and clarity in the brand identity.

I asked Andrew (I think it was Andrew anyway) at the Overclocking summit that Bit-tech hosted last week, and their answer was that they were only targeting High End gamers and the enthusiast overclocker, and that there was no market for an uber-board. I believe that the SR2 disproves this as it's been very successful among those who fold…

Also, where does TUF (ie the sabertooth) fit in with this?

Confused of Liverpool.
Tattysnuc
Also, where does TUF (ie the sabertooth) fit in with this?
It's not in the ROG line, so isn't the high-end component market that's being discussed here. Asus aren't just high end, but the ROG line is.
asus has repeated screwed me throughout the years.

lousy tech support.:help:
warranties that are half expired when motherboard is purchased.:stupid:
poorly designed boards im supprised they run for the first year of warranty.:clapping:
my p5nd2sli-delux was RMA'd 4 times before they stole my board and never sent it back!!!:clapping:

i cant say i was very happy with my asus EEE or there “tech support” even though they said contact us 24 hours a day, the only fix was to reformat the pc. some support!!!!!!:secret:

asus is a lousy brand, and wont be getting a penny of my money.
i cant wait for them to go Bankrupt.:censored:

yes, i created this account just to vent my anger for asus.

supprised they are still in business.
I love the way people sign up and say that they hate a manufacturer but you can see that they keep going back :)


Personally I dont overclock, I tend to buy the best board I can at the time I upgrade and then I'll keep it for a while and upgrade the other system components around the board.
My last two motherboards have been ROG Gene's, when the new one comes out I'll have a look at it but not really due an upgrade atm..
'[GSV
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Personally I dont overclock, I tend to buy the best board I can at the time I upgrade and then I'll keep it for a while and upgrade the other system components around the board.
My last two motherboards have been ROG Gene's, when the new one comes out I'll have a look at it but not really due an upgrade atm..

Why do you buy the best board you can, if you don't overclock? Better boards cost more because they have more features… for overclocking. Besides more BIOS options geared towards overclocking, they have more CPU power regulators etc - these things push the cost of the board up but don't actually help unless you are overclocking.

This is why boards like the X58A-UD3R were so popular. They were cheap - at the budget end really - and yet jam packed full of useful features like lots of SATA ports and PCI-e slots. But they didn't have the overclocking/watercooling features which Gigabyte used to justify the (IMO exorbitant) price of the UD7.

I'm just a little confused at why you'd presumably be choosing the UD7 over the UD3R, in this example, if you're not going to overclock.