Business, Hardware

Copper Wars: ASUS, ASRock & GIGABYTE in a "Battle of PCBs"

An old saying goes something along the following lines: "If your adversaries are stronger than yourself, it is better to join the adversaries." The saying could be argued to hold ever-more soundness when you cast a glance at recent developments in the well-known feud between Taiwan-based motherboard manufacturers ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated and GIGA-BYTE Technology.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you must have taken notice of the accusations made by ASRock [the budget arm of ASUSTeK] aimed at GigaByte’s so-called 2oz Copper PCB on higher-end motherboards. Recently, ASRock went as far as getting into a verbal fight with GigaByte, or rather the manufacturer’s 2oz Copper PCBs [Printed Circuit Board], in stating the following:

"Our copper supply is not endless, it is actually diminishing rapidly. While the demand for copper keeps increasing and with that the price of this natural resource, why would manufacturers choose to use more copper without any valid reason?"

Notwithstanding further environmental discussions, it seems downright obvious that ASRock both dislikes and dissociates itself from the GigaByte way. However, most surprising news is that ASUS seems to be joining its adversaries, so to speak, with its M4A77TD PRO board, introduced last week, during Computex Taipei 2009. The board, which is based on the AMD 770 and SB710 chipset combo, offers support for DDR3 memory and ATI’s CrossFireX technology. These things aside, the board really brings little new to the table. Oh, perhaps we forgot to mention the white letters present at the bottom of the PCB?

ASUS motherboard featuring "precious natural resource that those nasty people at GigaByte use".Yeah guys, it is true – as the photo diligently reveals: In spite of its ferocious criticism, ASUS now employs a 2oz Copper PCB. To put the long story short – ASUS now uses just the same paltry 5 grams of copper, as opposed to "less fortunate" motherboards which would then contain 2.5 grams.

At BSN*, we have yet to demonstrate whether the application of a 2oz Copper PCB really makes the world of a difference in keeping your motherboard cool, hence, prolonging its longevity, but we have just demonstrated an ancient, almost universal rule from the realm of war: "If you cannot beat them, join them."

Time will tell whether we should expect a counter-move from GigaByte, as well as the extent to which ASUS chooses to implement the copper-rich solution. At the editorial deadline, no confirmation or further comment was obtained from ASUS. It also remains unknown whether any legal sanctions from GigaByte are looming.

Does the increased amount of copper contribute positively to green computing? Has the copper discussion reached new levels of absurdity, or do you welcome 2oz Copper PCBs on motherboards from ASUS? Speak your mind in the comment field below.