Asus Immensity: ROG board with on-board HD 5770

Written by Alex Watson

June 3, 2010 // 3:07 p.m.

Tags: #asus-immensity #computex-2010 #concept #hd-5770 #immensity #integrated-graphics #interview #republic-of-gamers #rog

We interview Asus' senior motherboard team

After seeing the Immensity on the Asus stand, we headed to a sleek Japanese restaurant to interview Asus’ two most senior motherboard employees - Jackie Hsu (Vice President of Asus Open Platform) and Joe Hsieh (General Manager of Asus Motherboards).

Bit-tech: What was the main reason for integrating the GPU onto the Immensity?

Joe: The main benefit to the gamer is it’s a different approach [to multi-GPU]. We have a very excellent, price cost effective solution on the board, and if you have a graphics card [already], you won’t waste it. Graphics cards, most people just buy one, so [the problem with the Lucid chip] is that it’s wasted. We want to give extra, without waste.

Bit-tech: Will there be only one model of this board, with one model of GPU?

Joe: We’ll evaluate the feedback.

Jackie: Actually, that’s a conceptual model. We’re still evaluating whether we mass produce it, or just keep it in our lab.

Bit-tech Like many Taiwanese companies, Asus comes up with a lot of new ideas and tries new things quickly – so why do you think the Republic of Gamers has been around for so many years? Why did it resonate so well with the audience?

Joe Hsieh: I think because the ROG team were gamers themselves. Their approach was ‘if gamers need this, then we’ll do it.’

Jackie Hsu: There are two key factors. One is what Joe says, and in addition to that, the ROG team built a very big community of gamers, and game-orientated SIs to get their feedback. They’re a very good bridge between Asus and the gamers we want to target.

Asus Immensity: ROG board with on-board HD 5770 We interview Asus' senior motherboard team
Jackie Hsu (Vice President of Asus Open Platform) and Joe Hsieh (General Manager of Asus Motherboards)

Bit-tech I can see how that can be a positive thing, but is there ever a problem with asking the community, and they ask for every conceivable feature to be in the product?

Joe: [Laughs] Always! We cannot grant all their wishes. We have to evaluate. We try and think hard about what people need.

Jackie: Sometimes the feedback is a little naïve, too – you just have to say, ‘it’s too hard with today’s technology!’

Bit-tech: What do you think of the criticism that Asus has too big a range, creates too many motherboards?

Joe: Everyone knows the maxim, ‘simple is best’, but simple is hard. Some people want a feature, want Firewire, some people don’t, and so we have lots of options. If those features cost a lot, then some people really won’t want it…

Jackie: We have to cover 100 countries – over 100 countries’ – demand. Recently, I went to Brazil, India and those countries, they don’t want so many high-end boards, they don’t want ROG boards – so they may only sell one or two of those models to fulfil their customers’ demands. Really, the way to solve the problem is local discussion, local decisions.

Bit-tech: In an Intel presentation earlier, their spokesman said that the desktop’s best years were ahead of it – do you agree with that assessment?

Joe: A lot of people say desktop has been replaced by laptop, Eee book, and that’s a reality for a certain portion [of the market]. There are still a lot of areas – office work, performance work, gaming – where mobility isn’t important and desktops are still perfect. Even if you already have a notebook [or another device], you want to do some video editing, you still need a PC, no matter what. Even though the desktop market isn’t growing that rapidly, we think it will still sustain, just grow more slowly.

Bit-tech: One last question! You’ve both worked for Asus for a long time. Over the years, what’s been your favourite motherboard?

Joe: [Laughs] It’s like asking, ‘you have three kids, which one?’ I love them all! It’s like saying pick a hole, jump in!

Bit-tech: Is there any you hated?

Joe: No, actually that’s a hole for me to jump in!
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