"Guido Stepko reports - In an GOLEM interview at CEBIT 2014 fair, Frank Kuypers, technical account manager at INTEL corp., proudly presented a new feature in INTEL processors, called "hooks", beginning with the new 2014 "Merrifield" 64 bit SoC chip generation. In the Intel network only mobiles with certain Android versions are allowed to use certain functionalities. If you then replace your Android version, e.g. by a free Cyanogenmod Android kernel, not only some chips would stop working, e.g. LTE/UMTS, but also mails from your employer would be blinded out, because now the processor itself would 'classify' the new software as 'risk'. Now, beginning with the new 2014 power efficient mobile "Merrifield" processor generation, this functionality will be used to lock the processor for certain OS'es or OS versions. Whether there will be a SDK or use of this 'functionality' will be kept a secret, still is undecided, Kuypers said. Ryan O'Dell sees a potential abuse of the technology: "You'll buy a computer from a shop with Windows OS and not be able to change to Linux or another OS in the future. You may be able to buy the processor unlocked for a sum. With mobile phones/tablets it can be worse with phone networks also potentially have a lock-in. It's a disaster for the consumer"
Google translation from German: (Google)
Didja know Foxconn makes the huge majority of odds and ends that go into any mobo? :) But yeah, their own-bran mobos have always been shit. If I have a choice I'm rather a Tyan bigot, followed by SuperMicro and perhaps iBase (http://www.ibase.com.tw/mb800.htm)
MSI's older Pentium boards were crap, but up about the P3 era they got good -- stable and durable so long as you didn't go with the cheaper models. I haven't seen their current crop... but it wouldn't surprise me if their AMD boards were lower-quality than their Intel boards; I've seen that a lot from various companies across the years (started building these buggers ~1994).
That shitty mobo in low-end eMachines was reportedly made by Asus (tho toward the end they actually got decent). And it looked like an Asus, so I tend to believe it. It's building to spec that counts, not so much brand.
I'd have to check AMD's errata sheet to see how they're really doing (assuming it's still public, which hasn't always been the case either). But LIS it's historically been 3x the length of Intel's, and that disturbs me, especially having run into unfixed major bugs in flagship products... and I mean fatal bugs you could hardly avoid tripping over with everyday OSs, not minor things most people would never notice.
Only reason I'd buy a new mobo again is cuz having moved back to the sticks, salvage isn't so readily available. I think I last bought new in 1998. At least this way I get what I pay for. ;)
The way I look at it is this...if a company can't be trusted then they can't be trusted, end of story. Foxconn only makes decent shit for other people because those other people make sure there are riders in the contracts, look at how many tales of defective hardware have ben traced back to them over the years. And as for MSI? They are fucking liars that do zero QA, period. For an example they will list chips released nearly 2 years after a board has been released as compatible when THEY NEVER TESTED IT because ALL they do is look at the watts, PERIOD. You find this out soon enough when their boards say they support the i Series or FX series but you find out it'll never even post, the reason being as late Phenom II and the i Series all have turbo which requires more voltage than the stock watts and their older boards just can't give it the power.
As far as the OEMs..they are cheap, don't matter who makes 'em they penny pinch the living fuck out of 'em. Doesn't always make 'em shit, just severely limits what you can do with them but as long as you know that they are okay. The MSI and Asus boards made for HP make just fine office boxes or netboxes, just don't try to add more cores than it came with or turn it into a gaming PC and they are often adequate for your day to day tasks, they generally won't last as long as the mainstream offerings but that usually isn't much of a problem with the average lifespan of a PC being 7 years they are usually able to go 3-6 which is fine for the price.
As for the errata...unless you are doing particle simulations or other extreme number crunching (which frankly if that is the case you should be running a workstation chip anyway) then the odds of you running into one of those bugs is about the same as you winning $2500 playing a scratch off ticket, not impossible but highly unlikely. Take the Phenom I bug that was so famous, I bought a ton of those chips, never applied the patch (which would cause a 10% hit in windows) and I never actually saw the bug in action, not once. The same goes for Intel errata, the odds of you hitting the P2 bug was insanely low.
BTW true fact, the reason you saw all those burnt Athlon boxes? The first gen Athlons were able to be unlocked by pencil tracing a couple spots on the board and it was simple as hell to change a few reg settings and have Windows "lie" about which chip was in it so unscrupulous dealers would often unlock the Athlons and OC the living hell out of them so they could sell them as premium models for premium prices. I don't know how many systems I got in the shop during that period because "it was acting funny" or "it crashes a lot" only to go into BIOS and find it had as high as a 60% OC. I'd talk to the owner and sure enough they had paid as much as $1500 for a $500 system. Can't blame AMD for shitheads being shitty though and if I got to it in time before the chip was cooked I could reset the clock and they would often last for years.