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Last updated: 12/20/99

Most motherboard manufactures will not sell directly to the end user. Their job and focus is to design and manufacture the motherboard in large enough quantities to make a profit while competing with other manufactures, and to support the infrastructure required to keep the process going and develop market new products.

Like most commerce there are usually layers of buyers and sellers between motherboard manufacturers and the end use, each performing functions and having a supporting roles which may or may not be important to you depending on your needs, expertise, and wallet/pocketbook.

There are usually distributors/wholesalers between the manufacturer and end-user's source for a product. Their job is to buy many products in quantity and resell them to retailers or directly to end users. They provide a level of technical support, but it is usually broad in nature--covering many products--and may be restricted to their dealers or large customers in-house computer expertise.

Finally, there is the source that you, the end-user, buys from. There are those of you who should consider buying locally from a company with computer expertise and local support. This comes in handy when you would feel more comfortable having an expert install the motherboard as an upgrade or build a new computer. The availability of local support should be a major consideration when buying a motherboard for a computer you are going to use to run payroll, for example. You will generally pay more (and make payroll).

Others have the expertise, are more adventurism, or have less critical and time sensitive applications and will choose to mail order or go to a discount store--direct sellers. Internet sources abound... You'll probably pay less up front and find less expertise and local support at the same time. You may end up paying more in the long run.

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