Rumours go that Sapphire is focussing on Intel LGA1155 mainboards, which actually makes sense since the upcoming SandyBridge is the new long-term mainstream platform. The big money can be found in that market segment ~ LGA775.
A FEW MONTHS ago, we broke the story about large chunks of EVGA's mobo team leaving for Sapphire. Just over a month ago, the rest of the team joined their colleagues in less green pastures.
A lot of people have been asking about what happened, and while it is a bit old at this point, the rest of the team is now at Sapphire. Why? Instead of screwing their partners, AMD is encouraging them to branch out into areas that are profitable. If low end GPUs cease to exist, then partners can make the same money by selling the customer a mobo with a new CPU/GPU combo.
This is why partnership is so important. If you have a partner, you look out for them, and encourage them to do well. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, kind of like lichen, but more exciting. Hopefully. Anyone up for an AMD partner sing along with punch and cookies?
Some companies get this, others don't. The ones that do survive, the ones that don't, don't. AMD wants to survive, and they realize they need their partners to do so. Sapphire obviously has some very forward looking management, and is prepping for the future rather than circling the wagons and whining.
What can you expect from the 'new Sapphire'? Well, it is owned by PC Partner, and has a sister company called Zotac. Zotac has done a pretty tidy business with HTPCs and 'ion' boards. That business is basically dead now, and Ontario/Zacate fusion parts are imminent. Think about that.S|A