Interviewing Palit Microsystem’s Darren Polkowski

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Will Palit Enter Other Markets?

Shifting away from the video cards, let’s focus a bit on your motherboard product lines. Does Palit solely focus on consumer boards or does it have an OEM arm?

With a 2 million part per month manufacturing facility we obviously are an Original Equipment Manufacturer. However, there are a few of the business models that Palit operates under. One role is to build products for our various branded product lines. We also build products that other companies sell. Palit also has business for some countries where it is more cost effective for us to sell the parts and the in-country company assembles the final product. In North America you will see Palit branded products but we have not released our motherboards into this market yet.

Are there any planned LGA775 boards or are you waiting for the launch of X58? How about AMD’s 790FX/GX chipset? If you have x58 boards planned will they launch with Nehalem or will we see them follow shortly afterward?

Palit in other regions has released LGA775 based motherboards but we have not released them here. The majority of the motherboards we have available to the market in other regions are low cost or specific need based boards. We have Intel P45, G31, and P35 boards, AMD 770 and 780 boards, and Nvidia nForce based boards as well. We are currently focusing on our graphics business for North America and when the time is right we will introduce boards for this market.

Does Palit plan on expanding into other hardware types such as power supplies?

We haven’t talked about branching out into other components. Our core competency is designing PCBs, cooling solutions, and making everything operate extremely well for graphics cards. That does not mean we could not open new business units for other things but for now we are not planning on it.

Here’s your chance to insert a bit of free advertising. Why should our readers want to buy a Palit video card over say an EVGA or Gigabyte card?

Consumers can get a good product from either one of those companies, but I know that they will be much better off with Palit. When was the last time you saw innovation that deviated from the “norm” from most of the companies that have operated in North America. You generally will see more adaption on a design coming from the AMD based cards than from the Nvidia based cards “manufacturers” in North America. Over the past few years you have seen differentiated cards from Sapphire, Asus and HIS, but not enough in my opinion. I saw a lot of the same type of products during my tenure as the graphics editor at Tom’s Hardware. That kind of activity screamed “I want something different!” Palit is here because of that need.

Now, there are a few other dynamics to the launch process than hits the review and new sites. For example, Nvidia likes to keep a tight lock and key on their technologies and on most of the high end boards. For those products there is only a reference design. For the rest of the product set, companies like Palit can take the design and innovate. On the AMD side, it is very open. When HD 4800 launched, the first set of boards were only reference. AMD intentionally held back on engineering to ensure that all of its partners’ boards were the same at launch. This was soon lifted and you can see the cards we have produced that look and operate nothing like “reference.”

That being said, I never want to say anything negative about our competition. However, there are so many things that consumers should know, especially when they are spending hundreds of dollars on new computer hardware. There are several companies who operate in the North American market who don’t own a factory. My question to you is “Who is building their boards and why are there so many ‘reference design’ cards?” The simple answer is that they are not building the boards. Several companies buy their boards and tweak the clock speeds. Some even put a fancy cooler they bought from a cooler manufacturer and pass it all off as their own. That is not how Palit operates. I can take you to the facility where we build boards and have lunch with the board designers.

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