Day 7, 2021

Motherboards of 2020

Asus ROG Maximus XII HERO peeped at the other contestants’ anxiously, eager faces and faced front. He could see the thin, red pole holding the white flag signifying the first point. He realized he was blinking rapidly and thought to minimize it.

“Never mind,” he told himself, “i’m just nervous. When the race starts, I’ll not think about this.” He shook his fingers to release tension, then bent and touched his feet before he straightened his back.

He looked at the crowd and swallowed hard. It was his first time being in a competition. His predecessors from where he and other boards have been adjusted and reframed over the years had been in this position before they were improved.

Sitted on the stadium was winners of previous years. Some were still on top of the rank. In 2015, Asus ROG Z170 Maximum VII Hero carried the trophy.

The next year, GIGABYTE GI Gaming GA-H170 pushed harder amongst the other competitors to emerge as one of the winners. Two years ago, MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON gave the audience a whirl during the competition.

Today, they were lined up as they had in previous years to see which board or boards would lead the pace as the best for the year 2020. ASRock X570 Master perspired as the sun scorched the earth.

The race was not only to determine the winner, it was a yardstick to measure the capacity, speed and optimization of the motherboards. It was also a determinant of performance, trustability and longetivity. Winners of previous years stood in line with winners of previous years and watched the newest versions prepare and hope for victory.

Victory meant a lot of things for them. It meant recognition in the international computing world, better sales, which in turn was better profit, a rise in the scale of production and trustability of their owner-companies. Plus, winning meant high demands for their developers.

And in the world of Demand and Supply, when the Supply is a guaranteed product, Demand for the developer and the product rises. With the preponderance and the worldwide usage of technology, being a winner not only gave you a trophy, it stamped your name in the wizarding world.


The mic crackled and let out a shrill noise. The crowd closed their ears and murmured in protest. The commentator hastily turned it off and smiled awkwardly. He knew they wondered why he used a mic.

The crowd adjusted in their seats. The mic came on again with a deafening sound, followed by a tap, and “tasting microphone” said repeatedly. There was laughter in the stadium.

The Commentator, Mr Techradar cleared his throat in a humorous manner, blew into the mic again, to the disapproval of many and started,

“Good day, everyone. Today, we are gathered as we have gathered annually to witness this intense race amongst our own incredible motherboards. And in those years, we have always used high tech products because that’s what we are about, isn’t it? ”

There was brief laughter and applause. Mr. Techradar waited for it to die down, signalling for a stop with a reiteration of “yes. Yes.” When the spectators quietened, he continued,
“However, today, we decided to show you really how important this race is. Many of you might think it’s all about the trophy, but no. I mean, I am using a mic. I saw the reaction on your faces when I was trying to tune in. Yes. We are past that. We are past this. So, why still stay in it? This race is to show us the recent, capable and most likely, the best motherboards we have now. Why use the old when the new is improved?”

He paused and waved at their applause. He obviously enjoyed his job. “Next, is a list of our runner-ups. We have according to their formation from the left: Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming, Asus ROG Strix X470-I, MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC, Asus TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS, MSI Creator TRX40, GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X, Asus ROG Strix B550-E, ASRock X299 Taichi, Aorus X570 Master, MSI MEG Z490 Godlike, ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X, Asus ROG Maximus XII HERO.”

An applause with a loud cheering followed each contestant’s name. Producers sat in their seats and clutched unconsciously the seats’ handles, and shifting frequently.

This was yet another battle to win. Soon, the contestants were signaled to “get ready and to go!” They ran blindly, eyes on the first flag on the slim pole. Each used different tactic.

Some stayed behind to push further when others were tired, some ran with minimal strength, others pushed with all their might. They could not afford chances.

The sun showed no mercy. It shone as if it was also part of the organizers who needs to get the best out of the contestants. It was time to know who was who in the Board business. Claps followed the participants up ahead. Encouragements followed others lagging behind.

They were already tired and thirsty. Owners monitored and jotted in their notebooks what they felt needed to be adjusted in their board. There was dissatisfied faces and contented faces alike.

The commentator lived up to his name as he followed closely and accurately called out the board taking up gaps. Five minutes into the race, few of the contestants were gaining on themselves. It seemed there was a different force pushing and nudging them them to win. It seemed the saw from the back of their heads their developers’ condemning and approving eyes.

They knew they were competing for a Winner space in the world of technology for years to come. If they won, even when they became outdated, their names would be read in the records for the year’s winners. That alone was hope.


Four minutes into, MSI Creator was behind his mates. He was seen holding his knees and gasping. His developer stood and yelled. His voice was drowned in the sea of noises, but he yelled anyway. Other developers stood and urged theirs on. A few paced about to the disgruntlement of the people behind.

Voices topped themselves and voices ignored voices. Voices told voices to tap the people standing, but voices were too loud to hear.

Twelve minutes later, four contestants struggled to reach the finish line; a white, chalky line crossed over with a red rope held on tiny poles on two extremes. The spectators were already on their feet, screaming and cheering and clapping and pointing. Some of them betted on which contestant would win.

Developers whose boards stopped or were behind the people ahead, looked disappointed. They ignored their boards and marked down the strength and the speed of the one who were on top the race.

“And it’s going to be a tough one! We have four contestants few kms away from the finish line? Now, there are two. No, three and four. Let us see which will get to this line and become our best mother…and oh!!! We have two winners! Incredible! ”

The din drowned the mic. People and boards rushed down to congratulate and to console the winners and losers.
“And at the end of this race, we have emerged as first place, Asus ROG Maximus XII HERO and MSI MEG Z490 Godlike.” The crowd went wild. Flashes of cameras and videos went up to the internet.

Recommendations went to friends. “ And in the second place is GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X. In the third place, we have MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC. Yes. Yes. In the fourth place, Asus ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming and in the fifth place, is ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X.”

No one waited for the cheering to calm down. The winners were carried high and thrown about. Ranks were updated om the internet. Amidst the jubilation, the winners knew that they, too, would someday be out of the market and out of stock.

But what gave a man consolation in the world is not just that he won or lost, but that his name would be remembered somewhere in many years ahead in the heads and books of people and the internet.

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