Tyan has been in the motherboard business for a long, long time. Thirteen years to be exact. With an ex-Intel/IBM executive as its founder, it’s no surprise that their products have tended to be geared towards the corporate community, the demanding business environment if you will. OEMs and system integrators have been their target audience, these types of customers demand products that are highly dependable first and foremost, with an emphasis on feature set and performance as well.
As a result, Tyan’s motherboards (their bread and butter product) have tended to be incredibly stable, while at the same time short on features that the typical hardware enthusiast would like to see. Functions such as bus speed adjustment, memory timings, and core voltage adjustments are all unavailable on Tyan motherboards. After all, would a system manufacturer such as Gateway or Dell want its customers toying with these system parameters? Of course not! A large percentage of Tyan’s products are also used in servers, yet another application where durability and reliability is highly important.
Therefore, it came as quite a surprise to us when Tyan entered the video card market. Actually, we weren’t that surprised by Tyan’s decision to produce video cards. After all, margins on motherboards are incredibly tight these days and even though the bulk of Tyan’s sales are high-end server products (and thus come with higher margins), today’s economy has been tough on all motherboard manufacturers, leading to increased amounts of diversification among them. What really surprised us was that Tyan was gearing their video line towards gamers rather than system integrators: a complete 180 from the company’s corporate philosophy.
From a business perspective it does make sense however, as gamers and hardware enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest gee whiz technology. Marketing gurus call us early adopters and they love us because we tend to always find a way to cough up the cash to feed our addiction. In addition, products in this segment can sell for higher margins (the OEM space is extremely price sensitive), a benefit Tyan currently enjoys in its server products.
The biggest caveat however, is that gamers can be the most demanding consumers in the industry. If the product is executed perfectly it can be an overnight success, but if it falls short it can flop just as quickly.
With this in mind, Tyan has set out to create the biggest, meanest, RADEON 9700 PRO card on the block rather than get caught in the rush to be first to market with a RADEON 9700 PRO card. Tyan actually came to us and asked us for a wish list of features early on in the card’s development. Read on to see what makes this card different from the rest!