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Thread: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

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    Default Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    For the past thirty years, desktop system longevity has been defined in sockets. I cut my teeth as an enthusiast on Socket 7, and I’ve owned examples of virtually every AMD and Intel socket standard that followed. For the past eight years, Intel has used an LGA (land grid array) socket in which the actual contacts are on the motherboard with contact points on the CPU. This packaging has served the company well; it’s scaled the number of contacts from 775 to 2011 on Sandy Bridge-E, and had no trouble with high TDP parts.


    According to rumors at PCWatch, the socket may be circling the drain. Leaked roadmaps show Haswell as the last Intel chip slated for an LGA package. All of the Broadwell parts on the map are dual- and quad-core SoCs with 47-57W TDPs that would be soldered to the motherboard, using BGA. Dual-core Broadwells also pick up the 10W and 15W form factors; the same article suggests Intel intends to abolish the 35W TDP segment altogether.
    BGA (ball grid array) is a mounting technology that uses small balls of solder to attach a chip directly to contact pads on the logic board. It’s used widely for DRAM (pictured right), embedded CPUs, and other surface-mount chips, but is more difficult to troubleshoot/repair.


    So what would this mean for enthusiasts and system builders? Nothing particularly good. It would mean no more CPU upgrades; there’s no way to swap out an embedded CPU. Information on the potential benefits is rather scattered. Moving to BGA can help reduce form factor thickness, but LGA chips are sometimes more robust after repeated power cycles.


    Presumably Intel believes it can improve device thermals by lowering electrical resistance. There’s no reason to think OEMs would stop selling motherboards; chips would simply be embedded directly by the OEM and shipped to the customer.


    It’s easy to jump on the “Intel just wants to sell more chipsets” bandwagon, but I think that’s the wrong lens to use. First, desktop sales have been declining for years. Chips in every other platform are already embedded. The number of enthusiasts that actually upgrade their CPU has always been a fraction of the total number of desktop sales. With desktop sales in general decline, that means the additional desktop chipset volume is an even smaller share of Intel’s potential business.


    Roadmap courtesy of PCWatch



    The other nagging reality is that desktop CPU advances aren’t what they used to be. A mid-range system can reasonably be expected to last 3-4 years these days, possibly longer with a GPU upgrade. On the other hand, this would cost people some upgrade opportunities. Today, a builder on a tight budget can opt for a low-end Ivy Bridge CPU like the dual-core Core i3-3220 (3.3GHz, 3MB L3, HT-enabled) with the option to step up all the way up to a Core i7-3770K (3.5GHz, quad-core, 8MB L3, HT-enabled) without switching motherboards. If Intel goes to full embedded, that won’t be possible any longer.


    As an enthusiast, it’s not a change I’d personally be thrilled with, but it dovetails with Intel’s plans to push x86 into lower power configurations.
    We should make it clear that this really is a rumor. Even if true, it’s possible that Intel would offer both embedded and standard x86 options, particularly if it perceives a need for high-end consumer platforms with more than four cores.
    AMD to the rescue?

    Normally, we’d bill this as a golden opportunity for AMD to grab some enthusiast cred from Intel, but we’ve a feeling that’ll depend on the company’s ability to remain solvent through 2014, as well as its need to regain lost CPU performance vis-à-vis Intel. AMD has no plans to move to a BGA array, however — at least none that we’re aware of — and enthusiasts might find refuge in the company’s products come 2014
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    Default Re: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    Not an option I care for at all.
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    Default Re: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    That would be sooo badd but i think AMD wont do that change

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    Default Re: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    Even if desktops are a shrinking market, this change by Intel would help AMD big time. There would be a pretty shift to AMD so techies like us could continue upgrading and overclocking. It only way it would make sense is if the BGA CPU/Motherboard combo was around the same price as a cpu alone or slightly above it. That way if you overclock it and burn it up it would be around the same cost you pay now to replace it. However I dont think that would happen.

    I also dont beleive this story to be 100% true. I think there was a leak and it was misinterpreded. They may be moving toward BGA base cpus for AIO systems, laptops and some specialty desktops. Some of these are already based on BGA cpus but not a real SOC solutions like intel is aiming for now. These newer chips will look more like ARM SOC solutions we currently have in mobile devices. With an Intel BGA SOC you can build a smaller board without having the height on the socket and larger cooling system, allowing the over package to be smaller. So think of the AIO desktops built into a LCD. Some of those are pretty think compared to an lcd alone. With a smaller over package the system can be built into it without adding addition depth. The memory will be soldered onto the board as well allowing OEMs to build super then AIO desktops and even ultrabooks and laptops.

    Just hope they leave the true desktop market alone with this idea.
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    Default Re: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    Well this news sucks, but it doesn't really mean it's going to happen as soon as they say it will. Now I'm sorry I sold my 3960X and bought the 3930K, buy I guess I can hold out for the 6 core Ivy Bridge-E and hold on to that system for a couple of years, in case Intel does follow through with this huge mistake.
    Last edited by Doctor_Death; 27-11-2012 at 10:18.

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    Default Re: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    that truly sucks and pretty selfish of Intel. Hopefully AMD will take advantage of that.
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    Default Re: Leaked Intel roadmap shows the end of socketed CPUs – the end of upgradable PCs?

    Luckily for me, I've always ended having to upgrade both cpu and motherboard, but it does suck to take away the option entirely. Still, if intel fully goes through with something like this, I do see some potential for amd. Just see what's happened to amd marketshare since vishera. I think they have the potential for a comeback if they keep doing things right.
    PassMark CPU Benchmarks - AMD vs Intel Market Share

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