Monday, November 26th 2012

Is Haswell the Last Interchangeable Intel Client Processor?

The processor-motherboard combination as PC enthusiasts know it could end, with Intel LGA1150 processors under the "Haswell" micro-architecture, likely to becoming the last client processors to ship in the retail channel (processor-in-box). Future Intel client processors, codenamed "Broadwell" could ship only in BGA (ball-grid array) packages, with existing motherboard vendors selling their products with processors permanently soldered onto them. The information comes from Japanese PC Watch, which cites sources in the PC industry.

With a compacted socket-processor launch cycle that spans nearly 2 years under the company's "tick-tock" product strategy, the scope for processor updates in the client computing industry might be lower than what it was in the LGA775 days. Perhaps statistics at Intel don't show a sizable proportion of people upgrading processors on existing motherboards, or upgrading motherboards while retaining the processor, rather buying a combination of the two, not to mention the fact that pre-built PCs outsell DIY assembled ones in major markets. With the processor being "tied" to the motherboard, Intel gets room to compact the platform further, combining processor and core logic completely into a single package. It's likely that Intel could still leave processor interchangeability to its HEDT (high-end desktop) platform, which sees processors start at $300, and motherboards at $200.Source: X-bit Labs
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89 Comments on Is Haswell the Last Interchangeable Intel Client Processor?

#1
Sasqui
Death of the motherboard industry?
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#2
AndreiD
This kills the Desktop.
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#3
LAN_deRf_HA
Sure that's the right interpretation? I'd suspect it just meant they'd be available in BGA in addition to LGA.

Even if it doesn't I'm not worried. Think about what it would mean with current chips. You have a performance board bundled with either a 3770k or a 3570k, the exact chips you'd buy with it anyways, only now probably for less money since they don't have to test and account for as many configurations and there's less shipping cost to get it to you.
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#4
HR_The_Butcher
What do you mean, "in the LGA775 days"?

I'm still rocking a Q9550.

And when it becomes obsolete, I'll just declare myself a hipster and keep on using it. 775 FTW.
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Sasqui
Death of the motherboard industry?
Not death of the motherboard industry. ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, will sell motherboards, it's just that processors will be soldered onto them. You'll not be able to come up with clever combinations such as a $300 processor with a $70 motherboard, rather a $450 processor+board.

Meanwhile, our post-PC era venture has just left dry-dock.
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#7
Lipton
Keyword: "could".

However, I wouldn't be surprised if this actually went through in the low- to mid-end spectrum, leaving the i7 series (or maybe only K CPUs) being the ones sold separately.
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#8
EzioAs
"Perhaps statistics at Intel don't show a sizable proportion of people upgrading processors on existing motherboards, or upgrading motherboards while retaining the processor"

If you keep changing the sockets almost every friggin year and none of them are compatible with the older cpu, of course most people won't upgrade their cpu on their old motherboards and vice versa since it's incompatible.

While I like Intel for it's performance, this is the reason why sometimes I think AMD has major advantage especially for the budget builders or non-enthusiast since they are not upgrading frequently and when they do upgrade, most of the parts are compatible
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#9
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
by: HR_The_Butcher
What do you mean, "in the LGA775 days"?

I'm still rocking a Q9550.

And when it becomes obsolete, I'll just declare myself a hipster and keep on using it. 775 FTW.
Just because you still use it does not mean it isn't obsolete.
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#10
Sasqui
by: HR_The_Butcher
What do you mean, "in the LGA775 days"?

I'm still rocking a Q9550.

And when it becomes obsolete, I'll just declare myself a hipster and keep on using it. 775 FTW.
I've been on 775 for over 5 years now, two (2) Core2 rigs and fast memory.

I just got a 3570K, motherboard and memory. The speed difference over the 775 rigs are unbelievable, far far far more than I expected.
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#11
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
Indeed. Hell, my 3570K is a noticeable improvement over my i7 870, even. Even at much lower frequency.
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#12
Dj-ElectriC
Sticking to PC's as we know them till the bitter end... T_T
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#13
HR_The_Butcher
by: Sasqui
I've been on 775 for over 5 years now, two (2) Core2 rigs and fast memory.

I just got a 3570K, motherboard and memory. The speed difference over the 775 rigs are unbelievable, far far far more than I expected.
Nice. I'd like me a similar setup. I also crave for a new GPU. And a 120 Hz monitor. And world peace.
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#14
Morgoth
im sticking with xeons :)
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#15
STCNE
Might not be such a bad thing really. How many of us frequently swap out CPUs on our boards? What this could mean is performance boards designed around specific chips and bundled with CPUs, pre-OCed, or even with guaranteed OCs. Nothing worse than buying a high end OCing board and getting a chip that can't OC for crap.

And for the lower end board they could design them just to handle the low power chips bundled with them. Without the need for low-end boards to support higher wattage chips they would be cheaper to produce, and hopefully cheaper for us in the end.

This is a smart move for Intel financially. Motherboard makers will have to buy CPUs for each board they make. For every board out there Intel would have made a sale. When the next gen rolls around Intel will have already sold all their chips. The motherboard makers will be the ones needing to unload old product rather than them and Intel.
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#17
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
They will likely completely lock down overclocking with the bga based mainstream parts (1156/1155/1150) and force you to buy the equal of 2011 if you want overclocking.
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#18
Delta6326
Lol they won't go completely combo, I would guess these MB+Proc combos to be for lower end stuff for the masses. there will always be a enthusiast market.

But anyway I was planning on Haswell and a AMD HD 8000/ Nvidia GTX 700 to be my last computer build for a long time. Still rockin the Q6600.
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#19
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
If intel goes entirely processor and mobo combination this could be an interesting change... AMD may have a reason to be considered the enthusiast chip? That would be kind of an odd concept to me because of the last few years trends. I would be worried about similar issues occurring with video game systems and solder points wearing out and making PCs essentially RROD. My fears are based in my ignorance, but who knows everyone here could be right?

I would have thought this go the other way around... socket SoC CPUs with onboard ram, gpu, cpu all integrated and the motherboards would get smaller and smaller. Just drop in another CPU and there's your upgrade/replacement etc etc.
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#20
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: cdawall
They will likely completely lock down overclocking with the bga based mainstream parts (1156/1155/1150) and force you to buy the equal of 2011 if you want overclocking.
Ever since they introduced the concept of "K" chips it's been going this way.
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#21
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Continuing here:

by: Ford
"Desktop" is becoming synonymous with "internet access." That's why I used the word "workstation" as in used to "work"--get something done--and not casually play solitaire, read ebooks, browse the web, etc.

Thin-clients are best served by slim-desktops. They can quickly swap towers/monitors with little fuss and if it is simple, they can service it themselves.

A VM server is cost-prohibitive for small businesses. They only become viable in medium businesses and larger.
Thin clients and slim desktops are closing each other is my point. And I'm not talking about casual solitaire, I'm talking about the offices where clerks and whatever do their work. Helpdesks, laywers, hospital clerks etc etc etc have no business doing anything with workstations. I have no idea where you get your definition of "work" from.
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#22
McSteel
Sod off Intel, you bad Apple.

If it won't be bad enough to have limited choice, it will be horrible to have cold solder joints and be forced to buy a completely new combo. Seeing how it will be possible, and probably preferable to have PCH + CPU + GPU on a single package, maybe even a single die, the number of solder balls will be huge, possibly over 9000 2000, and they'll need to be of the 0,1 mm variety. Because they'll be under constant pressure and vibrational stress (from the heatsink), and the temperature delta is expected to be significant, I don't see such a setup lasting very long.

I really do hope no manufacturer agrees to this bullsheit, or everyone who appreciates what a Desktop PC is and should be will have to go AMD. Perhaps that won't be so bad after all...
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#23
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
by: Frick
Continuing here:



Thin clients and slim desktops are closing each other is my point. And I'm not talking about casual solitaire, I'm talking about the offices where clerks and whatever do their work. Helpdesks, laywers, hospital clerks etc etc etc have no business doing anything with workstations. I have no idea where you get your definition of "work" from.
I work in a helpdesk where we don't use workstations, but we would be crippled if our machines could not be serviced without dropping in another motherboard. Lawyers are an unknown for me, but as far as medical machines they sometimes need huge memory for massive data-tables. Unless it became cost effective to just have an extra machine in the closet a front-end system for entry/registration/ticket processing would NEED to be serviceable or work would suffer.
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#24
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Binge
I work in a helpdesk where we don't use workstations, but we would be crippled if our machines could not be serviced without dropping in another motherboard. Lawyers are an unknown for me, but as far as medical machines they sometimes need huge memory for massive data-tables. Unless it became cost effective to just have an extra machine in the closet a front-end system for entry/registration/ticket processing would NEED to be serviceable or work would suffer.
I was in helpdesk too and we had no issues with that. We had two computers each though. And if the place is big enough it'll have spare machines. And if the place is small enough it might not be able to handle a motherboard breakdown on their own (if that is what the problem is). And for those smaller/cheaper systems (that most offices will use), the price difference between a motherboard and a motherboard with onboard CPU might not be so big.
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#25
iO
"Next Unit of Computing"...
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