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
Vlada011
Intel try to kill everybody, first motherboards section, than they cross on video cards segment with better graphics inside the CPU than on PSU because CPU will need 5W to work. And than we will pay 2000-2500$ for everything together but only to Intel. :)...It's not possibile of course...
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#2
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Mussels
this makes sense for nettops and the mobile markets, but is bad news for desktop.
They already had this in the nettop/mobile market most low power chips from AMD and Intel are BGA. Atom chips as well as K8L have been soldered for a while. In those instances I have no issues with the move, but in a mainstream market it is kind of a bad deal. No more will people be binning chips for overclocking you are going to have stacks of motherboard/CPU combo's and that assumes Intel doesn't completely lock down these CPU's to prevent overclocking. It just seems odd considering Haswell brings back bus clocking in its revision, but the next batch of chips is attached to the board? WTF?

If I had to guess I would say Intel is forcing the enthusiast market off of the mainstream boards. They have been trying for years with Z77 lacking PCI-e lanes, limiting the upgradability (1156/1155/1150 short lifespan) overclocking locked to "K" series CPU's just more and more attempts to force users to blow money into an entusiast platform. Now I do not think Intel is going to force people over to Xeon's, but they will have an i7 3820 and LGA 2011 equal that they expect you to buy if you want to overclock and run SLi/Crossfire.
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#3
ensabrenoir
by: Vlada011
Intel try to kill everybody, first motherboards section, than they cross on video cards segment with better graphics inside the CPU than on PSU because CPU will need 5W to work. And than we will pay 2000-2500$ for everything together but only to Intel. :)...It's not possibile of course...
:wtf:


The pc world is evolving..... budget and bang for buckers' worlds will end & implode into the soc enviroment. Enthusiasts will migrate to work stations .......YOU HEAR THAT..... ITS INEVITABLE........ MR ANDERSON.........
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#4
hardcore_gamer
by: ensabrenoir
Enthusiasts will migrate to work stations .
Overclockable xeons are a dying species. Enthusiasts will also end with budget and bang for buckers.
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#5
ensabrenoir
by: hardcore_gamer
Overclockable xeons are a dying species. Enthusiasts will also end with budget and bang for buckers.
For a price i think intel will leave a window open....if not... were enthusiast.... well figure something out... alot of interesting tech coming down the pipe, I think overclocking will evolve along with it.
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#6
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Melvis
If only consumers learned that when your computer becomes slow that they can in most cases just simply update the CPU and be done with it. Instead of thinking of buying a whole new system as most of the time its the Software or a lack of Memory that is slowing down a computer not the CPU its self, but if it was then a BIOS update, put in a new CPU and there good as gold, but most dont, sad realy.
After the core 2 cpus that is often not the issue. A bogged down system ridled with crapware is.
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#7
Melvis
by: Frick
After the core 2 cpus that is often not the issue. A bogged down system ridled with crapware is.
Thats exactly my point!! Then IF the software isn't the issue, upgrade the CPU, and for a 775 Socket you could go a 9550 or something like that? For a basic home user that's more then enough.
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#8
HumanSmoke
by: Frick
After the core 2 cpus that is often not the issue. A bogged down system ridled with crapware is.
True enough. A gradual slow down and the gradual creep of momentary non-responsiveness in programs usually goes unnoticed by a lot a users...Clean install the OS and a good number of people would think that they were looking at a major hardware upgrade from the apparent speedup.
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#9
Mussels
Moderprator
for the price of a 9550, you could get a mobo/cpu/ram combo on a more modern socket, with equal or greater performance. sell the old CPU + mobo + RAM combo, and its even cheaper.
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#10
Melvis
by: Mussels
for the price of a 9550, you could get a mobo/cpu/ram combo on a more modern socket, with equal or greater performance. sell the old CPU + mobo + RAM combo, and its even cheaper.
Thats true, but it was just an eg.

For me I have sold and built 99% AMD systems in the past 6yrs from 939 to AM3+ and only 1 ever agreed for a CPU upgrade, even though AMD CPU's are mega cheap, so :ohwell:
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#13
HumanSmoke
by: xenocide
Those charts look very professional indeed.
Indeed. Someone pulled out all the stops when they fired up Excel :rolleyes:
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#14
Legacy-ZA
This is a horrible idea. It will remove customization out of the picture. Of course people will stop buying your processors, you keep changing the damn sockets every year, what the hell did you expect? Intel, if and when you do this, I will move over to AMD, sure I might not see the same performance as with your current chips, but oh boy I do not like people screwing around with customization a.k.a peoples decision / choice! :banghead:
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#15
Mussels
Moderprator
they'll probably lock them down, and require software to enable the extra cores/cache. we've all heard of them trialling that tech before.
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#16
james888
If they do actually do this with broadwell, as nothing is set in stone, then this leaves a big door open for amd. Intel might do it for a few generations but maybe it might be a mistake for them in some way.
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#17
cyneater
I normally get a decent CPU and a crap mother board
OR a crap CPU and decent mother board.

I have had 4 socket 775 cpu's and 7 motherboards... Nvidia chipsets and intel cpus not the best combination. Although if you wanted to cook toast or replace the crappy cooler that came with the motherboard this might help.

If Intel solder everything in ill just go to amd. Or hopefully ARM.... :D

I can't justify and upgrade there are any "fun" games that won't run on a Q6700 and a Geforce GTX 560 Ti. Most new games are steaming piles of crap anyway ... .

Besides the fact your Epean is bigger is there much point of upgrading if your current system is running fine...
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#18
HossHuge
This could also be a nightmare for CPU cooling companies.
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#19
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: HossHuge
This could also be a nightmare for CPU cooling companies.
Yup, each board vendor could have its own cooling solution, much like graphics cards. Maybe like GPUs, there could be common mount-hole spacing.
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#20
Shihabyooo
So, from all this talk I guess Otellini should stick around longer, eh?

'ny ways. I find it hard to believe that Intel would ditch the mainstream market so easily. Not when ARM's making a move in, and not where AMD APUs shine.
I see this move applied to Celerons and maybe some higher powered Atoms for ultra small form factors. And perhaps releasing special featured BGA CPUs for MicroATX systems (HTPCs and such). But I doubt they would do all of the mainstream segment.
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#21
PGHammer
You're Missing The Point

by: Shihabyooo
So, from all this talk I guess Otellini should stick around longer, eh?

'ny ways. I find it hard to believe that Intel would ditch the mainstream market so easily. Not when ARM's making a move in, and not where AMD APUs shine.
I see this move applied to Celerons and maybe some higher powered Atoms for ultra small form factors. And perhaps releasing special featured BGA CPUs for MicroATX systems (HTPCs and such). But I doubt they would do all of the mainstream segment.
Broadwell is NOT a Haswell replacement - it's not even a mainstream CPU.

If anything, Broadwell is "Son of Haswell", but an Atom/Clover Trail replacement (SoC).

Haswell will have three different sets of progeny -

1. Broadwell (the current subject of discussion) in the SoC space (this segment is now occupied by Atom, and eventually Clover Trail, which is now starting to arrive) - these CPUs *already* use BGA packing primarily - does Atom even SHIP in LGA packaging?
2. Haswell-MS/Lynx Point - this will succeed Ivy Bridge and be a *tock*; it also may or may not use a new socket. (I'm talking specifically about LGA1155 or direct successor socket.)
3. Haswell-EX - This will replace Sandy-E and/or LGA2011, a variant will be a XEON for the WS/server space.

Mountain out of molehill.
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#22
cyneater
Maybe the article is wrong....

I do know a few laptops have soldiered in CPU's mainly celerons.
In over 15 years building computers I have only ever once upgraded a laptop CPU.

So... maybe everyone is wound around the axles for no reason.
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#23
PGHammer
Re-read the Article!

by: cyneater
Maybe the article is wrong....

I do know a few laptops have soldiered in CPU's mainly celerons.
In over 15 years building computers I have only ever once upgraded a laptop CPU.

So... maybe everyone is wound around the axles for no reason.
The article itself points to Broadwell being an SoC (Atom successor). The concern is more outbound; post-2015 and the successor to Lynx Point (which is the mainstream Haswell CPU) - Intel China/RoC is worried that devices will replace the mainstream as where the action is. (This is also the concern of investors - and why Intel/AMD/everyone else in the PC space took a shellacking last week in the financial markets; even Apple (OS X) and Google (advertising) didn't escape that.) Whether that actually happens depends on the economy - not anything necessarily that Intel does, or doesn't do.
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#24
cyneater
So in other words a sort of planned obsolescence?

No wonder the world is f&*ked all people are worried about is money.
What is wrong with old tech if it still works.
Wouldn't it be alot cooler for intel to say we have 30 year old machines still running?
Maybe Intel should start some sort of recycling industry to combat intel processors boards etc.

I despise the markets and all those sort of business people. That are only worried about the now and the future.

In the real world post 2005 you don't need to upgrade your processor every 2 years.
Back in the 1990's you could just run windows 95 on a 486 and maybe windows 98.
There was a huge performance jump from a 486 to a Pentium then a big jump to a Pentium 2 and to Pentium 3 and 4 ....
If you where a PC gamer you needed to upgrade every 2 or so years other wise you couldn't play the newest games.

No one writes software to take full advantage of CPU's anymore.
And more and more people don't us pc's or laptops anymore.
Its not like you need 40GHZ to get on the internet.

So either program something that is good that takes advantage of current tech or die.

I jumped ship to Intel because socket 478 was used for ever.
Then went to socket 775 because of the upgrade path from dual to quad core.
Most people I know have 3+ year old desktops because they have no need to upgrade there CPU.

Also if intel didn't make 20+ cores per a CPU they might not shot themselves in the foot.
Most servers now days are run in an ESX or hypervisor box. With either 1 or more multicore CPU's running heaps of servers.
I saw a whole server room condensed to 1 Xen box with 4 Xeon CPU's Which replaced 30+ xeon CPU's.

If intel do this someone from the ARM camp just needs to make a decent board with 6+ sata ports....
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#25
PGHammer
Planned? Hardly.

by: cyneater
So in other words a sort of planned obsolescence?

No wonder the world is f&*ked all people are worried about is money.
What is wrong with old tech if it still works.
Wouldn't it be alot cooler for intel to say we have 30 year old machines still running?
Maybe Intel should start some sort of recycling industry to combat intel processors boards etc.

I despise the markets and all those sort of business people. That are only worried about the now and the future.

In the real world post 2005 you don't need to upgrade your processor every 2 years.
Back in the 1990's you could just run windows 95 on a 486 and maybe windows 98.
There was a huge performance jump from a 486 to a Pentium then a big jump to a Pentium 2 and to Pentium 3 and 4 ....
If you where a PC gamer you needed to upgrade every 2 or so years other wise you couldn't play the newest games.

No one writes software to take full advantage of CPU's anymore.
And more and more people don't us pc's or laptops anymore.
Its not like you need 40GHZ to get on the internet.

So either program something that is good that takes advantage of current tech or die.

I jumped ship to Intel because socket 478 was used for ever.
Then went to socket 775 because of the upgrade path from dual to quad core.
Most people I know have 3+ year old desktops because they have no need to upgrade there CPU.

Also if intel didn't make 20+ cores per a CPU they might not shot themselves in the foot.
Most servers now days are run in an ESX or hypervisor box. With either 1 or more multicore CPU's running heaps of servers.
I saw a whole server room condensed to 1 Xen box with 4 Xeon CPU's Which replaced 30+ xeon CPU's.

If intel do this someone from the ARM camp just needs to make a decent board with 6+ sata ports....
Planned? Hardly.

However, as much as we despise the business markets, Intel is a publicly-traded company (I own stock in Intel, in fact), and needs to satisfy those investors. Multicore is ubiquitous - and is everywhere (those selfsame ARM CPUs are quad-core); however, those ARM CPUs are, in fact, reduced-instruction-set (RISC), as opposed to complex-instruction-set (CISC), therefore they aren't as complex to manufacture. ARM Holdings itself has no fabs - they are basically a licensing and development company. Intel, however, is vertically integrated and has fab capacity out the wazoo; that is what they have been leveraging to drive AMD to the point of destruction as a going concern. ARM isn't vulnerable because they have concentrated entirely where their design is strongest (and where any CISC design - including Intel's - is weakest - low-power and ultra-low power; even we have to admit, Atom, which is based on Core/CISC, is not exactly efficient in terms of power compared to ARM). ARM (and RISC) is not coming head-on at CISC, but coming from underneath. The lack of complexity, and the cost of manufacture, is playing right into the strengths of ARM; throw in the poor economy, and the needs (or lack thereof) of the computing masses, and it is a Very Bad Harbinger for the future of CISC, and Intel in particular.
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