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
xenocide
There is only 1 Atom CPU that is intended to compete with ARM offerings--Medfield and its successors. And it is actually just as good as ARM CPU's when it comes to power consumption, and it's an x86-based CISC CPU, that offered comperable performance. That was Intel's first attempt, imagine how good the newer versions will be once Intel really starts working at it...
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#2
NeoXF
LOLWUT...

BTW, why is Intel talked up so much in this context as if AMD doesn't even exist. I suspect even if this is the case, there's still AMD to capitalize in this segment. But all in all, seriously, WTF. Might as well rename every x86 PC to Apple iSomething.
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#3
Mussels
Moderprator
by: NeoXF
LOLWUT...

BTW, why is Intel talked up so much in this context as if AMD doesn't even exist. I suspect even if this is the case, there's still AMD to capitalize in this segment. But all in all, seriously, WTF. Might as well rename every x86 PC to Apple iSomething.
you mean like i3/i5/i7?
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#4
Shihabyooo
by: PGHammer
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)
Err, AFAIK, Broadwell is Haswell's planned successor as a die Shrink, same as Ivy Bridge was to Sandy. And I think the Article did mention that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Tick-Tock#Roadmap


by: PGHammer

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?
Hence the "higher powered Atoms" part. And I did mention Celerons along, didn't I?
In case I'm poorly translating my thoughts, what I'm saying is that Intel might add in another segment between the low power entry level Atoms and the low end Celerons and Pentiums.

by: PGHammer

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.
by: PGHammer

Mountain out of molehill.
:rolleyes:
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#5
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
by: Sasqui
Death of the motherboard industry?
AMD! AMD!

in AMD we trust.


(they seem to be the only ones who listen to what the consumers want)
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#6
Vlada011
Now chance to cross on AMD. No way.
I only hope Extreme will stay like now and than upgrade later but on Extreme.
If you buy platform for 1000$ and use that 5 years for gaming that is OK.
Intel i7 CPU can hold one or two graphic 4-5 years.
i7-860 is OK and today and next year.

Bad situation is if you buy motherboard together with CPU(example in future) and you get wonderfull overclocker, amazing, one in 1.000 samples...
but little things on motherboard die and you need to change everything and next CPU is crap...
If they decide to leave overclocking...
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#7
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: de.das.dude

(they seem to be the only ones who listen to what the consumers want)
Like performance?
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#8
PGHammer
Pretty Much

by: Mussels
you mean like i3/i5/i7?
AMD's APU marketplace is almost a subniche - it fits in that small (and getting smaller) space between tablets/slates powered by ARM and full-fledged portables (Ultrabooks) - powered largely by i5 (not i3). All too often, if the full power of Sandy Bridge/Ivy isn't needed, but portability is, consumers will buy a tablet or slate running Android or WindowsRT (price issue - not even AMD APUs can compete here based on price) - otherwise, the APU is too underpowered, even compared to i3, let alone i5.
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#9
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Frick
Like performance?
Last time I checked AMD delivered a CPU that does awesome in multitasking for roughly half the price. (FX8350 vs 3770K) Are they the fastest single core on the market NOPE, but that being said who cares? For what I do it's faster than a Phenom II in the single core market and faster than Intel's offerings in multitasking. Sounds like a good performance/value CPU to me.

by: PGHammer
AMD's APU marketplace is almost a subniche - it fits in that small (and getting smaller) space between tablets/slates powered by ARM and full-fledged portables (Ultrabooks) - powered largely by i5 (not i3). All too often, if the full power of Sandy Bridge/Ivy isn't needed, but portability is, consumers will buy a tablet or slate running Android or WindowsRT (price issue - not even AMD APUs can compete here based on price) - otherwise, the APU is too underpowered, even compared to i3, let alone i5.
The A8/A10 compete just fine with the i3 series that they are priced against. If you are going to compare them to the i5 may as well compare them to the i7 not even in the same class.
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#10
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: cdawall
Last time I checked AMD delivered a CPU that does awesome in multitasking for roughly half the price. (FX8350 vs 3770K) Are they the fastest single core on the market NOPE, but that being said who cares? For what I do it's faster than a Phenom II in the single core market and faster than Intel's offerings in multitasking. Sounds like a good performance/value CPU to me.
Yeah I know it was mostly to pull DDD's strings. He's such an AMD fanboy.
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#11
bmaverick
Slot-1 & Slot-A days will come back as Slot-2 and Slot-B

Slot-1 & Slot-A days will come back as Slot-2 and Slot-B

So what if BGA is here to stay. CPU's can still be placed on CPU PCBs and then mounted onto the Motherboard. That's how Apple did it for years.

Wait ... Maybe Apple is pushing Intel to go this route. :nutkick:
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#12
SaltyFish
There's a lot to read into about this.

The System-on-a-Chip (SoC) concept is spreading. In the early days of computers, we had specialized discrete cards (sound cards, video cards, etc.) because CPUs weren't powerful enough to do everything expected of a general-purpose machine. CPUs these days are so powerful that things are being dumped onto the CPU. There was a time when discrete sound cards were a necessity for gaming because sound processing ate up a significant amount of CPU cycles. Nowadays, on-board sound is standard because the load is practically trivial for modern CPUs. Graphics follows something similar as well. Of course, the progressive concentration means less choices. Remember the days when motherboards could use both AMD and Intel CPUs? Or when the CPU, GPU, and chipset markets weren't duopolies? They'll likely still have expansion slots for things like TV tuners, RAID cards, and other less general stuff... at least until all that gets slapped onto the CPU as well.

The big question is whether Skylake will follow the Haswell model or the Broadwell model. "Ticks" bring smaller improvements than "tocks" and is mostly just power reduction due to die shrinking. Soldering the die-shrink generation isn't that bad unless you're a chronic upgrader (e.g. going from Sandy to Ivy). But either way, there's always the enthusiast market being absorbed into the server market. With DDR4 RAM debuting on the server variants of Haswell (mainstream doesn't get it until two years later with Skylake), maybe it's time to consider picking up a Haswell Xeon processor or two and brandish the 20+ MB cache e-peen?
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#13
johnspack
Bah, sb-e will prob be my last upgrade. Judging by my family's history of cancer, both father and mother, and grandmother. Honestly, I'd rather be dead before I see cpus soldered to mobos again. Only the worst proprietary prebuilt makers ever did that before. I've thrown out many. God help us all.
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#14
TRWOV
I think that this wouldn't present a problem for 90% of users if done right but first intel needs to reduce its product portfolio to 10 or so CPUs (2 per segment). As most of the chipset would be inside the CPU by then, a single SB could be used for every board. And ship everything unlocked. Leave the workstation/server platform open for enthusiasts.
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