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Intel Killing Off Desktop/Enthusiast PCs?

A post on SemiAccurate breaks down some information from PC Watch (translation) suggesting that Intel's upcoming Broadwell CPUs will be soldered to the motherboard, rather than socketed, a detail they have now confirmed with a pair of OEMs. They offer the distressed opinion that this will be a death knell to the desktop PC and the enthusiast market, and though they add that they've received information indicating there's a "good chance" that the Sky Lake processors that will follow Broadwell will be socketed for one or two generations to follow, they conclude: "By then the last remaining overclockers and experimenters on the PC front will be gone, and for good technical reasons." Thanks Ant via Slashdot.

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44. Re: Intel Killing Off Desktop/Enthusiast PCs? Nov 27, 2012, 13:30 jdreyer
Beamer wrote on Nov 27, 2012, 12:51:
Again, I can't get into the article, but no one here has articulated any true technical reasons.

I'm assuming "for good technical reasons" means that the enthusiast will be gone because he can't tinker anymore, meaning he left the platform for technical reasons. I didn't take it to mean that Intel cut him out for good technical reasons.

Relevant part of the article:

That brings us to the next issue at hand, enthusiasts. They are pretty much dead, not that Intel seems to care. Since they nearly destroyed that nascent market with Nehalem, and have since progressively removed any features the enthusiast cares about while jacking the cost to buy them back to untenable levels, enthusiasts have become an endangered species. Unfortunately Intel doesn’t care about the enthusiast, and unsurprisingly they have moved on. ARM chips are now the focus for that crowd, and they are taking the mainstream geeks with them. Broadwell will end it for good, but….

SemiAccurate has been chasing the last bit of this story for several weeks, there is a very good chance that Broadwell’s successor, Sky Lake, will bring back a socketed CPU. Unfortunately it will only be for a generation, possibly two, nothing permanent. By then, the last remaining overclockers and experimenters on the PC front will be gone, and for good technical reasons. Increasing integration will make this minor backpedalling step a rather moot point, there won’t be anything left to tweak, and any headroom will have been screened out at the fab prior to fuses being blown. Worse yet, margin requirements will effectively make it not worth extreme cost. Haswell is the end of the line, if Sky Lake does backpedal a bit, it will be a form factor change only, not a philosophical one.

And so the PC ends with a whimper, not a bang. Broadwell will be available in a ‘desktop’ variant as well as a laptop version, but neither will be socketed. There are a lot of good technical reasons to release it only as an embedded and mobile CPU, but not for anyone other than Intel. They want more of the PC ecosystem, and are taking it. Enthusiasts have been written off, and the rest of the ecosystem is being preemptively kneecapped in case they try to step out of line. The desktop is dead, and with it, PCs become irrelevant, mobile or not.S|A

Updated 11/26/12@3:25pm: One point to add, two OEMs have confirmed to SemiAccurate that they have now been briefed that Broadwell is BGA only. This was done weeks after we first told them about the problem.
(Edited for readability)

This comment was edited on Nov 27, 2012, 13:43.
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