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Intel "Committed" to Socketed CPUs for "The Foreseeable Future"

Intel has reaffirmed is commitment to providing socketed CPUs for the enthusiast PC market for the "foreseeable future" in response to reports the company was planning on moving towards soldered CPUs (thanks Parallax Abstraction). Here's a statement Intel provided to Maximum PC:

"Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the Enthusiast DIY market," Intel spokesman Daniel Snyder told Maximum PC. "However, Intel cannot comment on specific long-term product roadmap plans at this time, but will disclose more details later per our normal communication process."

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26. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 6, 2012, 23:46 jimnms
 
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 19:25:
jimnms wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 14:56:
the last time I upgraded the CPU without replacing the MB was when I went from a Pentium II 233MHz to a P3 450MHz

Wasn't the P3 300 mhz celeron, the chipset that really kicked off overcloking? That is where you could buy it for like $300 and overclock it to run like a $1000 chip. Back when 3dfx and 3d kicked off? To me that was when overclocking really paid off, $ wise and performance, you needed every little bit.

Yeah, that was the Celeron 300A which could easily be overclocked to 450MHz with stock cooling. A friend and I both built our systems at the same time with pretty much the same specs, both originally were P2 233's. I later got a "free" upgrade to the P3 450 when the place I worked finally approved a new computer for a server. It was a P3 450, and since I was in charge of setting up the server, I swapped my P2 266 into and took home the P3 450 (it didn't need that much power for what it did). My friend bought the Celeron 300A and overclocked it. The P3 450 was slightly faster, but for the money you couldn't beat the Celeron.
 
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25. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 21:58 Dades
 
edaciousx wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 19:02:
I can understand all the fuss about socket/soldered... but honestly... the last time I upgraded a CPU in a Mobo was..... never. It was always the CPU and Mobo at the same time. And it's been this way for me since my first comp in 1995.

Conversely I've upgraded several times since my first computer in the 90s.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!

 
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24. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 6, 2012, 19:54 Mashiki Amiketo
 
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 19:25:
Wasn't the P3 300 mhz celeron, the chipset that really kicked off overcloking? That is where you could buy it for like $300 and overclock it to run like a $1000 chip. Back when 3dfx and 3d kicked off? To me that was when overclocking really paid off, $ wise and performance, you needed every little bit.
One of them yep. You could get the 233 and 266 cellery upto 400-700mhz with stock aircooling. And they were dirt cheap, in the $89-129 range if I remember right. Pretty sure I have some of the old stock sheets around for them. They weren't expensive by any means.

What really made them fly was when people figured out how to bypass the hardware multiplier lock.
 
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23. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 6, 2012, 19:28 HorrorScope
 
Longswd wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 18:12:
The thing no one seems to take into account is that the proc swapper/enthusiast crowd comprise a disproportionately large number of people who either make business purchasing recommendations or directly control the purse strings. So yes, it's a small overall demographic but one that has an exceptionally large influence on corporate purchasing.

Not saying it doesn't happen, but I have never seen this in practice at a corporate level.
 
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22. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 6, 2012, 19:25 HorrorScope
 
jimnms wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 14:56:
the last time I upgraded the CPU without replacing the MB was when I went from a Pentium II 233MHz to a P3 450MHz

Wasn't the P3 300 mhz celeron, the chipset that really kicked off overcloking? That is where you could buy it for like $300 and overclock it to run like a $1000 chip. Back when 3dfx and 3d kicked off? To me that was when overclocking really paid off, $ wise and performance, you needed every little bit.
 
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21. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 19:02 edaciousx
 
I can understand all the fuss about socket/soldered... but honestly... the last time I upgraded a CPU in a Mobo was..... never. It was always the CPU and Mobo at the same time. And it's been this way for me since my first comp in 1995.  
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20. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 18:12 Longswd
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 15:47:
Exactly, it's precisely BECAUSE they are so dominant that they can pull something like soldering the proc to the mboard. Proc swappers are a tiny minority of Intel's business. It's like telling Chevy they're done b/c they're only going to offer Corvettes in one trim level instead of the current 7.

The thing no one seems to take into account is that the proc swapper/enthusiast crowd comprise a disproportionately large number of people who either make business purchasing recommendations or directly control the purse strings. So yes, it's a small overall demographic but one that has an exceptionally large influence on corporate purchasing.
 
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19. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 17:25 NewMaxx
 
This isn't much of a concession from them. They have no reason to stop, as their pricing model is quite rigidly maintained to produce quite an ample profit. This is exactly why they introduced their program (which you pay extra for) that allows you to overclock without fear, as you can get a replacement despite any obvious damage. Considering how cheap that "insurance" is, it's pretty obvious that their yields are excellent enough to have no concern about moving away from sockets, at least on desktops (which they clearly elaborate in the statement). Anyone familiar with the industry is likely to smile knowingly at this release.  
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18. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 16:32 jdreyer
 
In another thread someone said, "Meh, who cares if the proc is soldered on. All motherboards are the same." But it's precisely because there has been so much competition in the motherboard market for two decades that there is such high quality and robust feature set at reasonable prices. If Intel starts soldering chips to motherboards, even partially, it will reduce motherboard competition, some players will leave the market, there will consolidation b/c the pie will be smaller, etc. It means less choice for us.

I will say though, that there must have been some backlash to Intel on this for them to release this statement.
 
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17. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 15:47 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 10:51:
Darks wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 10:46:
Let’s put it this way Intel, if you take away the ability for user to socket their boards then you might as well stick a fork in your company and call it done.

Who is going to replace them? AMD? OEM sales will never go that way.

ARM, sure, I'll believe ARM, but have you built a PC with an ARM processor?

Exactly, it's precisely BECAUSE they are so dominant that they can pull something like soldering the proc to the mboard. Proc swappers are a tiny minority of Intel's business. It's like telling Chevy they're done b/c they're only going to offer Corvettes in one trim level instead of the current 7.
 
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16. Re: Intel is Big Government Dec 6, 2012, 15:39 Verno
 
neuroelectronic wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 15:19:
Now did you upgrade your motherboard because you needed the features that paired will with your CPU or were you forced by a more aggressive socket changing strategy that Intel has been using the last few years despite the stagnation of their product line? i7 has been out for 3 years now and it's already seen 3 different sockets in the desktop space alone, despite the fact that all 3 sockets use similar power, identical memory and architecture.

Great post, lots of stuff there that people didn't mention.
 
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15. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 15:29 descender
 
You have to be able to replace parts if you want repeat customers.

If anything, MORE parts of the motherboard, things like the BIOS and SATA controllers should become socket-able and upgrade-able... not less.
 
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14. Re: Intel is Big Government Dec 6, 2012, 15:19 neuroelectronic
 
Now did you upgrade your motherboard because you needed the features that paired will with your CPU or were you forced by a more aggressive socket changing strategy that Intel has been using the last few years despite the stagnation of their product line? i7 has been out for 3 years now and it's already seen 3 different sockets in the desktop space alone, despite the fact that all 3 sockets use similar power, identical memory and architecture.

yet, they keep going back and forth between the same sockets between releases. They are purposefully dividing their enthusiast market depending on the time that they adopted the newest architecture!

I think that this is obviously a method to reduce the power of the market to demand this because now there is no financial incentive to support the CPU/mobo model for Intel products from a short term, dumb ass manager business perspective (but obviously losing purchasing options is a bad thing for businesses in the long term but Intel thinks they can be super buddies with your boss because check out these 20 free demo blades). That or they are doing some kind of two stage development process that involves testing features on 50% of their customer base. Probably both. The only reason they feel they can direct the market in this way is because AMD is all but eliminated as a competitor.

Wait, is Intel leading us to a more efficient and unified market or are they simply deciding for us that we don't need motherboards from other manufacturers that aren't under Intel's whim? I think the motivation is obvious and that any proposed technical advantage is simply a smokescreen to mask this simple power grab over the high-level design designs of all future commodity consumer hardware. This fits the past behavior of this market which is constantly adding unneeded features or capacity to support "future upgrades" that never come to the platform but instead are delayed to future versions making the feature a pointless cost to the end customer on the current generation.

Given the current trend in international politics, the corporate acceptance to "trusted computing platforms" and government/corporation cooperation in the "defense" sector; the new ARM platform with Trusted Computing built in as a fundamental feature of the design with good security ideas that are easily turned into bad external 3rd party control architectures, the repercussions are obvious: The market will continue to split into enterprise and consumer sectors. The consumer sector will move to ARM with Apple style integrated designs that are unmodifiable due to the complex inter-dependencies between the software security model and the hardware, and x86 will move to the enterprise where the price will continue to rise to obscene levels to incentive moving to new, more controlled platforms that are only suitable for enterprise cloud applications. At this point, all data will move to the cloud and we will live in a digital serfdom, where we rent space from our land owners and try to turn a profit on it before the landlord comes calling for his share, and if he doesn't like what you're growing he might just shut it down and take it to "protect it's clients". Here's a letter from the Appointed minster of internet security condoning our actions. Oh, by the way you were using OSS on our system that violates U.S. Patent 5,333,333 so you owe us $21,595 in licensing costs to the IP owner, which we will now add to your balance. See you in court.
 
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13. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 14:56 jimnms
 
When I first read about this the other day I was at first worried about the future of the do-it-yourself builders like myself. Then I reflected on my past builds and realized the last time I upgraded the CPU without replacing the MB was when I went from a Pentium II 233MHz to a P3 450MHz (remember those slotted CPU's?). I still build systems with room to upgrade, but by the time an upgrade is needed a new socket is out and you can't find CPU's for the older socket anymore.

I still don't like the idea of soldered CPU's though. Unless Intel is going to stop making chips for OEMs, I don't see how it would be cheaper for Intel to produce them that way. Even if they do move to soldered CPU's I doubt it will kill off the enthusiast builder, but it will make building harder. For example:

When I start planning a new build, I first pick out the CPU, then the MB. If CPU's are soldered to the MB, this will make building harder because now I have to find the specific MB/CPU combo I want. What if I'm building a new system and I decide I like the Intel Core i12 6Ghz because the i11 is but not much cheaper for its slower performance and the i13 is only slightly faster but costs a lot more. Next I start looking at MB's and see that ASUS has a board that has everything I want. Now I go shopping and find that specific CPU/MB combo is popular and sold out in that specific combination everywhere. Now I either have to go with another MB that may not have all of the features I want just to get the CPU I want, or if I really like that ASUS board I will have to get it with a different CPU or wait for until they make more and hope to grab one before it sells out again.

I could also see how MB manufacturers could take advantage of this and run up costs by only produce limited quantities of boards with the low and medium CPU offerings and lots with high end expensive CPU's. The low and medium board which offer the best performance for the money will sell out quickly forcing people who really want to build their own system to fork out more money.
 
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12. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 14:21 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Hump wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 14:16:
meh. I always replace cpu and mobo's at the same time when I upgrade. I'm sure I'd be pissed if i were a hobbyist though.
I just did an upgrade on a AM3+ board, going from a x4 965 to a FX-6300, and I just built a new rig for someone who didn't have a lot of cash. So I slapped in a x4 640, and in a few months they'll be getting a FX-8320 or 8350. So these things do happen outside of the hobbyist market.
 
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11. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 14:16 Hump
 
meh. I always replace cpu and mobo's at the same time when I upgrade. I'm sure I'd be pissed if i were a hobbyist though.  
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10. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 13:06 NegaDeath
 
I get the technical advantages. Lower cost as they don't need to use a socket, potentially better voltage distribution/more dissipated heat, etc. And like others I too update so infrequently that I get a new mobo and CPU at the same time already. My main concern is what it would do to the mobo companies and our range of choices. Lets say there are only 3 Intel CPU's (i3, i5, and i7) and 3 Asus mobo's (basic, middle, and high end models). If the industry switched to soldered CPU's Intel still only stocks three SKU's but now if Asus wants their 3 mobo's to support all 3 CPU's they have to stock 9 different SKU's. I simplified the example so in reality it would be even more complex. Naturally mobo manufacturers aren't willing to expand product lines by that degree so they'll have to cut down on choices. Say pairing the i3, i5 and i7 with the basic, middle and high end boards respectively. But what if I want the high end board for the feature set but only need the speed of an i5? Can't do that now. I'm still worried about the direction the platform is taking but if Intel says they'll continue to support enthusiasts I'll take them at their word for now.  
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9. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 13:04 Mordecai Walfish
 
Now if only Intel would create a wikipedia pseudo-article on what exactly their definition of "The Foreseeable Future" is, I guess everyone's mind will officially be at ease.  
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8. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 12:43 Cutter
 
Even if AMD falls by the wayside I'd imagine anti-trust would kick in on Intel and they'd be limited on what they can or can't do in this regard. particularly if there's a big enough cry from consumers which there would be. I wouldn't sweat it...for now.
 
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7. Re: Intel Dec 6, 2012, 12:40 Verno
 
Smellfinger wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 12:37:
Longswd wrote on Dec 6, 2012, 12:13:
The ability to replace only the CPU or MB on failure of one or the other is a cost savings consideration as well.

Whenever I have a CPU or motherboard fail on me (twice in 20 years), I upgrade both parts. Legacy hardware tends to hold its value so it's rarely worth buying something that isn't in production anymore.

Some people upgrade those parts alone though. I upgraded because I wanted more SATA ports for a file server and didn't want a proprietary raid card or etc. Addin cards are not always desirable, sometimes you want to swap the whole board but retain the CPU and vice versa. Some sockets last multiple CPU generations as well.
 
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