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Intel Haswell to be the Last Socketed Mainstream Processor?

Ever since the era of socket LGA 775 we have seen rapid changes in processor sockets by Intel. According to X-bit labs, Haswell will be the last interchangeable desktop processor consumers will get their hands on. Haswell is expected to be based on socket LGA 1150 and 22nm manufacturing process which is expected to be launched in Q2 2013 based on Intel’s Tick-Tock strategy. In 2014, we were hoping to see 14nm Broadwell processors, successors of Haswell, but now it seems that Broadwell processors might only ship in Ball-Grid Array (BGA) packages.

Intel make two kinds of processors; mainstream (LGA1155) and high-end desktop (LGA2011). Currently, both of these kinds are socketed which means that users can replace the processors while keeping the same motherboard.  Unfortunately this may come to an end.The processors will come soldered to the motherboard and we will be searching for the best BGA package (combination of motherboard and CPU) for our budget/needs. This transformation by Intel will have two negatives aspects for the end user and the motherboard manufacturers:

  • The ease to upgrade from like a dual-core chip to quad-core chip will be eliminated and users will be stuck with one processor on the motherboard.
  • Motherboard vendors will have have to bear a higher risk of manufacturing the motherboards, since processors are very delicate and may get damaged during the motherboard manufacturing process.

Perhaps Intel will leave the interchangeability to its High-End Desktop Processors which start at $300 (Intel Core i7-3820) and motherboards from $200. But losing the interchangeability will affect the mainstream users who outnumber the high-end users.

Source: X-bit Labs

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