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[X-bit Labs] Intel’s Haswell Could Be Last Interchangeable Desktop Microprocessors - Report - Page 17  

post #161 of 276
I don't think intel would go through with this, Although I see the logic. With the short lifespan of the sockets that intel has these days, Most people are buying a chip, a motherboard that supports that chip, and then keeping that config till upgrade time, where they repeat the process. So as it stands intel's really only selling a bit more than one chip per socket per generation. So just selling the chipset/socket with the chip included (read: embedded) does make sense looking at this metric. But it simultaneously robs them of margins (maybe?).

Consider this, in terms of engineering costs (not fabrication), there is very little difference between the core i3 and the core i7 parts within the same generation and socket. The cost to manufacture for these chips across the line really only changes based upon how many physical (not logical) cores are on-die (this goes for the Integrated gfx as well), and the size of the cache. there's a few other things, but in the grand scheme of things, that's the only significant difference in terms of cost-to-manufacture.

So for ivy bridge mainstream (non LGA-2011) that gives you the following:
Physical CPU core count: 2 or 4.
IGP execution units: 0, 6, or 16.
L3 Cache size: 3 6 8MB.

Now, there are other costs, and other things that change between chips, but these are the big 3 that determine the cost to manufacture. That's 18 different possibilities as is. Now, the T, K, and S specs are all relatively minor in terms of cost to implement. That's really a matter of binning and then flipping the appropriate switches and embedding the right core config on the chip. this is a minor overhead when deployed in scale, however it enables them to easily grab an extra 5-20% off the top for at most 5% cost overhead.

So the very virtue of switching to BGA and requiring AIB partners (if they dont simply cannabalize them) to now have to build each of there series of motherboards for each of the variants, will ultimately result in less choice by necessity.

Newegg is currently selling 16 Ivy bridge 1155 processors, which means Asus would have to make 16 different boards for each of their series (Pro, Rampage, Gene, Sabertooth, etc), and this would be a problem facing each of the manufacturers, and yet sales volume wouldn't change much, if anything, decrease due to consumer confusion and aversion to the change (unless intel's new BGA chips offer substantial gains over haswell), which would kill economies of scale. So margins would go down for everyone, choices would go down, and costs would go up.


Realisitically, if I'm going to guess this wont happen. It's just an extra option for OEM solutions, or perhaps this is Mobile oriented and just a mistake on the reporters part - afterall, this is definitively speculative rumor. Let's assume they go through with this though, this is how I see it happening:
= they'll drop from 18 physical configs, down to say, 3. You'll have a Core i3 4 core/4thread. core i5 6core/6thread. and core i7 8core/8thread. They could even make the i3 just a low-binned i5/i7 with "bad cores" zapped so they can just have fabs pumping out a single config across the board.
= the motherboard partners then pick which of these to implement in their various families of boards, and you can unlock hyperthreading by choosing a premium model board.
= Something similair to the above can be achieved for low-power solutions.
= K spec is a firmware download you have to buy. (probably bundled with your mobo).

tl;dr Doubt it will happen. If it does it enables Intel to cut overhead by reducing the variety of physical configurations to fab, and passing on the variety that exists today to be something determined by the brand and family of motherboard you buy and the licenses/bioses you chose to buy/upgrade. It doesn't necessarily reduce choice, it just augments the way we go about exacting that choice, while at the end of the day offering reduced overhead costs and improved performance that is implicit in an embedded solution such as this.
Edited by TheSprunk - 11/24/12 at 5:10pm
    
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post #162 of 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by InitialDriveGTR View Post

Actually, coming from industrial automation, creating a line that is able to configure multiple options is not that difficult. All the assembly lines I've been on the team for all use individual asset tracking, meaning each product is technically already owned by someone and produced for them specifically. Once the product has started to be sold, they watch trends in which hardware configurations are most popular and make extras of those.
That's how I thought it worked. I wasn't too sure though. I just thought I would put in my 2 cents.
post #163 of 276
Yeah right....
post #164 of 276
I'm not too concerned. It makes a lot of sense for mobile/sff applications. I'm guessing everything under 50w TDP will be available in BGA and everything over 70w will be available in LGA packaging. There will probably be some overlap, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple asks for BGA packaged ULV i5/i7 parts for it's laptops.
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post #165 of 276
If it's mainstream it's understandable and who cares. The majority of the market are pre-assembled PCs anyways and those mainstream users could care less about the computer as long as it works and is cheap. It's a smart move and a good move for Intel and the market. Simplifies everything and is the direction the market is moving.

As long as high end stays the way it is I'm fine by that.
    
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post #166 of 276
Intel is galvanizing their income stream in defense of the inevitable advance if ARM (if this is true). Oh I'm sorry did someone say that? I couldn't make it through the whole thread.

And Homeles, go offer Intel your body for experimentation so they can test their on-brain chips.
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post #167 of 276
It will be impossible to resell the CPU when the motherboard goes dead after warranty.
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post #168 of 276
Although this is a little unsettling there's a pretty simple way that hardware OEM's such as Asus and Gigabyte could handle this problem. The possibility of this happening is slim, but think of how efficient it would be if you "ordered" a configuration from NewEgg or TigerDirect. In other words, when purchasing hardware you would simply select the exact board and CPU you want and then NewEgg or a vendor of that sort would solder the CPU onto your selected motherboard and supply a warranty after the fact. If this entire scheme actually ends up happening, motherboard failure will surely bring in a plethora of adapters and re-flow services so people can use their broken CPU's on "used" motherboards whom CPU's have been removed. The industry will adapt. And this is by no means the end of the PC.

- chmodlabs
post #169 of 276
I read the article. WHO CARES if a 10/20W TDP chip is soldered to the MB?

Granted, I enjoyed the upgradability of 775 - I rode the train all the way from a pentium D 820 to a e6300 to a Q6700, but there was a motherboard upgrade in there along the way (945PSN to 975x).
Now I'm on 1366, and plan on trading my 940 for a 970 at some point, but for the average joe buying a PC from best buy, they'll be lucky if they ever upgrade the ram, let alone ever clean the dust out of the heatsink before they replace their PC, so I really don't see how this effects me at all. I own a computer with a BGA CPU - a T7500 2.2GHz macbook from 2007 - and honestly I never even considered (nor would I) a laptop with a replaceable CPU - they're so bulky - it's not a gaming rig.

Even if I could upgrade the CPU on the laptop, i'd still need to upgrade the chipset to gain any real benefit - the iGPU sucks, and the memory is slow by today's standards. the latter is the problem with the 975x system - cpu is plenty quick for most stuff, but the machine is bandwidth limited, which can't be solved by a cpu upgrade anyways.
Edited by u3b3rg33k - 11/26/12 at 10:01am
 
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post #170 of 276
This makes sense for laptops and pre-built systems.
As a system builder and someone who enjoys overclocking this does worry me. I've been fairly lucky with my selection of CPU's and Mobos. If this becomes reality does that mean I'll either have to roll bigger dice on a mobocpu or spend $$$$ on the "high end" releases?

Amazing how quickly change happens when competition is gone. I'm not sure I entirely oppose this possible socket decision but the performance has got to be high enough to last 3 years, because that is my normal upgrade path. I despise the Apple approach of technology (new but same tech each year).
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