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[Engadget] Intel sort of denies rumors about future CPUs being non-upgradeable - Page 4

post #31 of 65
People are assuming that Intel is saying it will be business as usual but that is NOT at all what they are saying. Time will tell what really happens.
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post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mojo View Post

That's pretty similar to what I said in the last thread on this topic.
Intel CPU's are wildly popular; their motherboards aren't (in the enthusiast/DIY market at least). Intel would have a couple of options:
1. They could tell the other board manufacturers that they could only build for the super high end, and that Intel would be the only mobo provider for every other Intel CPU. I don't see this going over well at all. Even the big boys like Asus, Gigabyte, etc make far more revenue from their mainstream/budget lines than they do from the high end enthusiast segment.
2. They could sell the CPUs in bulk to the other board manufacturers, and saddle them with the extra hassle of attaching the CPU. There would likely be issues with warranty on these combined products, since BGA makes it much more difficult to diagnose a defective CPU vs mobo. Would Intel pay for the testing to determine the faulty component, or would they offer a flat rate reimbursement/discount for each warranty claim? Then there is the problem with inventory...what happens if a board partner orders 10k CPUs from Intel and produces 10k units, only to discover that the CPU has a defect, or just isn't popular enough to sell all those units?
Also like I said in that earlier thread: BGA is a good idea for OEM systems with a low price point, or ultra-thin tablets/notebooks. For mainstream desktops, it's a terrible idea and I don't see it happening.
You don't have to guess at what the BGA market looks like. Go take a gander at the tons of different ATOM and Fusion motherboards out there. Both of your hypotheticals are slightly (I mean that sincerely, as in, it's not totally wrong) off. As far as who covers the cost, it's not very different than video cards either. ASUS, MSI, Sapphire, etc all make their own PCB with their own VRMS, capacitors and options. NVIDIA/AMD supply the GPU. It's not a total disaster when you have to RMA one of those.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiOfPie View Post

Oh, I don't have any doubts that the processors themselves will continue to be good. My main lament about the socket debacle is the principle of the thing; that, if true, it could prevent the end user from performing a drop-in upgrade (unless they shell out primo dinero for Intel's flagship platform) and could potentially make life difficult for the mobo manufacturers.
Who does drop in upgrades anymore? When was the last time that there was a real viable drop in upgrade?

Are you talking like, buy an i3 right now and bide your time until you can afford an i5/i7? That seems a pretty niche option.
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post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michalius View Post

Who does drop in upgrades anymore? When was the last time that there was a real viable drop in upgrade?
Are you talking like, buy an i3 right now and bide your time until you can afford an i5/i7? That seems a pretty niche option.
Well, there's buy a 3820 now and wait until Ivy-E, though Intel isn't going to abandon that option. Very rarely has there been an opportunity to do a significant drop in upgrade on the mainstream socket, that's not something like i3 to i5.
post #34 of 65
Exactly. Enthusiast socket is staying as is.

When you buy a new processor, you buy a new motherboard too. It's how it has been since the new tick/tock split enthusiast/consumer release strategy. I don't see BGA being any different other than making sense of the purchasing minefield that is Sandy/Ivy/H61/P67/Z68/H77/Z77.
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post #35 of 65
Quote:
Why not just buy the BGA option then? What if there is a BGA equivalent of a Z77 + 3570K? What would be any different? When was the last time you upgraded CPU's on the same motherboard?
In this thread: People finding irrational reasons to fear change.

It's not all that uncommon to upgrade CPUs though I think it's less common than before. A big factor is that socket types have a shorter lifespan. The LGA 775 socket was great for CPU upgrades. Now we get LGA 1156 -> LGA 1155 -> LGA 1150. rolleyes.gif 5 or 6 pin difference between three non-compatible socket designs? Was that really necessary? Yes, if you only consider Intel's profit margin. Anyway, if it wasn't for the X79 chipset's sub-par features (JMO & not relevant to topic to warrant details), I would already own a SandyBridge-E MB & CPU with the plan of upgrading to a IvyBridge CPU.

I think the repercussions of going to BGA CPUs extends beyond consumer CPU upgrades, quite possibly impacting motherboard (MB) OEMs like Asus, Gigabyte, etc. Why should Intel go through any extra expense to offer socket and BGA versions of "mainstream" CPUs? Clearly from your post, not all build your own PC consumers will balk at buying a BGA CPU+MB combo. Even if AMD continues to offer socketed CPUs, Intel's performance advantage is a powerful incentive for think twice before going to AMD just for a CPU socket. I think it's much more likely that if Intel does go through with the BGA model, we see BGA for "mainstream", and sockets for "extreme" CPUs. Business server clients will want to keep sockets for upgrading, and it leaves something (at a higher profit margin) for individual enthusiasts who prefer socketed CPUs. Using current sockets as an example, thus LGA 1155 = BGA while LGA 2011 = socket.

Under that scenario, MB OEMs must now purchase Intel CPUs for MBs targeted towards a high majority of the PC market. That's on top of whatever is paid for buying/licensing Intel chipsets already. Of course an Intel CPU would need to bought at some point, but it shifts who makes the initial purchase. MB OEMs now have to pay for and manage a CPU inventory as well as the normal MB product inventory. That's not a small issue given price of a CPU in relation to a MB. There's also added risk associated with that new inventory. For example, if the MB OEM doesn't stock enough of say an i7-3770K based motherboards, they lose sales. On the other hand, if they purchase too many, now that OEM is stuck with excess inventory which may require selling at a loss. This is even more challenging because they have to anticipate demand for each CPU+MB pairings with wrong "guesses" resulting in lost sales or excess inventory - problems which don't exist currently. Finally, Intel's CPU profit margin from MB OEM sales gives Intel some degree of additional pricing advantage for its own competing BGA MB+CPU units. Times are tough for MB OEMs as it is without any additional business model pressures which could lead to one or more MB OEMs deciding to leave the consumer retail MB market. Good for Intel, bad for the rest of us. Maybe a bit of a stretch, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Lastly, there's the issue of having to replace BOTH CPU & MB if something goes wrong with your MB OR CPU even if there's nothing wrong with the other. Perhaps not common, but certainly not unheard of for MBs at least needing replacement. If your under warranty, great, but if not you're forced to replace something you don't need to do... all at a higher cost. Great for Intel, not so for the consumer. There's nothing beneficial for the end user with BGA CPUs, but there's a lot of benefit for Intel. AMD's struggles over the past few years are starting to have repercussions. Intel's dominance, both in sales and CPU performance, gives it huge leverage to dictate major changes to the PC market. I doubt this would happen if the situation was similar to when the Athlon was viewed equal to or even superior to Intel's CPUs. I REALLY HOPE AMD somehow manages to right the ship. Consumers can only benefit from strong AMD/Intel and AMD/Nvidia competition.
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post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michalius View Post

Exactly. Enthusiast socket is staying as is.
When you buy a new processor, you buy a new motherboard too. It's how it has been since the new tick/tock split enthusiast/consumer release strategy. I don't see BGA being any different other than making sense of the purchasing minefield that is Sandy/Ivy/H61/P67/Z68/H77/Z77.
It's not really going to make all that much more sense of it, as 90% of the difficulty in building a computer is figuring out what motherboard to get. Sometimes it is almost impossible to figure out why one motherboard is more expensive than the other. Sometimes it is really hard to find out something like how many power phases a motherboard has.
post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11 View Post

The LGA 775 socket was great for CPU upgrades. Now we get LGA 1156 -> LGA 1155 -> LGA 1150. rolleyes.gif 5 or 6 pin difference between three non-compatible socket designs? Was that really necessary? Yes, if you only consider Intel's profit margin.

Why don't you drop a C2 CPU in a 915 s775 board and see how that works out?

Just like AMD have updated the AM socket several times Intel updated their s775. Each revision didn't just add money to their revenue but also had, at times, significant electrical differences. You simply can't put a C2D in a 915 board and putting a C2Q CPU in an 865 could also be pretty problematic and not just due to lacking BIOS updates (I had to get a P35 board because my 865 wasn't functioning well with my Q6600).

You simply can't drop an AM3+ CPU in an AM2 board not just because of pin compatibility but also because of RAM and electrical differences. While Intel change socket a hell of a lot more often than AMD and do it for more nefarious reasons it doesn't mean it's all evil.
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post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by L36 View Post

+1
If they keep LGA on only high end platforms, this kills budget intel builds. Not everyone can spend 2K on a build.

Budget builds stand to gain the most from integrated BGA CPUs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

Thing that sucks about BGA is that solder points can crack. It's the RROD all over again. I don't want the solder points to fail making someone forced to ether reflow the chip to the board every few moths or send it in. LGA doesn't have this problem.

I think you are overstating the likely prevalence of such issues. These boards won't be an Xbox 360, and they won't be warping because of insufficient cooling.

I've had countless BGA GPUs that have lasted years and years; a BGA CPU is likely to do the same. Sure there will be exceptions, but there are exceptions with LGA parts as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

Not saying it would be a big problem. Just for the users that do have to deal with that crap just because OEM's wanted to save a few bucks. Its just another place for things to go wrong.

Trading a socket full of fragile LGA pins for solder balls results in about the same number of things that could go wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mojo View Post

2. They could sell the CPUs in bulk to the other board manufacturers, and saddle them with the extra hassle of attaching the CPU. There would likely be issues with warranty on these combined products, since BGA makes it much more difficult to diagnose a defective CPU vs mobo. Would Intel pay for the testing to determine the faulty component, or would they offer a flat rate reimbursement/discount for each warranty claim? Then there is the problem with inventory...what happens if a board partner orders 10k CPUs from Intel and produces 10k units, only to discover that the CPU has a defect, or just isn't popular enough to sell all those units?

I don't think it will be much different than AMD or NVIDIA selling GPUs to custome board makers, or what Intel does with chipsets now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11 View Post

5 or 6 pin difference between three non-compatible socket designs? Was that really necessary? Yes, if you only consider Intel's profit margin.

Each socket, especially the transistion to 1150, has non-trivial changes to power specifications.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11 View Post

There's also added risk associated with that new inventory. For example, if the MB OEM doesn't stock enough of say an i7-3770K based motherboards, they lose sales. On the other hand, if they purchase too many, now that OEM is stuck with excess inventory which may require selling at a loss. This is even more challenging because they have to anticipate demand for each CPU+MB pairings with wrong "guesses" resulting in lost sales or excess inventory - problems which don't exist currently.

I think it's vastly more likely that OEMs will a handful of speed bins, then be able to set the model number themselves, as market forces dictate.

If one CPU isn't selling fast enough, change the microcode to something else. It's essentially what Intel does now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11 View Post

There's nothing beneficial for the end user with BGA CPUs, but there's a lot of benefit for Intel.

Cheaper core components will benefit the end user, and more will benefit than will be hurt.

Enthusiasts who swap CPUs are a tiny market.
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post #39 of 65
I still think if Intel goes bga it will be for technical reasons like ddr2 went bga after ddr. I don't think it's about money. Bga is difficult to assemble and more expensive. 14 nm sounds so small compared to 90 nm athlon64s or 32 nm core2duos.
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post #40 of 65
they BGA to cut cost, rise price in Enthusiast level.
we need to pay more for custom builds.
they end up make more money, that's all.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Hardware News › [Engadget] Intel sort of denies rumors about future CPUs being non-upgradeable