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Is Intel Planning To Kill Enthusiast PCs?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the have-someone-do-it dept.

Technology 1009

OceanMan7 writes "According to a story by Charlie Demerjian, a long-time hardware journalist, Intel's next generation of x86 CPUs, Broadwell, will not come in a package having pins. Hence manufacturers will have to solder it onto motherboards. That will likely seriously wound the enthusiast PC market. If Intel doesn't change their plans, the future pasture for enthusiasts looks like it will go to ARM chips or something from offshore manufacturers."

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1009 comments

Even if this was true... (4, Insightful)

gentryx (759438) | about a year ago | (#42097433)

why would any "enthusiast" go for an ARM CPU with about one tenth of the power a current Intel CPU has? I call this story b/s.

Re:Even if this was true... (5, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#42097507)

The ARM CPUs are aimed at more of the low power consumption model that the old VIA CPUs targeted with the mini-ITX form factor. Which you may recall, used CPUs soldered to the motherboard. Its a different market space, where the motherboard and CPU have been combined for many years now without any world shattering consequences.

Re:Even if this was true... (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42097593)

Not to mention that ARM chips use a different instruction set, so .... you can't go from x86 to ARM. If you're going anywhere you're going to go AMD.

Whoever wrote the summary needs a quick dose of clue-by-four.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42097709)

Why can't you go to ARM?
Lots of linux distros have ARM support.

Re:Even if this was true... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42097527)

Because "enthusiasts" can be as well enthusiastic about low power mobile devices as they are about high power high speed desktops.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42097529)

Never mind enthusiasts. There's still a large market for business machines both on the desktop and in the server room. Any thing that makes those machines less standardized and less modular is leaving a lot of money on the table.

Even in the heyday of proprietary RISC systems, they didn't pull nonsense like that. If anything, they were more modular rather than less allowing for hot swapped components.

This is about more than just whether or not hard core gamers can replace their CPU.

Re:Even if this was true... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097639)

Whether it's enterprise IT or the military, a lot of orgs just have the OEM work done under warranty, and junk the machine if it fails out of warranty - even for something as basic as a dying hard drive. Your typical large workplace is only planning on a desktop lasting 3-5 years.

Re:Even if this was true... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097755)

You need IT to verify they can't fix it first.

It is just cheaper and more expedient to have a few spare ones and strip their parts. The warranty is only used for things that can't be replaced like screens. Well at least not easily when you have 20 tickets a day open and do not want to ruin the screen by cutitng corners.

Re:Even if this was true... (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#42097563)

I've bult my own PCs for 20+ years, and I can't remeber ever really caring about moving the CPU from one motherboard to another. I shop for them as a matched pair, and assuming they work when I get them, I've alays replace both if problems developed later down the road (because a few years later, when you're on the far side of the failure "bathtub curve", you might as well replace both).

I don't see having to buy the CPU soldered to the motherboard as an impediment really - as long as I can swap out the heatsink and other components.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | about a year ago | (#42097643)

I certainly agree with this. If the CPU/Mobo are a pair, it WILL make it a little bit more expensive to upgrade, but then again, that is what craigslist is for. Want a new processor, sell the old mobo/CPU pair for a good price and go ahead and upgrade. I only upgrade every couple of years. By the time I am ready for a new CPU, it already has a new socket associated with it.

This might hurt the guys who upgrade every 3 months. For the rest of us, not a big deal.

Re:Even if this was true... (-1, Offtopic)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#42097799)

What the hell, dude - how can a friggin' toy be christian ???? What a heap of BS !

Re:Even if this was true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097843)

*interest peaked, click link...*

THE FUCK?!

*walks away losing all hope for religious humanity*

Re:Even if this was true... (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097829)

My AMD systems from 2007 are Athlon64 and can still be upgraded to the latest PhenomII black editions fine after a bios update. So I do not know what you are talking about.

Both of you must be those Intel users I keep hearing about where different sockets and chipsets are made on purpose to limit compatiblity so you have to upgrade everything. Oh and boy Windows activation wont like that either. Better buy another copy of Windows for that board as well.

Re:Even if this was true... (5, Interesting)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about a year ago | (#42097833)

The only problem is that when I buy a motherboard / CPU, there are usually a dozen or so variations on which CPU will work in a given motherboard. Right now it makes sense to mix & match to get exactly what you want, but if the CPU is attached to the motherboard at purchase time, you are stuck with one of the 2 - 3 choices that the motherboard manufacturer decides to sell.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#42097705)

Not only that but CPU sockets usually only work for one CPU family and aren't interchangeable. You can't but AMD's chip into Intels motherboards.

So at best you can normally replace to an equaviant CPU maybe a couple of clock cycles faster but that's it.

If your upgrading you have to replace both

Re:Even if this was true... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#42097741)

Especially with the way things are now, where you need to usually buy all new RAM to go with it, I suspect the market for people who buy a mobo + CPU combo, and then buy a slightly better mobo or CPU later as an upgrade is a small market. Even the repair market is probably quite limited for that sort of thing, because fuck it, just put in a new motherboard and be done with it. Especially it's going to be a non enthusiast grade part.

Now that the main Intel mobo maker is well, intel, (and all of the 3rd party guys just modify reference designs) I don't see a huge motivation to make them separate, if anything making them one part might limit what can go wrong.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#42097765)

While I have never upgraded one without upgrading the other, I do make a decision on which CPU/motherboard I buy.

What if I want a 4-core system, but the motherboard I want is only sold with more expensive 6-core CPUs? Or, vice-versa? Motherboard manufacturers are already selling to a bit of a niche market - will having to further reduce their selection by only pairing certain CPUs with certain motherboards push them over the edge into unprofitability?

Re:Even if this was true... (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#42097771)

I had a similar thought. I suspect this will have about the same impact as things like not being able to install the FPU separately... true it is one less thing that can be swapped out easily, but 'enthusiasts' will still have fun building stuff anyway.

Re:Even if this was true... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#42097779)

Indeed. The lifespan of a PC is such that by the time it's time to move to a faster processor, almost inevitably a new motherboard is an absolute must. Hardware becomes obsolescent so much faster nowadays than it did during the 1990s and early 2000s. I haven't actually changed a CPU on a motherboard in probably eight years.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42097839)

Faster now then the 90s? Are you mad?

You can use a computer from 8 years ago today and still have something useful.That would be a very hot, but still useable P4. Check out the massive changes from 90 to 98. That would leave you using a 386 in world of P2s.

Re:Even if this was true... (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42097607)

What kind of "enthusiast" are they talking about? I've been building my own PCs for 25 years and only changed one CPU, and that's because the fan went out and fried it. And guess what? The only CPU to fit in its socket was the same type of CPU that fried.

I agree, this story is BS. It doesn't matter to me if the CPU is socketed or soldered, and in fact I'd prefer soldered (as long as it had a good fan), since besides heat, the enemy of electronics is corrosion and bad connections.

AMD (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42097453)

AMD is down, but not out yet. A boneheaded move like this for Intel could be a boon for AMD.

Re:AMD (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097495)

A plan when AMD goes out of business which should happen anyday now if rumors are true sadly.

Why should Intel care then? They have no competition anymore and can do whatever they want.

Re:AMD (1)

ninlilizi (2759613) | about a year ago | (#42097657)

Their CPU's are not doing great.
But they still got their GPU market keeping them afloat.

Re:AMD (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097803)

So I have features on my $599 special that only your xeon or Icore7 extreme has like hardware virtualization. This is a phenomII and the 10% - 15% performance deduction was well worth the price for my 6 core. It still has a ton of mips and can handle everything I throw at it.

Re:AMD (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#42097811)

Notice how Qualcomm setup an office at the 407 and leslie industrial park in markham? The same industrial park that has ATI in it? Notice how Qualcomm are hiring a bunch of graphics drivers people to work at this office?

You know that snapdragon and adreno were originally AMD and ATI parts respectively?

See where I'm going with this? The vultures are circling.

Besides that, AMD basically make their own boards the same way intel does (reference designs that the 3rd party types only slightly modify), there's not a lot of opportunity for AMD here even if they weren't on the verge of death.

It might actually be a good thing to - you won't have to worry about a board having the right firmware for your CPU, and if they match them up well, enthusiast boards will come with enthusiast CPUs etc.

Re:AMD (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42097641)

The article mentions that the CPUs will be sold attached to motherboards. Enthusiasts will be able to build PCs just fine, just not separate motherboard/CPU.

Re:AMD (5, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#42097787)

Yes, but what if the motherboard you want only comes sold with a CPU you don't want, or vice-versa? This bundling will in practice reduce choice, as I doubt every combination will be offered.

Indeed (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#42097457)

I make all my CPUs from 100% pure butterfat. Then I congeal them in the refrigerator before baking them to golden, flaky perfection. Intel tastes like burnt cardboard by comparison.

Just as planned (5, Insightful)

Sydin (2598829) | about a year ago | (#42097473)

Such an idiotic move will only serve to drive the enthusiast market towards AMD, which might keep AMD's head above water. Intel wants nothing less, because a world without AMD is a world where Intel gets to face some fun monopoly suits.

Re:Just as planned (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097577)

Sadly it is going this way.

Intel is more interested in the tablet and smartphone market where if projects are correct Windows will be a minority OS by this time next year and Android will outnumber Windows 4-1 by 2016.

Intel just is not interested that much in x86 as everyone wants a tablet. Businesses will switch to them too in a few years with keyboard that plug into your new 13 inch Metro tablet for content creation. I will keep this desktop I bought in 2010 which is 2009 era until 2016. I do not know what I will do afterwards as I have always been modded down to -1 flamebait back in 2006 when I pointed out the absurdity and hypocracy for bashing XP and DRM and then go on and on how great the new Iphone 1 will be when it comes out?!

Shouldn't their be laws and regulations to prevent signed kernels, apps, and other shit that takes ownership away from our ... sorry their phones/tablets we buy...err rent? I know this argument is soo 2003 here but it is finally relevant and not tin foil hat.

Shit you can't even take out the CPU?! Before you know it you will have to throw out your own pc all in one for a battery replacement. I mean WTF

Re:Just as planned (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097629)

Intel just is not interested that much in x86 as everyone wants a tablet.

'Everyone'?

I don't know anyone who wants a tablet, and those who do have them are mostly wondering what they're supposed to do with them.

Been headed this way for while (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42097481)

Between the increasing popularity of tablets and laptops, I suspect the days of building your own desktop PC have been numbered for a long time now.

Besides, how can you geeks be forced to upgrade your whole computer every few years if you keep stubbornly refusing to play ball by doing things one component at a time? Not to mention the fact that self-built PC's can't be locked down behind a software walled garden and saddled with god-knows-what mandatory crapware, spyware, advertisements, etc. Shit, I even hear some of you are installing other OS's besides Windows and OS X on some of those goddamn contraptions.

You geeks need to be taught to conform better, obviously.

Re:Been headed this way for while (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#42097759)

Erm, am I missing something? I've seen plenty of CPUs that just had pads on them. The socket had the pins - the clasp pushed the CPU down onto them.

No pins, and still user-replacable.

Re:Been headed this way for while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097821)

Hey, geeks are masters of conformity. Why do you think geek culture is so unrelentingly monolithic?

Well (4, Interesting)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#42097483)

Weren't all those slot-X processors pretty much just pinless processors soldered to a small PCB? Seems like it could be something of an opportunity to me.

I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (4, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42097491)

WTF does sockets have to do with PC enthusiasm?

When was the last time you upgraded a CPU and didn't get a new motherboard? Never?

If a soldered on chip allows the bus to run faster, I for one am enthusiastic.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42097523)

When was the last time you upgraded a CPU and didn't get a new motherboard? Never?

Always. I have never owned a PC in which I have not upgraded the CPU at least once.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (3, Insightful)

Liquidretro (1590189) | about a year ago | (#42097567)

I would agree here for the most part. They change sockets so often that very few people switch processors and keep the same MB. Most people upgrade both at the same time. So you will buy the MB at the same time as the Processor as one piece. Ya not ideal but makes sens. I don't see this happening for a while.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097729)

Unless you change CPUs more often than Sockets evolve... but then you're probably just throwing money out the window

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#42097815)

So... have you not ever seen the CPUs that just have pads on them, and the socket itself is like a bed of nails? Pinless CPU... I don't see what's weird about that. You could even design a socket to mate with a CPU intended to be BGA soldered.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097623)

Shh...he's living in an Intel bubble.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097635)

Would you please (out of curiosity) list the Sockets you've owned and their respective CPUs?

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097727)

Most of the upgrades I've done have been to upgrade the memory before upgrading the CPU or the motherboard but now, as mentioned, with socket changes happening frequently enough it makes more sense to just buy the motherboard and CPU as a unit.

As for the ARM processors, hey, if they'll do what people need and only use a fraction of the power, go for it. I'd buy a nice little ARM motherboard with the right built in video that would fit in a little ATX case. Reduces the noisy fans and lets me put the machines that do the heavy lifting off in the corner somewhere.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42097737)

Was it an Intel? AMD have always been much better, making their sockets last through a few generations. Intel seem to have a new one every time I look at CPUs, but I keep getting suckered in by their performance and AES acceleration instructions.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

vistapwns (1103935) | about a year ago | (#42097565)

That's what I was thinking. While it's nice to be able to upgrade CPUs, and I know some people are enthusiast about that, I personally just use one cpu with one motherboard, and would prefer better performance. Boost to AMD and ARM are unlikely imo, as usual with tech doom and gloom, it will be an order of magnitude more talk than action.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42097581)

I don't have to upgrade my machine to benefit from modular standardized parts. I benefit from that as soon as I buy a machine as I can mix and match the components that meet my requirements. I can get as little or as much of something as I want and I can mix that with anything else that suits my fancy.

Lack of modular parts means lack of choice when building or buying systems.

It's like being stuck at the Apple Store.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42097753)

It will restrict the market a little, perhaps shrink the motherboard market. It will make a cleaner signal path.

I'll take any performance I can get.

Also note: How much does a modern socket cost? Packaging the chip?

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (3, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#42097789)

Lack of modular parts means lack of choice when building or buying systems.

Are you one of those people who pines for the old days when you had to buy a separate coprocessor and cache memory along with your CPU and motherboard?

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097627)

Have you ever looked at the number of combinations of CPUs and mobos available? We're not all sheep that accept whatever companies like Apple offer.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#42097637)

This is slashdot. The initial reaction must be a hormonally driven, visceral freakout.
Tinfoil hat recommended, but not required.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#42097645)

I had a motherboard acting up and kept the CPU.
A desktop pc with replaceable parts and user-installed software is purposefully being killed by the hardware cartel, but I'm not going to get their new all-soldered uefi-locked toys anytime soon.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097669)

I think it depends on what's in an enthusiast. Some people upgrade their computer every year. If you do that, CPU upgrades may be reasonable.

For me, I usually end up waiting so long that the old sockets aren't supported anymore. At some point, it's possible to get the CPU ceahply, but for me it has to be a substantial improvement, why fix it if it ain't broken. :)

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097673)

The only time this happens to me is when the motherboard breaks. If we can get 3+ years warranty I wouldn't worry about it but if we only get one year it could become expensive. I think I have had over 10 motherboards die on me that was out of warranty and only one CPU and that was an old Athlon with a chipped core from a bad installation that I got for free (worked about a year like that, probably died from thermal cracks).

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097681)

Easy we owned AMD systems.

Unlike Intel ones they share the same sockets and a bios update can enable you to pop out the old and stick in the new. Cool hu? Intel has a vested interest in keeping you on the upgrade treadmill and makes sure sockets are incompatible and chipsets wont work outside 1 or 2 cpus. This also means Windows XP will BSOD and crash if you change. ... oh have to buy another license for Windows again. Oh boy fun!

Windows 7 and AMD do not have these problems and is well worth the 10% less performance and a cheaper price to boot too.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097695)

Why would the bus need to be faster? PCIe and DDR3 are plenty fast.

The problem isn't upgrading, it's that it gives mobo makers are great excuse to increase prices. Look at how overpriced Apple has made NAND on their itoys or just look at the upgrade costs from any OEM.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#42097697)

I haven't upgraded the CPU in a very long time. I do, however, buy my motherboard and CPU separately in the previous 4 systems I built in order to get the exact components that I want at the best prices.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (2)

dtmancom (925636) | about a year ago | (#42097701)

About once every year for the last 15 years. I buy a CPU that is at the good price point, which always means there are 2 or 3 more faster chips in that same socket. Later, when those faster chips hit the good price point, I upgrade on the same mobo.

I can't believe this is all that uncommon.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097715)

I've upgraded the motherboard while keeping the cpu, and the cpu while keeping the motherboard. Many times. I would assume this is quite common.

Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097725)

when i went from a first gen am2 socket cpu to the last gen am2 socket cpu because the boost in performance for the dollars spent was greater than buying a whole new system. This was at least 5 years ago.

Now, i just upgrade the cpu/mb/ram in 1 shot, so if they decided to sell soldered cpu/mb combos instead of each as an individual i wouldnt be bothered at all. The problem as explained to me without rtfa is that they are not selling them pre-soldered. they are selling each individually now but they are saying you the consumer needs to solder the cpu to the mb. If this turns out to be the case then i'd say 90% of the people who home build will likely stop as they dont know how to solder, or they will just go AMD as many above me have stated.

Also, if it does turn out to be the case then i could see the term enthusiast actually meaning something again. As it stands now, anyone who can plug adaptor A into slot B can build a home pc and the only tools you will need are 1 philips head screwdriver to put the mb risers and power supply onto the case.

ARM chips? (3, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | about a year ago | (#42097511)

I don't think I have ever seen an ARM processor in a socket (discounting my old Archimedes, that is).

ARM chips? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097525)

ARM chips are socketed now?

Soldering Machine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097537)

As long as I can still buy the CPU and mobo separately, I don't mind soldering it myself :)

Re:Soldering Machine (1)

mrvan (973822) | about a year ago | (#42097647)

I'm not much of a solderer, but isn't the operating (or at least max) temperature of a cpu above the melting point of soldering tin? Wouldn't that cause issues, or at least force a different kind of solder to be used?

Re:Soldering Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097731)

You can place a heat sink between the joint and CPU if you're worried.

ehh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097561)

kudos to the first motherboard (and/or case) manufacturer that 'solves' this by adding a socket/slot mechanism that you solder the cpu to so you can still swap them out easily... sounds like more of a cost cutting measure for intel... after all, they're in the business of making chips, not putting them in to a nice plug'n'play package for easy swapping.

Will it change that much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097569)

Oh well, sounds like 1 step in the system building process (fitting the chip in its slot and locking it down) will be taken out of the equation.
Other than that, the system building process should be much the same as if one were to buy a motherboard + cpu combo (with the
cpu already installed). Although having said that, I will admit that symbolically the installation of the cpu onto the motherboard was
the equivalent of driving the first spike in a railroad and that system building won't be the same without it.

Charlies got a spotted history (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#42097571)

He's got a spotted history of being right with previous work whilst rallying haters like no other tech journalist I've ever read. To the best of my knowledge he's never been sued successfully and he's pissed off some of the biggest names in the business. Here's hoping he's got this wrong or it's bad news for all of us....

even if true, enthusiast != pc market (3, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42097579)

why this guy whines the PC would be dead by such a move? those that change CPU are a very very tiny niche and there is no money to be made pandering to them for any multi-billion dollar corporation. just a bunch of troublesome warranty voiders from Intel's point of view. The desktop PC is an appliance to most. soldering in the CPU cuts cost and makes for easier modular replacement with less troubleshooting if something goes wrong. I'm surprised its 2012 and this wasn't done a decade ago.

Re:even if true, enthusiast != pc market (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42097717)

How does it cut costs? Are the tiny pins really that expensive? What are they made out of? Platnium?

Re:even if true, enthusiast != pc market (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#42097721)

soldering in the CPU cuts cost and makes for easier modular replacement with less troubleshooting if something goes wrong.

How does making the parts non-modular make for easier modular replacement?

SemiAccurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097585)

That sounds legitimate to me. Definitely quote it!

You can still socket a Ball Grid Array chip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097587)

As much as I don't like Intel, you can still socket a Ball Grid Array chip, there just are no pins to push down.

Newegg... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097589)

will be getting a lot more RMAs. Now where did I put that soldering gun?

4004 (4, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year ago | (#42097591)

Legend has it that when Intel first showed the 4004 to the Navy, one of the Admirals said something like, "A computer on a chip is nice, but how do you repair it?" He was thinking that you'd use micro-tweezers and soldering irons to fix bad chips, instead of just replacing them wholesale.

There are many CPUs that are only available as a PC board with several chips. I can envision a day when the whole motherboard is the unit of replacement.

Remember Slot 1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097599)

Despite Charlie's ravings that too often make it to the frontpage, the lack of the lga package does not guarantee cpus stuck directly to motherboards

Intel CPUs have had no pins for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097619)

As an enthusiast, I have built *ALL* of my PCs since the 1990's. Intel CPUs haven't had pins for a long time. Just because they may (or may not) be abandoning LGA, doesn't mean there will be no sockets.

Don't believe everything you read.

Re:Intel CPUs have had no pins for a while (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year ago | (#42097723)

Isn't the whole POINT of LGA to manufacture a chip that can EITHER be used in a socket, or soldered to the motherboard?

Unless they plan on manufacturing chips incapable of being used in sockets (due to physical shape, etc.) I don't see why this is even an issue? Manufacturers who want to SMT the chip can do so right now without any change whatsoever.

I suspect this is FUD.

Uh.. remind me, why is soldering like (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about a year ago | (#42097625)

Hard? Can I not have the option to solder and re-solder whatever chip I want to the board? What if Intel and AMD are smart enough to just standardize their sockets before they exit the high end market and we get to do whatever it is we want with the pin-outs?

Look on the bright side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097655)

At least we can say goodbye to one of every system builder's nightmares (among many possible nightmares): bent/broken pins.

Poor MB manufacturers (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about a year ago | (#42097659)

Seems like a nightmare for them. Now they will have to try to manage demand and inventories based on desired cpu. Or will Intel remove some options off the table and say this is what you will get?

No they aren't (1)

Matimus (598096) | about a year ago | (#42097665)

You can't take one particular configuration of one processor and assume that Intel is trying to kill the enthusiast PC. Guess what, the atom processors in phones are soldered down too, oh no, enthusiast PC dead. If you want to know if Intel is going to kill the enthusiast market just ask whether or not it makes them money.

It's about cost, stupid! (2)

Lisias (447563) | about a year ago | (#42097671)

Don't underestimate the cost of hanging all of that golden plated little pins under your costly chip. Not to mention the cost of the socket itself on the motherboard. My cheap Atom330 MB has the processor soldered in it.

It's a calculated move. They know they will loose some market to the competition, but they bet they will expand their business enough to compensate.

Since the current PC market are already reaching saturation, it appears to me that they also wants to reduce the current life span of the computers as well.

Well, of course. (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#42097677)

They're whining because the next generation of CPUs will be soldered onto the board. Well, of course. This is the system on a chip era. Everything else is soldered onto the board. Why not the CPU?

The bigger concern is that without serious competition from AMD, Intel is raising prices.

Re:Well, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097719)

Everything else is soldered onto the board. Why not the CPU?

Because a single chipset can support anything from a low-end i3 to a high-end i7? OEMs don't want to have to have ten different models of the same board with ten different CPUs.

The bigger concern is that without serious competition from AMD, Intel is raising prices.

My new i7, with no serious competition from AMD, cost about half as much as my Pentium-4, back in the days when the Athlon XP was comparable in price/performance. Where are they raising prices?

Big manufacutrers are trying to kill off the PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097703)

The way things are going it is just a matter of time before anything even vaguely customizable isn't outright illegal.

It really feels like there is a conceited effort by the big manufacturers to kill off the PC.

First you have all these locked down toy cellphones, and tablets, laptops with proprietary parts, desktops with fewer and fewer customization options, and even Windows 8's Metro crap seems to put a nail in the coffin of hope that we might see larger higher resolution desktop displays. (Guess I will be holding on to my old CRT)

It is surprising that it is even still possible to buy individual motherboards and parts rather than complete desktop systems. THANK YOU GAMERS!

What is this bullsh*t? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42097733)

At least a few key PC players found out from SemiAccurate a few months ago, and they were rather incredulous about the news.

That's their source on this, so it's basically pure speculation off of an off-handed source, brilliant. As a manufacturer and engineering firm, Intel probably has 100s of projects in the pipe at any given time doesn't mean they're about to kill the PC lol. Also builders (PC enthusiasts in TFA) are a bit more resourceful than TFA's I've-never-built-a-pc-in-my-life writer gives credit for.

NERD RAGE!!!! RAWRRRRR

Anyone have a grain of salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097735)

Seriously I need a fucking grain of salt to swallow this one.

Business Opportunity... (1)

AmeerCB (1222468) | about a year ago | (#42097739)

I doubt this will be the end of the enthusiast PC market. But it does sound like a good opportunity to start a business that sells user-customized soldered motherboard/cpu combos.

Socket and see :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097757)

Socket and see :)

Reduced flexibility/choice is the real problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097763)

The comments that point out that most people always buy a new mobo when they buy a CPU are missing the real problem. Soldering the CPU on the mobo decreases flexibility which will either result in fewer choices for CPUs on a given mobo or will require mobo manufacturers to make more SKUs. Either way we loose. More than likely it will be the former as the mobo manufacturers aren't running with tons of margin.

I generally have upgraded my CPU and mobo at the same time (mostly because of Intel's propensity to change sockets every time they change their underwear forces me to). I have very specific aims when I choose my mobo and CPU combinations. I suspect that my choices wouldn't be your choices. Hence having reduced flexibility in the form of fewer choices will probably make all but the main stream unhappy.

Hehehehe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097817)

Good thing I was a solder monkey for five years. I can solder anything on a mobo.

Not a big deal (1)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#42097837)

Doesn't seem to me like such a big deal, CPU upgrades never were that practical to begin with as anything that was significantly faster then the last one would need a new motherboard anyway. All the PCs I ever bought stayed with the same CPUs and never got upgrades. It's the RAM, HDDs and cards that get upgraded and swapped. Biggest problem I would think would be fried motherboards, which would get more expensive to replace.

Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42097841)

The last time I upgraded a CPU with out a new motherboard was my 486DX-33 to a 486DX2-66. I don't see this as being a big deal

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