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Opinion requested - Intel killing off inter-changeable/swappable CPU's?


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#1 Kamatsu

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

Hi,

Would like to get your opinion on a story I just read. Not to sure about the story myself, or just how accurate/real/etc it is... but it's a bit chilling to me to read.


http://semiaccurate....pcs-go-with-it/
http://www.tomshardw...Atom,19314.html

Any idea if there is any truth to these stories/rumors/claims? And if so, whats your thoughts?

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#2 Zerk2012

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

View PostKamatsu, on 01 December 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

Hi,

Would like to get your opinion on a story I just read. Not to sure about the story myself, or just how accurate/real/etc it is... but it's a bit chilling to me to read.


http://semiaccurate....pcs-go-with-it/
http://www.tomshardw...Atom,19314.html

Any idea if there is any truth to these stories/rumors/claims? And if so, whats your thoughts?

I dought that's true but it could be. The way things are shrinking, using less energy, and running faster, by that time it could be as simple as pluging your LT into your 120" laser 4D TV and off you go. But would it really matter if your like me you buy perrty much the best chip you can get and by the time your need to upgrade their changing the socket anyhow so you still need a new motherboard.
But I'll stick with what I have as long as I can (my PC)
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Edited by Zerk2012, 01 December 2012 - 03:27 PM.


#3 Quaker

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

As far as I know, it's true - sort of. That is, it's true that Intel is considering selling some chips as BGA only, but not necessarily all their chips.
Note, by the way, that AMD already does this with the C-series and E-series chips.

In most cases it doesn't matter to the average computer buyer. Most people buy a computer with no knowledge of what's inside it, and very very seldom do they upgrade the CPU.
Also of course, as Zerk says above, by the time anyone wants or needs to upgrade, the upgrade involves both a CPU and a motherboard anyway. For example, I have an i5-3570K on an ASUS motherboard. By the time I would consider upgrading the processor, I would need to also upgrade the motherboard.

This would mostly only affect enthusiasts (hobbyists) and server farms, and for both those cases there are bound to be socket mount (and expensive) chips available.

P.s. I think it's a bit premature to suggest that this really has anything to do with killing off the desktop PC. Firstly, the desktop PC will be around as long as people continue to buy and/or build them. Secondly, there's not a whole lot of difference, from a system build aspect, between a CPU in a socket and one that's soldered to the motherboard. That motherboard could very well still be ATX, mATX, ITX, etc.

P.Ps. You can bet that AMD (if it lasts that long) will continue to sell socketed chips, if Intel doesn't.

Edited by Quaker, 01 December 2012 - 03:46 PM.


#4 Elder III

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:20 PM

It does appear to be true (at least in part).  Details are unknown right now, but it sounds as if the "enthusiast" class CPUs are more likely to stay the same as they are now; that would be LGA 2011 right now, whereas Mainstream on down would be changed.  This is bad news for someone such as myself, but for the other 98% it won't make much difference.  The true potential problem for them is that it could decrease competition even further and lead to higher prices.  Hopefully that will not happen, but only time will tell at this point.

#5 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Again, seems about right, they're making it so the enthusiast level CPU's are still swappable but removing the option for lower end CPU's (read: i5's ect.) to save money as most people (even people like me) mainly buy their CPU and mobo in one go and don't swap the CPU out on its own. Maybe they'll make one i5 level CPU on the enthusiast package just to keep that market share though.

Edited by The Comfy Chair, 03 December 2012 - 12:40 PM.

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#6 dhatcher1

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:19 PM

In effect it isnt much different than the past 3 years with changing sockets every year.  You buy a motherboard and CPU as one unit and dont expect to upgrade the CPU without replacing the motherboard.

Had AMD not dropped out of the high end desktop CPU market, I wonder if they would have made this decision or not.  No competition is always a bad thing for consumers.

Edited by dhatcher1, 03 December 2012 - 06:20 PM.


#7 Lord Sojar

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

This is natural progression of technology guys and gals.  Just go with the flow, you'll see... all will end up ok.  In 10 years, our phones will be our desktops.

#8 typographie

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

View Postdhatcher1, on 03 December 2012 - 06:19 PM, said:

In effect it isnt much different than the past 3 years with changing sockets every year.

This. I think the people who would be most-adversely affected would be those with very small initial budgets who buy cheap to start with, promising themselves to upgrade later on (and usually never do). By and large, I think most well-read tech enthusiasts typically buy the proper processor to begin with that will last them several years, at which point they want and/or need a new motherboard anyway.

That said, I do think its a bit uncomfortable to feel like we are losing options and control. I just don't think this particular change will amount to much more than a rare inconvenience in practice.

#9 Vysander

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:54 PM

View PostLord Sojar, on 03 December 2012 - 10:07 PM, said:

This is natural progression of technology guys and gals.  Just go with the flow, you'll see... all will end up ok.  In 10 years, our phones will be our desktops.

I totally agree with you. The largest driver of the consumer level desktop are large and medium corporations. The only limiter to not currently having everyone on tablets/smartphones is lack of support for technical software (CAE/CAD etc.). I suspect that within five years all but the most demanding CAD and physics solving will be fully functional on tablets. And even a resource heavy physics solving application like Ansys can be ran on an HPC with user input in the form of some management software on a tablet.

View Posttypographie, on 04 December 2012 - 03:20 PM, said:

That said, I do think its a bit uncomfortable to feel like we are losing options and control. I just don't think this particular change will amount to much more than a rare inconvenience in practice.

I see enthusiast level computer construction going the way of spinning hard drives. They will be available for a while after the new standard comes out (high performance tablet w/ some sort of docking station) but will become increasingly expensive as the production of these components slows down and eventually stops all together.

I really hope that this isn't case, as i thoroughly enjoy building computers and tinkering with them, but i feel manufacturers will go with the most cost efficient method. After the technology is available to make a tablet that has the ability to run high performance games, I really don't see a reason they would continue production of desktop hardware. Or at least further the development of desktop hardware.

On the topic of the direction intel is taking its processors, i agree with others who have said it wont have much effect on enthusiasts. Due to the fact that they come out with new processor line/sockets about every year, and you can ride on an up to date processor for at least two years (unless you get the bargain chip in the current generation).

Edited by Vysander, 04 December 2012 - 03:57 PM.


#10 typographie

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

View PostVysander, on 04 December 2012 - 03:54 PM, said:

I really hope that this isn't case, as i thoroughly enjoy building computers and tinkering with them, but i feel manufacturers will go with the most cost efficient method. After the technology is available to make a tablet that has the ability to run high performance games, I really don't see a reason they would continue production of desktop hardware. Or at least further the development of desktop hardware.

No matter how advanced the miniaturization technology gets, one has to assume that constraining your design to portable sizes will always come at some relative trade-off: performance, displays, user interface, etc. Maybe I'm shortsighted, but not miniaturizing your components should always result in a relatively more powerful system with a bigger display. The industry can ignore that at its peril; in a hundred years, I think there will still be someone who needs or wants a huge display attached to a powerful home system.

Case in point: we've had handheld gaming competing with other platforms for 20 years now. Its advanced technologically by leaps and bounds and its a completely viable market niche, but it cannot overtake console (let alone desktop) gaming because its subject to inescapable, unique limitations. Some gamers demand portability, but I think all demand immersion.

Edited by typographie, 04 December 2012 - 04:52 PM.


#11 Vysander

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:25 PM

View Posttypographie, on 04 December 2012 - 04:49 PM, said:

No matter how advanced the miniaturization technology gets, one has to assume that constraining your design to portable sizes will always come at some relative trade-off: performance, displays, user interface, etc. Maybe I'm shortsighted, but not miniaturizing your components should always result in a relatively more powerful system with a bigger display. The industry can ignore that at its peril; in a hundred years, I think there will still be someone who needs or wants a huge display attached to a powerful home system..

I think issues with screen size, keyboard and mouse will be covered by a docking station type set up that is already available for most laptops and to some extent tablet devices. As for performance, I might be overestimating the advancements in technology. I'm thinking largely of the use of nanowire technology and the eventual perfection of quantum computing. I think *when* we get quantum computing figured out and affordable for the masses all current laws of size-power-heat will be irrelevant.

Though, i think this is far in the future, and until the time we have some major change in technology enthusiast type components will remain available. If more companies decide to take the route that intel is with packaging multiple components together, then you may end up having to pay large sums to get independent components, but they will remain.

And i could be totally wrong, and there will be room for both markets. It will depend on the consumer and how many have the passion to build their own machine. This stuff advances in such strange ways its hard to say how the industry will change. We moved from dumb terminals with "cloud" based computing to stand alone personal computers, and now we're headed back to having smarter terminals (tablets) again using cloud computing.

#12 dhatcher1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

View PostVysander, on 04 December 2012 - 05:25 PM, said:

I think issues with screen size <...> will be covered by a docking station type set up
As an interim solution, docking station, and HDMI to HDTVs.  In 3-5 years flexible screens will be in play.  We will carry tubes with a roll-up touch screens just like ancient Egyptians with rolled up papyrus scrolls.  Could even be a Bangles revival...

#13 Lord Sojar

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:20 PM

By 2020, technology is going to be alien to what it is today... form factors are radically changing, as are designs for CPUs going the SoC route.  We've seen a far faster SoC performance growth table compared to CPU brethren.

Emerging OLED technology, terrifically advanced external I/O technologies (Thunderbolt is a good example), and SoC scaling and affordability are 3 huge factors for the massive advancements we're going to be seeing.  

Imagine being able to have your phone, plug it into a docking station, which is plugged into a GPU module system for increased graphical power, and that connects to your OLED monitor that is .8mm thick that folds down flat onto the docking station.   It would be like nothing you've ever seen, and it would be 100x as powerful as current desktop technology.  There's only so much graphical horsepower needed for photo-realisitic graphics, especially once we move into ray traced rendering techniques.

You'll have an external storage module in the docking station that will be 10-20TB of graphene based storage coupled with 192-256GB of graphene memory as well.

#14 Quaker

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:41 PM

Btw, it's worthwhile to note that in the early days of computers, a lot of the chips in a computer were socketed* - such as the motherboard chipset and the RAM chips. Soldering the chipset (and other chips) to the motherboard and moving the RAM to "sticks" didn't kill the desktop PC and there's no reason to think that soldering the CPU will either. It's other factors that will/may kill the desktop.

*one of the recurring problems with the chipset was oxidation of the contacts and other socket-related problems. It became more reliable to solder the chips directly to the motherboard (since the chips themselves had a very low failure rate) rather than implement a more costly CPU-like socket.

#15 typographie

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:54 PM

View PostVysander, on 04 December 2012 - 05:25 PM, said:

I think issues with screen size, keyboard and mouse will be covered by a docking station type set up that is already available for most laptops and to some extent tablet devices. As for performance, I might be overestimating the advancements in technology. I'm thinking largely of the use of nanowire technology and the eventual perfection of quantum computing. I think *when* we get quantum computing figured out and affordable for the masses all current laws of size-power-heat will be irrelevant.

This is kind of what I was getting at. They may try to replace our concept of "the desktop"; in fact they certainly will sooner or later. But when they do that it will be because, whether by quantum mechanics or some other non-Newtonian wizardry, they found a better/faster/more awesome way to satisfy the same market demands. And if our actual needs are met, why wouldn't we be just as happy?

#16 Lord Sojar

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

I'm very excited about this, because it really is starting to show just how quickly SoC technology is advancing and how integrated components are becoming.  We're in a new revolution of computing as fabs and brute force power become far less important (though fabs are still important in other aspects, such as stack and TSV methods)

#17 typographie

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

The rumors appear to be false anyway. Yay.

Intel said:

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.
Source.

Edited by typographie, 06 December 2012 - 07:14 PM.


#18 Elder III

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:16 PM

It was interesting to see that Intel finally came out with their stance on this "rumor" a day after AMD made their statement. ;)

#19 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:57 PM

View PostElder III, on 06 December 2012 - 09:16 PM, said:

It was interesting to see that Intel finally came out with their stance on this "rumor" a day after AMD made their statement. ;)

AMD called their bluff :P

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#20 typographie

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:18 PM

This is going to sound a little biased, but I can hardly blame them for being reluctant to make a public comment on something like this. Its not their responsibility to clear up every random tech site rumor out there, unless perhaps they started it somehow. Conversely, I found it a tad sleazy and opportunistic that AMD would make a statement like that before knowing it was officially true.

Edited by typographie, 06 December 2012 - 11:19 PM.


#21 SuperNova

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:50 PM

View Posttypographie, on 06 December 2012 - 11:18 PM, said:

This is going to sound a little biased, but I can hardly blame them for being reluctant to make a public comment on something like this. Its not their responsibility to clear up every random tech site rumor out there, unless perhaps they started it somehow. Conversely, I found it a tad sleazy and opportunistic that AMD would make a statement like that before knowing it was officially true.

Yep you do sound biased.  First of all I wouldn't trust intel as far as I could throw them and second AMD simply made a statement saying that they wouldn't be changing their policy, which is not even remotely close to being sleazy and opportunistic.  Intel had days to clarify their position and didn't do it, perhaps they need to pay more attention?

Of course when you make $4 billion profit every quarter it's not like you give a shit what the tiny enthusiast market is worrying about.

Edited by SuperNova, 06 December 2012 - 11:51 PM.


#22 typographie

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:31 AM

View PostSuperNova, on 06 December 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

First of all I wouldn't trust intel as far as I could throw them and second AMD simply made a statement saying that they wouldn't be changing their policy, which is not even remotely close to being sleazy and opportunistic.

But no one had any reason to think AMD might change their position; as far as I know no one was even worried about them. So to me, it just read as "Oh, you're worried about Intel? We'd never hurt you, DIY enthusiasts." They made literal reference to "Intel's approach," clearly without even knowing what Intel's approach really was. When its a major industry player, it seems like there should be some protocol that they'd at least wait for Intel to confess to it.

And I would most certainly fault Intel if they had criticized AMD based on some internet rumor.

#23 SuperNova

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

If you read the whole intel statement you can see it's not exactly a 100% guarantee.  Broadwell was the mentioned architecture yet they didn't come out and say that it was definitely going to stay LGA.

“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”. Snyder ended his comment with a “however” statement, he wrote  “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.”

Why not just come out and say Broadwell isn't BGA?  Now lets assume that it actually IS going to be BGA, should AMD still be saying nothing?  Fact is, they gave intel over a week to clarify their position and even after that time they didn't address the question over Broadwell.

#24 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

View PostSuperNova, on 07 December 2012 - 10:22 AM, said:

If you read the whole intel statement you can see it's not exactly a 100% guarantee.  Broadwell was the mentioned architecture yet they didn't come out and say that it was definitely going to stay LGA.

“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”. Snyder ended his comment with a “however” statement, he wrote  “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.”

Why not just come out and say Broadwell isn't BGA?  Now lets assume that it actually IS going to be BGA, should AMD still be saying nothing?  Fact is, they gave intel over a week to clarify their position and even after that time they didn't address the question over Broadwell.

Broadwell will have BGA parts, just not all of them.

Aside from that, nothing much to see here any more. AMD took the opportunity to get some free publicity, did well out of it, Intel responded to stop the build up a negative attention towards rumored BGA only desktop chips. If it was true and all the chips were BGA, they wouldn't really care would they, nor say (paraphrasing) 'sockets are staying' would they?

So, yeah, my interest in this story has gone :P

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#25 Quaker

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

Mine went days ago. :)

#26 lazykoala

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

This worries me a bit because I was considering an upgrade to Haswell from Bloomfield, but I don't want to upgrade into something that turns out to be a dead end. If this new 1150 socket is going to be the last of its kind, then I think I would rather go the cheap route and just get a deeply discounted 1155 socket with Ivy bridge or something similar. On top of that there is the possibility that new motherboards for the 1150 socket will have 6 pin connectors instead of 8 pin for the PSU which would render the new PSU I bought somewhat useless. Although, since my PSU is modular maybe they will just make some add on connectors for the new pin slots. Hopefully we get some more concrete info on everything sooner rather than later.

#27 typographie

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:01 AM

View Postlazykoala, on 13 January 2013 - 11:55 PM, said:

This worries me a bit because I was considering an upgrade to Haswell from Bloomfield, but I don't want to upgrade into something that turns out to be a dead end. If this new 1150 socket is going to be the last of its kind, then I think I would rather go the cheap route and just get a deeply discounted 1155 socket with Ivy bridge or something similar.

1150 may not get reused, but we already know for a fact, today, that 1155 is a dead end so I'm not sure I follow your logic. Once Haswell is out it will likely be only a few dollars more than Ivy Bridge (as IB was versus SB and SB versus Lynnfield), so it may not even end up being the "cheap route" by enough to bother with.

Most Intel sockets don't last very long anymore, so I don't think it should be a very strong factor in the decision. Whatever you buy (Haswell or Ivy Bridge) is likely to last until its socket is vastly outdated anyway. Your Bloomfield is on 1366, which has been dead for years. Yet here you are, three generations and several sockets later, considering an upgrade.

Edited by typographie, 14 January 2013 - 01:05 AM.


#28 lazykoala

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:41 AM

View Posttypographie, on 14 January 2013 - 01:01 AM, said:

1150 may not get reused, but we already know for a fact, today, that 1155 is a dead end so I'm not sure I follow your logic. Once Haswell is out it will likely be only a few dollars more than Ivy Bridge (as IB was versus SB and SB versus Lynnfield), so it may not even end up being the "cheap route" by enough to bother with.

Most Intel sockets don't last very long anymore, so I don't think it should be a very strong factor in the decision. Whatever you buy (Haswell or Ivy Bridge) is likely to last until its socket is vastly outdated anyway. Your Bloomfield is on 1366, which has been dead for years. Yet here you are, three generations and several sockets later, considering an upgrade.

I'm not sure I understand your logic either. I'm considering an upgrade because as you said what I have is outdated so it in fact would be an upgrade. A move from ivy to haswell is more of a side-grade for an average consumer, which is why I would consider getting a 1155 over 1150 socket because it would cost less and wouldn't matter because both are dead ends with no upgrade options if neither socket gets reused. Basically, what I'm trying to say is upgrading to a cheaper yet still comparable socket to the new 1150 might be a route I take. Are you saying haswell is going to be priced almost exactly where current gen is and current gen won't be discounted at all when haswell comes out? If that's the case then that would be highly irregular imo.

Edited by lazykoala, 14 January 2013 - 04:47 AM.


#29 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

View Postlazykoala, on 14 January 2013 - 04:41 AM, said:

I'm not sure I understand your logic either. I'm considering an upgrade because as you said what I have is outdated so it in fact would be an upgrade. A move from ivy to haswell is more of a side-grade for an average consumer, which is why I would consider getting a 1155 over 1150 socket because it would cost less and wouldn't matter because both are dead ends with no upgrade options if neither socket gets reused. Basically, what I'm trying to say is upgrading to a cheaper yet still comparable socket to the new 1150 might be a route I take. Are you saying haswell is going to be priced almost exactly where current gen is and current gen won't be discounted at all when haswell comes out? If that's the case then that would be highly irregular imo.

Intel CPU's rarely go down in price, they simply stop being made not long after the next gen appears and are directly replaced. I don't think they've actually made a price cut to their main gaming CPU lines i5 mid generation for years and years. They simply don't need to.

The i5-2500K costs the same now as it did 2 years ago and was directly replaced by the i5-3570K.

But as mentioned before, intel sockets are always 'dead end' and there's always something on the horizon. if you want a PC now, just build an Ivy bridge PC, there's no real need to be waiting for haswell *really* from a desktop perspective. But if you don't mind waiting a couple of months, then you may as well as there will still be some advantages to Haswell and it will cost about the same.

Edited by The Comfy Chair, 14 January 2013 - 02:05 PM.

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#30 typographie

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

View Postlazykoala, on 14 January 2013 - 04:41 AM, said:

Are you saying haswell is going to be priced almost exactly where current gen is and current gen won't be discounted at all when haswell comes out? If that's the case then that would be highly irregular imo.

As Comfy pointed out, that's exactly how its worked for the Core i brand so far. Not only is the -2500K still in the ~$200 bracket, I think I remember the i5-760 disappearing from sale at about $200 as well. I definitely wouldn't plan on any significant price cuts.

Intel reused socket 1155 from SB to IB. So in my opinion if you want a socket that won't get replaced, there's at least a theoretical hope that Broadwell might use 1150, itself a planned refresh of Haswell. Whether or not you'll want to bother upgrading again so soon is another matter, though.

Edited by typographie, 14 January 2013 - 06:55 PM.





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