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Intel 'preparing' to put an end to user-replaceable CPUs

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http://www.xbitlabs....ors_Report.html

According to Japanese PC Watch web-site, code-named Haswell microprocessors may be the last desktop chips in LGA packaging, which enabled easy switch of CPUs on mainboards.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpc.watch.impress.co.jp%2Fdocs%2Fcolumn%2Fubiq%2F20121122_574440.html (PC Watch with Google Translate)

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Guest Keatah

http://www.zdnet.com...pus-7000008024/

http://semiaccurate....pcs-go-with-it/

 

I don't like or dislike this move by intel. I used to be one of those m0DeRz BoIZe years ago, but now, for me, it's all about the software and just making things work. CPU's are ridiculously powerful as it stands. This means they will last the life of your hardware. And by the time you do need to upgrade them, the rest of the infrastructure will have changed so much you need to replace that as well!

 

Yep, once you start down the road of upgrading a CPU so many other things follow out of necessity. You need a faster bus topology, new memory, new graphics, new disk interfaces and sometimes other add-in cards. Sometimes this means a new power supply and case. Soon enough all you're left with is a mouse and monitor, which by now is getting pretty ratty no doubt. Replace that too. About the only thing that remains is your software and A/C power cords. Besides, PC hardware and all consumer electronics is disposable anyways. Especially mobile devices.

 

And there are a number of engineering advantages to doing this. Shorter electrical pathways, less contact noise, better matching of the power-supply circuitry with the CPU, and much more. There's a lot to be said for a correctly matched mainboard + CPU.

 

Sure it will suck for the system builders and mAWddErZ. But to be totally candid - I used to do all that stuff - getting so wrapped up in specmanship and hemming & hawing over fractions of nS difference in cache speeds and all that. Measuring boot times and stuff.. All that.. So much in fact that I didn't enjoy the software sides of things. Content creation and enjoyment took a back seat against the search for minuscule (and imaginary) performance gains. And don't get me started on the cooling aspects of all these homebuilt machines. Ugghh.

 

You know, back in the days of the Apple II series computers, we never got riled up over changing the CPU. A 1MHz CPU was standard issue, and we were happy with it. Back then it was all about the software and add-in expansion cards. Sometime in the mid-late 1980's this CPU upgrade fever took over. And it was truly a distraction on the whole computing scene. It can't die out fast enough.

 

When the need for a faster system arises, you know as well as I do, that 80% or more, of the consumers of computers; we all go out an replace the entire system. Replaceable CPU's made sense while the industry was finding its way. But today? Not as much. It's all about the software environment.

 

When it comes to gaming and productivity I strongly prefer elegant computing and an ergonomic software environment & portfolio. It's great when all this stuff just simply works! So many other things are more important than worrying about voltage levels or stability testing.

 

And as a former fellow hardware enthusiast and system builder, I'm not sad to see the market turn this way. The PC is too "big" and complex to fully enjoy the hobby like we used to. The new experimenter's market that has silently arisen is based on ARM and Arduino and similar products.

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m0DeRz BoIZe

mAWddErZ

??? :D

Btw the first link doesn't work.

 

I always build the computers/upgrades I buy for myself or someone else. And there are differences, if not in speed, then in quality.

Yep, once you start down the road of upgrading a CPU so many other things follow out of necessity. You need a faster bus topology, new memory, new graphics, new disk interfaces and sometimes other add-in cards. Sometimes this means a new power supply and case. Soon enough all you're left with is a mouse and monitor, which by now is getting pretty ratty no doubt. Replace that too. About the only thing that remains is your software and A/C power cords. Besides, PC hardware and all consumer electronics is disposable anyways.

Depends how often you upgrade your PC and how you use it. If you play games, you might have to change GPU more often than CPU. If not, you don't need to upgrade your GPU while upgrading CPU.

Also if no new sockets/RAM specs has been released, you don't necessarily need change anything else than CPU to something better which fits to your current socket.

But yeah, usually in longer scale if you want to upgrade (your CPU) you need/should also upgrade the motherboard & RAM.

Edited by nodles

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Guest Keatah

IDK.. I recall spending an inordinate amount of time building and tweaking machines over the years. And yet, I got the most bang for the buck out of mobile computing platforms such as laptops (connected to large monitors) and smartphones.

 

It's not that I wasn't any good *at* building systems, quite the expert if I may say so. PCB component level repair and TTL logic design included. But nowadays I'm much more satisfied with having the infrastructure already built for me. Having things pre-built allows me to focus on real world tasks and concepts as opposed to getting bogged down in petty details of cooling and airflow..

 

Got an Arduinio experiment kit sitting on the table right now! :blink:

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I think new computers should come with both an intel & amd CPU.

With a switch to flip between them. Just in case you need one or the other.

 

I also think newer mobo/CPU combo packages should come with 1 GB video RAM (minimum).

And be as slim as a netbook.

 

Just don't take away the ability to add hardware. I need the high quality sound that creative cards offer.

Onboard sounds a bit... lacking!

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Guest Keatah

I think new computers should come with both an intel & amd CPU.

With a switch to flip between them. Just in case you need one or the other.

 

I also think newer mobo/CPU combo packages should come with 1 GB video RAM (minimum).

And be as slim as a netbook.

 

Just don't take away the ability to add hardware. I need the high quality sound that creative cards offer.

Onboard sounds a bit... lacking!

 

I'm pulling out the microscope on this one! A switch to switch between AMD and intel? Pray tell the gods of Mons Olympus what could possibly be the advantage with such an arrangement? How could this benefit a user and why?

 

Now, with the intel integrated graphics (on cpu die), the graphics "section" can and does access typically 1.5GB ram as default. It is not as fast and direct as the latest GPU from nvidia - I'll grant you that. But yet at the same time the GPU shares the same cache as the CPU. And you just can't get any faster than that! Intel is doing pretty good with mid-range integrated graphics, on par with GF8000 series. http://www.realworldtech.com/ivy-bridge-gpu/

 

The one serious advantage intel has going is that the graphics are elegant. They just work. They're ubiquitous. they're everywhere. They're fuss-free. And they're getting faster. Another generation or two and the low-end graphics card will all but disappear. Maybe I'm overly optimistic. But I like the direction they're going with integrated graphics.

 

Now, about sound, I almost completely agree. Onboard sound is still cheap and budget get-me-by. Though it has gotten better the past 10 years.

 

It's not so much all the processing and features and channels that are lacking. It's just that motherboards don't have the high-quality "discrete" and matched analog output stages like a soundcard does. Everything is all good till the final mile. Some motherboards come with these riser cards and other setups where they have the final analog out stages. It helps. And it's the board real estate that makes a difference. You need the physical space to lay things out in a non-interfering way.

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Got an Arduinio experiment kit sitting on the table right now! :blink:

 

ooooh, you lucky, lucky b****d! i'm still waiting for my Pi.

 

but to get back on topic, maybe the big end of town is thinking the sudden rise of the SBC (single board computer) like the Pi could capture some of the market.

 

how many times has anyone changed just their CPU? for me the answer is maybe 2-4 times. i've had PC's that when the PSU has gone, it's taken out the processor as well (but not the mobo - weird)

 

so if we can't swap out a processor - will we care?

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I think we'll care more about the principle of it all rather than the practice. I personally like being able to pick a mobo that has what I need and then pick a cpu to go along with it, but if all the higher-end mobos eliminate my choice like that, I'm not sure how happy I'll be.

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Guest Keatah

You're right. Despite the engineering advantages of a soldered CPU. Despite the fact we may never upgrade or change out the CPU we first build the system with. Is is *nice* to be able to pick your CPU at system integration time. Whether you or a factory does it, it's all the same.

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i've had PC's that when the PSU has gone, it's taken out the processor as well (but not the mobo - weird)

so if we can't swap out a processor - will we care?

Should my system drive fail I expect no problem when replacing with a new drive and restoring a Macrium Reflect backup Image of the system before it died.

 

I would hope that I could replace a blown up PSU and CPU without any aggravation from Windows validation or new drivers.

 

I fear that if the mobo has to be discarded along with the CPU the replacement may need new drivers and may fail Windows validation,

and my Boot Rescue Flash Drive may need updating with new drivers for new hardware,

and until it has been updated it will not be able to restore Windows to a state in which Windows can update the flash.

 

I would not be having a good day.

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all valid points Alan_B, guess we'll have to wait & see - bit like Windows Blue.

only rumours at this stage and may never see the light of day.

 

(ps: thanks to whoever editted my #8 post - not sarcastic, really thanks - i wasn't sure with that being a Monty Python quote, for those that picked up on that, whether it might have snuck through - so know i know)

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(ps: thanks to whoever editted my #8 post - not sarcastic, really thanks - i wasn't sure with that being a Monty Python quote, for those that picked up on that, whether it might have snuck through - so know i know)

auto censor

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I'm pulling out the microscope on this one! A switch to switch between AMD and intel? Pray tell the gods of Mons Olympus what could possibly be the advantage with such an arrangement? How could this benefit a user and why?

 

1) If a processor "dies", you still have another one to use.

2) AMD/Intel... Because sometimes you run across the occasional game or app that throws fits on an intel system that doesn't on AMD (or vice versa).

3) Because they operate in similar, yet different ways, the user could take advantage of processor specific apps that excelled under either processor.

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How many people have opened their desktop PC and replaced their CPUs (with a faster one ?) ?

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I've had to and not knowing how caused me to have to buy a new computer :(

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However, on the other hand: Buying a new computer is good for the economy. It pushes GDP higher.

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How many people have opened their desktop PC and replaced their CPUs (with a faster one ?) ?

I did - once - on an old laptop several years ago to extend it's useful life a little, but not on any desktop system.

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Guest Keatah

Let's see here.. all in all I'm

 

1) If a processor "dies", you still have another one to use.

2) AMD/Intel... Because sometimes you run across the occasional game or app that throws fits on an intel system that doesn't on AMD (or vice versa).

3) Because they operate in similar, yet different ways, the user could take advantage of processor specific apps that excelled under either processor.

 

1- This is done in aerospace electronics quite a bit. Though they do run the second and third processors concurrently instead of bringing a backup online in case of failure. It's like having your spare CPU mirror the primary CPU. If and when one dies, the system continues on like as if nothing happened. But I don't think consumers will pay the extra cost for such a system. Even if it adds only $150 to the cost of the motherboard.

 

2- If something isn't working, the solution is a software patch. Rarely is code released to consumers that is processor specific. It would reflect badly on the developers. Modern compilers work around any micro-architecture differences. It would reflect even worse on the CPU maker - that their chip can't run so & so software. The mfg's go to extraordinary lengths to assure compatibility. You're more likely to have this problem with graphics cards, and even then, with standardized API's, the hardware layer is abstracted out the discussion.

 

I remember it *used* to be that way in the beginnings of the 3D gaming market back in 90's and early 2000. Certain things for MMX and SSE and AMD 3Dnow, not forgetting openGL or GLIDE or DIRECTX. And same thing, with the 486-Pentium-Pentium II transitions, it was about the instruction sets. And features in the motherboard architecture, AGP and what graphics cards were available on those mobos.

 

Today, it's all about the OS and companion API's and standards. Hardware is really abstracted out of the picture. IMHO

 

 

How many people have opened their desktop PC and replaced their CPUs (with a faster one ?) ?

 

On my last remaining homebuilt, I would say 5 times. But that's out of the ordinary, not mainstream, an aberration. Each successive upgrade giving less and less performance than the prior. And each upgrade highlighting the shortcomings & bottlenecks of the remainder of the system. On all other desktops and friends' desktops, as soon as the system couldn't handle the software they wanted, it always resulted in getting a whole new rig. There was no fuss or fretting over researching replacement CPU's or other parts.

 

IMHO, the only worthwhile performance upgrades are exactly not for that! Performance! Err.. Let me state it this way, it is not cost effective to do speed enhancements. Speed requires too much infrastructure to be ripped out. But things like storage and functionality, yep. Those are always cost effective (and very satisfying upgrade paths). Things like HDD (SSD), printers, monitors, stuff like that. You always get a good bang for the buck. Not so much with processor and ram, for that means a new motherboard and power supply... And the whole conflagration snowballs into a new system at much higher cost than chucking the stuff in the first place.

 

 

However, on the other hand: Buying a new computer is good for the economy. It pushes GDP higher.

 

And creates a lot of e-waste. So that's the other side of the coin.

 

I've had to and not knowing how caused me to have to buy a new computer :(

 

Whoops..

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I used to buy desktops because they could be upgraded. But I seldom did. So, since 2000 I never have used a desktop PC anymore. Too bulky and too heavy. Long live the laptop/notebook.

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