Internet rumors; Intel finally broke silence this morning telling Maximum PC that it would be offering socketed CPUs for the “foreseeable future.” The statement should help calm the nerves of panicky enthusiasts who have been reading weeks of rumor stories saying the desktop PC would die along with interchangeable socketed-CPUs.
“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,” Intel spokesman Daniel Snyder told Maximum PC. “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.”
The statement by Intel is rare considering the company doesn’t like to comment on unreleased product let alone unreleased products three years and three generations away. That shows how the rumors have continued to build in critical mass over the last few weeks.
The rumor first surfaced when Japanese tech site PC Watch reported on a leaked roadmap the site obtained including Intel’s plans for Haswell to be the last processor in an LGA socket. After that, Intel would only offer the 14nm-based replacement, codenamed Broadwell in BGA trim. BGA or Ball Grid Array packages must be soldered to boards before being used. Since it’s nigh impossible for the average person to de-solder a processor from a motherboard it would effectively end the paradigm of making your CPU choice separate from the motherboard.
But then on the other hand, if the rumor were true, it would be leave a lot of unanswered questions.
“Where it does get really questionable for me is in the supply chain,” Reeves said. “If you overclock your soldered-down K-SKU CPU and burn it out, did you kill the CPU or motherboard? And will your motherboard maker have to handle lots of RMA’s from overclockers that aren’t really (the motherboard maker’s) part failing? And the motherboard makers now not only have to stock a $200 motherboard as a piece of inventory, they have to stock a $500 CPU and motherboard combo.”
“That’s an extreme inventory cost hike, and may lead to less motherboard models being made and less stock being kept on hand,” he said. “There’s a lot of ramifications to it that we don’t have enough confirmed info to really evaluate properly yet, but I don’t think a soldered CPU would actually be quite as disruptive to the end user as to the companies in the supply chain.”
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