From a rumor site: Intel making a big move this year?

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KnightExemplar
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From a rumor site: Intel making a big move this year?

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:29 am UTC

Semiaccurate is a hardware rumor site that I follow. According to them, Intel is making several big moves in the coming years, or at least planning to anyway. They are detailed in the following articles. (They're behind a registration wall however, so you'll have to register to see the full stories unfortunately).

https://semiaccurate.com/2012/12/17/int ... rete-gpus/
https://semiaccurate.com/2012/12/18/how ... r-on-gpus/
https://semiaccurate.com/2012/12/21/int ... l-tidbits/ (2 more days before release to non-paying users)

For a market summary, the next lines of mainstream processors that are coming out are codenamed Haswell. Following that is Broadwell. The above articles offer rumors about Intel's strategy regarding the above chips, and how they're different from today's status quo. The "facts" that are presented are as follows:

1. Haswell will have a major upgrade in integrated graphics, partly due to an interesting technology called "Crystalwell", which puts large amounts of high-bandwidth RAM onto the CPU directly. No major differences here however.

2. Broadwell, the family of chips afterwards, is then rumored to be in only the BGA form factor. In short, this means that Broadwell-based motherboards cannot be upgraded if the rumors are true. Furthermore, Broadwell CPUs cannot be purchased separately from the motherboard, so the number of combinations will be reduced.

3. Broadwell will have a max of 4x PCIe 2.0 lanes. This greatly limits the power of discrete GPUs, which use 8x or 16x slots.

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To me, this makes it sound like Broadwell will be a laptop / tablet only chip. Semiaccurate is making a far bolder claim, that Intel is making an aggressive move on motherboard manufacturers as well as graphic card manufacturers. Both of which lead to the same conclusion however... that the classic PC market is dying. Either Intel will kill it on their own accord, or they're designing their chips for a future without PC enthusiasts.

#2 ensures that you cannot pick and choose the CPU / motherboard combinations you want anymore when building a PC. And #3 means that the GPU market will be strangled, possibly in favor of Intel's integrated graphics.

Is this the beginning of the end guys?
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TranquilFury
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Re: From a rumor site: Intel making a big move this year?

Postby TranquilFury » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:38 pm UTC

Intel is pretty much forced into the mobile space, there isn't really any consumer software demanding and ubiquitous enough to keep driving regular desktop upgrades, and Intel needs high volumes to support it's fabs. Yes, Broadwell will be BGA only, which isn't really a problem if all the Broadwell parts are aimed at mobile and ultra low TDP form factors. My hypothesis is that Intel will start pushing DDR4 with Broadwell in addition to Haswell-E. DDR4 would be very beneficial to mobile and IGP use, and the fact it breaks pin compatibility with socket 1150 doesn't matter because it's a BGA package.

For mainstream desktop parts, we get Haswell in June, then there's a two year gap until we get Skylake. It's certainly possible the mainstream desktop parts go BGA only sometime after skylake, but there should be enthusiast parts based on server dies for a long time thereafter.

KnightExemplar
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Re: From a rumor site: Intel making a big move this year?

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:54 am UTC

I am inclined to agree, although server parts are significantly more expensive than current consumer-grade enthusiast parts. The Intel i5 is the current enthusiast part of choice in price/performance... but almost all Xeons are more expensive than even i7s. On the other hand, if Intel leaves the market, that will give AMD more time to recover.

This may mean that for the first time in decades... standard PC hardware is going to go up in price in the next few years however.

Anyway, mobile / laptop parts are all BGA only. Intel's Atom, and AMD Bobcat, as well as the ARM NVidia Tegra / Qualcomm Snapdragon and the like. They all are BGA parts with few negative consequences.
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Amnesiasoft
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Re: From a rumor site: Intel making a big move this year?

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:17 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:but almost all Xeons are more expensive than even i7s. On the other hand

Barely. I bought a Xeon instead of an equivalent i7 because it was only $20 more.

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J the Ninja
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Re: From a rumor site: Intel making a big move this year?

Postby J the Ninja » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:18 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:but almost all Xeons are more expensive than even i7s. On the other hand

Barely. I bought a Xeon instead of an equivalent i7 because it was only $20 more.



There are 3 tiers of Xeons. The lowest ones are identical parts to the high-end consumer chips, just re-branded, and maybe binned slightly better. They might have ECC left enabled too (the consumer parts have it turned off). This is probably the line yours is from. The second kind have the same basic core design as the low-end/consumer parts, but support dual-socket configurations, usually they are available in lower-clock/power versions as well. These cost significantly more clock-for-clock than the others. The final kind is meant for 4+ socket servers, and these are insanely expensive. They are generally a different core design entirely with only basics shared with the other parts. (recently, they've been sharing chipsets with Itanium chips). These are Intel's big-iron x64 parts.
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