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Hal Licino

Obituary For the Upgradable CPU

Apr 11 2013, 06:00 AM by

There’s a revolution coming to the desktop and laptop computer space, although the average computer user will likely never notice. The most fundamental foundational aspect of computer hardware is about to change and it translates into the end of customized hardware configuration: No longer will you be able to mix and match CPUs and motherboards, as the next form factor will have both integrated into one. While you bid adieu to the prospect of keeping a single motherboard through a CPU upgrade or the ability to design a bespoke system to your precise needs, there are going to be some advantages in the soldered-CPU world.
BGA turns your PC into a single indivisible assembly
From the very dawn of the personal computer age, one of the most fundamental hardware tenets was that the entire system was a collection of individually sourced parts which were combined and assembled in specific ways to come up with a rig that would best suit the user’s requirements. A scientific or engineering user would opt for an eATX, XL-ATX, or HPTX motherboard with many slots to fit a number of proprietary expansion cards designed to capture data from a variety of external devices, while a basic consumer could opt for a micro-ATX with only a couple of slots or even choose an Intel Atom-based mini-ITX that had no slots at all. The different strokes for different folks paradigm is beginning to break down thanks to the advent of Ball Grid Array (BGA) mounts which solder the CPU onto the motherboard, essentially turning all of your computer’s primary circuitry into one indivisible assembly.
LGA will be a dinosaur
The next Intel CPU family after the upcoming Haswell will be named Broadwell, and it is with this microprocessor that BGA will make its impact in desktop and laptop computers everywhere. Intel has announced that they plan to continue to support the swappable CPU enthusiasts for the foreseeable future with other CPUs but at some point in the next few years, the current individually configurable LGA socket motherboards will be looked upon as dinosaur carryovers of the computer hobbyist era when circuitry was assembled from HeathKits and the most basic applications were hand coded by the user.
Just try upgrading your iPad4’s CPU
Living in the BGA age will mean that you’ll buy a computer, it will work as advertised from day one, and when you’re no longer happy with it and want to upgrade you’ll just try to flog it on eBay and buy a new one. This may be a revolutionary prospect to the traditional owner of the “feta cheese block” mid tower PC humming next to their monitor but is yesterday’s news to the entire generation of tablet owners who are accustomed to their devices being available only as a single unit. You can try to upgrade the CPU on your iPad4 and you’ll soon end up crying in frustration over your wrecked tablet.
The end of technofuddlement
The market dynamics of computer hardware will be transmogrified as well. Fully integrated systems will likely translate into far fewer offerings to the consumer and a stratification of pricing options. Intel currently offers a total of six families of processors between the powerhouse Core i7s (with 28 CPUs) and the low end Atoms (with 48). The possible combinations of mixing and matching these hundreds of processors with the motherboards manufactured by Intel and a plethora of third party companies end up being well into the trillions, thus it was pretty well inevitable that there would be a rationalization of the entire concept of user configurable personal computer systems. This policy will remove much of the daunting technofuddlement from computer innards and make PCs more easily understandable to the masses.

Just like shadetree mechanics were rendered extinct by the advent of fully integrated, computerized automobiles which require half a million dollars of support mechanisms in order to do absolutely anything at all to the engine, personal computer hobbyists are going to go the way of the dodo bird in the new integrated age. Depending on which side of the hobbyist fence you’re on that’s either great news or tragedy.

Posted in Tech Editorial

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Cody Colclasure

Apr 18 2013, 08:29 PM

This is rediculous where does it leave the rest of us who actually enjoy building computers peice by peice? this makes me furious. I have turned to this as a hobby of my for several years


Apr 18 2013, 08:30 PM

This is not a revolution, its an abomination

Eric V

Apr 19 2013, 02:27 PM

This is a non-starter. The thing here is that there are a LOT of assumptions being made, such as that integrated cpu/mobo combinations won't be offered in just as many flavors as they are now. The author is making the assumption that combining them is necessarily done to the end of manufacturing ease and preventing end users from modifying the devices, rather than increasing performance through tight integration. Intel and AMD could easily partner with mobo manufacturers like MSI and Asus to produce the boards, with each company offering several versions of the boards- sure this means you can't upgrade the CPU and NOT the motherboard, but that's not the main thing most people upgrade. Most people upgrade graphics cards, hdds, and assorted PCI devices. All I see here is a strawman built to foretell the demise of desktop pcs. Here's a possible BGA lineup: Asus ITX, Atom cpu ATX/mini-ATX, i3 ATX/mini-ATX, i5 ATX/mini-ATX, i7 etc. That's seven combinations right there, for one manufacturer. If I have an i5 and want an i7, it doesn't mean I'm stuck like having an old iPad does; it means I replace the motherboard too.

Stan cilmor

Apr 21 2013, 04:39 AM

I enjoy building desktop computer, but a time is quickly approaching whennthen PC will be a device about the size of your smart phone and will be far more powerful than today's high end workstations. All of the peripherals will be wireless. Need a keyboard, 100 inch screen, mouse, blu-ray player, printer, network connection, terabytes of storage, etc; the connection to your PC will be wireless for both power and communication...but what about heat buildup...eventually that will be solved. Would you care if that soldered CPU had enough processing power and graphics power and on chip memory and storage to play what games or other task you wanted to and it fit in the palm of your hand, ran cool for weeks without needing a charge. Sure you'd have a tiny screen, but with a wireless connection to any sized display you owned....and all for that same $200 you're paying for just a CPU today...that's where we are headed.


Apr 24 2013, 02:45 AM

All these people saying the PC is dead are calling the game way too early. Just because a phone 4 years from now might be as powerful as a PC is now, that doesn't mean that there will no longer be a need for a larger machine to do heavier lifting. Creative Suite 6 and Crysis 3 might run well on your tablet in 2017, but what about Creative Suite 10 and Crysis 6? So I may no longer get to put the CPU in the socket anymore, I'll miss that, but the full size PC will never die. It will lose its status as the de rigueur personal computing device. But, as long as there are programmers willing to put out products that will push the envelope, there will always be a need for a beefier machine.


Apr 24 2013, 07:48 PM

If this all came to be then i would say the chip makers need to force the manufactures to drop there prices then. I custom build PC's because i can make something just as strong or better for less!!


Apr 27 2013, 06:58 PM

Idiotic article. As for the PC being dead... Not going to happen. There is just nothing that a tablet can do better than a PC because touch screens suck for just about everything. Tablet's are essentially media reader. you browse the web, read e books and maybe send an email or two and play games similar to thise that were popular in the 1980's arcades. When people want to do real work, they always go back to their desktop. You will never write a novel on a tablet, or play FPS or MMO's or do any real work. Even if you add a keyboard and mouse to a tablet, no one is going to want to do this kind of work on a 10" screen. On top of that tablets are EXTREMELY underpowered. The best tablet out there today would completely choke on BF3. Even people who write applications for tablets do it on a PC. The PC is not dead, it's just that everyone has one now and there is very little reason for most people to upgrade. Throw in Windows 8 an there is even less chance that people will upgrade.


Apr 27 2013, 11:06 PM

I agree with Greg. I can build them better, more powerful, for less money. And that doesn't even cover the satisfaction you get the first time the machine posts up. If Intel is the lead dog in this, my dollars won't go their way.


Apr 29 2013, 03:16 PM

It won't really matter anyway. Cloud computing will evolve in 10 years that all CPU, GPU rendering, storage, memory, OS etc. will be served by a provider (microsoft, amazon, apple, etc.). Instead of hardware, you pay a subscription for what you want your dumb terminal to do: Basic email, txt documents, etc. $9.95. High-end processing options such as added processor core ($4.99 each core), memory ($1.99/gb), storage ($19.99 per TB), 3D rendering ($9.99 per core +$1.99/gb gddr-x). Or you would have something like $299/year for basic, and $1000/year for premium where any upgrades done by a service provider is independent of what the user may request (i.e. converting blades from i7 to i9 processor cores or upgrading drive performance from SATA 3 to SATA 7). Consumer bandwidth will dictate the realization (virtualization) of what the end-user sees. I see the ISPs raking in the cash on this more-so than the CldCPs. That's my theory


Apr 29 2013, 06:41 PM

Here's where I think this is headed: the same thing as cookie cutter idiot boxes from HP, Dell, or Gateway, weak on video, using the slowest memory and hard drive, but super fast CPU that you can never actually utilize because all the other components around it are too slow. The reason we'll see this is because that's what all the idiots of the general population looks for: a fast CPU and nothing else. Then we'll get slower and slow machines with lower end chips and also lower end other components for cheaper prices. Want a full ATX board for massive I/O and hard drive access with a low end processor so you can make that home storage server? Too bad, you'll take what they give you. What a low end processor and video with a fast hard drive so you can have a fast booting HTPC to hook to your TV, too bad, you'll take what they give you. It's called "Tyranny of the majority." In other words, the stupid rule because there are just too many of them. Never you mind about who works the hardest or who is smartest. Never you mind what is actually good for society. We're going down the road of whatever the stupid majority want.

Hal Licino

Apr 29 2013, 09:16 PM

Thanks to all for the spirited debate. While there is no doubt that the poweruser models of the upcoming series of Intel Haswell CPUs will be fully socketed and available on the LGA1150 platform, there are various Haswell ULT and H chips which will be strictly BGA, or soldered onto the motherboards. In the latest roadmaps, Intel had seemed to have backed down from the issuing of the Broadwell-D which was to be an LGA1150, and thus sparked the PC Watch article in November 2012 which claimed that Broadwell would be not offered at all in a socketed configuration. Intel has denied that claim stating that they will offer socketed CPUs into 2016 but that's not exactly sterling reassurance given that it's only 3 years away... about the duration of a conventional computer user cycle. The Skylake 14 nm Tock of Broadwell has consistently been stated to be socketed but the question remains as to whether sockets will be totally abandoned for the 10 nm Skymont CPUs with are the next Tick. As for the fate of socketed CPU enthusiasts of the other side of the microprocessor fence, AMD has gone on record that they will continue to offer the conventional CPUs, but then again given their market share on the high end which is effectively zero, that's not very confidence-inspiring. I've already written an article for Benchmark Email about how touchscreens in an enterprise setting are an abomination as the standard workstation paradigm is not going to be disappearing at any time in the near future, and I expect that it will be posted in the near future.


Apr 29 2013, 11:13 PM

Now days when I upgrade my CPU I have to upgrade my motherboard anyway. I don't know many that keep the same motherboard and just change the CPU. Things that are upgraded tend to be the Memory, Hard drives and the VGA card all shouldn't be affected by this change. Of course if AMD doesn't follow Intel's lead perhaps they will see their market share grow by keeping the LGA type motherboard spec for their CPUs.


Apr 29 2013, 11:56 PM

There is no way to tell where things are headed. This guy, along with a lot of the comment posters, might be wrong also. Maybe Smartphones will only get another generation or so, and then just turn into something that can stream input/output back to your super powerful PC. Maybe Quantum, or DNA, or some new type of computing gets a major breakthrough, but the smallest we can make them is desktop size. The point I am trying to make is no one knows for sure! I wouldn't worry about this doomsday scenario the author is forecasting, if the demand is there for separate processors and motherboards they will still sell them.


Apr 30 2013, 07:29 PM

The industry needs to stop trying to enforce their idea of the future on people and start embrasing what the consumer wants. Microsoft tried pushing Windows 8 and the Metro UI because they want to push "their vision" of how technology should be used onto the consumer. Businesses in all industries have stopped listening to consumers and have started trying to define for the consumer what it is they want. This is not a healthy move for any business. At the end of the day it should be the business's responsibility to meet the demands and desires of the consumers, not the consumers responsibility to bend to the will of the business. We need a major change in the world's current business management and business models because it is a recipe for disaster. Consumers don't know all the technical aspects and details, but they know what they want and what is easier for them (less clicks, more convenience). Companies have been pretending that they know what consumers want, but really they have no idea. I am a programmer and I work in an industry where nearly all software solutions are great in concept and on paper but the users have a lot of difficulty using and understanding them. Many other programmers create overly generic solutions and add "cool" features that they think are the best, but they haven't actually checked with consumers to see their reaction to the ideas. The software that I create is focussed 100% on the user, how they use it, how they want to use it. The result is that the software I work on is considered better than the competition. There is a lot of extra work that goes into making it that way but the end result is happy users / consumers and more overall cashflow into our business. We focus on the quality of our applications, and profit is the result whereas many others focus on profit first, and the quality suffers. I hope businesses change their perspective soon because contrary to belief, consumers are getting smarter and more educated on what they


May 01 2013, 04:37 PM

I do not see it.... I don't think Motherboard manufactures want to buy Intel processors directly to put on their Motherboards... If they did they would have to support multiple motherboards depending on the processor which will increase their inventory......


May 16 2013, 04:59 AM

The overall problem with his argument is that he largely sites one model of product - which may or may not be successful. Certainly, there are possibilities in this idea, particularly from a marketing standpoint, but you'll notice that he concedes certain points - like intel saying they'll be supporting the mix and match regardless of this new model of product. Not only this, but it is not hard to imagine that many PC owners are also gamers - and trust me, a gamer is never satisfied with a computer that just manages, as a gamer, I want my machine to more than manage. I want my machine to take that game that all the other machines can barely handle on lowest settings, and I want to turn all my settings to ultra high, and watch as my computer doesn't even break a sweat. That mindset isn't going away among gamers, and there will always be someone to cater to that - where this is a demand, there is a market, and where there is a market, someone will step in to make the money.


May 16 2013, 05:44 PM

Some of the motherboard manufacturers already build soldered in cpu in the past, and guess what? They were margin. The only thing that change, is that now you can do much more with a simple phone like device than then. Businesses and entreprises, as well as schools, would still use big "reliable" rigs. And since there's a market for costumized devices, they will be on the market for some more time.


May 19 2013, 11:01 PM

people will just learn to solder...

Eric Click

May 20 2013, 09:19 PM

This article takes far too many presumptions in regards to market forces and consumer demands. The ever increasing pool of computer science and technically oriented professionals that this nation has been repeatedly shown to be on track to produce, as well as this rising generation that still adapts to technology faster than the previous generations, mean that calling the demise of the PC is once again premature. Further, the average American, in my findings, intuitively understands the cost-benefit advantages of customizable computers. Thus, as technical proficiency and training continues to permeate our society, and as average wages continue to decline, people will increasingly need something they can cannabilize and repair without having to lay up in the shop for weeks, or toss out for something new and overpriced. The mistake this author is making is in misunderstanding the uptake of computers by older generations, who have reduced familiarity with computers in general, to be an enduring market trend of "MAKE IT WORK NOW AND NO FUSS PLEASE". Companies embracing this market trend to exclusion do so at their own folly, and to the detriment of our society. I can definitely see a market for this line of products: Just as laptops have shown that integrated "Work out of the box" business computers can be successful, integrated "I don't know what the hell I'm doing" systems will have their place. If we embrace this trend, however, computer science will go the way of woodworking; A hobby your father and his father tries to teach you, but that you don't find interesting, because you'd rather go to IKEA and get cheated thrice rather than measuring twice and cutting once. An interesting hobby dependent on increasingly rarefied tools and expert knowledge that fewer and fewer people have, to the detriment of us all. As a final note, how the hell does this author anticipate training a new generation of computer scientists and hardware engineers if you can't take the dam

Jerry Owens

May 21 2013, 02:52 AM

The "hard wired" cpu is what almost killed E-Machines a few years back. If you wanted a faster computer, you bought a faster model. Couldn't change anything in those .


May 21 2013, 10:41 PM

Yeah... This is an opinion not fact. There is no research or data in this article to say he is correct... Hogwash...


May 23 2013, 02:01 AM

There is already motherboards like this. https://www.newegg.ca/Motherboard-CPU-VGA-Combo/SubCategory/ID-446 They are low end. My grandmother computer is more powerful than all these. Not saying more powerful processors wont be pre-mounted for newbies but seriously there are 2 types of people. #1: People who wont build a computer and just buy one. #2: People who will build a computer and know how to do it all. This article assumes that because 1 step will be removed it will make it so easy, its so easy already.......


May 23 2013, 02:47 AM

I see it like photography in the digital age. Dark rooms are rarer and rarer, but many enthusiastic hobbyists still practice the art of developing their own film and prints. Digital cameras are awesome, just like the new systems, but that doesnt mean there won't be a place for the old stuff too. There will always be people who love to tinker and will keep the old style of computers alive. Just as with photography, major copanies that support hobbyists (film manufacturers or third party computer parts companies) will die off, because there isnt much demand anymore. The hobby will be less popular, and only the most dedicated will continue to build their own machines


May 23 2013, 03:23 AM

totally out there??? cpu's motherboards and ram are only going to get better but how we use them ????? just like the automobile ..........1)horse and buggy..2)gas engine...3)diesel engine the are all based on the same principle and haven't changed for over 100 years but now it seems that we have..4)hybrids and and even better option electric but very few /no one would accept it as standard. like the saying goes we're quick to judge ,slow to learn and even slower to change . all because of greed,power and control.(sin...sin...sin...ect...ect)but what ever we decide it had better work for everyone not the few

Sam R.

May 23 2013, 07:53 AM

Excuse me Hal, but "Shade tree mechanics" are far from extinct--As the late great author Samuel Clemens was once quoted as saying; "The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated." While it is definitely true that the modern automobile is much more complicated than our grandfathers Oldsmobile, there are still many modern day enthusiast and DIY mechanics that are very well equipped to repair, upgrade, and rebuild whatever you roll, float, or fly in, or on. It is no secret that many car makers have been doing there best to make DIY repairs a thing of the past. Much to their chagrin, the DIY crowd has managed to keep up with the changes and upgrade their tool kits to meet their needs--including electronic and computer equipment to handle those "mysterious black boxes". The best thing to come out of all this is the fact that modern cars require a LOT less maintenance, and last much longer. The same thing applies here in the PC market. SO WHAT if Intel wants to fully integrate the CPU to the MOBO!!! If Intel insists on limiting our options, and charge even more money, then I guess AMD will be getting a LOT more of that "zero market share". Let Intel make those fully integrated pads, tablets and all-in-one wonders for the unwashed masses, as long as they ship them out with Angry Birds installed they can't fail! The rest of us who like to play games, or do work a bit more challenging, on personally modified, high powered desktops will continue to spend our money with whomever makes the stuff we want.


May 23 2013, 04:41 PM

A lot of "Angry Birds" and luddites crying in the wilderness over a hypothetical another scary crystal ball gazing numb article. I've been in this business as an R&D Professional Engineer since the days before transistors. The thing that I find most ridiculous and frustrating, are those that fear and resist inevitable change. I also have a degree in Business Administration and Financial Management. Technological changes combined with the basic and fundamental principles of Economics will dictate the future.


May 23 2013, 06:03 PM

This is another lame idea, made up most likely by Intel, to corner the market in their favor. Most of you are too young to remember, Intel's gamble with the RAM market, when they attempted to force everyone to use RAMBus, back in the late 90's, that blew up in their face when the market swung back with DDR which was better and more energy efficient than R-Dimms or Rimms (RAMBus Chips). Now they want to make it so that you have to buy a whole unit instead of replacing just the CPU. When will these a**holes wake up and smell the coffee. The customizers buy a lot more CPUs than the standardized computers, take in point: I bought an ASUS motherboard 7 years ago, but have bought 8 CPUs for it, and I'm now buying my last CPU for this board. This will be a worse mistake than the bail-0ut that Obama made 5 years ago.

Dylan Orr

May 23 2013, 06:09 PM

I'm pretty sure this was already tried back in the days of emachines/AoL. I remember a mainboard with a integrated Voice/Fax Modem - Soundcard combo.. I think it was HP? lol.. Either way despite lowering manufacturing costs the products ended up subpar and non versatile. I believe it was originally coined the age of the disposable computer. Where as I can see this working good in the tablet segment, or pcmcia/laptops (which were already integrated for what has been ages now) I don't see the x86 market jumping on a '3 versions of a computer' boat anytime soon. Myself included. I mean don't get me wrong, if they're stable and there's some significant price drop for having them integrated, it might work out even in the corporate segments, but the average home user I can't see it happening.


May 25 2013, 11:27 PM

never go that route, logicboard (all-in-one mobos) are reasons why macs are expensive to fix. cant just replaced a single component in events of failure. yes there is a need for a faster processor so go shaft the mobile crap. reason - 3d software rasterizer can be sped up freeing from 3rd party gpu and drivers shackles.


May 28 2013, 03:02 PM

More like the end of the "inserting processor onto the motherboard" era. Motherboards will come with CPU's pre-installed. That is all.


Jun 02 2013, 12:31 AM

Like the good old days when Dad and I would replace the points on his '68 Javelin SST, no longer will our sons and daughters be impressed with our computer-building skills and prowess. The Man took the tools away that were needed by the do-it-yourself mechanics of the glory days, the "ownership", the pride of American automobiliacs! We don't "own" that which we cannot fix or build ourselves. Instead we hook the engines up and it tells us to make changes to the onboard PCM and whoof....no greasy fingernails! So will go the way of our beloved computer-building hobbies...leave room on the mantelpiece for a few, framed pictures of our lost loves.


Jun 02 2013, 07:04 AM

The premise is faulty. Simple fact of the matter is, mobo and CPU tech evolves at different rates. BGA CPUs would result in huge amounts of wasted inventory for manufacturers. It's a bad business model and will never happen. There is a potential to see a resurgence of the CPU 'daughter board' model. Nail the CPU and north bridge components to a board and you can slot in processing power the same way you do RAM, GPU, storage, etc today. This is the direction data centers are headed (likely moving to ARM) and there's a good chance it will filter to the PC market. Completely nailed down systems will be reserved only for all-in-one devices though as they simply don't make business sense for the large market share component PCs make up today.


Jun 02 2013, 07:27 PM

Is the PC dead? Is ANSI preferable to EBCDIC? Is the Pope Catholic? In the 1960's, I assembled Heathkit short-wave radios as a hobby, in the 1970's Dynaco stereo kits, in the 1980's, personal computers. I am almost ashamed to say that I bought my girlfriend at the time a sewing machine as a present! (What was I thinking? That by building items others merely consume we would be distinguished?) These things all go the way of the Do-Do bird, as related interests around the world move from one fad to another. We all are naturally reluctant to acknowledge the increasing irrelevance of our knowledge, since we are loathe to admit in hindsight the time lost in pursuit thereof. Nonetheless, the PC as a "keep up with the Jones" item seems certainly dead. We'll now be polluting the planet with more phone chips than personal computer chips. As has happened so many times before, the masses have moved on. In this instance, they will spend less time glued to a PC, and instead will waste time literally tripping over their smart phone. (OMG, It is so sad to recall the lure of the telephone tether vs. television tube in the 1960's. The worthwhile choice would have been to visit with friends or read a book.) For most people in developed countries the topic hardly warrants discussion. They've been there, done that, and have succumbed to "the more things change the more they stay the same." On the other hand, a discussion of control over data and devices is invaluable. Those that believe that our personal computing needs will all be delivered from the cloud should have a long talk with someone experienced with the mainframe/terminal computing model of yesteryear. You'll hear of ongoing frustration, if not despair over the control ceded by computer users to the centralized computer department. This is one of the reasons that personal computers spread like wildfire in corporations during the '80's and '90's. Now boy's and girl's who don't know any better are listening to


Jun 03 2013, 12:02 AM

It seems unlikely that this new form factor will be the only form factor. If you believe that, just look at all the simultaneously available, up to date form factors available today. mATX, ATX, and eATX are all considered to be current standards. ...Watch this guy be an XBox 360/PS3 pseudo-hardcore, trying to scare everyone into replacing their custom gaming PC with the just announced, not yet released, but already outdated XBox One/PS4....


Jun 03 2013, 01:02 AM

You can't tell computer enthusiasts how they are going to build their own PC. You are going to achieve NOTHING by telling us that we cannot do what we love most; By telling us that our future computers are going to be as useful as a tablet when it comes to swapping out parts? Come on. You are just pissing people off. Leave the customization alone and stop trying to ruin it for people because you want to make more money.


Jun 03 2013, 08:40 PM

I am writing this via a computer I built. Yes, I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment. That said, it was about as complicated and required about as much knowledge as connecting my home theatre. I took about a 10th of the time I needed to add a hard drive to the first "professional" grade computer I bought in about 1986, which came with two floppies only. Does anyone recall when you listened to a "radio set" or watched a "TV set?" These terms reflected a reality long gone by the time I could afford either, when hobbyists assembled a "set" of components to listen to AM radio. I just lost a friend who grew up in the 30's and 40's. He told me his teen ambition was to understand the superheterodyne radio circuit, which he finally did. I don't really remember what the term means. Face reality. Soon you will have to be beyond geeky to want to build a computer.


Jun 03 2013, 10:58 PM

This is a completely lame idea. Obviously intel is trying to come up with something new since their chips are ridiculously over priced. Not everyone in the digital age is content with the prefab 300 e-machines from walmart to do their gaming on. If they think this is going to be their money maker, i hope they have good bankruptcy lawyers.


Jun 07 2013, 03:18 AM

Seeing the replies reminds me of why i got out of custom building and using Windows. This is a story which began with Windows 95, with Plug & Play. Nearly everything that used to be a discrete component has been integrated from the BIOS chip, to soundcards, graphic cards, modem, ethernet, storage control, etc. ITX, AMD/ATI, Intel Macs, tablets, Raspberry Pi are all part of scene 5 - the denoument of the Plug & Play era. You are here. It's not sad that the cpu, motherboard, ram, graphics, etc. will all be sold as an embedded board, hopefully with power supply and storage included. The same way it's not sad the icebox and water cooler became integrated with the fridge, or the trailer and car became the camper. Tears from the camper enthusiast crowd were shed. We got over it.


Jun 09 2013, 01:06 AM

anyone remember the old pizza box sun computers? sparc 1+? monitor external, disc drive external,kb/ms external,cd/dvd rom external. now I see articles about how to have your videocard external, i rememeber my first computer the motherboard was just a set of 50 pins standing up(SWTP 6800), cpu on 1 card, memore on another, and io was a small credit card that used 30 pins talk about pain.


Jun 10 2013, 06:48 PM

yeah, an all in one, non-upgradable, non-repairable, idiot box? sounds a lot like a tablet, or an iPhone to me. and I'll not be in the market for one of those POS anytime soon.


Jun 11 2013, 09:11 PM

This argument that people don't want customizable systems and that sort of thinking is "dinosaur like" is nonsense. We already have prebuilt systems for those who don't want to build their own. You can get those from Dell, HP, or whatever. It is not necessary to have processor presoldered to motherboards to achieve that. There is still a large market for custom built powerful systems however. Just dumping that because other people like slug like tablets is beyond stupid. The real reason Intel is doing this is not "because people don't want upgradeable systems", it is because they want to compete in the small form market (ultrabooks and tablets), and for that you need chips of this sort.


Jun 19 2013, 02:24 PM

Back to the future! For those of us old enough to remember, this is how the P.C. world started. I was so excited when the systems were changed so the cpu and/or the math co-processor could be added or upgraded, by the end user. For companies, this will allow the maintenance staff to be trimmed back and money saved (on that end), thus, allowing more to be budgeted toward the more expensive work units. The same way it was in the beginning.


Jun 21 2013, 06:48 PM

All AMD needs to do is keep supporting the socket approach and Intel will be forced to at least offer some normally pinned CPUs. The article assume Intel is all powerful, but it is not.


Jun 22 2013, 02:27 AM

It's like my guns, from my cold dead hands shall they pry my socketed upgradeable CPU and component set, hobbyists aren't the only group that will resist this move, all the boutique Gaming PC companies will oppose a mass migration to this pre-configured nightmare they speak of and so will many in business that need flexibility and upgradeability in servers and work stations.

Matt Roy

Jun 25 2013, 10:16 PM

This is like being in the 1930's and saying the Taxi cab companies will replace your car. It's a pipe dream for weirdos and fascists. Although it could happen on the OEM side; as long as there are PC builders to sell parts to, there will be a manufacturer to tend to them. Use a bit of logic and you can that this article is about as reliable as a fortune telling carnie.

Jim Harris

Jul 03 2013, 04:47 PM

BGA is the future? Right. Because that worked (works?) so well. Let's take a look at Xbox units for example. Aside from the CD and occassional power supply problems all of the other problems with these units stem from BGA technology. Many of the CPUs and/or GPUs are not properly soldered to the mainboard from the factory and "pop" some of their contacts causing system failures. I've yet to see a LGA unit fail because one or more of the chip pins lost contact. The demise of the "shadetree" mechnic is quite premature. I know of several "gearheads" who still repair and modifiy their vehicles without the assitiance of "half million dollar support mechanisms". If that statement were true 80% or more repair shops would have to close their doors. Then again I'm living in the real world, building and/or repairing PCs, laptops, Xboxes, Playstations, cell phones, cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc... What do I know?

F.R. Newbrough

Jul 05 2013, 09:38 PM

Sure some will go the integrated route but its nothing new. There has always been plenty of devices with integrated CPUs not to mention plenty of low end or specialized pcs that were fully integrated. It is true that integrated devices like tablets and smart phones and the mobility market has added new segments to the computing market and those segments will grow but there will continue to be a place for a more powerful sever oriented pc in homes and of course the highest end gaming and tools will always be hungry for more. What Intel and other companies that try to force consumers into a dead end future where home computing is concerned is that what they may find that consumers as long as they have a choice even if they never utilize it like having the option of upgradability and flexibility. I'd never buy an intel unit again they pushed hard in this direction and that is the hill upon which this "revolution" will die or at least find a bit of sobering up. It isn't as if this will happen by government fiat. Intel does have competition and that isn't going to change anytime soon.


Jul 10 2013, 06:56 PM

This is what I like to call sensationalist journalism, you are making wild claims based on crumbs of facts, and mountains of assumptions. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about if you even mention the thought of upgrading the APU (There are no such things as CPU's in iPads) in an iPad. You sir are doing a disservice to your readers by making them panic for a future that isn't coming. Things are changing, and quickly, but the future you are portraying isn't going to exist, atleast not for a VERY long time, and thats only when desktops no longer exist. Which has been predicted for how long now? They are still going strong, and still very important to the world.

Neil Roy

Jul 15 2013, 06:23 PM

They already exist. They're called CONSOLES and I can't stand them! I have ALWAYS built my own computer systems, upgraded it individually as needed and will continue to do so. It's cheaper. There is no way I can afford to buy a completely new system every few years and it is incredibly wasteful when all I need to do is replace one component! This won't sell well and will fail. If the comments here don't convince you of that, than you're not too terribly bright.


Jul 20 2013, 11:00 PM

"All Hail the Intel Gods and grovel at iApple's feet in perfect harmony and revel in the prominent honor the fortunate ignorant masses you are, to have Intelligent beings such as ourselves tell you what to purchase with your life-credits!" - Thats what I got from the article, they're trying to scare us into becoming Dependent on the "Tablets" and "Consoles" that are only good for one or two things. The computer I built 2 years ago for $1200, is still a decent computer, and I still haven't had the Urge from the Apple gods to buy a "Smart" phone, Pad, tablet, etc. Not saying they're bad, I'm just not a "Media bias worshiper" who buys everything they tell me to without doing homework on the technology.


Jul 23 2013, 01:37 PM

There have always been systems that were all-in-one and not upgradeable, iPad isn't the latest such design. Your point about cars being the same way is completely bogus. Watch any Saturday car TV show and you'll see modern electronics and engines being put in 80 year old cars. Also, those same electronics and cars are being CUSTOMIZED from internal engine parts to custom tuning for the electronics. True, the PC market is declining. I dread that as parts will become more expensive and rare but I doubt the market will every die. Too many enthusiasts and customizers who will never go away.


Jul 23 2013, 05:05 PM

Ah, yes. Now, let me run out and blip down to the grocery store in my flying car! As in anything, the market will determine the direction the computing industry will take. As has been said, tablet PC's are glorified readers with touch screens that just outright suck! I love to watch folks drag the tablets out to their kids sporting events, plays, etc., and try to capture usable video while blinding everyone else in the room. To the author: I guess we'll see but, I'd go get get a reality upgrade 1st if I were you.

Bob Malooga

Jul 23 2013, 08:06 PM

I hope you're using plenty of sunscreen way up there in your ivory tower, 'cause us folks on the ground can't even see you any more. Shade tree mechanics don't exist? Au contraire, my out of touch friend, they are in fact proliferating. Just because you've move out of those neighborhoods does not mean they don't exist. Hey, we still have poor people, too! Just thought you should know


Jul 25 2013, 08:25 PM

I believe the author should go back and check his sources. This information is over a year old, and it only applies to OEM equipment. Buy a dell, you get the Intel motherboard with the CPU soldered into place - forget the upgrade, or choice of motherboard. However, and this is a big one - Intel specifically stated they are *NOT* abandoning the enthusiast market, and will have retail CPUs still available for placement into third-party socketed motherboards. A bit of research saves you from writing, and posting, an article that might as well have been penned under the nom de plume Chicken Little.


Jul 28 2013, 10:02 PM

all in ones are what most laptops are today. lose one component and the whole thing is junk. make sense they can sell more units. sound like good business to me. BS


Jul 31 2013, 10:01 PM

AS ONE OF THOSE DO IT MYSELF SYSTEM BUILDING on component at a time i think the idea of ONE sustem on HARDWIRED component is entirely WRONG JUSTONE company IS UNLIKELY ABLE to kill this multi components system. if INTEL made it that way people will go wioth the next AVAILABLE cpu SYSTEM that supoort the old way of system building. the VENDORS will supoort what-ever thne customer is looking to BUY. THIS IS A CUSTOMER driven world


Jul 31 2013, 10:28 PM

All you who take the position that there is a conspiracy afoot are absolutely correct. The conspiracy is the desire on the part of manufacturers to sell the most powerful product at the lowest possible price. It costs far less to integrate as many functions as possible into the fewest number of chips. It costs far less to make BGA chips than leaded chips. It costs far less to attach BGA chips to the board than it does leaded chips. Things are only going to get more complex, and cheaper, from here. AMD, Intel, and all the rest of the semi manufacturers don't give a tinker's dam about your hobby. You are not their market. Deal with it.


Aug 03 2013, 12:30 AM

I can easily say that i will never buy a motherboard with an integrated CPU. F*** That.

Mark Moeller

Aug 05 2013, 07:10 PM

I will point out where the USA has Gone with all products concerning all things prodcuced and manufactured or otherwise, all things considered each piece of tech with change depending on where you live in the world but More and more everyone wants something custom we will continue down this road to the nth degree with all things; thus PC's will most definatley continue to be the trend and one of the highest profitting industries in the world it will be just that much more customizable. This isn't theory just deductions from where I have been seeing things going as well hasn't anyone here heard of Graphine?


Aug 06 2013, 10:39 PM

Every few years someone decries the end of the PC is near!! This has been stated over and over since the 386s. Ok so what if Intel gives up support? Do you think this happens in a vacuum? You don't think someone is going to come along and fill in the gap? At one time Intel's Chipsets were gear more toward the business end of things. Intel only pushed the gaming side of things in the last 10 years or so.


Aug 07 2013, 05:12 AM

Obituary for the Tech writer that is as clueless about the P C Business .... heavy emphasis on Business. I recall a guy that wrote for Motor Trend Claiming the End of maintain your own car on the weekend. garage floors you could eat off of and he even went so fare as to say that used car lots would all but disappear. As he was Calling for the Death of the auto-parts store. "Pre-Pep-Boys franchising" and before Dynacorn and Yearone got their start. as he Declared to All The Hillbilly's with the grease under their nails AKA Auto Enthusiasts, Gearheads they would need to find some other past- time, like chasing their cousins more since cars would soon be above the ability of a yokle to phathom. The Ink was still leaching from the issue when a Japanese Bank came in and bought that Magazine, a few others and a Movie Studio. oh yeah they fired Mr. Short sited and a whole bunch of his pals. the Automotive Aftermarket started to Grow Again, as it has Done ... Several times since then. oh buy the way I own the tools to program my cars computers, the tools to change out virtually any part that might need attending to I also have a forge . as well as all the tooling needed to replant that troublesome Xbox processor that had my 10 year old crying for a week over the red ring of Death caused by the Do Not Touch Design philosophy that your article seems to think Is The Future. changing a socket Could never Change human Nature. Get out a little Breath some air... This industry as , was the Automobile Born of The Tinkering Mind. News of My Death is Greatly Overstated. Peace2u...


Aug 07 2013, 05:20 AM

as my comment awaits moderation another thought springs to mind. how is it in the land of the free and the home of the brave. we have come to a point that the founding principles of the country are optional and in some circles Unwelcome. come speak your mind but ..... IN moderation. Peace2u


Aug 07 2013, 06:09 AM

some how when i copied that over I lost a whole revision to the first para... graph.. I meant to say a tech writers career, as clueless about the car as he is about the P.C. Business heavy Emphasis on Business.. whoops there it is... I guess I would not make it as a writer without a few proof readers to filter my head through. Peace2u


Aug 07 2013, 06:19 AM

packard bell same exact story.. integrated chip.... Tim Allen Found a way to put a Turbo charger on it..... ..........I m sure his I pad has a V8 in it.

Darth Knutsack

Aug 07 2013, 08:29 PM

Moderation because so many a-holes either use forums to spam or decide it's their personal soapbox for crying that their rights are being infringed on. Your first amendment rights give you the right to speak, mine give me the right to tell you shut up.

Your Mom

Aug 08 2013, 05:04 AM

What a bunch of nonsensical drivel. I can't even begin to emphasize what a load of crap this "article" was, and what an incredible waste of time it was to read it. The only thing that's going to disappear from the market will be clueless "writers" who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Predictions on the "death of the PC" are about as old as end-of-the-world predictions. And you know what they all have in common? They're all spewed forth by bullsh*t artists. BGA is nothing new. Intel first used it back in 1999 on the Celeron version of the Pentium III. In other words, it's ANCIENT technology, and neither Intel nor AMD ever saw a need to force it upon everyone. The fact that this "writer" seems to think BGA is some new-found technological breakthrough is all the evidence I needed to quickly deem this story as a load of crap from yet another misinformed self-described technology "expert".


Aug 09 2013, 05:47 PM

Maybe this is Intel's bid to get more motherboard market share, Asus et al. don't really want to be reselling Intel CPUs I would imagine (chipsets are diversified now, with NVidia and others, Intel doesn't have the lock that they did up to 10 years ago). With my personal upgrade cycle of about 3 years, I usually upgrade CPU and MoBo together anyway, but having the many options for form factor isn't something I'll readily give up. I'm with some of the other commenters, AMD would suddenly look like a very attractive alternative.

Red Abuk

Aug 11 2013, 07:06 PM

There is the possibility or even likelihood that other capable manufactures will step in to fill the void if current players don't respect the desires of consumers. It could spell the end for " dinosaur" corporations as opposed to the amazing capability, flexibility and consumer freedom offered by todays desktop pc industry. IMHO.


Aug 12 2013, 03:13 PM

Informative but speculative. Every one... simmah down.

Jack Perry

Aug 13 2013, 04:18 PM

Are you just trying for clicks here?


Aug 14 2013, 05:44 AM

As a computer and software engineer, I believe that this is not the way to go and that CPU companies will go bust. The average consumer does not want another subscription to services that cost $300 to $1000 bucks per year. This is the same thing as centralized computing using the cloud. This idea amounts to a monopoly of resources because it removes freedom of choice for the consumer. Computers and services would have to be fairly low-priced for such a scheme to work effectively. If this is where computers are headed, the computer industry is retrogressing but with advances in technology and is not a good combination. Looks like the powers-that-be want too much of your control and privacy rights. If you want to do any computing, you would have to do it by cloud so that anyone can see what you are doing, e.g. monitoring. I disagree with this new computing technology altogether because it tries to make a cloud computing technology centralized. We don't need any proprietary systems that control what we do. I remember dealing with this problem back in the early '90s when the 486 CPUs were soldered to their motherboards. What we need is a universal CPU and bus standard that can be used to receive any compatible CPUs. So, we need a CPU design standard that allows programming by anyone that wants to design their own CPUs; like a high-speed programmable logic array designed then built from the latest combinations of semi-conductor circuits. This would create a revolution for computing.


Aug 16 2013, 07:15 PM

Sure, the mobile/portable CPUs are getting much more powerful and in 4 years they will out-perform the power of our desktop CPUs -- TODAY'S desktop CPUs. If Intel/AMD and other CPU manufacturers halt their desktop CPU research then for sure, mobile CPUs will be more powerful, but in no way can you match the power of a desktop PC. I spent $300 and I have a super heavy duty workstation that works for me. In fact, it's not even high end. I'd have to fork out at least $500 cash and if not have a locked in data plan to be able to have a phone that has any power. Yes, people are using phones/tablets more, but they are using it in conjunction with their PCs. And for those that aren't, that is their choice.


Aug 22 2013, 09:18 PM

Time to invest into AMD! as soon as intel will do that crap, amd market is gonna skyrocket ;)


Aug 23 2013, 01:36 AM

I thought the Xbox one was going to kill the PC or was it the first playstation, now tablets and soldered on processors? This guy shouldn't even be writing tech articles if he doesn't know what he is talking about. Soldered processors are for tablets, laptops and grandparent PC's. If Intel goes BGA only they will lose most of their market share to AMD instantly. DIY computer geeks are the driving force of computer growth and innovation. The average web surfing door knob that is content with doing the majority of there computer time on a tablet is a disease to computer technology. When the software catches up to our current systems we will upgrade enmass and it won't be to BGA systems. Nvidia's Tegra processors are stackable so instead of having 2-4 in a tablet you can have 16-32 or more in a desktop. Microsoft has already start making window support for it. Android already work on them. I am sure nvidia will be have to fill the vacuum left by Intel's lost sales.


Aug 24 2013, 10:11 PM

While they are at it, why not cut down the CPU offering to just three. Top end, some where in the middle and the lowest ultra cheap end. That would be the only real way to make this soldered only nonsense work.


Aug 29 2013, 07:59 PM

There's huge profit in upgrade CPU's and components. If Intel goes BGA it won't be long before they will go back to LGA. I can see ultra compact, notebooks, and tablets continuing to not be upgradable, as these devices need to stay compact. But the desktop will have to always remain upgradable, because the consumers will demand it, and it's a large and growing community,


Sep 01 2013, 11:02 PM

I have CPU and Maximum PC magazine articles from around 2004 that predicted the demise of component user upgradable PC's by 2010. CPU magazine should have predicted their own demise before the home PC. My computer I Built around 2010 is still pretty current 'cause I slowly update it. I bought a 300 dollar case 'cause I knew it was staying -a Raven with the mobo turned 90degrees so the wires out the back now come out the top. A $300 BFG 1200 watt PSU -A gygabyte mobo that at the time used usb 3 when no hardware supported it, SATA3 when not much used it and PCIe with 16x 3 pci slots. I've added 7 terra bytes worth of hard drives, a fast 120 GB ssd drive and went from 6 GB ram to 24GB triple channel ram OCD.Also added 3d nvidia glasses along with a 60" dlp led 3d tv/monitor and now added a 3d led projector 120" dual set up. A new 7.1 creative soundcard with headunit replaced onboard sound. The LQ 2.8 gh OCd core2duo (8threads) will be updated to the last fastest socket that fits and the 280gtx BFG will get the*80gtx card when i have $550 to blow. Thats a lot of money on parts i could not afford to buy it all at once and if i had to buy all at once in a tablet model PC would wait much longer to buy a new one and buy a much less powerful PC. This author I guarantee is an apple user . He's pissed he has to buy a new overpriced underpowered mac cause its not upgradable and he's trying to push this model on the PC crowd because its unfair we PC users have choices.


Sep 08 2013, 07:16 AM

Ya, ya and I remember (8 years ago) when Intel said that we will be telling computers what to do with the need of keyboards and mouse. They would be obsolete with there future computers in the very near future. So what happened? Why don't I hear more about this? A lot of jabber but no one really knows, only the market does. All I know computers are getting smaller and more powerful, nothing more. Sure the computer builders will stop building so much but there will always be the need! The need for speed above stock! If we want it then the market will be there, it's as simple as that.


Sep 08 2013, 07:18 AM

Sorry I ment with out he need of keyboards and mouse and they didn't mean touch screen.


Sep 09 2013, 02:18 AM

what if someone sells a BGA chip soldered onto a socket moduel? and then motherboard manufacturers could sell sockets for that module, kind of bypass the whole thing, unless intel tries to stop it


Sep 09 2013, 03:45 AM

Maybe someone has mentioned this somewhere in the comments but why wouldn't it just be the same situation we have with graphics cards, more or less? The GPU manufacturers release new chip families which are then built around both OE and 3rd party hardware and sold to consumers. So you have a situation where there is a plethora of graphics card combinations offered by a dozen or so card makers using chips developed by only two companies... sound familiar? Leaving us with no need to replace GPUs, tons of options i.e. GPU levels GTX650, 660, 670 etc, along with clock speed, RAM, card size, cooling etc..and you have all the options you could ever need when looking for a graphics card. If the above article actually happens to be a rough look into the future of CPU production why wouldn't it follow a model similar to the graphics card market? Whatever happens, I don't think our relatively small yet powerful clique of tech heads will have a lack of choice, so long as we demand it!


Sep 10 2013, 03:06 PM

Most of you guys are thinking from a purely technical stream of taught, and sadly that's not how massive companies think. Cost of production and market share is there bottom line. Just look at all the in fighting between Intel and Nvida and you see that they would rather cut each other out of the market but are forced to collaborate with one another because Intel has not been able to build a really good graphics chip YET. This gives you an idea of whats going to happen with more integrated systems. Intel will make more money if it has more market share it will do that by cutting out the middle men and 3rd party hardware options (Apple's claim to fame and fortune) thus reducing end consumers options as well as reducing competition. if you can bottle up a market why not do it, who cares if the hardware will not be as abundant or customizable, after all that only benefits the end consumer, not the manufacturer. They don't really care if it cost slightly more to build a PC, they make more money if it dose. If Intel can cut out competition it will. Intel will kill some really innovative ideas and companies with better solutions/products out of the market but it will make twice the profit. There is no way Intel will think of licenses its CPU integration designs to 3rd party companies unless they pay allot of money so only big companies can afford to pay to play so to speak and there will be allot of restrictions with what you can do with that license (like making socket modules). We should all keep in mind this is not right around the corner, but it is what will be happening over the next 5 to 10 years. We should also keep in mind that this push by Intel is really to keep its current profit margin. because as more consumers favor mobile devices over PC's or Laptops the market will shrink, and since Intel has not really broken into the mobile market yet, it will try to sure up the shrinking market it dose have in high end PC processors. It will be int


Sep 11 2013, 11:03 PM

BGA chips... yeah ask HP about their AMD 6000 series laptops. That should have been a class action lawsuit. Put the VGA chip too close to the processor and the BGA goes all to hell. Thanks for the expensive paperweight. Hobbyists will always find a way to do what they do. Just ask the originals like Steve Wozniak...

Dominique Perrier

Sep 15 2013, 04:57 AM

Although I agree that there is not much chance the modular design in PC will be replaced soon by the motherboard with everything soldered in, that's the way it is heading. Just remember when standard I/O where on a daughterboard. Look for a motherboard without USB ports now and you will find it very hard to come by! By design, integrated stuff is faster and cost less. Or try to build a computer from transistors instead of using integrated circuits! That said, if the integrated circuit have high speed data bus, it may cost less to just add a newer motherboard to a backbone as they do with blade server. Must be a kind of hybrid. I just think things will continue to change, but whatever works and sell will take the place of the current paradigm. Just learn to thinker and find new ways of using what is available instead of clinging to what you know.


Sep 16 2013, 01:55 PM

AMD is not going BGA, people who do not like it, can always get AMD, I will be buying AMD to avoid BGA

Murray B

Sep 18 2013, 06:41 PM

Upgrading CPUs was never very cost effective in my experience. Even if CPU performance is doubled that only gives maybe a 20% increase, if that, in overall speed. The new CPU would work fine but the memory, I/O, and disk were still just as slow as before. Putting a Pentium Overdrive processor in a 486 machine made it a fast 486 and not Pentium class. Pentium class machines were almost twice as fast for the same clock. It is better to unplug the power cord and attach it to a new machine.

Anonymous P

Sep 27 2013, 03:27 AM

If Intel does this, AMD's shares are going to skyrocket. It's a damn good thing I LIKE AMD. I hope all of you do too, because Intel CPUs are overpriced, and with this it's just going to get a lot worse.

William Cohen

Sep 28 2013, 06:04 AM

I remember back when the Mobile Intel Pentium III was out, which was designed as a BGA chip. Many laptops had the CPU soldered directly to the motherboard, but some had the BGA CPU soldered to a separate chip with pins, thus making the CPU socketed. Manufacturers did this to reduce warranty costs (when motherboards failed) and to limit the number of parts which they had to keep in stock.


Oct 01 2013, 01:21 PM

If BGA is the wave of the future,then the future belongs to lawyers and lawsuits, Dell and Nvidia are prime examples of this

343 Grenadier

Oct 04 2013, 08:05 PM

Good day. Compared to many of the posters here, I am a very recent arrival to PC building. I couldn't even tell you much about how it was in the early 2000s as I began assembling computers roughly around '09-'10. That said, some things are still plainly apparent to me. Nobody has yet bothered to specifically mention that the CPU and motherboard being separate isn't just important for having an upgrade path. Intel has largely done away with that already by limiting the upgrade path to at most two generations of CPUs per socket, though AMD seems to be keeping the art alive, for what little good that does them given the lack of power their CPUs have for PC gamers. (An artificial constraint imposed by Intel's dominance of the market by making multithreading very unpopular amongst game devs, but I digress.) But there are other things to consider. Let's say you just want to make a bitcoin mining rig with powerful GPUs in CrossfireX? You hardly need much of anything approaching a powerful CPU for that alone, so many a budget-minded miner uses an inexpensive CPU in a pricier multi-GPU capable mainboard. This is no longer an option with this proposed system. Works the other way around, too. Someone may want the powerful processing capabilities of, say, a Core i7 4770 but is too cash-strapped to go for some 140+ Z87 motherboard and isn't worried about overclocking, and so opts for an H81 board for 50ish USD instead since he's not building a watercooled triple-GPU behemoth rig with the CPU OCed to 5+ GHz. He just wants a CPU with a lot of punch to speed up normal usage and/or heavily-threaded tasks, maybe in a micro-ATX form factor because he packs up and moves around a lot.

343 Grenadier

Oct 04 2013, 08:08 PM

(Cont.) There is also the case of the person who needs a computer immediately, but cannot afford the time/money to assemble a high-grade PC from the ideal assortment of parts, and uses a stopgap component for perhaps a few months until they can get ahold of the desired component, something a few of the people I've helped -and I myself- have had to do at times. This also allows you to build multiple computers and interchange components between them at need. And, as others here have pointed out, repairs are much more convenient. You merely need to replace a single component rather than send the entire board to a repair service and go for weeks or even months without your computer. Given the horrendous customer service endemic to much of the PC parts community, this is simply an unacceptable state of affairs. (Ex.: If your mail service is too rough with a defective motherboard (Intel) or CPU (AMD), they may damage the pins, resulting in the voiding of the warranty of the shipped component, and even though it isn't your fault, legally, it is. A "one-size-fits-all" approach completely destroys this, and even if they have models tailored to a wide variety of situations, I am certain they will not be sold at reasonable prices.

343 Grenadier

Oct 04 2013, 08:09 PM

(Cont.) I have personally built a handful of computers after careful research on what parts offered the best performance for my own requirements, and I have, as a favor, done this research for many, many others in order to help them construct decent computers tailor-made to fit their budgets and their needs. Every one of them has been more than satisfied with the results. I can say with absolute certainty that the flexibility this abominable idea removes will most certainly be missed. It will come at the expense of the consumer. I cannot speak for the commercial viability of this concept but I hope the consumer will know enough to tell Intel to take a hike if it comes to pass, as it will be to the consumer's detriment if not the manufacturer's. I espouse a similar view towards cloud computing, for basically the same reasons. To Jeremy: I DO think the idea of a universal socket and set of chipsets that is periodically updated but maintains backwards-compatibility with older standards in a more limited form, as is seen with USB ports, would be a good alternative approach. You would only need to worry about one type of motherboard socket when purchasing the beating breast of your computer, the part that dictates almost everything else that goes in, rather than having to choose to lock yourself out of one half of the market. But likely not one Intel will permit given their notorious greed. Fitting, that Apple uses their components.


Oct 06 2013, 08:52 PM

Someone (Dang) said it best already. Following the majority, of which know nothing about computers, nor need anything worthwhile. I hope certain other component manufacturers keep this ridiculous attempt at tyranny from happening.


Nov 30 2013, 10:59 PM

T'would seem at first view that perhaps our friend Hal hath an axe to grind. The market has long relied on enthusiast buying to model big box sales approaches.