You may have heard about the rumors in the last few weeks that Intel would completely abandon socketed CPUs after Haswell’s release next year. We actually didn’t pay much attention to it, but it really seemed to gain traction over the days.
The basic rumor started with a leaked roadmap on this Japanese site, which speculated that beginning with Broadwell, mainstream CPUs will only be available in BGA packaging. In other words, it would have to be soldered to a motherboard.
I feel silly even writing about this, but as is the case with the internet, speculation, hyperbole, and overreaction ensued. The most common comment was along the likes of “AMD better be around in 2014”, but many were concerned of the demise of desktop PCs, along with companies like Gigabyte, Asus, and retailers like Newegg.
My assumption was that because so little information is out there – and none of it is solid – that this might refer to particular OEM channel products. PC builders like Dell, HP, and the likes will be jumping at the chance to build smaller, cheaper systems, and they don’t need socketed CPUs. That does not mean that Intel will be abandoning the retail channel completely though.
Intel rarely ever comments on unannounced products, let along rumors, which makes today’s comments pretty interesting. Dan Snyder had this to say, when approached by Maximum PC:
“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.”
“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.”
And that’s that. As expected, there is not much to the story, as far as enthusiasts are concerned. PC integrators and laptop makers may have something to look forward to, but not at our expense.
For their part, AMD made the following comment the other day. This is perhaps what prompted Intel to break silence:
“AMD has a long history of supporting the DIY and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs and APUs that are compatible with a wide range of motherboard products from our partners. That will continue through 2013 and 2014 with the ‘Kaveri’ APU and FX CPU lines.”
“We have no plans at this time to move to BGA only packaging and look forward to continuing to support this critical segment of the market.”
So there you have it. Relax, internet!