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Intel partners reveal plans for new processor socket designs

In a memo copied to DailyTech, Intel partners recently discussed details regarding Intel's next-generation socket designs.

Intel's next-generation processor family, codenamed Nehalem, integrates the memory controller directly onto the processor die -- a feature already standard on AMD's K8 and K10 core architecture. 

Where companies traditionally increase pin count for new processor designs, Intel's LGA715 (also dubbed Socket H) will actually decrease the amount of pins from 775 to 715.  Since the memory controller will reside on the processor, Nehalem processors no longer need the additional signaling from the processor to the Northbridge. 

Guidance released to Japanese PC Watch claims this new desktop socket will actually utilize a 1160-pin LGA1160 design instead. Intel officials would not reveal exact pin count details.

LGA1366, on the other hand, will greatly increase the pin-count for cross-CPU communication via Intel's QuickPath Interface.  AMD increased its pin-count for server chipsets when it migrated from PGA940 to LGA1207 design last year.

Server Nehalem processors will use Registered DDR3 memory; desktop processors will utilize the unregistered variant.   While not electrically compatible with DDR2, DDR3 still uses 240 pins for signally thus eliminating the need to increase pins on account of the system memory.

As one Intel engineer who agreed to speak on conditions of anonymity put it, "We try to reduce the pin counts as much as possible to eliminate cross talk and other interference." He adds, "But we do try to leave some pins for overhead and future use."

Nehalem-based CPUs will use Intel's second-generation land grid array (LGA) design.  The use of "pins" in context of the land grid array is a bit of a misnomer as the processor interfaces with the socket design via pads rather than pins.  This LGA design is recognized by both AMD and Intel for its ability to increase "pin" density and durability.  

Corporate roadmaps from Tyan and Supermicro both detail LGA1366 designs for sampling by the end of Q2 2008.  Desktop LGA715 variants, on the other hand, won't see mass production until the second half of 2008, with a target launch of Q4 2008.

Intel guidance slates LGA1366 Tylersburg chipsets for a Q3 2008 launch.  Desktop Havendale and Lynnfield chipsets using the LGA715 design are on the record for Q4 2008.

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RE: obselete?
By Screwballl on 11/29/2007 11:11:57 AM , Rating: 2
I find that buying during the first big price drop allows for a good upgrade time. 775 started during the pentium 4 days so is a bit outdated even now. The DDR3 and new chipsets just lengthened its life another year or two. I myself built one in March with a E6600, X1950GT (PCIe) and P965 chipset but I tend to build a new one every 2-2 1/2 years. This allows the current computer to still be usable and able to run much of the current software for around 4 years. I am a gamer on a budget but I know my previous build (AthlonXP 3000+, 1GB DDR, 9600XT AGP8X) is still very capable for many games, just not the latest ones. Even this E6600 can be strained with many brand new games like Crysis and COD4 (but this is not a problem as I refuse to step into WindowsMe ver2 aka Vista).
As technology progresses, I find it is best to build a new system with close to top of the line (depending on your budget) every 18-24 months. In my case the E6600 system is used for games (under XP) and every day usage (under Fedora Core 8 x64), and I use my XP3000+ system for my work from home job (XP). The wife is happy with her P4 1.8GHz with 512MB PC800 RDRAM (a previous build).
It all depends on your personal usage as to when you should build or buy. If your AthlonXP system is still running great and have no need for DirectX 10 or high end games/software then there should be no need to upgrade. Even if you choose, you can still get a X1950GT AGP video card to extend the life of the system another year.

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