According to a report on SemiAccurate, it is said that the upcoming Broadwell will not come in an LGA package, so no removable CPU. The news was leaked from Japan PC Watch.
So what is the impact ? Most end users might not feel much of a difference as most users still buy a processor + motherboard bundle anyway. The difference is that you can’t really choose which processor to pair with your board as they come soldered on.
Enthusiast who are always changing processors as fast as changing underwear will find themselves shut off in a way. Web sites that leaks information will find themselves shut off too as it would be difficult for some sources to ‘smuggle’ Engineering board with solder processors out.
One of the nightmares will be inventory control. Distributors will have to stock up massive amount of stocks (board with CPU integrated).
The worst nightmware for mainboard manufacturers is that they might be forced out of the competition in a way. The reason is simple, Intel might be having their own brand boards with CPU integrated and will compete head to head with their products. This might also force such manufactuers to divert their attention to the other processor maker, AMD which still remains attractive in terms of price/performance.
Actually, we already expected this day to come. First, the industry consolidated and killed almost all the chipset makers. The chipset makers ended up making South bridges and on board DVB tuners. Now they probably have to give up making south bridges as SATA 6Gbps or USB3 controllers are all integrated into the single chipset.
Next was the integration of higher quality graphics into the chipset, with that you don’t even need an external graphics card unless you are crazy over 3D games.
Everyone out there is having their own game plan. Look at Apple, and Microsoft now making their own hardware and software. If they can increase their market share and profit margin, do you think they will care about whether mainboard manufacturers in Taiwan will survive ?
In fact we spoke to a number of people about this matter. We somewhat agree that Intel might do that low to mid range notebooks and motherboards. They willleave the higher end boards with socketed designs. By doing so, they might not be pushing customers away to AMD. In fact, AMD Hudson E350 are all socketed designs but their Trinity series (FM2) and 990FX boards which are considered the higher end are still socket design.
If Intel goes for soldered design and flood the market with thier own brand boards, the OEM manufacturers will stand to gain for more orders. 3rd party manufacturers like ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, ECS, Biostar, ASRock might have serious problems if they can’t get hold of processors (for soldering onto their boards). If our prediction is right, the higher end boards might still adopt socketed design but how many percent of their revenue of the motherboard manufacturers comes from the expensive boards?
Secondly, the other mid range board makers will still continue to compete with socketed designs. They will also deliver some high end boards but that might not sell that well either. They might end up selling more AMD. Perhaps a third group might evolve making ARM based boards one day.
So at the end of the day, motherboard manufacturers will be here to stay. It is just that how will they will channel their resources into socket or non socketed boards.