AMD will remain committed to user-upgradeable CPUs

By on December 5, 2012, 11:30 AM

With rumors floating around that Intel might abandon LGA processor packages starting with Broadwell in 2014, AMD has chimed in to reassure enthusiasts that they remain committed to user-upgradeable chips. According to a company spokesperson, AMD has a long history of supporting the do-it-yourself and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs and APUs that are compatible with a wide range of motherboards, and that will continue through 2013 and 2014 with the Kaveri APU and FX CPU lines.

AMD says it understands "Intel’s enthusiasm for the approach" as they’ve been using BGA-packaged processors themselves for everything from ultrathin notebooks to all-in-one desktops, to embedded applications and tablets. However, when it comes to the desktop market, the company says they understand what matters to PC enthusiasts and will continue to bring better value and a better experience.

It should be noted that Intel has not formally stated that it has plans to remove LGA products from its roadmap. That said, it hasn’t come forward to deny the rumors either, so AMD’s statement is reassuring to anyone who cares about upgradeability and might score points with system builders as well.

Of course, AMD hasn’t been able to produce anything to match Intel’s enthusiast offerings for a while, and given its recent struggles it’s hard to predict what their processor lineup will look like in a couple of years.

A switch to BGA packaging would mean processors will have to be soldered to motherboards. This presents some advantages when it comes to smaller form factors and lower power requirements. But on the other hand it would eliminate users’ ability to upgrade their CPU without switching motherboards, while potentially adding a  layer of complexity for motherboard makers and system builders, who would need to produce and stock on different motherboard models with various features for each microprocessor.




User Comments: 18

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TechGamer TechGamer said:

Unfortunatly on the good news there always must be the bad side

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

That's nice and all, but if AMD still can't keep up with the performance of Intel on the more high end market... I'm not sure if it's gonna help them.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So this means that in the future you'll still be able to upgrade an AMD CPU, from one that won't outperform an Intel chip, to a better one that won't either? Oh man that's progress! Remember, with AMD, "the obsolescence goes in, before the heat spreader goes on"....

(I don't know what makes me say these things. I know they're irresponsible, mean spirited, and controversial, but that only seems to make me want to do it more)....:p

I'm going to join Tumblr now. Maybe my account will get hacked, and I'll receive some new and fresh ideas for creative outrage!

psycros psycros said:

So this means that in the future you'll still be able to upgrade an AMD CPU, from one that won't outperform an Intel chip, to a better one that won't either? Oh man that's progress! Remember, with AMD, "the obsolescence goes in, before the heat spreader goes on"....

(I don't know what makes me say these things. I know they're irresponsible, mean spirited, and controversial, but that only seems to make me want to do it more)....:p

I'm going to join Tumblr now. Maybe my account will get hacked, and I'll receive some new and fresh ideas for creative outrage!

Now, now..you're forgetting that not every enthusiast has bottomless pockets. AMD still delivers the best bang for the buck in most scenarios. But I do appreciate your need to express your inner curmudgeon, esp. with the world seemingly going insane all around us. Some days, though, I wake up and think, "boy, I just don't have the energy to rage on the forums today." Life is hard, you know?

Nick D Nick D said:

I do hope AMD drops prices. Ever since bulldozer, it seems like they are pricing to go against the i5. However the i5 has better power draw and similar performance. If they wish to win back the lower/midrange markets again, they have to be able to be cheaper than Intel.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As a system builder, I can fully understand why the market is shifting away from socket designs. The news of this shift was a shocker to me at first but after I thought about it, it all kind of made sense to me. The market is shifting more toward hand-held devices and CPU's are more than powerful enough to offer a decent user experience. It's easy to see the socket's end-of-life when thinking of System-on-Chip design, which I believe will come to desktop computing.

The only thing I hate about this shift is the fact that if you want a high end CPU, you would probably be forced to also get a high end motherboard. If you want to save money on a cheaper motherboard, chances are it will come with a low end CPU. Since they are going this this far with integration they might as well dictate how much memory the system will have by integrating it too.

Jbucko said:

They are taking the fun out of building a desktop. espcially making frankinstien computers just for fun.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

I will jump from the Intel bandwagon in a heartbeat.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

They are taking the fun out of building a desktop. espcially making frankinstien computers just for fun.
At the present rate of adoption, by 2014 there won't be such a thing as a desktop anyway. You'll have to go to the Smithsonian to see what one looked like.

Everyone will be walking around with their little tablet or smartphone, and an antenna sticking out of their a**.

That way you won't be able to "hold it wrong", and you'll never be able to evade GPS tracking.

veLa veLa said:

I recently built an AMD FX-8320 vishera system and it's definitely fast enough. I've always been an AMD fan, even without the performance crown they are speedy and well priced

ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

AMD is always affordable, it performs very well and surpasses all of the intense processing today's software. I can't see the reason for all this fuzz between the intel/AMD products. I own systems of both companies and seriously if I close my eyes and ask what is the fastest I'll have to guess. Intel's move to BGA it will be a wrong one if it won't leave any space for the enthousiasts (a small portion of socketed products that would inevitably charged higher).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

.....[ ]....I'll have to guess. Intel's move to BGA it will be a wrong one if it won't leave any space for the enthousiasts (a small portion of socketed products that would inevitably charged higher).
Sadly the desktop market is shrinking as more and more of the great unwashed masses are led to believe the toys being marketed are actually computers. With having less share in the market, comes having less clout.

If you can float ad campaigns with the inane buzz phrase, "if you don't have an iPhone, then you don't have an iPhone", there isn't much hope for those of us who would like to curl up with a nice, upgradeable, desktop getting our way.

For example, I was so impressed with the TV commercial showing how you could use an iPad as a TV remote control, I almost rushed out and bought one. Mercifully, before that happened, the drugs wore off...

ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

Even the best marketing/ strategy devisions of the most respected companies make mistakes, and it's interesting,the least, when it happens. If this move will actually happen and time show that it was a wrong one, AMD will be who's going to gain. I put myself in Intel's posiition and I would use BGA for this portion of the market that I actually can use it. Anyway I don't think that Intel meant that BGA is going to be aplied horizontally to all of its products. Desktops will always be around simply because power still needs space. We still don't have commercial solutions of graphene and Quantum processors. So, calm down

Zoltan Head said:

For example, I was so impressed with the TV commercial showing how you could use an iPad as a TV remote control, I almost rushed out and bought one. Mercifully, before that happened, the drugs wore off...

LMiAO

ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

For example, I was so impressed with the TV commercial showing how you could use an iPad as a TV remote control, I almost rushed out and bought one. Mercifully, before that happened, the drugs wore off...

LMiAO

Watch out! Pull the plug every time this ad appears of the TV!

ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

Something happened to my original post. It wrote, "Watch out! Pull out the plug when this ad appears on the TV!"

ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

High end market is a small portion of the market and most non enthusiasts weight their desicion to buy not in performance charts but on a friend's opinion, on a seller's opinion in retail tech shop, or just on what they heard of. Marketing is much more important at this point for AMD than performance (as it management at the higher levels). Of course performance is crucial but not right now (in a year maybe). If only they used best what they already have...

Row1 said:

First there were mainframes and you could get access by terminal.

then there were desktop units. You had to get those repaired by someone else since parts were not stocked anywhere for the avg consumer.

then there were desktop component-assembled units which allowed you to swap out a non-functioning part for a new working part, or to upgrade, as technology was advancing by leaps and bounds, and we discovered the various ways touse computers.

Then, terminals were supposed to come back, with the "user desktop" idea.

that has its place, but has not gone over totally.

so, in businesses academia and industry, evyone has their component-based computer, except for the graphic artists and musicians who have the fully-asssembled units (Macs).

Now, everyone is going to terminals - when the app and data are on the web, the tablet or intelliphone is just a terminal.

so, you need to go to an expert to get repaired.

At least these current gizmos are so cheap they are disposable.

so - who wil continue using powerful desk-based computers?

in business and academia, they want you to use a fully-composed unit that can be leased for 3 good years.

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