Rumors surfaced late last year that Intel was planning to ditch socketed processors once Broadwell, the 14-nanometer successor to Haswell, is released. The chip giant ultimately denied the rumor, claiming they would offer socket CPUs for the foreseeable future. That of course did little to quell rumors as we are now hearing that at least some Broadwell chips will indeed be soldered directly to motherboards.
According to the Tech Report, a trusted source in the motherboard industry told them that some Broadwell chips will be permanently mated to the motherboards they ship with. In fact, some low-end Broadwell pieces may not come in socketed versions at all. The source did note that Intel isn’t totally ditching socketed processors and that they are still on the roadmap until at least 2016.
The idea of a motherboard and processor coming in a single package may not thrill many enthusiasts but we are told that it will give larger motherboard makers an advantage over their smaller rivals. High volume customers will be able to cherry pick processors for higher-end CPUs which means they could ultimately offer pre-overclocked combos or at least guarantee a certain amount of headroom with regards to clock speed.
The RMA process could be a bit trickier, especially for board makers. Despite the fact that Intel would eventually reimburse them for faulty processors, manufacturers would be on the hook for making the repairs. This again would be easier for larger companies as they would likely already have the equipment necessary to remove and resolder a new processor in place.