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AMD Hardware

AMD Bulldozer Will Bring Socket Shift To PCs 219

An anonymous reader writes "One of the most dreaded hurdles on the PC upgrade path is the CPU socket. If socket design changes then you'll almost certainly need a new motherboard when you do upgrade. This is an area where AMD has historically been much better than Intel. Intel tends to change sockets with each generation of CPU — currently there are three types out there, LGA 1155 for Sandy Bridge, LGA 1156 for first generation core and LGA 1366 for the performance Core i7 processors. AMD on the other hand has always tried to keep sockets across generations. When it releases its new Bulldozer core desktop processors later this year AMD is having to make a socket shift from the current AM3 socket to a new one called AM3+. This article discusses the change, issues like backwards compatibility and what the industry is doing to prepare for the socket shift."
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AMD Bulldozer Will Bring Socket Shift To PCs

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  • Is it necessary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <> on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:10PM (#35712694)
    Perhaps you can only maintain backward compatibility so far.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:11PM (#35712710)

    I've built a lot of computers and have never once reused a motherboard. MB cost is trivial and usually comes with improvements--such as a faster FSB/more memory slots, etc. So even if my old MB could accept my new CPU, I would probably still buy one. And since I stopped gaming, I upgrade so rarely now that my old MB almost never supports the new CPU anyway.

    Are there really people out there who upgrade their CPU's so often that this is even an issue?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:11PM (#35712712) Homepage

    Nobody really replaces CPUs. As of a few years ago, 80% of desktop machines were never opened during their lifetime. That's probably higher now, and higher still for laptops.

  • by stonedcat ( 80201 ) <hikaricore [at]> on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:20PM (#35712850) Homepage

    In this economy why would you replace instead of upgrading when it's possible?

  • A fucking waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:27PM (#35712958)

    Agree. Who really cares anyways? Computers are so affordable that buying a whole new set instead of just upgrading only the CPU is normal fare.

    It's a goddamn waste, though. It's sickening to throw out all that electronics, metal, and otherwise pretty good hardware just because someone wants to upgrade or because a component died.

    At least with computers we have some choice. The other day, a pump went out on my pressure washer. Pump: $249. New pressure washer: $259 - WTF! So, I either pay out the ass for a new pump, or chuck out a perfectly good engine, frame, hose, nozzle, etc ...

    OR Norelco electric shaver. New: $40. Replacement blades: $32. WTF!!!

    I tell ya, our consumerist disposable society is really getting out of fucking hand.

    And I'll refrain from the pollution and filling landfills with our disposable products.

    I've stopped buying that shit - No more consumer electronics because it is THE worst offender.

  • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:35PM (#35713056)
    and this article has nothing to do with people how buy Dell and HP computers. You would know this if you read the article and have ever worked on a Dell.
  • No kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday April 04, 2011 @04:38PM (#35713078)

    I think it is more done out of a "Here's something we offer that Intel doesn't," and maybe an attempt to appeal to the budget oriented crowd that tend to buy AMD.

    Realistically, you probably want to upgrade your board when you upgrade your CPU. There are all kinds of new technologies that come along, not just faster CPUs.

    For example I just upgraded my system from a Q9550 to an i7-2600k. Now of course I had to upgrade the board just because the socket changed, but I would have wanted to anyhow. Off the top of my head, here's the new things my new board gives me:

    1) DDR3 RAM. It has doubled the measured memory speed in my system. That matters a lot for a faster CPU, I'd not get nearly so much benefit stuck on DDR2.

    2) USB 3. I currently have no devices that use it, but the industry seems real interested and I think it is safe to assume I'll be getting some soon.

    3) SATA 3. Again, no big deal right now but I can see getting an SSD in a year or two and it would be useful then.

    4) UEFI. Much more capable than an old BIOS. My particular board has a full command line built in you can boot to for doing diags and so on.

    The board upgrade was well worth it, particularly the memory. No sense in staying on slower RAM when getting a high end CPU. That just hamstrings things.

    Really, it is likely a waste of money to upgrade your CPU more than once every 2-4 years and in that time enough will change that you'll really want a new board anyhow.

    For that matter, you could end up needing one anyhow, even if the socket was the same. A new architecture can require a new chipset and new voltage regulators which would need a new mobo, even if the socket happened to be the same.

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with using the same socket, but I don't much care if it changes either.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday April 04, 2011 @05:02PM (#35713418)

    AMD's socket's might carry the same numbers, but the sockets don't always work all that readily. Often seems to be the fault of the motherboard maker, but I've had plenty instances where I bought a new chip only to find out that my mobo, though having a socket that is support by the chip, doesn't support chips of that power draw, or made at a certainly transistor size, or just past a certain point in manufacturing.

    In the end, it's less hassle to just replace the board when you replace the chip either way. In my groggy old age (only 29, but I feel pretty old in computer terms :)) I just don't care about overclocking and whatnot anymore, and if you just want a barebones "plug it in and work at stock settings" board you can usually get one for under $50.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes