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Intel Hardware

Sandy Bridge-E CPUs Too Hot For Intel? 244

MrSeb writes "Intel's next consumer CPUs — the Sandy Bridge-E — will ship without a heatsink and fan. These new chips, which will feature up to 15MB of L3 cache and integrated four-channel DDR3 and 32x PCI 3.0 controllers will run very hot — potentially up to 180W TDP. Is Intel unable to cool these extreme chips, or is there another reason for the shift? Curiously, Intel will still offer 'sold separately' own-brand cooling solutions for the new chips — so is this merely Intel trying to cut costs for enthusiasts who don't need a stock cooler — or is this the beginnings of Intel branching out into the cooling business?"
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Sandy Bridge-E CPUs Too Hot For Intel?

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  • Warranty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:21AM (#37093454)

    It is so they can blame customers if the chip dies of overheating.
    If they offer OEM solutions, and the chip overheats, they need to replace it under warranty, guess these chips may have a high chance of dying due to heat

  • by Ross R. Smith ( 2225686 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:30AM (#37093560)
    This is just Intel trying to increase their profit margins even more.
    Most custom builders/modders don't even contemplate using the Intel stock cooler so it just sits there doing nothing.

    If most, if not all, of the intended market will use an aftermarket air cooler/watercooling loop is there really any reason to include the stock heatsink/fan?

    The 'Extreme' chips are very high end and generally not intended for Joe Public to just pick up - more of an enthusiast chip, Intel is just cashing in on this by not shipping with the stock cooling but keeping the price the same. It's also been said on the grapevine that Intel intend on releasing some of their own cooling solutions in the not so distant future.
  • Cost Cutting? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlakLanner ( 743891 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:33AM (#37093604)

    It is possible that this is a cost cutting measure. I think that a lot of people who buy standalone CPUs use third party cooling solutions. It would save Intel a lot of money in materials and packaging if they don't ship the heatsinks and fans that people just throw away anyways.

  • Re:Warranty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alex Zepeda ( 10955 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:33AM (#37093606)

    Two words: installation error.

  • by algorimancer ( 2266264 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:35AM (#37093640)
    Stock coolers are a waste -- there are much nicer (quieter) alternatives available, and at minimal expense. I never use the stock coolers. It's long seemed a bit silly to me that you couldn't buy the CPU without getting the cooler along with it, so I'm pleased that they're leaving the choice to those building the systems.
  • Re:Warranty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:46AM (#37093784)

    Is this really such a big deal? I've used third-party high end cooling solutions for over a decade now and I always buy tray-only CPUs. I buy AMD and I can usually find the processor I want without the heatsink and fan. Are things that different from Intel?

    I say it's a great change. How many stock fans and heatsinks will be saved from gathering dust because of this? How much waste will this reduce? Plus it will put $10-15 in someone's pocket (probably Intel's).

  • Re:Warranty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @09:55AM (#37093886)
    Intel heatsinks NEVER DID come attached to the CPU. It was ALWAYS on the system builder to install the heatsink, even on Intel motherboards. The real issue is that 1) Intel makes really crappy heatsinks, and 2) including a decent (copper and/or heatpipe) cooler would move them out of the performance price-point they've been occupying for many years now.
  • Re:Warranty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by discord5 ( 798235 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @10:03AM (#37093978)

    And how is that "blame" issue negated by selling the chips and coolers separately?

    First and foremost : the distributor/consumer now has to install the cooling device, which shifts the problem to "Did you install the cooler correctly? Because we don't cover improper assembly". That give enough leverage for them to claim that the problem lies with the installer in most cases. While this is less of an issue for the average consumer who will buy a computer from retail, it is for the retailers and distributors (think : Dell). If chips start overheating, clearly Dell isn't correctly installing the cooling fans and heatsinks.

    Second : hobbyists still assemble their own gear and will most likely buy different cooling gear than Intel has to offer. There's been a wide variety in products for years now, going from Ultra-cool-but-noisy, to Cool-but-silent, to Ultra-Cool-And-Silent-But-Expensive. Again, these are most likely not the kind of people who will improperly their CPU, but accidents do happen and it's nice to be able to not have to refund that (relatively) rather expensive part.

    A measure like this has two purposes :

    • Reduce costs in warranty claims
    • Increase revenue by selling a separate cooling part which most distributors will buy from Intel anyway. You don't think the chips will be cheaper without the cooler now, do you?

    If Intel sells a cooler claiming to be sufficient to cool their CPU and it destroys the CPU in the process, are they not to blame?

    You see, the cooler is quite up to spec. Are you sure you are installing it properly? Have you left enough ventilation area in your design? Did you apply the cooling paste properly? Did you actually read the instructions that came with the cooler? How about the disclaimer that came with the cooler?

    I'm sure they've done the math and tests and have minimized the failure rate to a number that won't generate too much of a fuss. But a few thousand failing chips here and there all soon add up to real money, even in a pool millions. Finding a way to save on that saves on costs.

    Anyway, that's the angle I see... I've been known to be wrong on economics before. I've always found it wise to steer clear of the latest and greatest models of CPUs until there's enough complaints on the internet to know what you're getting into.

    On a sidenote, I've been having this feeling for a while now that the CPU arms race has slowed down quite considerably. Oh yes, there's new features every now and then and the number of cores goes up, but for the home consumer the upgrade pressure is far less than a decade ago. Even for modern videogames the CPU demands have stayed pretty much the same in the last couple of years, but I guess the GPU race makes up for that in that respect.

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @10:15AM (#37094098)

    Is Intel unable to cool these extreme chips?

    Er... let me think...

    Curiously, Intel will still offer 'sold separately' own-brand cooling solutions for the new chips

    So, I'm guessing "yes".

    Seriously. Maybe, just maybe they did some checking and found that a large proportion of their bundled coolers were ending up in the spare parts bin. Its not exactly surprising that the same people who buy the "extreme" chips would also go in for high bling-to-noise ratio heatsinks and water cooling systems. Not everything is a money-grabbing conspiracy.

  • Not needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sniper98G ( 1078397 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @10:19AM (#37094148)

    The sandy bridge "Extreme" is aimed at the ultra high end enthusiast market. If you are building one of these rigs you are not going to use the stock cooler. I think this is a good move, it will keep Intel's useless stock coolers from sitting in my closet for a couple of years.

  • Re:Warranty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @01:43PM (#37096646)

    AMD's gotten my money every time because their midrange chips beat the pants off Intel's performance, dollar for dollar, every time. If I spend $2-300 on my chip, I get more performance from the AMD.

    As for why they'd do this, though, I'd think it's simple. Why sell the customer a $200 chip with a fan included, when you can ship a lot more chips in smaller packaging, still sell for $200, and get the customer to pay $30 for the formerly "stock" heatsink on top of it?

  • Pricing lies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday August 15, 2011 @01:54PM (#37096728)

    This just allows them to make more profit when they sell you the chip.

    The price you pay for a CPU isn't going down, its going up, and you're just being too ignorant to notice.

    You'll still pay the same price for a the CPU as you did when it came with a fan, except now you'll also have to buy the fan seperately.

    This is exactly like the whole 'new CPUs must use this slotted connection due to some mystical magical BS we're making up about interference that is clearly a lie for multiple reasons'.

    Intel is once again bending you over and not using lube, but you're too busy looking for a technical reason that you're missing the obvious and real reason. Money. This isn't the first or even second time they've done something like this.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll