Another Socket

Intel apparently has a new socket in the works. It’s a 775-pinner, a move similiar to AMD going from 462-pin to 740 for Hammer.

Why the extra pins?

At this point, one can only presume it is due to the what the far-future motherboards (code named “Grantsdale”) will have than the near-future mobos won’t.

Basically, two big changes:

  • DDR-II memory
  • PCI Express slots

    The Next Generation Mobo

    These motherboards will complete the transition of motherboard generations from the SDRAM, ATA and PCI standards of the old generation to the DDR-II, SATA and PCI Express/PCI-X generation.

    Is It Worth Waiting For?

    Depends on which category you fall into.


    If you’re under 1GHz and you’re hurting, no. The improvement isn’t worth another year of hurt. As I said yesterday, if this is a low-maintenance Joe system, these improvements aren’t going to matter.

    Slow But Swell

    If you’re under 1GHz and not hurting, you might as well wait through the transitional boards.

    I’d Rather Not Wait A Year

    OK. What you should focus on instead is when this year you should buy. If you want Intel, June will probably be a good time to buy a Springfield/Canterwood. The initial high prices will have dropped, and you’ll get the maximum usage at a fairly reasonable price before the next generation comes along. You should also be able to plug in at least a low-end Prescott (or Celeron successor) eventually for an upgrade.

    Socket A Forever!

    You’re not part of this conversation. You’re really looking for a cheap upgrade to hold you a while, and looking to do it soon. Go ahead.

    Waiting For Hammer

    Oddly enough, this is the group that should be most interested in this. This is your “F— you, AMD” fallback should Hammer prove unsatisfactory to you. This will be the equipment that will offer enough of a performance advantage over socket A to reasonably justify a platform change.

    Not saying you should defect or probably will defect at all. Just saying that if things turn out badly for the Green Team and you’ve had enough, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than this.

    What About Hammer Boards?

    Can any of you tell me what a Hammer board in 2004 is going to look like? I can’t. All I’ll say is that they had better be better than the first-generation Clawhammer boards that haven’t seen the light of day yet if they expect to compete against this next year.

    Email Ed

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