It's been recently rumored that Intel is taking steps towards a socket-less future, perhaps sooner than you think. The rumor originates from a Japanese website, which reported that Broadwell, the 14nm successor to next year's Haswell, would not come in an LGA package. Such a scenario would effectively neuter the enthusiast DIY market, and AMD wants no part of the castration process, at least not in the near future.
Out of all the X79 motherboard pictures we've seen in recent weeks -- and we've seen a whole bunch of them -- not a single one has been representative of a micro-ATX mainboard. ASRock just changed that by releasing photos and information of its upcoming X79 Extreme4-M, a pint-sized board built around Intel's socket LGA2011 for Sandy Bridge-E.
Gigabyte has no intention of being caught short handed once AMD's Bulldozer platform rolls into town. Getting a jump on the new CPUs, Gigabyte just added three more AM3+ boards to its lineup, all of which sport AMD's AM3+ socket. These include the rather plain-named GA-990FXA-UD3, GA-990FXA-D3, and GA-990XA-UD3.
Let's forget for a moment that developers have yet to really tap into the potential of multi-core processing. Now that you've tossed the wet blanket aside, close your eyes and picture not one, but TWO Intel hexacore processors running in tandem. Such a setup would equate to 12 physical cores and 24 CPU threads of computing power, and one badass system.
We won't even talk about the dent this kind of configuration would put on your wallet (no wet blankets, remember?), but will mention that if you want to build one, it's entirely possible. EVGA this week unveiled its Classified SR-2 motherboard with -- drum roll, please -- dual 1366 sockets. And yes, it supports 6-core CPUs.
"We have literally created a new form factor to fit all the amazing things on one board," EVGA said. "Whether you are an extreme gamer, overclocker, power user, workstation suer, server admin, folder/cruncher, or just a PC enthusiast, this is the ultimate motherboard. This board will encode your movies, render your images, or even load your games faster than you ever thought possible."
While you're going all out, the SR-2 will accommodate 4-way SLI, up to 48GB of memory, USB 3.0, and SATA 6Gbps drives. Other features include 8-phase PWM, 8-channel audio, eSATA, a pair of GbE ports, and more.
With all the talk of Core i7, Core i5, Intel's upcoming six-core Gulftown, and a plethora of swank X58- and P55-based mobos bombarding the market place, are you starting to feel left out puttering along on your LGA775 build? Well, you should be -- this is Maximum PC, after all. But outside of our niche of power users, LGA775 still reigns supreme, and by no small margin.
As Fudzilla reports it, LGA775 processors are the current king of the sales hill, accounting for a whopping 77 percent of sales. The dated socket won't be able to hold onto that pace throughout 2010, but by the end of the year, Intel expects LGA775 to still account for half of all processor sales.
So who's buying into socket 1366 and building high-end Core i7 foundations? Not many. Currently the least popular Intel socket of the bunch, higher end Core i7 chips only account for a measly 1 percent of sales.
Socket LGA1156, on the other hand, claims 18 percent of all Intel shipments and its market share is expect to grow to 44 percent by the end of 2010. And of course there's the ever-popular Atom series, which surprisingly only makes up for 5 percent of all Intel CPUs so far in this first quarter.