Intel: Socket 1366 will live for a long time
In the upper price region Intel will stick to the socket 1366 for quite some time. PC Games Hardware learned this in an interview during the Cebit.
The forthcoming 32 nanometer Gulftown processors with six respectively 12 threads will be running on today's socket 1366 boards with X58 chipset, too, said Intel spokespersons Martin Strobel and Olaf Höhne when talking to PC Games Hardware at the Cebit. A BIOS update will possibly be required. Thus Intel will offer three desktop sockets at the same time, but in the long run the socket 775 will phase out - then there will still be two parallel sockets.
Dropping prices for the socket 1366 infrastructure are not to be expected soon though. The motherboards need the six layer design because of the Triple Channel support and QPI link - this makes them more expensive in production (motherboards usually have four layers only). Additionally there are the chipset prices of the X58, which have been intended for the upper market section.
Noticeably cheaper systems would make new middle-class models - which are expected soon - possible. The 32 nanometer process is also said to be working so well already that Intel would be able to start mass production of middle-class processors. A "waterfall effect”, as common for the introduction of new product arrays (High-end at first then middle-class) is not expected for Westmere chips.
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