Desktop processors will “disappear” and here’s why

It is no secret that the Intel Core 13 will be the company’s latest chips built in one piece, given that, starting with the fourteenth generation, baptized Meteor Lake, they will make the leap to what we call disaggregated chips, where the functionality of a single chip separates into several different ones. We have explained the reasons for this by active and passive, however, we could find that this will lead to the demise of desktop processorsalthough not all, if some models.

The great advantage of the so-called Tiles or Chiplets, depending on a brand they receive one name or another, is that they allow you to recycle pieces from one design to another, instead of making a chip completely from scratch. This means that by changing a single part you can have two different designs for two different markets and reduce manufacturing costs. For example, things like integrated graphics or peripheral management can be used from laptop to desktop design quickly and easily.

Intel will unify its desktop and laptop processors

The maxim in processor design in recent years is colloquially called performance per watt. However, many of you will have noticed that there are a series of fixed powers in most designs on the market, if we discard the most advanced ones that exceed 100 W and with overclocking capabilities. In general these are:

  • 9 W and 15 W of power for ultra-thin computers for office applications.
  • 28 W for so-called ultra-thin gaming.
  • 35 W and 45 W for high-end laptops.
  • 65 W for typical desktop PCs.

If we discard the first type, the rest usually actually use the same chip. Obviously low different sockets depending on whether we are talking about laptop and desktop. However, the so-called Intel Core H and Intel Core P are the same, only with different clock speeds and consumption. The fact is that, during the monolithic era of Intel, the design of both versions of a chip was different, however, with the arrival of Meteor Lake as disaggregated CPU we will find that will be able to reuse certain components from one design to another without having to make two chips from scratch.

This means that they can use the same chipset for both markets. which translates into “disappearance” of desktop processors. Of course, in a laptop the processor is usually soldered through the BGA and in the desktop it is connected to an LGA socket, but the changes could lead to the disappearance of the socket in the low and mid-range desktops. That is, that of the CPUs at 65 W, which does not mean that we will not see conventional configurations with their interchangeable processor socket.

An involution or a necessary step?

The other day we told you that gaming towers are going to disappear, many of you misunderstood it with the disappearance of the market to create your own gaming tower. Rather, we were referring to the sale of towers already built as standard, which have been gradually declining in sales in recent years and that is why it is more than likely that these systems will end up disappearing in favor of systems based on laptop hardware. gaming, which will be good enough for those functions.

However, the fact of placing them in desktop mode does not mean that we see their limited hardware. Having the ability to fit higher power supplies and better cooling systems will work in your favor. Simply, we will see variable TDP processorswhich depending on the industrial design of the computer will use a greater or lesser power.

Regardless of processor brand, things like PCI Express interface for NVMe SSDs and dedicated graphics card are no longer chipset dependent. In laptops, one of the big differences is that we have just the right component and peripheral interfaces. If there is a unification, we may still see motherboards with expansion ports and ports, but not differences between chipsets, but we would see a universal design, where the difference between the desktop model and the laptop would be the use of the socket and slots expansion in the first.

Intel has already “secretly” experimented with the idea

Actually, from the moment the different chips of the processor will go on a common interposer, the chip that serves as the basis for intercommunicating the chips. Intel and AMD can create two different ones, one intended to be placed in a socket and the other to be soldered on a laptop board. In principle, they would be two different products, but really the entire manufacturing line would be the same, except for the final part.

Finally, and with a view to high-end processors, in the design it would only be necessary to change the chip that integrates the cores and caches for another with greater capacity. Which is what Intel seems to be doing with Arrow Lake, which will be aimed at the high-end enthusiast, ie the i7 and i9. While Meteor Lake could be the architecture of the i5 and below. In any case, it all boils down to the elimination of duplication by the largest processor manufacturer in history. All this will lead to the “disappearance” of desktop “processors”, at least in the most modest ranges in terms of performance.

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