News Report: Intel Alder Lake-S CPUs to Drop Into New, Taller Socket

bit_user

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You may be replacing your motherboard again in two generations.
This should surprise exactly no one.

In spite of all the recent turmoil in their product stack, one thing Intel has been incredibly consistent about is changing their socket every two generations of desktop CPUs (i.e. with generation defined by the "thousands" digits of their numbering scheme).

Alder Lake-S chips are expected to feature a whole new design, with rumors pointing to a big.Little architecture.
This makes no sense, for desktop CPUs (much less workstation or server, for that matter). I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Deicidium369

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Note even a little bit surprised about the new socket - I never upgrade a system I build - I hold it for no more than 2 years and build a whole new system - new case, new power supply, mother board CPU, RAM, GPU and Windows license. So I don't really care about what socket it is.

Not sure about the big little thing - i cannot see a single use case for that config - and how would Windows even handle that? And what application would benefit from that?
 
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spongiemaster

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The even more bizarre part is the 6 core version that has no little cores. So, the little cores can't be there to enable a low power mode. It could be that Golden Cove cores are massive, and better suited for 7nm. Intel would want to avoid getting stuck holding back architectures again if something goes wrong with 7nm so this is sort of a stop gap by releasing an 8 core version on 10nm++(+++++?).

I would expect 8 cores to still be the sweet spot for mainstream software in 2021 and 22. So Intel would have 8 massive cores to dominate the mainstream software benchmarks and then tack on 8 smaller cores to improve highly multi threaded workloads and combat AMD's 16 core CPU's. I can't see AMD releasing anything higher than 16 cores on the mainstream platforms in the next couple of years, it just wouldn't make any sense from a software perspective.

Intel’s next generation of microarchitecture will be ‘significantly bigger’ than Sunny Cove
 
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watzupken

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I am actually unsure if this will land in the retail desktop space. Now, we see big little configs on phones with the intent of reducing power under light load. On a desktop space, the power requirement is not such a big problem (since their current 9th and 10th gen processors are consuming a lot of power), so less reason for people to want to have this sort of big little CPU configuration. On the laptop space, perhaps this may be a way to squeeze more battery life, but at the expense of die space that could have been used to increase the high performance core count.
 
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bit_user

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Not sure about the big little thing - i cannot see a single use case for that config - and how would Windows even handle that? And what application would benefit from that?
IMO, it's clearly aimed at the laptop market. Lakefield already stands as an example, and I believe it's even used in a current MS Surface model.

Thread scheduling between big.little cores isn't exactly trivial, but it's also not rocket science. Windows will need to add support for it, if it's not there already.
 

bit_user

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So Intel would have 8 massive cores to dominate the mainstream software benchmarks and then tack on 8 smaller cores to improve highly multi threaded workloads and combat AMD's 16 core CPU's.
That's an interesting concept. It lets them call their CPU a 16-core, even though it'd be 8.8 and it'd probably give them the equivalent about about 13 big cores' worth of overall throughput, for the all-important Cinebench-type benchmarks.

I was just thinking about the little cores in terms of power-savings, not as an area-efficient way to add a little more horsepower.

I can't see AMD releasing anything higher than 16 cores on the mainstream platforms in the next couple of years, it just wouldn't make any sense from a software perspective.
Yeah, I feel like that well is running dry. AMD needs to get more creative about how to compete in the next few iterations.

Thanks for the link. I do wonder how much of the supposed IPC improvements are actually accounted for by simply widening AVX out to 512, though. Otherwise, these massive gains are seriously stretching my credulity.
 

travsb1984

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Note even a little bit surprised about the new socket - I never upgrade a system I build - I hold it for no more than 2 years and build a whole new system - new case, new power supply, mother board CPU, RAM, GPU and Windows license. So I don't really care about what socket it is.

Not sure about the big little thing - i cannot see a single use case for that config - and how would Windows even handle that? And what application would benefit from that?
Okay fair enough, I've actually never upgraded a CPU without a MB either now that I think about it even though I always liked the idea... Do you sell you whole computer after you buy a new one? It makes no sense to me to replace a power supply, case, or windows(?) unless you just like new things. I'm sporting the same case and power supply I've had for almost 8 years and I've been rockin the same windows retail key for almost 12 years since Microsoft constantly has free upgrade programs. One time OEM keys are a ripoff if you're upgrading every two years.
 

bit_user

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It makes no sense to me to replace a power supply, case, or windows(?) unless you just like new things. I'm sporting the same case and power supply I've had for almost 8 years
I'm no expert on the subject, but I believe PSUs do wear out.

I'd probably replace it after total usage hours exceeds the warranty term. Maybe sooner, if frequently subjected to high load, or later if load and temps are kept low.

The risk isn't simply that the PSU dies, but rather that a bad PSU can damage other parts or result in system instability.
 

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