Report: Intel Haswell Causing Concern Among Mobo Makers

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jimmysmitty

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There are other features that can be used. Honestly, anything on the CPU becomes more reliable and one of the things that goes first on mobos is phase regulators as they run pretty hot.

I don't think it will kill of mobo makers but it sure will help make them last a bit longer.
 

k1wi

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I'm sure they will still find a way to market boards based on 1000+1000+2 phase power regulators.
 

belardo

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For a computer, there is always a need for a place for connectors, expansion and more...

Hmmm... the traditional mobo may become something for workstations and servers. With more and more people going to tablets (simply add a wireless keyboard) or notebooks, the need for mobo's reduces.

I'm about to build a new PC for myself. I have a choice of two Gigabyte Z77 boards in which one is ATX and the other MATX. Same features for the most part... a few more slots on the bigger board and more USB 3.0 ports... But I like the flexibility of a smaller board to put into a smaller case. Both the same size... I can live with 4 USB 3.0 ports compared to 8 of them.
 

Shin-san

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[citation][nom]halcyon[/nom]As long as we have Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte, and Intel we should be just fine, eh?[/citation]
Though Intel I think used to be Foxconn.
 

CaedenV

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1) Yes, some mobo makers will be killed off, but for reasons other than SoC style integration: we all saw this coming as PCs last longer and longer, and the role of a traditional 'home PC' is being taken over by game consoles, and dock able tablets. SoC style integration will just hasten this progression.

2) Want to make your mobo stand out? How about some more interesting UEFI setups! UEFI was promised to have capabilities well beyond normal system control, including the ability to run a stripped down linux, complete with widgets and web browsing capabilities. But instead of this we still have UEFIs being designed that are set up for 4:3 monitors and a limited color pallet. At the very least we should be able to select (or auto-detect) the aspect ratio of a monitor, and have a bit of color other than black and blue.

3) How about some integration on the UEFI end of things? When I turn my computer on it must POST, then run the Intel RAID Rom, and then must POST a 2nd time before finally entering the boot cycle. What if we could run/control the Intel RAID Rom within UEFI? That way it just has to POST, and boot. My boot time on my machine is only 5-6sec, but the POST/RAID/POST time is an additional 7-8 seconds. I am not going to give up my RAID, but I will pay a premium for a faster POST time.

4) Focus on extra features. I am not just talking about a feature chip that has a few extra USB or SATA ports on it (those those are a plus), but much simpler stuff. How about more fan headers? My system has 7 fans (2 CPU, 5 case), and I would love to see a board that could control them accurately and easily on a system level and remove the need for a separate fan controller. Built in 5GHz Wireless n/ac would be a step in the right direction as well.

5) Better audio packages are always a plus, and not just the onboard audio chip; add things like xFi MB2 software which lets users have a premium audio feature experience without the need for a dedicated card. Really push digital output. Better support for 192KHz is a plus as well.

6) Make boards that make sense! There is a market for motherboards that have limited, but modern connectivity. We do not need 2-3 video connectors, 6 audio connectors, and a mess of USB ports on everything. Pair it down and give us some options that simply have HDMI, optical, integrated wireless, 4-8 USB ports, and perhaps an eSATA. It would make for a beautiful and clean HTPC layout with everything that you need, and nothing that you don't.
We do not need line and mic inputs anymore, as most products are USB, and most software requiring an input requires digital microphones now. We do not need 2 digital options, plus VGA; a single digital connector would fill most people's needs, and while occasionally useful I think it is safe to start dropping VGA now. We also do not need PS/2 connectors on everything anymore, and they make USB adapters for those who still use a PS/2 keyboard or mouse.
Sure, there are some people who would appreciate these legacy ports so please continue offering them on some boards, but they are in the minority these days and should not really be on every mainstream board made.
 

soccerdocks

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[citation][nom]halcyon[/nom]As long as we have Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte, and Intel we should be just fine, eh?[/citation]
MSI makes pretty good motherboards too.
 

belardo

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Reduction in size and complexity = more speed, more reliable and of course... tiny. Today's $100 cellphones (okay on contract) are more powerful than the computer desktops from 2000 (CPU wise and graphic wise).

Some examples of OLDER tech:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/photos/Commodore_128_Motherboard_s1.jpg
(1985 computer: Its a keyboard-computer, so its twice as deep as your typical keyboard. The port next to the #3 is the size of a VGA port. Its a 2mhz/128K 16 color system that can do 640x200. It was $350 and didn't include any drives, modem, networking, etc. Today, you can run this on emulation easily... or find it on a $14 joystick.

Here is a version with an internal PSU and a *gasp* floppy drive ($500): http://www.the-liberator.net/site-files/retro-games/hardware/Commodore-128D/Commodore-128D-Rev-5/Commodore-128D-005-Motherboard.JPG

This was state of the art for late 1985: The Amiga 1000 ($1200) with 7mhz CPU / 256K RAM / 880K floppy and it was $2000 cheaper than the B&W Mac. No HD or optical drives, no modem or network included:
http://www.the-liberator.net/site-files/retro-games/hardware/Commodore-Amiga-A1000/Commodore-Amiga-A1000-Rev-A/Commodore-Amiga-1000-or-A1000-012-Motherboard.JPG
(The daughter board is removed, it's 1/3rd the size of the board you are viewing and sits on top)

(with cover on) http://www.the-liberator.net/site-files/retro-games/hardware/Commodore-Amiga-A1000/Commodore-Amiga-A1000-Rev-A/Commodore-Amiga-1000-or-A1000-002.JPG
(The keyboard slides under the computer... very cool... well, for back then.
 

mchawk

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Well, a little bit off topic, but sometimes this integration isn't a good thing even in the enterprise world...

Take Dell's PowerEdge R720, for instance. To have its 7 PCIe slots available, you must populate both processor sockets. If you drop a single Xeon E5-26 on this baby, you get only 3 PCIe.

Why? No Dell's fault, its just an architecture limitation from Intel, since its "PCIe controller" is inside the CPU (that makes 40 lanes available per proc)
 

belardo

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CaedenV
We do not need line and mic inputs anymore, as most products are USB, and most software requiring an input requires digital microphones now. We do not need 2 digital options, plus VGA; a single digital connector would fill most people's needs, and while occasionally useful I think it is safe to start dropping VGA now. We also do not need PS/2 connectors on everything anymore, and they make USB adapters for those who still use a PS/2 keyboard or mouse.
1st - eSATA kind of blows... the connector is garbage... and at least on older intel systems - performance is sub-par for some reason.

I find that software audio inputs tend to have different problems than simply plugging in a standard mic or headphones. On more than one computer, I've had USB microphones ($50~100) end up not working correctly because of DRIVER issues! Plug in a generic $5~10 10 year old microphone and by golly, it works.

You are VERY wrong on Video output! There are still cheap or older monitors that use VGA connectors (ugh - I know) but modern LCDs do pretty good with conversions. For multi-monitor support for clients - using the HDMI and DVI ports are REQUIRED! I can use an HDMIDVI adapter. Some monitors have both inputs. It's all good. Many Dell/HP/Acer computers still come with JUST VGA.

The old PS/2 connector is 1985 old... but its still very reliable. A good motherboard (such as Gigabyte) makes good use of the space by placing the USB ports on top of a single PS/2 Connector. For BIOS and lack of drivers - PS/2 always works.

In my case - I own a 1997 keyboard with an AT-Connector that is already using a PS/2 Adapter and is NOT compatible with a USB adapter. There is NO modern replacement for my keyboard!

I'm glad to see PAR/SER and IDE ports gone... Still seeing a floppy connector here and there.

 

A Bad Day

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[citation][nom]CaedenV[/nom]-snip-[/citation]

7) More sensible motherboard layout. Having a power connector or SATA port getting blocked because it was too far to the right is annoying.
 

ricardok

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[citation][nom]CaedenV[/nom]yeah, yeah, everything he wrote down[/citation]I do believe that this is the next step (if those companies are really reading this) specially cuz I only have:
1 wireless keyboard/mouse combo (usb)
1 monitor (hdmi)
1 headset (usb)
and... that's all..
Internally: 4 sata being used.
externally: 2 usbs being used on the back, 2/3 on the front being used randomly.
So, I agree with CaedenV, I'm one of those that would enjoy having a smaller (and quieter) setup.

Btw, it's by no means a workstation, it's a gamer desktop (32" tv, radeon 6850, ....) but it's an old system that plays everything (core2duo E8400)..
What's great about it? WiFi "on board".. So it's kinda of a "mobile" desktop. :)
Ok, ok, it's an OLD setup, but it works as good as I can afford. And it runs almost everything maxed out (except for 8xAA and up) in full hd.

What it has that's a waste of space on the mobo?
- 7.1 sound that's so noisy that's impossible to use.
- 2 gigabit ethernet ports (I fail to see why 2)
- 6 USB ports on the back (4 to me would be ok, + 4 on the front)
- 6 SATA ports (4 of those are Intel/JMicron ones that slow down the post for about 7 seconds)
- 2 eSATA on the back (would make more sense on the front).
- Floppy connector. Why, oh why?
- Optical audio out (I can see this working on an HTPC but on a fully fledge desktop?)

I guess that's all I can remember this late at night. ;)
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
[citation][nom]jimmysmitty[/nom]Honestly, anything on the CPU becomes more reliable and one of the things that goes first on mobos is phase regulators as they run pretty hot.[/citation]
The CPU is a somewhat odd place to put a voltage regulator considering the amount of electrical noise in there, the very long lines between the CPU and MOSFET drivers and the extra entry points this creates for a MOSFET failure to dump 12V directly into the CPU which runs at ~1V.

... unless Intel is integrating the whole VRM silicon including 12V power MOSFETs into the CPU as well, in which case they would have to integrate the input/output LC power filters on the CPU package, which would be impressive. I doubt they are going this far with Haswell but if they are, this would indeed reduce the motherboard's component cost/count (but increase the CPUs') quite a bit.
 

luciferano

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[citation][nom]belardo[/nom]Reduction in size and complexity = more speed, more reliable and of course... tiny. Today's $100 cellphones (okay on contract) are more powerful than the computer desktops from 2000 (CPU wise and graphic wise).Some examples of OLDER tech:http://www.old-computers.com/museu [...] ard_s1.jpg(1985 computer: Its a keyboard-computer, so its twice as deep as your typical keyboard. The port next to the #3 is the size of a VGA port. Its a 2mhz/128K 16 color system that can do 640x200. It was $350 and didn't include any drives, modem, networking, etc. Today, you can run this on emulation easily... or find it on a $14 joystick.Here is a version with an internal PSU and a *gasp* floppy drive ($500): http://www.the-liberator.net/site- [...] rboard.JPGThis was state of the art for late 1985: The Amiga 1000 ($1200) with 7mhz CPU / 256K RAM / 880K floppy and it was $2000 cheaper than the B&W Mac. No HD or optical drives, no modem or network included:http://www.the-liberator.net/site- [...] rboard.JPG(The daughter board is removed, it's 1/3rd the size of the board you are viewing and sits on top)(with cover on) http://www.the-liberator.net/site- [...] 00-002.JPG(The keyboard slides under the computer... very cool... well, for back then.[/citation]

My computer from 2003 has a far faster CPU than any phone available, although its graphics is easily far inferior to many phones and tablets. Also, phone CPUs have crap FPUs compared to CPUs of the early 2000s and very late 1990s despite creeping up on them in integer performance.
 

luciferano

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[citation][nom]CaedenV[/nom]1) Yes, some mobo makers will be killed off, but for reasons other than SoC style integration: we all saw this coming as PCs last longer and longer, and the role of a traditional 'home PC' is being taken over by game consoles, and dock able tablets. SoC style integration will just hasten this progression.2) Want to make your mobo stand out? How about some more interesting UEFI setups! UEFI was promised to have capabilities well beyond normal system control, including the ability to run a stripped down linux, complete with widgets and web browsing capabilities. But instead of this we still have UEFIs being designed that are set up for 4:3 monitors and a limited color pallet. At the very least we should be able to select (or auto-detect) the aspect ratio of a monitor, and have a bit of color other than black and blue.3) How about some integration on the UEFI end of things? When I turn my computer on it must POST, then run the Intel RAID Rom, and then must POST a 2nd time before finally entering the boot cycle. What if we could run/control the Intel RAID Rom within UEFI? That way it just has to POST, and boot. My boot time on my machine is only 5-6sec, but the POST/RAID/POST time is an additional 7-8 seconds. I am not going to give up my RAID, but I will pay a premium for a faster POST time.4) Focus on extra features. I am not just talking about a feature chip that has a few extra USB or SATA ports on it (those those are a plus), but much simpler stuff. How about more fan headers? My system has 7 fans (2 CPU, 5 case), and I would love to see a board that could control them accurately and easily on a system level and remove the need for a separate fan controller. Built in 5GHz Wireless n/ac would be a step in the right direction as well.5) Better audio packages are always a plus, and not just the onboard audio chip; add things like xFi MB2 software which lets users have a premium audio feature experience without the need for a dedicated card. Really push digital output. Better support for 192KHz is a plus as well.6) Make boards that make sense! There is a market for motherboards that have limited, but modern connectivity. We do not need 2-3 video connectors, 6 audio connectors, and a mess of USB ports on everything. Pair it down and give us some options that simply have HDMI, optical, integrated wireless, 4-8 USB ports, and perhaps an eSATA. It would make for a beautiful and clean HTPC layout with everything that you need, and nothing that you don't.We do not need line and mic inputs anymore, as most products are USB, and most software requiring an input requires digital microphones now. We do not need 2 digital options, plus VGA; a single digital connector would fill most people's needs, and while occasionally useful I think it is safe to start dropping VGA now. We also do not need PS/2 connectors on everything anymore, and they make USB adapters for those who still use a PS/2 keyboard or mouse.Sure, there are some people who would appreciate these legacy ports so please continue offering them on some boards, but they are in the minority these days and should not really be on every mainstream board made.[/citation]

VGA can be dropped so long as we still have DVI-I, but I see no reason to drop microphone and line in. I don't use line in much anymore, but I stilll use microphones often and even if most people don't these days, a lot of people do and it's not like one or two additional audio jacks are really in the way of anything. Besides, audio jacks could be made to be dual-purpose. For example, one of my older computers had the line in and the second set of speaker channels sharing a port. Most people using surround sound wouldn't care about a microphone nor line in and most people who use microphone/line in probably don't use surround sound, so this could make sense.


Besides, not every mainstream board has legacy ports such as PS/2, floppy, IDE/PATA, and serial/parallel port connectivity.

[citation][nom]ricardok[/nom]I do believe that this is the next step (if those companies are really reading this) specially cuz I only have:1 wireless keyboard/mouse combo (usb)1 monitor (hdmi)1 headset (usb)and... that's all.. Internally: 4 sata being used.externally: 2 usbs being used on the back, 2/3 on the front being used randomly.So, I agree with CaedenV, I'm one of those that would enjoy having a smaller (and quieter) setup.Btw, it's by no means a workstation, it's a gamer desktop (32" tv, radeon 6850, ....) but it's an old system that plays everything (core2duo E8400)..What's great about it? WiFi "on board".. So it's kinda of a "mobile" desktop. Ok, ok, it's an OLD setup, but it works as good as I can afford. And it runs almost everything maxed out (except for 8xAA and up) in full hd.What it has that's a waste of space on the mobo?- 7.1 sound that's so noisy that's impossible to use.- 2 gigabit ethernet ports (I fail to see why 2)- 6 USB ports on the back (4 to me would be ok, + 4 on the front)- 6 SATA ports (4 of those are Intel/JMicron ones that slow down the post for about 7 seconds)- 2 eSATA on the back (would make more sense on the front).- Floppy connector. Why, oh why?- Optical audio out (I can see this working on an HTPC but on a fully fledge desktop?)I guess that's all I can remember this late at night.[/citation]

Two Ethernet ports can be very useful for anyone who wants to do LAN teaming or have two LAN connections or simply having a spare should the primary fail. I've used machines that had two Ethernet ports on the board and I've throw in two additional Ethernet adapters to get even more for some networking solutions. It's an especially helpful feature for home servers, many of which use small boards.
 

sherlockwing

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If the VRM integration thing wont'be 100% implemented in Haswell then Broadwell won't show any more progress on that frontsince it have to fit in the same Mobo socket, so Skylake & its mobo might be the first to completely eliminate mobo vrm.
 

luciferano

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Where the 40 lane PCIe 3.0 controller is located wouldn't change how many lanes it has.
 

belardo

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They are already talking bout making motherboards with memory built-in (8/16GB) since its so cheap. Windows7/8 runs fine with 4GB, more than enough with 8GB.
 
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