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Would you like to go back to slot CPUs?

Apr 20, 2008
10,153
979
126


With the reemergence of low TDP chips coming back into style, cooling a modern processor doesn't require much these days. The simplicity of swapping out CPUs would lead to more CPU sales in comparison to motherboards as people could upgrade far easier. Reusing motherboards with newer generations of CPUs is possible as most of the system would be contained to the slot.

Would you support the change?
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
9,401
2,879
136
More likely to make entire systems on a module, like the SODIMM form factor Raspberry Pi compute modules:



SoC, memory, storage are all on the compute board. Rest of the motherboard is stuff like power circuitry and IO breakout.
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,367
281
126
I miss the Slot A days, having a GFD to really boost a Athlon 650 (K75) was great. When AMD made Kabini it was the perfect time to bring the Slot back, shame they missed the opportunity.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,998
356
126
maybe it would be good for APUs, with the top models coming with let's say 1-2GB GDDR5 or something, but other than that I don't see the point and see more difficulties for cooling,
 
Mar 10, 2006
11,715
2,010
126


With the reemergence of low TDP chips coming back into style, cooling a modern processor doesn't require much these days. The simplicity of swapping out CPUs would lead to more CPU sales in comparison to motherboards as people could upgrade far easier. Reusing motherboards with newer generations of CPUs is possible as most of the system would be contained to the slot.

Would you support the change?
I always thought the slot CPUs looked really cool, I loved how both the Athlon and Pentium II/III slot CPUs looked.
 

Smoblikat

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2011
5,184
107
106


With the reemergence of low TDP chips coming back into style, cooling a modern processor doesn't require much these days. The simplicity of swapping out CPUs would lead to more CPU sales in comparison to motherboards as people could upgrade far easier. Reusing motherboards with newer generations of CPUs is possible as most of the system would be contained to the slot.

Would you support the change?
The only people interested in swapping out CPU's are people who probobly wouldnt consider swapping one out hard as it is, I doubt there is an untapped market of enthusiasts who will only start buying boards/CPU's once theyre marginally easier to replace.
 

Ratman6161

Senior member
Mar 21, 2008
616
75
91


With the reemergence of low TDP chips coming back into style, cooling a modern processor doesn't require much these days. The simplicity of swapping out CPUs would lead to more CPU sales in comparison to motherboards as people could upgrade far easier. Reusing motherboards with newer generations of CPUs is possible as most of the system would be contained to the slot.

Would you support the change?
First, you are (as many enthusiasts seem to do) over estimating the number of people out there doing CPU swaps. The build your own crowd is miniscule compared to the number of people buying Dell, HP, etc pre-built systems. Even for enthusiasts, I believe swapping CPU's is pretty rare and will become even more rare as we go along. For example, I bought a i72600K back in the spring of 2011. When the 3xxx series came out it wasn't a big enough upgrade to justify going to a 3770 and by the time the 4770 came out, my Z68 chipset no longer supported that. Which brings me to point 2: since Intel changes chipsets and sockets fairly frequently, typically a motherboard will only support two generations of CPU and even if the socket was the same, the chipset wouldn't be. Which brings me to point #3: Motherboard manufacturers don't want you to re-use motherboards, they want to sell you new ones. And point 4: New memory technologies i.e. my old 2600K used DDR3 and anything new I bought was going to be DDR4...and the slots for the memory wouldn't work even if everything else did.

As other's have pointed out, in order for your idea to work, the card that went into the hypothetical slot would have to be a system on a chip (SOC) like we see with phones, tablets etc. Then you could have CPU, RAM, Chipset etc all on the card and the motherboard would become a dumb device that just provided power and PCIe slots. But then....you wouldn't just be upgrading the CPU when you switched out the card. You would be upgrading everything on the card...which could actually make things more expensive, not less. It could be easier , but you wouldn't be saving money. On top of that, Intel (or AMD) would be making your decisions for you as to what other components are included in the package. This is kind of self defeating for enthusiasts because half the fun is carefully choosing the components to build a unique configuration that is precisely what you wanted.

So the principle beneficiaries of such a set up aren't enthusiasts at all (i.e. not the people reading this forum). I could sort of see a situation where if you want to upgrade a Dell computer, you have to go to Dell and buy the latest upgrade card for your system....i.e. lock in.
 
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BigDaveX

Senior member
Jun 12, 2014
440
214
116
While Slot 1 and Slot A CPUs may have been easy to install and looked pretty nifty, I can't help but wonder whether it was a solution to a problem that didn't exist. I mean, Socket 8 could already host full-speed external L2 cache chips for the Pentium Pro, so were the Pentium II's half-speed L2 chips really so different that Intel couldn't have made them work in Socket 8 (or tweaked it and created a Socket 9 that could handle them)?
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,947
6,894
126
I could actually see this happening, if AMD comes out with a "Mega APU" (200-300W), basically, an (8C/16T?) CPU, along with a dGPU equivalent, in one huge (probably water-cooled out of the box) integrated module, that attaches to a mobo, for outputs, power, peripherals, etc.

That would have the added advantage of being able to upgrade the "Mega APU", while keeping the same mobo, and thus, the same Windows' installation. (No need for new case/PSU, new Windows' keys, etc.)

Edit: I could also see this, if their "Mega APU" had some off-chip GDDR5 soldered on, then they could sell them in several memory sizes, like dGPUs.
 
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PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,603
456
126
While Slot 1 and Slot A CPUs may have been easy to install and looked pretty nifty, I can't help but wonder whether it was a solution to a problem that didn't exist. I mean, Socket 8 could already host full-speed external L2 cache chips for the Pentium Pro, so were the Pentium II's half-speed L2 chips really so different that Intel couldn't have made them work in Socket 8 (or tweaked it and created a Socket 9 that could handle them)?
Its kind of weird. The only cpus I ever installed in my own slot motherboards were actually celerons in slocket adapters. I guess there was a window of time where they needed the space available on the slot, but it wasn't that big of a window historically.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,603
456
126
Anyway, this was my last slot CPU (in a manner of speaking):
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813998603

As we complain on forums about Coffeelake requiring a new chipset and motherboard, remember the good old days before third part manufacturers were run out of business my Intel lawsuits. Even changing the socket and memory standard didn't necessarily spell the end of the line for a motherboard.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
Not me. Running a 90+ watt CPU near-silently requires a giant heatsink and 92 - 140 mm fan.

It's also been 10+ years since I've replaced a CPU on a motherboard. By the time I've been ready for an upgrade it's needed a new motherboard and RAM.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
23,042
1,301
126
It's also been 10+ years since I've replaced a CPU on a motherboard. By the time I've been ready for an upgrade it's needed a new motherboard and RAM.
I think slot CPUs would be useful for the opposite reason as the OP. CPU speeds are fine for the vast majority of users. Also, CPUs themselves aren't getting much faster like they used to with each generation (only adding more cores for the most part now).

So, a slot CPU might let you keep your old CPU and do the upgrading that most people can really notice: upgrading your motherboard. More ports, faster ports, better WiFi, faster graphics cards, faster drives, etc without needing to buy a new CPU for a decade+.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,566
96
I think slot CPUs would be useful for the opposite reason as the OP. CPU speeds are fine for the vast majority of users. Also, CPUs themselves aren't getting much faster like they used to with each generation (only adding more cores for the most part now).

So, a slot CPU might let you keep your old CPU and do the upgrading that most people can really notice: upgrading your motherboard. More ports, faster ports, better WiFi, faster graphics cards, faster drives, etc without needing to buy a new CPU for a decade+.
There might be something there, but that would make both CPUs and motherboards more expensive to produce.
 

LightningZ71

Senior member
Mar 10, 2017
925
897
136
While it's a nice thought, it is very much against trend. With processors moving more and more to being just big SOCs , integrating a gpu, a north bridge, most of the South bridge, etc, what will the motherboard be soon? Just a place to hold the memory traces, the PCIe traces, and maybe a serial communications mix or Two? It's a wonder that even low level CPUs don't cost as much as a full computer as they contain almost everything that used to drive platform costs through the roof.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,998
356
126
While it's a nice thought, it is very much against trend. With processors moving more and more to being just big SOCs , integrating a gpu, a north bridge, most of the South bridge, etc, what will the motherboard be soon? Just a place to hold the memory traces, the PCIe traces, and maybe a serial communications mix or Two? It's a wonder that even low level CPUs don't cost as much as a full computer as they contain almost everything that used to drive platform costs through the roof.
I actually like the idea of the motherboard being more generic, just some PCIE slots and usb connectors with a standard slot for CPU+Chipset, it could be made to last for a few generations (like PCIE 3.0 is still the main thing since 2012), compatible with AMD, Intel and ARM...
 
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Alpha One Seven

Golden Member
Sep 11, 2017
1,098
124
66
No, if I swap out a CPU I will want to swap out the chipset too and that means a mainboard swap anyways.
 

TeknoBug

Platinum Member
Oct 2, 2013
2,083
30
91
Slot CPUs were cool, had a share of PII and PIII and SlotA Athlon systems. I also remember working with enterprise machines that had hotswappable slot CPUs, swapping CPUs while the machine is still on!
 
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DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,367
281
126
Nintendo could probably fit an entire NES system on a Slot, SNES on a slot and probably soon N64 on a slot. Make the base and sell the slots separately instead of classic consoles. Nintendo Retro Switch they could call it. Intel could do something similar but with NUC, a range of Cases/Bases (Budget to Premium) and slot Systems to plug into your choice of Case/Base.

Base would contain M2/SATA ports, USB etc.
 

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