Nehalem desktop socket to be larger than LGA775

— 9:41 AM on April 7, 2008

A few pictures of desktop motherboard prototypes designed to accommodate Intel's next-generation Nehalem processors already surfaced last month, and now The Inquirer has posted slides from last week's Intel Developer Forum that reveal more about Intel's next desktop socket.

Nicknamed LGA1366, the new socket plays host to a whopping 1,366 pins and has a considerably larger (apparently around 56%) footprint than LGA775. One of the slides suggests a 19.1 cm² (2.96 square inches) package size for LGA1366 processors, compared to 14.1 cm² (2.2 square inches) for LGA775 CPUs. Presumably, the larger package and extra pins are tied to Nehalem's use of a triple-channel integrated memory controller and QuickPath interconnect.

Intel didn't just end up making a larger version of the LGA775 socket to accommodate Nehalem CPUs, though. The Inq's slides say the chipmaker has gone from a "Direct Socket Loading" retention mechanism to an "Independent Load Mechanism," which seems to separate the socket and retention mechanism completely. LGA1366 ILMs are also secured in place by a large metal plate that sits on the back of the motherboard and is fastened to the ILM with four Torx screws. The Inq says the new loading mechanism design should be better suited to large, heavy coolers.

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