Sandy Bridge could be socket compatible with Core i5


— 1:50 PM on March 1, 2010

Intel's famed LGA775 socket persisted through many families of processors, from Pentium 4 to Core 2 Quad. Could the socket that plays host to Core i5 processors today enjoy similar longevity? A recent Fudzilla report suggests so. The site claims Intel's next-generation Sandy Bridge processors will use the LGA1155 socket.

LGA1156 and LGA1155 are pretty much two sides of the same coin; using the integrated graphics inside 32-nm Core i3 and i5 CPUs mandates an LGA1155 motherboard, but the two land-grid arrays are cross-compatible. Since Sandy Bridge should have an integrated GPU—this time embedded in the same silicon as the CPU cores rather than on a separate die—sticking with an LGA1155 package seems entirely plausible.

Now, Fudzilla adds that Sandy Bridge CPUs will require a still-unreleased 6-series chipset, so the processors probably won't work in existing motherboards. We saw a similar progression with LGA775 processor generations, though. A Core 2 Quad might not work in an old P4 motherboard, but the opposite shouldn't pose a problem. (We actually slipped an old, 90-nm Pentium 4 670 into our Core 2 test bed without issue for our latest CPU roundup.)

Intel demonstrated a working Sandy Bridge processor stable enough to load Windows 7, compute-intensive tasks, and graphics applications last September. Sandy Bridge will represent the next "tock" in Intel's tick-tock cadence, where ticks are process technology upgrades and tocks architectural upgrades. Normally, ticks and tocks follow each other every year. The latest "tick" was Intel's 32-nm Westmere design, which is now out in stores in the form of dual-core Core i3 and i5 CPUs.

   
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