The rumor mill has recently hinted that mainstream CPUs based on Intel's next-gen Sandy Bridge architecture will use the existing LGA1156 socket. Will those products' high-end brethren fit in an existing socket, too? Not according to Bit-tech, which claims to have heard from its sources that Intel will introduce a new high-end socket in the third quarter of next year.
Reportedly, the future socket will accommodate eight-core, Sandy-Bridge-based CPUs, which will succeed today's high-end LGA1366 processors. Hyper-Threading will live on, so users can look forward to a cool 16 threads per system. (As a reminder, Intel kicked off the LGA1366 lineup with quad-core, eight-thread Core i7-900 offerings and recently added the Core i7-980X, a six-core, 32-nm chip with 12 threads.)
Bit-tech goes on to say that Intel's next-gen high-end platform will feature four memory channels alongside a new chipset, perhaps dubbed X68, with more PCI Express lanes than today's X58. Future "X68" motherboards will only have four DIMM slots, the site adds, because "one DIMM per channel . . . maximises memory bandwidth." That would be a step down from today's X58 mobos, which tend to have six DIMM slots (and thus room for those newfangled 24GB DDR3-1600 kits).