The life span of the LGA775 platform is finally coming to its logical end. It seemed like there was nothing that could take this socket off balance after 5 years of success. However, within the next few months the LGA775 processors will most likely be finally discontinued and Intl will start offering new more up-to-date parts targeted for contemporary platforms.
Of course, in the past few years LGA775 wasn’t a universal or popular platform anymore. The launch of a progressive Nehalem microarchitecture made LGA775 processors step back, as they were inferior to the newcomers in performance. However, Pentium and Celeron processors for LGA775 remained irreplaceable in the entry-level segment for quite some time – neither LGA1156 nor LGA1366 were spreading into the low-end part of the market.
The new LGA1155 platform and the new Sandy Bridge processor family changed the situation dramatically. Intel decided to use them as the basis for their new “blanket” platform that is why the launch of high-performance second-generation Core processors was followed by LGA1155 Pentiums shortly after. By the way, these processors turned out worthy successors to their older brothers and have significantly increased the performance level of the inexpensive systems very rapidly. Now we are at the final stage of the line-up updating and shortly after the new Pentiums Intel releases very affordable Celeron series processors for LGA1155 socket. This is the final milestone in the history of the LGA775 form-factor. Replacing the old first-generation Core microarchitecture with the new Sandy Bridge offering higher performance level will definitely do the trick and the outdated Celeron processors for LGA775 systems will have no appeal left about them from now on.
Nevertheless, the long-lasting popularity of the cheap LGA775 processors is a very interesting phenomenon. And it definitely has a good explanation behind it. We assume that only with the launch of Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and mastering of the 32 nm process Intel could finally create processors, which production cost could compare with that of 45 nm Wolfdale-3M CPUs. For example, the die size of the junior LGA775 processors is 82 mm2. The die in dual-core Sandy Bridge CPUs with the pretty fast graphics core inside is 131 mm2 big. Of course, it is about one and a half times larger, but manufacturing simpler single-chip sixth series chipsets as well as unification of the product line-up seem to compensate well for the additional costs during the CPU manufacturing process.
Anyway, the evolution of the Celeron product series that goes back to 1999 continues successfully. And now those who prefer entry-level solutions will get a dual-core processor with the latest microarchitecture and manufactured using the most advanced production technology. Moreover, it will also feature a built-in graphics core with DirectX 10 support and hardware HD-video decoding. And most importantly, all this comes at the same price of $37-$52 per unit. Very attractive offer, don’t you think so? Let’s see of that is indeed the case…