I disagree the number of additional processors Intel would sell would be significantly higher. If you are buying a machine, you will buy the chipset that supports the processor. The only additional processors you would see would be upgrade processors, and this is miniscule compared to what they sell via other means.
Now, if everything were equal, yes, of course supporting more chipsets would be better, but there is a cost in that. I do not know the reasons for it, but obviously Intel had to have some and they figured it weighed more heavily than the benefits. Neither one of us has information even remotely useful compared to what Intel knows. They made the decision that it made more sense to only sell to one platform, and I have to believe they knew what was best for them. Maybe they will offer more for other platforms later and were not ready to qualify them yet? Maybe there were technical reasons for not wanting to do it. Who knows?
With regards to OEMs, keep in mind the 975x was already out there. So, they know how to make these things. Also, Intel makes a lot of these motherboards for OEMs, and even those that do not use Intel motherboards often get them from another maker. So, the disruption is relatively minor from their perspective. They might have to switch how many of each board are made, but they were already making them. Or ordering them. But, with regards to these constant new chipsets from Intel, I am inclined to agree with you. When they keep introducing new chipsets, it does have a price, and they seem to do it very often. Also, why did they use RDRAM on the Pentium III almost exclusively, and have abandoned it for the Pentium 4? Pentium III did not benefit much from it, if at all, whereas the Pentium 4 loves RDRAM. Strange.
Without knowing why they changed decided not to use it with the older chipsets, I think it is dangerous to say whether they could have made the dual cores compatible with them. I am not saying you are wrong, because I don't know their reasons. But, even if they could, it obviously meant very little in terms of cash. As much as the AMD fanboys like to think it, Intel is not full of idiots. So, if it was easy to do, there was no money in it. If there was money in it, it must have been difficult or impossible. There was a reason they chose not to.
With regards to the 975 and 955, if that is truly the only difference (I don't believe Intel tells us everything) then maybe they have not done sufficient testing right now and will qualify that as a product that can handle it at a later time.
With regards to enthusiasts, they don't mean much to Intel. They represent a very insignificant proportion of their sales, and right now I don't know that they have a product enthusiasts want. It seems to me the Athlon 64 would be a more appealing solution for most of the enthusiast crowd at the moment. This is not to say Intel has forever ceded this, but right now AMD arguably has the better product. Even if they didn't, Intel's history of limited upgrade paths is not attractive.
I want to bring up one other point. The whole upgrade market has changed a lot since Intel first started making "overdrive" processors. Now, most people buy crappy motherboards from Asia that are very cheap. Back when motherboards costed $1000 or sometimes more, and were made to last, upgrading a motherboard was cost prohibitive. Now, upgrading a processor and not the motherboard is not a good idea nearly as often as it was back then, because they are so cheap and they don't last very long anyway. While you can still buy good motherboards from Supermicro, most people do not and end up buying inferior quality motherboards from companies like Asus (and oddly consider them quality :P) for less than 1/3 of the price. They are so much cheaper, they are difficult to resist, and even I find myself buying this rubbish sometimes (but only from Epox, which have been strangely reliable for me, although I sense I have just been lucky so far ). So, nowadays, I think it is very common to swap the motherboard with the processor, with the added benefit of having a backup when the motherboard breaks, or even for making another computer.
Let me ask you, do you ever just upgrade the processor anymore? I ask because it would never even occur to me these days.
10/20/05 12:46:27 AM]