For anyone that isn’t following the minutiae of desktop computing, one of the more prominent rumors in AMD land is the presence of upcoming sockets called TRX80 and WRX80. These parts, assumed to be aimed at ‘casual’ and ‘workstation’ users, have formed the basis of many rumors and a lot of speculation, especially on the back of TRX40 which does exist for the latest generation of AMD Threadripper CPUs. Similarly, recent news has been posted about the potential existence of a theoretical LGA1159 socket for Intel, despite the fact that LGA1200 is often cited as the next generation socket for upcoming Comet Lake processors on the desktop. We reached out to a few contacts while we were here at CES to put some weight into these rumors, to confirm them one way or the other, for good.

It’s at this point I want to talk about sources. For anyone who has studied journalism, or even history at a high school level, there is the concept of sources carrying different amounts of weight. A primary source, for example, would be a direct participant in an event who would be able to recount with specific detail what they did/saw or what is planned. A secondary source might be a journalist collating or analyzing data from primary sources, a piece of software including a list of details about other products, or an artist depicting the events taking place from information they have collected. Tertiary sources go beyond this, and might involve individuals discussing an event without any direct experience of a specific instance. When it comes to the journalism that the tech press practices, depending on the publication, different numbers and different levels of sources form the minimum requirements for each publication. This acts as the minimum barrier required in order to present the information to its readers. 

Here at AnandTech, we often use at least two sources for any particular story, preferably both primary sources. If the second source is trusted, for example a fellow media peer in the industry that has a history of accuracy and one that we trust, they can be treated similarly to a primary source, albeit technically a secondary source (we often try to find a separate primary source different to the one they have used). Sometimes we have a lower standard for entry for the sake of humor, such as our report into Intel’s mythical Core i9-9900KFC, which never saw the light of day but I enjoyed writing it in a very tongue-in-cheek style (and I hope that came across). So to put this in to context, if I write something based on primary sources, I nominally act as a second source for others that cite my work.

Back to this specific matter, I had noticed that any mention of TRX80, WRX80, or LGA1159, was written about by journalists with no primary sources about any of it. So in order to find out when these two AMD eight-channel chipsets were going to come out, as well as the existence of yet another consumer Intel socket, I naturally went to ask AMD, Intel, as well as their primary partners and OEMs. The partners and OEMs that work with Intel and AMD are involved in developing and selling future platforms, and as such they have insight into the next 6-9 months of products coming into the market. They also have ideas about the 9-18 month schedule, but as we’ve seen in the past, that is often subject to change. Obviously none of the companies we spoke to were prepared to speak about future products, such as their own LGA1200 motherboards, however that doesn’t apply here.

All of our primary sources in this regard had very puzzled looks on their faces when I mentioned either the TRX80, WRX80, or LGA1159. One of them looked at me in amazement, and specifically said ‘what are you on about?’. I explained the situation, with ‘the internet’ talking about new 8-channel consumer motherboards, or an updated socket for Intel’s Comet Lake and beyond. The answer I got was very clear cut from everyone I talked to: no-where on their roadmaps has it ever said TRX80, WRX80, or LGA1159. None of the companies I talked had even heard of these names, let alone had any products with these features in the pipeline.

On the LGA1159 socket, one source actually knew what I was talking about, at least to some degree. They stated that the reason why people are confused here is that Intel distributed some early engineering samples of six-core Comet Lake CPUs in LGA1150 packaging, and those photographs got leaked onto the internet. The reason Intel could do this is that there's next to no difference between Coffee Lake Refresh and Comet Lake silicon, and as a result some early testing could be done. However, the same source also showed us the different packaging for the 10-core engineering sample, where the layout is somewhat different. As it stands, this is the issue with assuming what you see is always going to be at retail - if the fact that something is an engineering sample isn't taken into account, perhaps you shouldn't write about every rumor you see or hear.

But does this mean that there will never be a product called TRX80, WRX80, or have the LGA1159 socket? No. But what I am told from my sources is that as it stands these products have never existed. There might be a future LGA1159 socket for Intel CPUs, or future upgraded motherboards for AMD CPUs, but as it stands, all of my contacts confirmed that none of them exist on roadmaps today.

It should be pointed out that our sources did request anonymity. This is par for the course for this sort of response, even when confirming when a particular ‘product’ doesn’t exist. Should these sources be able to provide information about actual future products, and I may wish to call upon them again, and they'd rather not act as a magnet for future questions from all the other tech media.

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  • MrCommunistGen - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    I kind of assumed that these unsubstantiated rumors were examples of misinformation intentionally leaked to a person/partner/vendor/etc to determine if they were in turn leaking the information to the press.
  • drunkenmaster - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    AMD are quite well known for putting out false info, more for gpus as GPUs launch much closer to release of information from them as they aren't a platform, just a plug in device. CPU stuff has to be talked about so far in advance to partners that it's mostly pointless. However the general trick is to change shader amounts, or move bandwidth by 10%, have a different product name to try and find a leaker. Faking an entire new platform people might end up disappointed not to see (even if 8 channel would be worthless for 99% of threadripper buyers) is generally a bad move. You want to leak essentially meaningless differences or things you can't really tell are good or bad. A new gpu has 5% more bandwidth, you don't really know how much bandwidth it needs, if it's called a 5700XT or a 5600 ultra, outside of catching leakers that just doesn't matter.

    So most of these types of leaks as in the article are more either fanboys whipping themselves into a frenzy and making stuff up or misreading something, misquoting it and doing it enough that people repeat it and people read the rumour again from others now and they convince themselves it must be real. These ones are just nonsense, companies won't leak fake platforms.
  • close - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    "there's next to no difference between Coffee Lake Refresh and Comet Lake silicon"

    So what's the requirement behind a new socket?
  • FSWKU - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    To make sure you buy a new motherboard.
  • DanNeely - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    1 ) Having learned its lesson a decade+ ago with LGA775, Intel wants no part of the "the CPU mechanically fits in the socket, but there is no BIOS support so it won't work" garbagefire that results from mobo OEMs not spending extra for a BIOS chip that can hold more than 2 generations worth of microcode again.

    2) Most of not all of the extra pins are for increased quantity/stability of power delivery; so while they could have continued with another 115x socket it would have been at the expense of lower maximum clock rates. If any pins are for something else; they're presumably for a feature that can be safely disabled for testing (ex an extra PCIe x4 off the CPU or an x8 DMI).
  • Retycint - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    Somehow AMD managed to make it work with AM4 though, supporting 3 (soon to be 4) gens of Ryzens
  • Lord of the Bored - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    Didn't they run into a problem recently where updating motherboards to support the newest processors removed support for the oldest processors because manufacturers are still using EEPROMs that were reasonably sized in 1997?
  • sarafino - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    I have a PC with a 1700x and a Gigabyte x370 chipset with the latest bios release (Nov 2019). So far that PC doesn't seem to have any issues. It doesn't have a RAID setup though.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    That's very subjective considering multiple motherboard manufacturers recommend only taking the latest updates if you're running newer silicon.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    Nope, it started happening on AM4 boards a year and a half ago. Then last year, some boards resorted to removing features (eg raid) to cram more versions of microcode in.

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