Last month Intel made it known that it was to be discontinuing and retiring a whole stack of Ivy Bridge CPUs. The following CPUs are to have their shipments stopped after June 5th 2015, with the last order date being December 24th 2014: the Core i5-3330, i5-3330S, i5-3340, i5-3340S, i5-3470, i5-3475S, i5-3470S, i5-3470T, i5-3550, i5-3570, i5-3570S, i5-3570T, i5-3570K, i7-3770, i7-3770K, i7-3770S and i7-3770T. Now to go alongside that retirement of many Ivy Bridge CPUs Intel will also be discontinuing the bulk of its 7 Series chipsets that support Ivy Bridge CPUs. Z77, H77, Z75 and Q75 chipsets will continue to ship until July 10th 2015 while the last orders will be taken on January 23rd 2015. That means H71 is the only remaining 7 Series chipset to survive after this latest batch of retirements. Intel also announced that it would be retiring a range of mobile Ivy Bridge processors with the same schedule as the aforementioned chipsets. The Celeron 1020M, 1005M, 1000M, 1037U, 1017U, 1007U and 1019Y are all facing the chop.
WindowsITPro report that Microsoft is planning to avoid the same “problems” encountered with Windows XP with Windows 7. Those problems are essentially that Microsoft failed to get its Windows XP user-base to upgrade to a newer OS. Windows XP had been Microsoft’s longest supported OS after Microsoft continually extended the OS support life and retirement date. This meant that Windows XP ended up out-lasting its successor Windows Vista. Windows 7 on the other hand will not get extended support or an extended retirement date according to this new report. The reason is clear – Microsoft wants to push people towards Windows 8 and 8.1
Of course the interesting thing is that a lot of users upgrading from Windows XP have opted for Windows 7 instead of Windows 8. While this seems like a sensible solution to many the fact of the matter is mainstream support for Windows 7 ends January 13th 2015 and Microsoft has no intention of extending this deadline for consumers, while extended support for business users ends on January 14th 2020. So the message is clear, if you’re thinking about investing in Windows then you might want to think again with Windows 7 because even if you believe it is better than Windows 8 – it won’t be supported for very long.
“While many of us believe that Windows 7 will neatly slip into XP’s role and become the next XP—partially because so few businesses are interested in Windows 8.x—Microsoft will instead push its newer OSs and let Windows 7 die a quicker death. It believes that by “listening” to customers with Windows 8.1, it can make this happen.”
CPU World reports that Intel is planning to discontinue five CPUs in 2014. The information was provided with Intel’s latest Product Change Notification (PCN). Of the CPUs that are being axed two are LGA 1155 Core i3 processors and three are socket G2 Core i7 mobile processors.
The Core i3 3210 and Core i3 3225 Ivy Bridge based LGA 1155 processors are the two desktop CPUs to be axed. Both the retail and OEM versions will be discontinued. The Core i7-3720QM, i7-3820QM and i7-3920XM are the trio of mobile Core i7 processors to be axed, this time only the OEM versions as these were never sold as retail version.
The three mobile Core i7 processors in question were released in April 2012 while the two desktop CPUs were released in September 2012 to January 2013. Intel is taking the last orders for all five CPUs on March 28th 2014 and last shipments are made on September 5th 2014.
ZDNet reports that Microsoft will provide XP Patches beyond its retirement in April 2014, but only to a narrow group of high-paying business customers. The statement made by a Microsoft spokesperson was as follows:
“After April 8, 2014, Windows XP users will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. Third parties may provide ongoing support, but it’s important to recognize that support will not address fixes and security patches in the core Windows kernel. If an organization continues to use Windows XP and purchases Custom Support,they will receive critical security updates as new threats are discovered, along with technical support through their Premier contract.”
What is key to note is that Microsoft will only dish out these custom patches to users with an active Premier Support agreement with Microsoft. These custom support contracts are nothing new and Microsoft did the same for many Windows XP SP2 users who were struggling to make the migration to XP SP3 after the end of support for Service Pack 2 in 2010. ZDNet notes that many users need to continue using Windows XP because they have written custom internal facing applications dependent on Windows XP and in some cases Internet Explorer 6. Others refuse to make the upgrade because they cannot afford to and in those cases purchasing custom support packages will be out of the question anyway.
Business and home users continuing to use Windows XP without custom support packages will have to rely on their anti-virus and firewall providers to maintain strong internet security.
According to a report by Sweclockers the GTX 680, GTX 670 and GTX 660Ti have now all been given EOL (End Of Life) status by Nvidia. That said stocks of Nvidia’s top three single GPU GTX 600 series graphics cards will gradually start evaporating from the shelves of retailers all over the world as stock diminishes and is not replaced by new shipments. That said if you want a GTX 680, GTX 670 or GTX 660Ti then now is the time to buy. Of course it probably makes more sense to grab a GTX 760 if you were interested in a GTX 660Ti or GTX 670 and a GTX 770 if you were interested in a GTX 680 as these are the better, newer and cheaper equivalents. That said some retailers may be offering clearance deals on the GTX 660Ti, GTX 670 and GTX 680 so it should be worth keeping an eye out for those.
The rest of the GTX 600 series, the GTX 660 and below, will be kept active and will not receive EOL status for the foreseeable future. It mainly depends on what AMD’s response is and whether Nvidia needs to combat this with some newer low-mid range cards, such as a GTX 750 (Ti). Currently the GTX 760 has an MSRP of $249 while the GTX 770 has an MSRP of $399 which does leave quite a significant gap in the middle of those two cards. That aforementioned gap is currently filled by the AMD HD 7950 (which costs around $320-360) and it offers an excellent alternative thanks to its larger overclocking headroom and frame buffer than the GTX 760, once you add in the Never Settle Reloaded bundle you get a much better deal IMO (as you can sell off each game to get an effective “rebate”).
With a new fourth generation of Core series CPUs from Intel, aka Haswell, we have to start saying adios to older CPUs in Intel’s portfolio. Most of the Sandy Bridge portfolio was already given EOL (end-of-life) status in Q1 earlier this year with a single Ivy Bridge CPU given EOL status on Q2. Q3 brings a flurry of EOL activity from Intel mainly in the lower segment of the market. For those who don’t know EOL essentially means no more shipments will be shipped by Intel so once stock has dried up in the market then that product is no longer available. The PDN (Product Discontinuance Notice) is a warning sent to manufacturers and OEMs informing them they have a limited period of time to order shipments of a particular CPU before it becomes EOL.
In terms of Pentium and Celeron processors the following are becoming EOL – G860, G645, G645T, G550T, G555, G645, G630, G620, G622, G870, G860T, G640, G630T, G640T, G550, G540T, G460, G530, and G530T. Additionally we are now seeing the end of the Sandy Bridge Core i3 processors as Intel introduces Haswell Core i3s and Ivy Bridge ones drop back to replace the Sandy Bridge Core i3s. The discontinued Core i3 processors are the Core i3-2100, i3-2125, i3-2130, i3-2120T, and i3-2102. Finally the last Sandy Bridge Core i5 gets the chop as the Core i5 2390T is axed by Intel.