Hardware blogger @momomo_us has published a photo of an LGA-17xx/LGA-18xx socket cover, indicating the two sockets will have some similarities, like the same physical dimensions and cooling mounts.
Intel's upcoming Alder Lake processors for desktop PCs will use a brand-new LGA1700 form-factor and an appropriate socket, marking Intel's first radical upgrade of its sockets for mainstream desktop CPUs since 2004. The new LGA1700 socket will retain the 37.5mm width of today's sockets, but it will be longer at 45mm. That means it could need different cooler mounting mechanisms. More importantly, the new CPUs are expected to be 0.8mm shorter than today's processors, making most existing coolers obsolete.
Unlike Intel's LGA1700, which has been discussed for quite a while now, the company's LGA1800 has only been mentioned once — by Igor Walossek from Igor'sLab. Walossek didn't say if the LGA1700 and LGA1800 sockets would co-exist, or the latter will succeed the former. Because the photo's origins are unknown, take any information about the LGA1800 form-factor with a grain of salt.
There are a few different theories about the LGA1800 form-factor:
- Intel could use LGA1800 for CPUs with some exceptional capabilities. For example, unlocked parts, CPUs with a built-in high-performance GPU, or Xeon processors that could use the socket to enable better power delivery and performance. This will create quite some headache for PC makers and motherboard designers, so it's unlikely that Intel will go this route.
- LGA1800 might be used for future processors that will require a radically different power delivery system and will be shorter than Alder Lake designs. For example, Intel's Meter Lake CPUs will feature a multi-tile design, and the tiles will be made using different process technologies. These chips are two years out, so they might be shorter, too.
Intel's LGA115x/LGA1200 sockets have shared mechanical parts and cooling mounting mechanisms since the early 2010s, but they had different pin assignments and power delivery circuity. Furthermore, special ledges prevent installing a CPU into the wrong socket. Meanwhile, makers of motherboards and systems can continue using the same mechanical components they are accustomed to. That said, it isn't surprising that Intel will unify as many components as possible between its LGA1700 and LGA1800 form factors.