I would recommend looking at a system block diagram to get a good visual of the difference in the processors going into these sockets.
Your question is equivalent to "Why won't my Stereo Record player play CD's & MP3's?" or "Why can't a get 2lbs of coffee in a 1lb coffee can?"
Would you buy a new computer if it ran the same as your old one?
or do you expect a new computer to be faster, better and more power than your last computer?
When a generational step is possiable between compatable hardware, such as the 5500 and 5600 processors, Intel maintains the compatability and profits from CPU upgrades as well as new system sells. With a form factor change, you only get the new system sell's market. Would you be more likley to buy a whole new computer if you could just buy a CPU and get the same bang for the buck?
Intel is still maintaining "Moore's law" (somehow) Great read on the history of it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law
Wikipedia points out, the 40lb "transportable" computer I had in 1982 has 1/100th the power of the iPhone I carry in my pocket today.
If Intel did't push the envelope with every generation of processors, PONG would still be the #1 computer video game.
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Socket 1366 outdated? An i7-990X CPU is nothing now? I certainly do not agree with that. Simply because a new product comes along does not mean that the previous generation products are now obsolete or worthless. The only thing that changed is what the judges of what "is the best" have proclaimed what currently is "the best".
While I understand why people enjoy owning "the best" products that exist in whatever area, such as automobiles, audio equipment, or PCs, the products that are "the best" are constantly changing. That is partially due to the western world's business and marketing model, along with the world economic machine, that produces products that must be "new and improved", which consumers then "must have", and those consumers then dispose of the "old, out-dated, obsolete" products. All that keeps the money flowing in the world while creating and sustaining employment for the many people of that world. Fortunately, the "new and improved" products, in the world of PCs, are usually really somewhat better, since the judges of "the best" require that of the product. The system works, disregarding philosophical analysis of whether or not this system is actually, good, moral, or optimal for all the people of the world.
As someone who owns PC equipment that is merely "among the best" that exists, I will admit that I enjoy owning what is "better" than what someone else owns. It is an interesting psychological phenomenon, which we at least partially have learned (taught) by living in western society/culture. From professional sports to the Olympics, only Number One is "the best", all else is forgotten. But the current Number One will soon be replaced by the New Improved Number One, that is 0.01 second faster, and that's all that matters, right?
Do you really want to live that way? I have read statement like this before on forums, that since product XYZ.02 now exists, product XYZ.01 is now worthless. That is simply a state of mind. One problem with having "the best" in the PC world is that the price of "the best" is actually much cheaper than "the best" of other enthusiast products. A $2000 stereo system is a joke compared to the cost of what exists in true high end audio, where you won't be into "the best" for less than $100,000. Consider the price of "the best" car, which is guaranteed to not be "the best" next year.
Why "you want to do that Intel"? Because they must. If they don't, they will be surpassed by their competitors, who will then have "the best" product. Will you be angry with AMD if their new CPUs are declared "the best" by "the judges"? I have both 1366/i7-930 and 1155/i7-2600K PC's, and I like them both in their own ways, and in some I prefer the former. My socket 775 PCs are far from worthless or nothing, just ask my wife or kids... or me.
Your PC will still be better than 95% of the PC's in the world when socket 2011 comes along. In ten years it may be "nothing", but that is only relative.
For many of us, the current or previous two generations of CPUs and PCs have more than enough computational power as you stated. But, there still are tasks that even the latest and greatest PCs cannot complete in a few seconds or minutes. Here is a link to such a user that just asked about improving his computer's performance on this very forum:
Notice that he has an Intel workstation mother board that uses two Xeon W5590 CPUs, whose specs are here:
That computer certainly has more capability than any single CPU non-professional level PC like the ones that we own. As he wrote in the post, with that equipment it took 30 hours to render up to 1000 files, with the dual CPUs at 100% usage.
Intel's products are used in professional situations in applications that the usual home PC user cannot even imagine. We should keep in mind that the main customers of the best CPUs that Intel and AMD makes is not the casual home user, but the business, professional and scientific communities. You could say that we are lucky that Intel markets some of their best products to the average person and PC enthusiast. If you check the list of Xeon CPUs, you'll find ones that are more powerful than anything from the Core i7 line sold to consumers, there are several six core - 12 thread and eight core -16 thread CPUs available, with prices that make an i7-990X look reasonable.
You'll need to ask the engineers why they needed a new socket, but apparently the 1366 was not enough to provide for the needs of the latest designs.
Rember the newer CPU have a lot of stuff in them that use to be on the mother boards and was what made the mother boards so expensive.
This is a pretty good write upon the 2011 socket CPUs
When you from this to this you have to get the extra signals out of the processor which means more pins.
3 memory channels @ 2 dimms per 4 memory channels @ 3 DIMMs per
24 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth per CPU/socket, 40 lanes per CPU/socket
Yep, it seems to me that the "days of old" where you could buy an upgrade, use it for a year and then go back and say upgrade the CPU are gone. Now it seems you have one shot at buying a CPU/Motherboard/Memory combination as one set of components, fast forward 6 months and now the CPU's have moved on a generation and that socket you purchased is not available anymore so you are left with buying the CPU/MB/Mem combination all over again. OK so a slight exageration on the time period maybe but that is how it feels to me. Hey I'm all for Moore's law progression etc etc but it does feel to me that I'm scrapping perfectly good memory and MB evertime I push up my CPU speed. Intel socket 775 and AMD Socket A seemed to be around for years but blink since that time period and you've skipped two socket generations on each side.