Intel is always one to lead the pack in the high-end CPU market and their next generation CPUs have been previewed by Tom’s Hardware in what they feel is close enough to being complete to compare against Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. I know many enthusiasts were really hoping for the new Haswell CPUs would breath a lot of new life into the PC market and that has a little truth in it. They surely haven’t reinvented the wheel, but if what has been previewed is true, we will see around the same performance gains we saw when Sandy Bridge was followed up Ivy Bridge. I hope in some areas like overclocking we may perhaps see better flexibility, but until the rest of us working stiffs gets one in hand it’s all speculation and possibility.
Anyone wanting to upgrade to Haswell, will have to buy a new LGA 1150 motherboard as the new CPUs will not fit into any previous LGA board, which is usually the case and nothing surprising with this new generation CPU series. At the moment it seems Intel’s current lineup plan will contain both dual-core and quad-core LGA 1150 models, all having the GT2 graphics configuration and containing 20 execution units. The models will all share a 16-lane PCI Express controller, as well as AVX2 and AES-NI support. Some weird things are going on as far as Intel’s new Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) as this feature is meant to handle locking the CPU more efficiently and it gets confusing as to why they are differentiating this in their naming scheme.
Intel had a much more anticipated GTS graphics engine, one that contains 40EUs is going to be limited to BGA-based applications and therefore will not be upgradable in a way to separate platforms form the more upgradable LGA package. Intel will have quad-core with GT3, quad-core with GT2, and dual-core with GT2 versions in ball grid array packaging. GT3 will also make an appearance in a BGA-based multi-chip package that includes a Lynx Point chipset, which will also be a dual core model. Intel in addition to bring new CPUs to the table will also introduce their new 8-series Platform Controller Hubs, which is codenamed Lynx Point. The most feature-complete version of Lynx Point will incorporate six SATA 6Gb/s ports, 14 total USB ports (six of which are USB 3.0), eight lanes of second-gen PCIe, and VGA output.
The HD 4000 integrated graphics found on Ivy Bridge are only good for very light gaming and it seems like the new HD-4600 series are a bit better but still not ready for prime time as far as any 1920X1080 gaming. From the tests shown it seems like the HD-4600 has evolved a bit and I know that Intel is gearing up for the mobile market and these graphics would work very well on the smaller screens that tablets, phablets and phones all have currently. I am sure that almost every user that will buy a K series CPU could care less about the integrated graphics in any case. The K series will be for the high-end enthusiasts crowd and hopefully Intel will not cheap out and this time use Fluxless solder, which will allow for better cooling and more over-clocking headroom. As far as power consumption the models range from 35w to 85w TDP depending on the amount of cores and speeds.
There are 14 new skus that Intel has lined up for release very soon starting off with the i5-4570T that features 2 cores and 4 threads coming in at a clock speed of 2.9 GHz (35w TDP) all the way up to the i7-4770K that has 4 cores and 8 threads and a clock speed of 3.5GHz (85w TDP). Overall we see a 7-12% performance improvement from what has been previewed thus far and this is entirely inline from what we should expect. Intel is a bit behind in the mobile segment and this is where we will see Intel pushing their technology as they need to get into and develop this market before they are literally too late in the game. As of now no over-clocking results or temperatures have been discussed and we will just have to wait and see how the new Haswell will perform in those areas. Pricing as well has not been disclosed, but hopefully the prices will be competitive against others CPUs in this range and not cost a pretty penny to upgrade or jump into. I wonder how all the Intel fans actually feel about this and if they will want to even change platforms with this news. Are you a fan of Intel and are you planning on jumping on the Haswell bandwagon, or do you feel this is not enough to warrant an entire platform change? We always appreciate your comments below and your opinions mean something here