Saturday, September 28, 2013

[Rant] No Broadwell for desktops?


Intel released the preliminary information about the upcoming Broadwell CPUs at IDF (Intel Developer Forum). They promised that the successor to Haswell is on track for the original schedule – that is in 2014. There were rumors few months ago that Intel had into trouble with the new 14nm process technology and Broadwell will be delayed into 2015. But all assured that there are no such delays.

Broadwell is going to incorporate further power efficiency enhancements from Haswell micro architecture. Performance figures weren’t released at IDC, but power efficiency has been improved by 30%. Haswell’s power efficiency is only at idle states. At full load, the power efficiency was on par with the IvyBridge, if you ignore the iGPU’s performance enhancements. (because if you consider that, then the Haswell has noticeably better power efficiency in games).

Since I lost the silicon lottery with my Haswell Core i7 4770K which can only do 4.3GHz without catching fire, I was hoping to sell it and upgrade to Broadwell as soon as it came out. But few days ago a rumor came up saying that the desktop PCs, at least the DIY PCs, won’t get Broadwell. Broadwell seems to be an embedded CPU; not a socketed CPU. DIY community will not be able to get a CPU and install it in their favorite motherboard. That sucks!

But don’t be discouraged as socketed CPUs are not dead. Skylake will be the next generation aimed at desktops. Well, Haswell-E is coming out next year, with 8-cores on the high-end, but very few people will get their feet wet with that behemoth. However, Intel will still launch new CPUs next year to the mainstream. That will be called Haswell Refresh. Don’t expect miracles. Maybe it will clock better, with better thermals.I’m sure it will get a speed bump as well. Perhaps the Iris Pro graphics on the top end models. Perhaps the disabled features on the K models will be enabled. That sort of “minor” improvements.

I’ll wait for it and see how things go. Probably it will be best to hold off till Skylake is released. The name “Haswell” (refresh or E model) gives me Goosebumps.

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