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Intell Haswell-E, the latest iteration of the HEDT Platform, has a launch date of 29 August (originally mid September) and now it seems that a few days before release we are are getting some confirmation on the PCIE lanes. It turns out that the information leaked by Coolaler was correct and the i7-5820 will only have 28 lanes of PCIE 3.0 while the 5930 and the 5960X will have 40 lanes of PCIE 3.0 each. Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Intel Core i7 5820K Haswell-E HEDT Processor to Feature Only 28 PCIE 3.0 Lanes

The leaked image (courtesy of EXPReview.com) shows some very interesting wording, stating that when the  i7-5820K is used, the number of PCI-E lanes will decrease. This will ofcourse result in the hexacore processor becoming unattractive to Multi GPU users although they should still have some playing room. With 28 lanes you are looking at 16x, 16x/8x, x8/x8/x8/x4 maximum GPU configuration while a normal 40 lane configuration would be 16x, 16x/16x, 16x/16x/8x or 8x/8x/8x/8x depending on the amount of GPUs you have. Considering the fact that this is PCI-E 3.0 we are talking about there is enough bandwidth for a 3-Way SLI or 4 Way Crossfire. However, if you really want that extra edge then you will have to upgrade to the i7-5930k.

We haven’t head much on the DirectX 12 front, or the API front in general, for a while now. At this year’s SIGGRAPH however, Intel demoed DX 12 and showed impressive results. TDP Constraints are one of the biggest problems in Mobile Gaming, but with DirectX 12 the TDP of the device in question can actually drop by as much as 50% or you can opt for a performance increase of ~60%.

DX11 19FPS SIGGRAPH INTEL DEMOIntel Demo DX 11 TDP and FPS Baseline.

Intel DX 12 demo at SIGGRAPH shows a 60% boost in Performance Per Watt for Mobile Gaming Devices

DirectX 12 is, as I am sure you all know, a low level API. It works by reducing the CPU Overhead or the CPU Bottleneck effect by allowing the CPU to issue more drawcalls among other things. However, while this result is mostly performance increase in the Desktop sector, in the mobile side of things this is actually very useful. Since a Mobile Platform is always working with power and thermal constraints, both the CPU and GPU share a TDP Budget if you may, so any lack of power consumption by one can either be utilized in a zero sum or result in a decreased TDP rate. This is exactly how Intel has manged to show a 60% performance per watt boost in the mobile platform. This is pretty amazing news considering this is not a new architecture or a hardware change we are talking about but a new soft update.  Observe the two pictures below while keeping the baseline above in mind:

Intel-Logo
Hardware

Intel’s Broadwell CPU microarchitecture has been detailed and previewed showcasing the several core features of Intel’s next generation micro processors. Anandtech has received several press slides from Intel detailing the new features of Intel’s upcoming Core M processors which will be the first processor family to feature Broadwell core architecture giving us a glimpse at what to expect from the new core.Intel Broadwell CPU Performance IPC

Intel Broadwell CPU Architecture Analyzed – 5% IPC Increase Over Haswell

Intel’s Core M is basically the Broadwell-Y SKU which we have had details regarding since a while but the core architecture details have been a secret until now. This is just a preview of what to expect from the Broadwell CPU architecture but there’s some juicy information regarding Broadwell in these slide so let’s get on with it. Intel has recently released their Haswell Refresh lineup and we know the reason behind this launch is due to the fact that Intel had nothing else in their pockets to launch this quarter. Intel’s 14nm is hit by production issues and they are getting desperate to get new products out as soon as possible which is the sole reason why Brian Krzanich vowed to have Broadwell chips ready by Holiday 2014. Hence, this quarter we saw a refreshed line of Haswell chips, a family of new K-Series Haswell processors codenamed Devil’s Canyon, a new chipset platform for Haswell and beyond (Z97 / H97) and the upcoming Haswell-E HEDT platform which arrives on 29th August 2014. So far, this year has been Haswell this and Haswell that but Intel’s Haswell-E platform will be the last of the Haswell micro architecture we will get to see as Intel is planning for Broadwell by Q4 2014 (atleast for the mobility market).

Devil's Canyon Logo
Hardware

Introduction

Back in June 2013, Intel launched their Haswell generation of processors (4th Generation Intel Core) which was an architecture scaling from 95W desktop parts to 4.5W Mobility parts. The Haswell architecture was decent in terms of power efficiency and was the first to bring 22nm to the consumer market but over at the desktop side, things weren’t all that great. The Core i7-4770K processor, the flagship of the desktop lineup had enhanced just about everything over the 3770K, it featured a faster graphics chip, better overclocking support and was priced similar to its predecessor however the core performance of the Haswell chips wasn’t a dramatic improvement over Ivy Bridge and to make things more bitter, the processor was unable to reach high overclocks due to the low quality TIM (Thermal Interface Material) used for packaging the processor.

The Core i7-4770K remained Intel’s flagship processor till Q1 2014 and we were all hoping that Intel would sooner or later launch their 5th Generation Broadwell processors based on the updated 14nm microarchitecture but during late late 2013, Intel reported that they will be delaying Broadwell due to 14nm node production vows and this resulted in the time-frame shift from mid-2014 to early 2015. Broadwell does comes out during the Holiday season this year but the upcoming SKU is aimed for mobility market rather the destkop one which launches in Q2 2015.

Braswell is probably one of the lesser known 14nm Platforms by Intel out there, and for good reason too, seeing its brand new. Basically the Pentium and Celeron branded SKUs that were usually based on the now aged Bay Trail design are now getting their own entry level platform called Braswell. We have covered Braswell news in the past but it feels like every time I do a write up on this, a new introduction is in order.intel-braswell-tablet-mobile-cpu-processor-chip-620x354

14nm Braswell Graphics will have 16 EUs and DX 11 – Intel HD 8th Gen iGPU

These entry level processors are of course aimed at getting a share of the market that AMD’s APUs dominate, specifically, the HTPC market. This market is used mostly for high quality playback and maybe even some casual gaming so a bad iGPU or the lack thereof can be a deal breaker. Blue’s answer to this is ofcourse introducing entry level Braswell Processors that will have their own spectrum of notebook, tablet and desktop SKUs. Now Braswell will be one performance tier above the Bay Trail processors while still retaining the same power efficiency. Needless to say the GPU itself must be atleast passable. The GPU, we now know consists of 16 EUs and supports DirectX11; all thanks to Intel HD 8th Generation Graphics.

Now this information comes from Fudzilla.com and they correctly note that this is the same amount of execution units that were present in Ivy Bridge two years ago. Simply put this GPU should smoke the counterpart present in Bay Trail M and D variants. Other specs include a 4 Lane PCI Express 2.0 rated at 5GT/s, which should allow decent dGPU support. The Braswell iGPU will support three 2560×1600 displays and is capable of running highly modern codecs such as VP9 and H.265 (this includes 4k support). Now the Braswell SKUs are either going to be Dual Core or Quad Core versions. The maximum TDP is 10W and the chipset will support DDR3L1600Mhz Memory and SATA III. It also houses integrated 10/100 and 1000 Mbit LAN card as well as integrated audio SMI, LPC and SM Bus support. Braswell SOC will ship in BGA packaging while the desktop parts should come in LGA as well.

An important update on the 14nm Broadwell Processors has appeared. The source is the very reliable fudzilla.com. Apparently these 14nm processors are going to have a TDP of just 65W and will also have Iris Pro Graphics along with eDRAM . This, along with the unlocked multiplier should prove to be a lethal combination for enthusiasts who will sadly not get an unlocked Skylake at launch.Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Intel 14nm Desktop LGA ‘Broadwell’ Unlocked Processors Details Confirmed – Iris Pro, eDRAM and 65W TDP

Now interestingly, the source also confirms that the Broadwell processors will be landing on the LGA 1150 Socket and will therefore be compatible with most Intel 9 Series Chipset motherboards. This is of course something we have known for a very long time (and pointed out in our Z97 reviews too!). As you may recall we received a leak which more or less confirmed that these SKUs will only be arriving in the ‘K’ variant (for now), meaning unlocked Broadwell processors at launch. Now as of yet we only have knowledge of the one Quad Core variant, but the source points out that there might be a crippled dual core version at a later date. At this point however, I differ a little. Whether we see a crippled dual core variant is very dependent on how the sister platform fares.

I am talking of course, about Skylake-S, which is supposed to land around the same time. It will be this trigger (whether or not Skylake-S Launch is going as planned or not) that will bring about a Dual Core Variant, if at all. Finally Broadwell-K will support PCIE-3.0, DDR3/DDR3L 1.5V and will come in i5 and i7 variants with 4 threads and 8 threads respectively. I suspect we should see some decent IPC gains on this one when it comes in June 2015. It will also be very interesting to see how Skylake-S fits into the grand scheme of things since the afore-mentioned platform will only contain locked processors with no unlocked ones coming anytime soon. Summarizing everything we get:

Intel-Logo
Hardware

A server grade Intel LGA 2011-3 socketed motherboard along with the Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3 processor have been spotted on sale over at EBay (via Overclock.net). Part of Intel’s upcoming Haswell-EP processor line, the new Xeon E5 V3 chips will feature improved IPC performance to meet demands of high-performance computing.Intel Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3

Intel LGA 2011-3 Motherboard and Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3 Processor On Sale At EBay

The server grade motherboard we are looking at is designed for 2S operations so it makes use of dual LGA 2011-3 sockets which are fully compatible with the upcoming Haswell-EP processors. The sockets resemble the LGA 2011 socket since the design for both is kept the same if you have noticed the earlier X99 motherboard leaks. The LGA 2011-3 server motherboard is large and built for workstations and server environment hence the odd design and form factor. It features a total of 24 DDR4 DIMM slots and a total of 384 GB DDR4 memory using 16 GB memory sticks and more if using denser memory sticks or if the motherboard can actually support them but it possibly will given its workstation nature. The motherboard comes with several connectors and ports while the C610 chipset is hidden beneath the silver colored aluminum heatsink.

The motherboard is damaged from several areas as mentioned by the seller on EBay but it is in working condition so you can try your luck to get this working perfectly if you buy one but there’s no guarantee. Aside from the LGA 2011-3 motherboard, there’s also a Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3 processor on sale which is in engineering state. The specific processor known as QFGH ES 2.10 GHz is clocked at 2.10 GHz and was manufactured in USA but aside from that, there are no details given. 2.10 GHz is a low clock so this chip could boast a higher core count but that is just speculation from my end. A few of you may ask, how do I even know this ES processor is an Haswell-EP CPU?

Intel Logo
Hardware

Intel is releasing their HEDT Haswell-E processors in the coming months which includes the flagship Core i7-5960X CPU. Since the processors are built for the high-end desktop market, their target audience would be overclocking fanatics and enthusiasts. My friend, Kevin Owi at OCDrift has revealed an interesting feature regarding the new processors which will help overclockers in setting the fastest frequency records.Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5960X De-lid

Intel’s Flagship Haswell-E Core i7-5960X Processor De-Lidded – Uses Soldered TIM

Kevin was able to get hold of an Intel Core i7-5960X processor which will be the flagship part of the Haswell-E lineup and de-lidded it to reveal that it makes use of soldered thermal interface material instead of inferior thermal paste material which was featured on Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors which is blamed as one of the reasons for the high temperatures we got to see on those processors aside from the fully integrated voltage regulator (FVIR) which is being phased out after Broadwell generation of processors.

The Core 4000 series processors based on the Haswell microarchitecture were launched a year ago at Computex 2013. The processors featured the latest 22nm core 3D Tri-gate transistors technology which improved the IPC and efficiency by a decent amount of Ivy Bridge. While the Haswell processors were met with a great response and backed by a variety of overclocking features, the processors didn’t happen to be great at overclocking due to the cheaper application of TIM between the IHS (Internal HeatSpreader) and the Haswell silicon itself which resulted in the heat to remain trapped between the chip due to poor contact.

The Russian site overclockers.ru has released some pretty interesting information about Intel’s Atom Processors specifically the Moorefield platform.  This platform is specifically targeted to the mobile sector, namely the tablet and android segments. The Moorefield platform boasts 4 cores (which is 2 more than Merrifield) and 64bit support all on 22nm.Intel Atom Merrifield and Moorefield

Intel Atom Moorefield Processors Begin Shipping – Quad Cores on the 22nm Node

Now Merrifield is a completely new platform that Intel introduced specifically for the smart phone sector. Even though it is currently bleeding money out of Intel Corporation, the fact of the matter is that they need to keep moving forward to breach the barrier to entry. Before the actual leak, I think a brief intro is in order. The Moorefield platform, which is somewhat of a successor to Merrifield has SoCs that are 64 Bit Quad Cores. Its previous codename was Anniedale and is based on the Silvermont micro architecture. It does not support hyper threading and will have exactly 4 threads. Now information after this is somewhat hazy but Morganfield is supposed to succeed Moorefield on the 14nm node. Morganfield will make the shift to Goldmont micro architecture and was previously codenamed Broxton.

WCCFTech Z97 Motherboard Round-Up OC Top
Hardware

Intel launched their Z97 platform earlier this year which brought new motherboards in the performance platform, aiming support for Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon and the upcoming Broadwell CPUs. Intel’s Z97 platform is filled with a variety of boards and each board is targeted towards key segments.WCCFTech Z97 Motherboard Round-Up OC Top

Round-Up of The Best and Top-Tier Overclocking Z97 Motherboards

With such a large list of products that are currently offered in the Z97 chipset based product portfolio, it gets quite frustrating for consumers to find a board that suits their demands. To make it easier for consumers, the board manufacturing companies have separated their products into three categories; Gaming, Overclocking and Mainstream.  Although this helps a bit but even then, the products themselves offer similar specifications, naming schemes and priced equally.  For instance, the MSI Z97 Gaming 3 and Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3 are both gaming branded motherboards priced at $137.99 US and with “Gaming 3″ in the title, it would more or less confuse the buyer into deciding which product should be bought. While reviews do give a better insight at the products comparing the little details, features and components of products, we couldn’t find a good article which compares these boards against their similar priced counterparts from other manufacturers.

To address this issue and to help ease the process for buyers to get the right product, today we will be doing a round-up of the Z97 “Overclocking” motherboards. We will obviously not be comparing performance based on benchmarks but design schemes, feature set and the components used on these Z97 motherboards which will tell us why they are better than the other similar priced option or why does a $399 US overclocking board is a better option for enthusiasts then a $249 US overclocking board. The products we will be comparing are strictly the flagship overclocking boards from each separate manufacturer so you might see us talk about a XPOWER board and not the MPOWER board so please excuse me but that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever do a similar comparison on the other segment based boards, so stay tuned for that. Regardless, let’s start off these round – up with the beastly, Z97 XPOWER AC from MSI:

[Editorial] Before I begin a few words of caution. It goes without saying that the results of this benchmarking showdown will not be pleasant to some. Also, all the benchmarks were conducted virtually, which means that some slight variation may exist between real life results. The Equation System and the VGA Calculator used are the intellectual property of one Daeguen Lee (DG Lee) and all rights are reserved by him. The calculator can be accessed freely on his website iyd.kr (aka udteam.tistory.com).main title13

PS4′s GPU (Pitcairn) Benchmarked Against the Xbox One (Bonaire) with and without eSRAM

Wow, I don’t think there has ever been an instance of a universal benchmark, and for good reason too. Since an actual universal benchmark would instantly put the power hierarchy in harsh relief it has not been done. However what we are going to attempt today is the closest you will ever get to a universal real life benchmark and the results should be very accurate. Alright lets start. Since both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One utilize AMD GPUs, that means that we are only going to use the AMD Equation System. A basic introduction of both the GPUs is in order. The PS4 GPU is codenamed Pitcairn and is basically a cut down variant of the Radeon 7870. It has a fairly high SP count and is clocked reasonably high too. The GPU has access to 8GB of Shared GDDR5 memory clocked a 1375 Mhz (5500 Mhz effective) and boasts throughput of upto  176 GB/s. Pitcairn has a 256 Bit bus which is quite reasonable for a GPU of this tier. The good thing about PS4′s GPU is that we have everything we need to calculate performance with almost zero real life variation.

Intel’s upcoming Braswell Processors are quite something. They are basically very power efficient SoCs for the entry level segment of Desktop Computing. Basically Intel did not have any real offerings in the “HTPC (Home Theater PC) Segment” and is ready to get a piece of the pie. Intel has started taking mobile computing seriously only in these past few years and the consequences of the same are already becoming apparent ( in a good way).intel-braswell-tablet-mobile-cpu-processor-chip-620x354

Intel Braswell SoCs (14nm) Have Possibly Been Delayed to Second Quarter of 2015

Currently the only core that comes near the archetype of Braswell is the Bay Trail Core however the Braswell will be one performance tier above the Bay Trail processors while still retaining the same power efficiency (which is quite a feat). Now here is the thing, our source CPU-World.com tell us that even though the 14nm Braswell SoCs were coming in Q1 2015, the “ready to ship” timeframe for the same might have moved to Q2 of 2015. The reason for this being that Intel is working in mysterious ways this year. This also means that we would be catching the first glimpse of these processors in mid march or mid may of next year.

Intel has already released two refreshes of the Bay Trail platform, each iteration more powerful than the previous. There is another refresh coming in Q4 2014 to top it all of.  However, a power vacuum remains between the mainstream Desktop Processors (currently Haswell Refresh) and the atom processors. It is this vacuum that Braswell will fill. We also have the Core M processors coming soon along with Cherry Trail so it looks like Intel is going all out on the mobility spectrum of computing which is about damn time. Currently this particular segment is dominated by AMD’s APUs and it is clear that Intel wants in on the action. These processors are an ideal choice for people who want a “streaming box (Steam’s inHouse Streaming) ” in their lounge in an ultra small form factor. With your real rig somewhere else in the house, an HTPC serves as the ideal “front end”.

Intel’s HEDT (High End Desktop) has always been somewhat of a roller coaster ride with its loyal consumers one or two architectural generations behind the mainstream consumer processors. Intel offsets this lag in the process by giving a higher core count which translates to 4 threads on the high end model. However this does not come cheap because even though we had authentic reports that most of the Haswell-E pricing wouldn’t change, an online retailer Shopblt.com has listed them far more expensive than Ivy Bridge-E.Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Haswell-E Intel HEDT Processors Price List Spotted at Online Retailed

Now here’s the thing. Intel has adopted a two year architectural life span for HEDT instead of the mainstream yearly strategy. So that means Intel either has to skip generations for its HEDT spectrum or let it fall behind the mainstream spectrum. Ofcourse the profit motive dictates that Blue follows the latter. However with Haswell-E, modest IPC gains will get blown away by not 2 but 4 more cores than consumers. That is twice the cores that mainstream offers and that’s 8 more threads for an absolutely stunning total of 16 threads. This is how Intel compromised and tried to get into the good graces of the hardcore enthusiasts. It all seemed to make sense when we heard that pricing wont change except for the i7-5820K and that was only because it was getting two more cores (i7-4820K was a Quad Core). However, if this online retailer Shopblt.com is correct than it would appear that Intel is getting ready to squeeze some extra cash again.

Intel-Logo
Hardware

Details of Intel’s next generation Skylake-S platform have been revealed by VR-Zone, unveiling that the new processors will be available in 2H of 2015 and a new motherboard series featuring the latest 100-Series chip. Configurations of various Skylake series processors were unveiled not long ago which mentioned that the time span between the launch of Broadwell and Skylake generation would be small and both platforms would be available to consumers by 2015.Intel Skylake-S Desktop Z170 Chipset

Image Courtesy of VR-Zone!

Intel Skylake-S Desktop Platform Detailed – Z170 Chipset Replaces Z97 in 2H 2015

While the current Z97 series motherboards do add support for Broadwell processors, Intel won’t have the chips ready for consumers till at least Q2 of 2015. The first iteration of Broadwell processors which will launch for PCs will be in the form of Intel Core-M and Broadwell Y-Series which will arrive in holiday 2014 and are aimed toward the tablet and laptop market. The actual desktop processors won’t be available till 2015 which is a bit surprising since at the time Intel launches Broadwell-K series, they will be shipping Skylake-S to consumers in the exact same quarter or a bit late (moving in early 2H 2015). This was showcased in the latest Intel Desktop roadmap leak for consumers.

The transition to Z170 chipset will not be a massive upgrade and would be similar to what the Z97 was to Z87 with a little added features such as more PCI-e lanes, Super Speed USB and up to 10 USB ports compared to 6 standard ones found on the current iteration of motherboards. There will be a total of six 100-series chipset SKUs which will include the Z170 (Performance) replacing the Z97, H170 (Mainstream) replacing the H97, H110 (Value) replacing the H81, B150 (Small and medium Business) replacing the B85 and the Q170 plus Q150 chips with Intel vPro / SIPP which will replace the Q87 and Q85. So as you can note, Intel has the entire replacement plan ready which will update the current desktop chipset stack in 2015. Intel is already phasing out their Ivy Bridge-E and Z77/H77/H75/Q75 chipsets in early 2015. This transition won’t eliminate support for Z97 or Z87 in 2015 since there would be a majority of consumers who will still be running Broadwell and Haswell processors since these platforms have spanned a longer shelve-time in the market and will cease to exist along side each other for a couple of years.

Intel’s Quark and Edison Projects marked the beginning of Intel’s next step in the miniaturization of the smart PC. However much like the early days of Atom, its not being taken very seriously at the moment with progress slow and lathargic. However, we just received an update from CPU-World.com that the Quark will be replaced by Dublin Bay sometime in 2015.intel galileo with quark soc x1000

 

Intel Quark X1000 SoC to be replaced by Dublin Bay Platform in Mid 2015 – 1-2W TDP

Now the quark is all about tiny devices. Where Quark covers both embedded and wearable applications, its smaller sibling, the Edison, covers mostly wearable. It was near the end of 2013 that the first Quark SoC (the X1000) was launched although it wasn’t until February 2014 that developers actually received the Galileo board (Intel’s Raspberry Pie rival) which sadly however could not make a significant dent in the market occupied by its competitor. The Quark chips had a very simple die layout. The specs are as follows:

  • 1 Core
  • 16KB L1 Cache
  • DDR3 Controller
  • 512KB On-die SRAM
  • PCIE 2.0 and USB 2.0 Supported
  • Price: $9-$12


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