IDF 2013: Intel Details Haswell Microarchitecture, New Overclocking Features and 4th Generation HD Graphics Core


Intel Haswell

At this years IDF 2013, Intel detailed their upcoming Haswell microarchitecture for upcoming desktop and mobile platforms. Being a 'Tock' in Intel's Tick-Tock development model, Haswell aims to improve the IPC performance of the core along with a drastic increase in graphics performance in a much efficient 22nm design.

Intel's 4th Generation Haswell Microarchitecture

Haswell is expected to bring exactly at around 10-15% percent core improvements over Ivy Bridge and delivers even more parallelism than previous core processors. Haswell microarchitecutre is based around a 22nm process which features 3D transistors technology and includes new instruction sets such as AVX2 (256-bit integer vectors) and FMA that help drive faster computing performance, rich video and audio transcoding along with faster game performance.

Haswell Microarchitecture

Haswell also delivers improved Level 1 and Level 2 unified caches and enhances the bandwidth while latency remains the same as Sandy bridge architecture. It should be noted that Haswell delivers an highly efficient design without compromising on performance.

New and Improved Overclocking Features With Haswell

Intel has also detailed the upcoming overclocking features for their Fourth generation Haswell core which would feature Integrated voltage regulator "FVIR" and enhanced BCLK overclocking. Board manufacturers today offer a wide variety of products which help drive overclocking needs for consumers and enthusiasts.

Haswell overclocking features

Intel's Haswell comes with a dynamically adjustable and fully unlocked Turbo Boost Technology limit that ensures users get the most out of their processors when they need it. Core ratios have been unlocked  upto 80 in 100 MHz increments while the CPU voltage is completely controllable via the iVR (Integrated Voltage regulator). DMICLK or BCLK allows for an unlocked PCH clock controller with increments upto 200 MHz while PEG and DMI will offer variable/adjustable ratios based on the BCLK frequency. Similarly, the GPU core also features an unlocked design that allows for frequency adjustments (60 Ratio in 50 MHz increments) and fully programmable voltage via iVR. An unlocked memory controller allows for upto 2933 MHz overclock on the DDR3 modules.

Intel has provided key details on the upcoming iVR through which voltage on CPU and GPU could be dynamically adjusted. Currently, voltage management is accomplished with the use of external VRM's on the motherboard. There are in total four voltage override modes through the iVR module on Haswell chips which are accounted for when running the processor in default and overclocking mode. With the next generation Haswell processors, we would be looking at an increased BCLK of greater than 167 MHz (non-continuous) compared to the peak 116.95 MHz on Ivy Bridge along with a select CPU PEG/DMI ratios of 5:5, 5:4, 5:3 which is quiet impressive. The next few slides details various performance tuning ratios available on Haswell core for CPU/GPU/DDR/PEG,DMI and Ring.

Haswell Enhanced BCLK

The Haswell core processors support Intel's XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) which allows overclocking beyond the standard JEDEC specifications. Intel has also developed and enahnced over the past few years their new Intel XTU or Extreme Tuning Utility which is a real-time overclocking utility, programmable and easy to use via Windows and provides access to all overclocking features as from the BIOS. For much enhanced overclocking usage, Intel also allows their XTU to share data with HWBot so that you can easily share and compare your new overclocking records with the social web.

Intel is also expanding their two cooling solutions, RTS2011LC "Liquid cooler" and the XTS100H DHX-B "Heatpipe" cooler to LGA 1150 socketed platform. The RTS2011LC was also spotted on the upcoming Intel DZ87KLT-75K motherboard showcased at IDF 2013 yesterday.

Intel's Haswell Powered by 4th Gen HD Graphics Core

With the Haswell microarchitecture and its enhanced overclocking features covered, next up we have Intel's new HD graphics architecture which brings new levels of graphics performance to Intel's desktop and mobile platform. Intel is preparing three new HD Graphics SKUs with Haswell generation of processors which include GT1, GT2 and GT3. The GT2 HD 4600 chips come with 20 Execution units while the faster GT3 HD 5200 chips come with 40 EUs and on package eDRAM which you can see here. All SKUs  add support for the latest APIs such as DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2 and OpenGL 4.0.

Haswell GT3e (Left) and Haswell GT2 (Right)

Haswell GT3e Shot Haswell GT2 Shot







On GT3e with on package eDRAM, there's a secondary vGFx slice that is independent of the CPU hence can be programmed independently. The eDRAM would provide sufficient bandwidth to the iGPU further boosting the performance on the HD 5200 graphic chip. With this kind of performance gain, Intel firmly believes that their HD graphics can outcast the discrete graphics market. As you can note from the following slide, Intel's IGP solutions (4th Generation) are much faster than a $150 discrete GPU. Intel's 4th generation HD graphics come with DP 1.2 (Display Port 1.2) support that allow for daisy chaining displays and can drive upto 4K resolutions plus three way independent displays. We know this much that Intel, last year displayed a demonstration of Dirt 2 where one PC was powered by NVIDIA's GT 650 GPU and the other with Haswell GT3e graphics and the latter provided better performance (Anandtech).

Image Courtesy of Computerbase!

What this means is that we would be looking at much more smaller and compact PC form factors such as Ultrabooks, NUCs and AIO's which will be equipped with these powerful core architectures that are not only strong on the compute side but also offer better visual performance without adding the cost of a discrete GPU solution hence making a power efficient computing device. Intel showcased at IDF 2013, a live demo of GRID 2, developed by codemasters that ran on an Haswell chip with smooth and much richer detail than other GPU solutions.

As for the processor lineup itself, the Haswell microarchitecture arrives for desktop and mobile users in June 2013. The mobile lineup consists of the following processors while full details on them can be found here.

Intel Haswell Desktop Lineup:

Processor Core/Thread Base/Turbo  L3 Cache Graphics Graphics Clock(Mhz) TDP
Core i7-4770 4 / 8 3.4 / 3.9 GHz 8 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 84 W
Core i7-4770K 4 / 8 3.5 / 3.9 GHz 8 MB HD 4600 1250 MHz 84 W
Core i7-4770S 4 / 8 3.1 / 3.9 GHz 8 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 65 W
Core i7-4770T 4 / 8 2.5 / 3.7 GHz 8 MB HD 4600  1200 MHz 45 W
Core i7-4765T 4 / 8 2.0 / 3.0 GHz 8 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 35 W
Core i5-4670 4 / 4 3.4 / 3.8 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 84 W
Core i5-4670K 4 / 4 3.4 / 3.8 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 84 W
Core i5-4670S 4 / 4 3.1 / 3.8 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 65 W
Core i5-4670T 4 / 4 2.3 / 3.3 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1200 MHz 45 W
Core i5-4570 4 / 4 3.2 / 3.6 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1150 MHz 84 W
Core i5-4570S 4 / 4 3.0 / 3.7 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1150 MHz 65 W
Core i5-4570T 2 / 4 2.9 / 3.6 GHz 4 MB HD 4600 1150 MHz 35 W
Core i5-4430 4 / 4 3.0 / 3.2 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1100 MHz 84 W
Core i5-4330S 4 / 4 2.7 / 3.2 GHz 6 MB HD 4600 1100 MHz 65 W


The Haswell desktop processors would also be available in BGA package R-Series which are detailed here and can be seen below:

Intel Haswell Desktop R-Series:

Model Cores /
CPU clock TurboBoost L3 cache          Graphics TDP
Core i7-4770R 4/8 3.2 GHz 3.9 GHz 6 MB HD 5200 GT3 (1300MHz) 65W
Core i7-4670R 4/4 3.0 GHz 3.7 GHz 4 MB HD 5200 GT3 (1300 MHz) 65W
Core i5-4570R 4/4 2.7 GHz 3.2 GHz 4 MB HD 5200 GT3 (1150 MHz) 65W
The Mobile lineup can be found here while the low power variants (fully detailed here) are listed below:

Intel GT3 Graphics HD 5200/5100/5000:

  • Core i7-4950HQ (5200, GT3)
  • Core i7-4850HQ (5200, GT3)
  • Core i7-4558U (5100, GT3)
  • Core i7-4550U (5000, GT3) 
  • Core i5-4258U (5100, GT3) 
  • Core i5-4288U (5100, GT3) 
  • Core i5-4250U (5000, GT3) 
  • Core i3-4158U (5100, GT3) 

Intel GT2 Graphics HD 4600/4400/4200:

  • Core i7-4500U (4400 GT2)
  • Core i5-4200U (4400, GT2) 
  • Core i5-4200Y (4400, GT2)
  • Core i3-4100U (4400, GT2)
  • Core i3-4010U (4400, GT2) 
  • Core i3-4005U (4400, GT2)