Report: R-series Haswell chips headed to desktop in BGA packages


— 11:19 AM on April 8, 2013

We already know that select desktop versions of Broadwell, the successor to Intel's upcoming Haswell chips, will come soldered onto motherboards. According to VR-Zone's Chinese site, some desktop-bound Haswell chips will be available in similar BGA packages. The new R series will reportedly include three models likely targeted at all-in-one systems and tiny NUC machines.

BGA packages are common among mobile chips, and the R-series processors bear a striking resemblance to notebook versions of Haswell. VR-Zone says the trio will be equipped with HD 5200 graphics, the most powerful variant of Intel's new IGP. This GT3 flavor of the Haswell IGP is expected to share the CPU package with dedicated video memory, a configuration that appears to be unavailable on socketed versions of Haswell aimed at traditional desktop systems. Here's how the rest of the purported specifications stack up:

Model Cores/Threads L3 cache Base clock Turbo clock Max GPU clock TDP
Core i7-4770R 4/8 6MB 3.2GHz 3.9GHz 1300MHz 65W
Core i5-4670R 4/4 4MB 3.0GHz 3.7GHz 1300MHz 65W
Core i5-4570R 4/4 4MB 2.7GHz 3.2GHz 1150MHz 65W

Although the R-series chips have similar Turbo peaks to their desktop counterparts, the base clock speeds are a little slower. The 65W TDPs are also lower than the 84W ratings rumored to be applied to the standard desktop chips. Intel is apparently working on low-power S- and T-series desktop models with similar clock speeds to the R-series parts and TDPs in the 35-65W range. However, those and all other desktop Haswell CPUs are rumored to be restricted to a GT2-class integrated graphics that should be considerably less powerful than what's in the R series.

Beefier integrated graphics make sense for all-in-one systems that tend to be devoid of expansion slots for discrete graphics cards. Intel's small-form-factor NUC system is similarly limited, and I'd love to see the i7-4770R end up in one of those. I am a little concerned about model number confusion, though. Right now, it looks like Intel will have as many as five different products based on the same processor number. The i7-4770, for example, will supposedly be available with K, T, S, and R suffixes in addition to without one at all. Based on the information that's leaked out thus far, those variants will have different combinations of clock speed, TDP rating, and integrated graphics.

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