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Better overclocking! Kinda...
Many of Haswell's power-saving measures won't benefit desktop systems, but this new silicon does have some nice things to offer desktop users, including more flexibility for overclocking. Haswell exposes higher core multipliers and higher power, current, and voltage limits than Ivy Bridge, as well as new ratios for graphics clocks. DDR3 ratios above 2667 are available, too. (Our Asus board goes up to 3200MHz.) The most noteworthy change along these lines would be the added base clock ratio, which could in theory allow reasonably decent overclocking leeway on chips without unlocked multipliers. CPU straps are available for 125, 167, and 250MHz. However, Intel has decided to lock the bclk ratios on most Haswell products. Only the K-series parts will have the new ratios enabled, which means the new bclk ratios will probably only be useful to truly extreme overclockers.

For more on Haswell overclocking, have a look at Geoff's attempts to push the 4770K to new heights.

The new desktop Core lineup

Model Cores/
threads
Base
clock
Max
Turbo
clock
L3
cache
HD
Graphics
Max
graphics
clock
TDP Price
Core i7-4770K 4/8 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 8MB 4600 1250MHz 84W $339
Core i7-4770 4/8 3.4GHz 3.9GHz 8MB 4600 1200MHz 84W $303
Core i5-4670K 4/4 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 6MB 4600 1200MHz 84W $242
Core i5-4670 4/4 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 6MB 4600 1200MHz 84W $213
Core i5-4570 4/4 3.2GHz 3.6GHz 6MB 4600 1150MHz 84W $192

The table above shows the heart of Intel's new socketed desktop CPU lineup based on the quad-core Haswell GT2 chip. These are the standard 84W parts that supplant their 77W Ivy Bridge counterparts. Prices for the Haswell chips are generally up somewhat compared to the models they replace: the 4670K lists at $242, while the Core i5-3570K sells for $225, for example.

Intel turns a ridiculous number of knobs and dials when converting its chips into products. We've tried to capture the big-ticket items in the table. Enthusiasts will probably want to focus their attention on the K-series parts with their unlocked multipliers for overclocking. Just know that you'll be giving up a handful of potentially useful features with the K series, including the TSX support we mentioned earlier, Intel VT-d for better device virtualization, and some enterprise-focused client features like vPro.

Model Cores/
threads
Base
clock
Max
Turbo
clock
L3
cache
HD
Graphics
Max
graphics
clock
TDP Price
Core i7-4770S 4/8 3.1GHz 3.9GHz 8MB 4600 1200MHz 65W $303
Core i7-4770R 4/8 3.2GHz 3.9GHz 6MB Iris Pro 5200 1300MHz 65W NA
Core i7-4770T 4/8 2.5GHz 3.7GHz 8MB 4600 1200MHz 45W $303
Core i7-4765T 4/8 2.0GHz 3.0GHz 8MB 4600 1200MHz 35W $303
Core i5-4670S 4/4 3.1GHz 3.8GHz 6MB 4600 1200MHz 65W $213
Core i5-4670T 4/4 2.3GHz 3.3GHz 6MB 4600 1200MHz 45W $213
Core i5-4570S 4/4 2.9GHz 3.6GHz 6MB 4600 1150MHz 65W $192
Core i5-4570T 2/4 2.9GHz 3.6GHz 6MB 4600 1150MHz 35W $192

Here's the rest of the Haswell desktop lineup, largely consisting of lower-power S- and T-series offerings. The standout from the crowd is the Core i7-4770R. That's a GT3e quad-core, with the eDRAM cache, in a BGA package aimed at large system builders. It won't drop into a CPU socket. We should talk about another, related model we have for testing, but first...

Yep, another new platform and socket
With the integration of the VRMs into the Haswell die, there's no way around it: these chips require a new socket type, and they're getting an updated platform controller hub support chip, as well. Here's a look at the LGA1150 socket and the chip package that drops into it.


The LGA1150 socket



"Ivy Bridge" Core i7-3770K (left) vs. "Haswell" Core i7-4770K (right)

The new socket isn't much different in size from the old one, and the pin count is only down by five. There's zero chance of upgrading to a Haswell CPU without upgrading your motherboard, but as socket transitions go, this one isn't too disrputive. LGA1150 boards are compatible with LGA1155-style coolers, and they use the same DDR3 memory modules.


Block diagram of the Z87 platform. Source: Intel.

Intel is offering something like six variants of its revised platform controller hub for Haswell, targeted at different segments. The basic layout of the enthusiast-class one, the Z87, is shown above. That's the one you'll want to pair with a K-series processor in order to make overclocking happen. Compared to the Z77 PCH for Ivy Bridge, the Z87 adds more USB 3.0 ports (six rather than four) and all six of its SATA ports support 6Gbps transfer rates. The display block has been removed, too, since that's now integrated into the CPU.

We have a ton of Z87 motherboard coverage coming down the pike, so stay tuned for more on that front.