Intel to renew commitment to desktop PCs with a slew of new CPUs

Although Intel hasn’t exactly been neglecting its desktop PC business in recent years, I think it’s safe to say the company has had most of its energies focused elsewhere. Intel was famously caught off-guard by the ascendancy of ARM-powered mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and it has been working feverishly to carve out a place in a mobile landscape that seems to prefer cheaper ARM-based silicon. That focus on mobility has caused Intel to treat its desktop business like something of a second-class citizen in certain respects. You’ve probably heard us complain about things like the lack of a socketed desktop version of Haswell GT3e, the CPU with Iris Pro graphics and a 128MB L4 cache.

Intel simply hasn’t been addressing the desktop market with the appropriate enthusiasm, given that market’s size and growth potential.

Fortunately, attitudes inside of Intel finally appear to be changing. The firm recently appointed a new GM and VP of its Desktop Client Platforms Group, Lisa Graff. She has analyzed Intel’s desktop business and charted a new course for it. Today, in a press conference at GDC, Graff offered her assessment of the desktop PC market and offered a peek at some upcoming products intended to revitalize Intel’s desktop CPU business.

Graff began her talk by sharing some data she has used to understand the desktop PC space. Everything begins with the fact that although the PC market isn’t growing at the rate that mobile computing is, the PC market itself is enormous. Intel’s PC-related revenues for 2013 amounted to $33 billion.

Although we didn’t get exact breakdowns from inside of Intel itself, Graff shared some numbers from IDC that indicate notebooks make up 57% of PC shipments, while desktops make up 43%. Do the math, and that likely puts Intel’s desktop PC revenues at somewhere around $14 billion.

What’s more, Intel’s desktop CPU shipments are growing. In the fourth quarter of 2013, she noted, Intel desktop CPU shipments rose 7% over the same quarter the year before, reversing the downward trend of recent years.

That growth is led by key segments of the desktop market—and yes, finally, someone is talking about the fact that the desktop PC space involves many different types of systems that don’t always have a lot to do with one another. The growing segments include all-in-ones (like the iMac), mini PCs, and—what do you know?—high-end desktops. Graff said mini PCs like the NUC and Gigabyte’s Brix went from essentially zero to over one million units shipped last year. High-end desktops also broke records. Core i5 and i7 unit shipments reached an all-time high in 2013.

Those simple facts run counter to the popular narrative that the PC market is in decline, and the fact that Intel is sharing them with us now indicates an important change in thinking. (To its credit, AMD has consistently projected growth in PC gaming hardware and software.) I spoke briefly with Graff at CES about her plans, and she observed that high-end desktop processor sales had been fairly flat in recent years—but when she looked at the performance numbers, the reason was clear. Intel hasn’t given enthusiasts much of a reason to upgrade since Sandy Bridge. The performance gains in Ivy Bridge and Haswell have been modest, and we’ve not seen core counts, cache sizes, or feature sets change dramatically, either.

Graff has adjusted Intel’s silicon roadmap in order to address that problem, and today, she revealed some key aspects of Intel’s desktop product plans for 2014. Much of the plan seems like it could have been ripped from the pages of our CPU reviews; it addresses a number of our beefs with Intel’s product decisions of late.

The most exciting of those products may be the one based on current Haswell silicon. Intel desktop processors since Ivy Bridge have had limited overclocking headroom due to excessive heat, and over time, enthusiasts have pinned much of the blame on the combination of packaging and thermal interface material (TIM) used in newer CPUs. Folks have even taken to de-lidding their brand-new processors in order to recover some of the clock speed headroom. Intel will address that problem head-on with a new unlocked Haswell part code-named “Devil’s Canyon,” coming in mid-2014. Devil’s Canyon will have redesigned packaging and an improved TIM meant to increase overclocking potential.

Graff said this product should offer a “very nice performance pop,” so I’m hoping its default clock speeds will be quite a bit higher than existing chips, too.

Devil’s Canyon will be compatible with Intel’s upcoming 9-series chipsets, according to Graff. Motherboards based on those chips are widely expected to be released this spring, so they should be plentiful by the time this CPU hits store shelves.

Also coming in mid-year is an anniversary edition of the Pentium to “celebrate” 20 years of that brand. These days, Pentiums are low-cost variants of Intel’s Core processors, usually selling for under $100, which have been neutered in various ways. This anniversary edition looks like it could be interesting, though, for a couple of reasons. One, some Pentium chips recently gained support for Intel’s QuickSync video transcoding engine thanks to a driver update, and the anniversary edition will benefit from that change. Two, the anniversary edition Pentium will be unlocked to enable overclocking. We don’t know the exact specs of this future product, but today’s Pentiums are dual-core Haswells running at 3.3GHz or less. If we can get our hands on one of these chips and take it to 4.7GHz or higher, that could be a very compelling option for the price. At that speed, a dual-core Haswell ought to be more than competent to run most of today’s games.

A third upcoming product Graff highlighted tackles several beefs we’ve had with Intel’s product plans. The 14-nm Broadwell refresh of the Core i3/i5/i7 has largely been pegged as a mobile chip, but Graff revealed Intel will be producing a socketed version of Broadwell that will drop into desktop boards based on 9-series chipsets. Not only that, but it will be unlocked to make overclocking straightforward.

Amazingly, this CPU will also include Intel’s Iris Pro graphics technology. Now, a relatively fast IGP is one thing, but we suspect Broadwell’s Iris Pro implementation will be similar to Haswell’s and include an on-package eDRAM cache of 128MB or more. That cache benefits graphics, but it can also improve CPU performance generally in the right workload (like it did for Haswell GT3e in our LuxMark and computational fluid dynamics tests.) Thanks to the cache and the presumptive goodness of Intel’s 14-nm fab process, I’d expect this CPU to become Intel’s fastest and most energy efficient desktop processor when it arrives. Graff didn’t share a time frame for this product’s release, though.

Whenever it hits, the socketed Broadwell will likely have to contend for the title of “fastest overall desktop processor” with a formidable sibling: a new Core i7 Extreme Edition based on Haswell-E coming in the second half of 2014.

Intel’s enthusiast-class desktop CPUs are based on the same silicon as its server-class Xeon lineup, and the Xeons have been running about one generation behind the mobile and mid-range desktop processors. We noted in our trippy Ivy Bridge-E review that Intel has been holding back on core counts and cache sizes for its Extreme CPUs. Xeons that fit into the same socket have twice the core count and L3 cache capacity of their thousand-dollar desktop counterparts. The upcoming Haswell-E part looks to rectify that deficit somewhat by finally raising the core count from six to eight. Those cores will be better fed with the addition of DDR4 memory, a first on the desktop. Also, this new Core i7 Extreme will come with a new chipset, dubbed X99, that hopefully packs more USB 3 and SATA 6 ports than the aging X79.

Those four new CPUs are obviously the highlights of today’s news, but Graff also made a simple announcement that rights another wrong. When got our first look at Haswell, we were surprised to find out that much of the power-saving mojo intended to reduce power consumption at idle just didn’t do much for our desktop test rigs. That’s evidently because those features weren’t enabled on desktop systems.

Graff indicated Intel is moving to correct that oversight by introducing something called Ready Mode Technology. Ready Mode requires the support of the motherboard and a separate piece of software provided either by Intel or the PC maker, and it enables the new low-power C7 sleep states built into Haswell silicon. When it’s working, the power consumption of a desktop system at idle should drop to 10W or less.

Graff noted that Ready Mode could allow the family desktop PC to remain on at all times, so it can serve as a home hub for media files and the syncing of mobile devices. We nodded.

Most of the talk around Ready Mode concerns PCs from major OEMs, and apparently several Ready Mode-capable systems are already shipping now. We’re hoping makers of DIY motherboards will get on board and support this tech, as well.

Comments closed
    • Arclight
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Intel will address that problem head-on with a new unlocked Haswell part code-named "Devil's Canyon," coming in mid-2014. Devil's Canyon will have redesigned packaging and an improved TIM meant to increase overclocking potential[/quote<] They still don't want to use solder...it's meaningless then. Also why not enable overclocking for the whole lineup and on all chipsets? You know, like we always requested.

      • Dr_b_
      • 6 years ago

      how do you know its not solder? improved tim could mean just that. if they are selling DC and it won’t OC and it overheats, it will be a huge failure because they are marketing it as such, so I doubt that it’s not going to work as advertised or that the TIM is somehow inferior. The chips are binned as well, part of the problem with haswell is the silicon lottery, which plays a part in the bad overclocks. I’d really like to see FIVR moved off die, desktop doesn’t need it, or rather, it can work without it integrated on die.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Get the E series in step with the consumer line of processors. Why would you drop 1 grand for a gen older CPU??? taking the CPU hit just so you can slap on a newer memory standard doesn’t make much sense.

      • Dr_b_
      • 6 years ago

      You drop 1 grand on it because it has 8 cores, if that suits your work load, without spending even more on the server branded parts. If you don’t need the 8 cores and the PCI-E lanes, then don’t get HEDT, get broadwell. The desktop parts are server parts, rebranded and in some aspects feature reduced as desktop parts. The server parts have a longer development cycle.

    • mganai
    • 6 years ago

    About time. Though I’d like to see signs of a mainstream 6-core.

    I suppose it COULD happen with Skylake.

    • Ashbringer
    • 6 years ago

    Whatever they do, they need to put better quality VRM’s on motherboards. If you have an 8 core AMD chip or even a i7, then those VRMs got hot. Hot enough to warp motherboards. It’s astonishing how motherboards are sold today without a heatsink on the VRMs. I can’t run Prime95 without some VRM’s shutting down and causing the PC the have a freak out.

    If Intel is going to commit to better desktop CPU’s, then they need to do something about motherboards and their VRM quality. Nearly all motherboard manufacturer’s need to be taken to court for it.

      • WulfTheSaxon
      • 6 years ago

      Name and shame? Any that are recommended on Sin’s list?: [url<]http://sinhardware.com/images/vrmlist.png[/url<]

    • yammerpickle2
    • 6 years ago

    I’ll wait to see reviews of overclocked chips before I build up a new system. The updates they are talking about are still basically just tweaks to current designs that barely perform better than Ivy bridge. If they can’t demonstrate at least a 50% improvement to my P-2600’s overclocked benchmarks I think I’ll get a better bang for my buck upgrading my vid cards.
    I’m glad they woke up, but I think they should just push on to Skylake-E and stop acting like a unlocked multiplier, and better thermal interface is going to change the desktop world. Those features should have been baked into the chips at introduction and not be presented years later as a major feature upgrade.

    • Kougar
    • 6 years ago

    Anyone think that with the addition of eight-core parts for the high-end, that the six-core parts might finally see prices below that of the 4930K?

      • f0d
      • 6 years ago

      i do
      in fact i dont think we will even see a 4 core skt2011 part this time – i think the smallest cpu they will be making on haswell-e will be a six core that is actually a cut down 8 core

      i predict something like this (i could be wrong but nothing wrong with predictions 🙂
      5820k 6core (at or slightly above previous 4core 4820k price)
      5930k 8core (at or slightly above previous 6core 4930k price)
      5960x 8core (at previous 6core 4960x price)

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        I hope we’ll see more than MOAR CORES as a way to increase performance. Additional cores definitely helps in certain workloads, but for uses that don’t benefit from more than 4 physical cores we really need IPC *and* clockspeed increases to boost single-threaded (or ‘parallel single-threaded’ – where it’s a number of simultaneous single threads) performance.

          • f0d
          • 6 years ago

          in the short term the new overclockable iris pro (with 128mb L4 cache) will increase single thread performance (slightly on some workloads)
          the longer term it will be skylake and newer processors that will increase single threaded performance

          the higher end 2011 sockets will ALWAYS be about “MOAR CORES” though

          increases in clock speed will be coming very slowly – i think we have hit a wall in that area with silicon, we will be in the 3.5-4.5ghz area for most cpu’s for the next 5 years imo (wow more predictions lol)

    • DarkUltra
    • 6 years ago

    SAS support in X99 pls 😀

      • Krogoth
      • 6 years ago

      Not going to happen.

      Besides, SAS is just professional-tier SATA (more devices per controller and sightly better I/O throughput over a large volume of disk). The future of storage interfaces is SATA Express (mainstream) and NVM Express (enterprise).

        • shank15217
        • 6 years ago

        SAS 12Gbps is already out with 4x12Gbps per cable, that’s 48Gbps today, SAS will be around for a lot longer than you think.

          • Krogoth
          • 6 years ago

          You read it wrong.

          It is 12Gbps per port not per cable connect. It just splits the bandwidth up since there’s no HDD that can saturate a single 12Gpb connection and it makes more sense to split it up. It was designed for massive nested RAIDs found in SANs/NAS boxes. 😉

          SAS is going to remain in said boxes for bulk data storage where HDDs made more sense than solid state media since it is cheaper and more dense per GB.

          SAS rarely makes sense for a workstation build, since you aren’t trying to store tons of data that needs availability no matter what. You are going probably need bandwidth about all else and solid state media makes much more sense in most cases. In that case, you will probably want opt for SATA Express/NVM Express budget permitting.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    AMD – Enabling today, inspiring tomorrow.

    Well, I sure am not having any trouble believing the second part. They’re inspiring Intel to get a move on, alright.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    Well, this is both good news AND bad news for us.

    Good news: Intel is getting a move on.

    Bad news: I wonder how much x86 CPUs will cost two years from now. If anything, I think this will be the final blow to AMD and their x86 CPU for PCs biz.

    • tanker27
    • 6 years ago

    Dang I should have held out a little longer when upgrading, a 8 core i7 sounds awesome.

      • Crackhead Johny
      • 6 years ago

      This is PC building, procrastination always yields a better product at a better price point.

        • smilingcrow
        • 6 years ago

        Not for RAM it doesn’t and the same went for HDDs fairly recently also.

          • Crackhead Johny
          • 6 years ago

          In the long run it does. Short term fluctuations will always happen. Even with recent pricing if you compare 32 GB (4x 8GB) of RAM price wise, to the same amount 5 years ago, it is cheaper.
          A flood now boosting HD prices doesn’t mean they will be high in 6mo or a year. Bit coins boosting video card prices doesn’t mean that in 6 mo or a year they will still be gouging for dollars.

          Slacking your way to a much better PC takes time. If prices on a component see a short term spike you just put it off for a few more months.

          With CPUs not racing forwards like they used to, you have even more “good PC” time than you used to. I think my Ivy has been faster than you can buy for close to 2 years now. So I could shop for something with more OC head room and upgrade but the options are not really there for a real gain.

            • indeego
            • 6 years ago

            You could also say that choosing entire product categories can save you money and gain you features.

            If all you ever do is browse the net and do light stuff, a tablet fills 100% of your core needs at a fraction of the total cost of a desktop. If/when you need a desktop, rent one via S3 or locally.

            If all you need is light transportation to/from a few locations in a 10-mile radius, a bike provides far more efficient transport than any other medium. 730 miles per gallon, according to wikipedia. If/when you need a car, rent one.

            A care i7 4770 is vastly overpowered for most people’s needs, and very specific for a few tasks here and there for people that need it.

            Intel, in my mind, has overbuilt on the low-end of the spectrum. They are entrenched on the high-end, for the forseeable future.

            A 8 core i7 will make nearly zero difference for the majority of people. I would say a SSD or focusing on the bottlenecks (like bandwidth) would be a better use of your dime/time.

    • twups
    • 6 years ago

    I’m will not buy without seeing [b<]Hello Kitty[/b<] editions. Plus [b<]will.i.am[/b<]-designed Special Editions. And a Special Edition endorsed by [b<]Lady Gaga and Dr Dre.[/b<] Plus I'd like to see a Special Edition CPU endorsed by the Lowest Ranking General on Youtube, highlighting "safety" and "National Security" with a special Privacy Sticker included in the box. [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Kc5Xvr24Aw[/url<]

      • smilingcrow
      • 6 years ago

      Intel E8577 K WILL.I.OVER.CLOCK.LIKE.A.DICK Edition.

      • GatoRat
      • 6 years ago

      I’d love to see a Hello Kitty edition with a matching pink motherboard. My granddaughter would be especially delighted.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    Sooo…. the magical “Haswell Refresh” = replacing TIM and removing multiplier lock? That about sums it up?

    Yeah… Still waiting for Broadwell.

    • fredsnotdead
    • 6 years ago

    Why haven’t we had something like “Ready Mode” for several years already?

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      Intel had an olympic-sized pool filled with Benjamins.

      They were naked.

      Do the math.

      They finally just got out after years of practicing their backstroke. Their back is strained now and they are taking time away from their swimming to think about what they need to do. So this got on their to-do list.

    • WaltC
    • 6 years ago

    Good for Intel! I enjoy it when the facts come to light and people see that despite the lopsided press coverage the battery-powered toys are getting these days–the desktop is still king in terms of both value and raw performance.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      There’s no need to give into the inane argument of “smartphones/tablets vs PC’s.” That’s as bad as the media. Accept that they’re different products that fill different needs.

      PC’s are what you use when you got things to do. Tablets are what you use when you got nothing to do. Smartphones are what you use when you’re out somewhere with nothing to do.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]Smartphones are what you use when you're out somewhere with nothing to do.[/quote<] Or you know, talk to someone. 😉

          • HisDivineOrder
          • 6 years ago

          People use smartphones as phones?

          News at 11.

      • Flying Fox
      • 6 years ago

      I am giving you a thumbs-up for such a rare short post. 🙂

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    The gaping hole in Intel’s lineup is a low-cost 4-thread processor.

    Dual-cores without HT are becoming less relevant by the day.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      As are CPU’s based on AMD architecture. Lest we forget that those CPU’s AMD calls “quad-core” are really just dual core CPU’s with a smidge more than hyperthreading to their name.

      Until AMD has something that can compete, Intel won’t need anything except what they’re offering in the low end.

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      Presumably that’s the hole Baytrail (and its successors) are supposed to fill, eg the [url=http://ark.intel.com/products/76529/Intel-Pentium-Processor-J2850-2M-Cache-2_41-GHz<]Pentium J2850[/url<]

        • Chrispy_
        • 6 years ago

        I didn’t know you could even get those on the desktop, but yes – that is what Intel needs.

        I notice that’s an LGA1170 package – and I’m assuming this is not available at retail, only to OEMs?

          • UberGerbil
          • 6 years ago

          Yeah, I think they’re OEM-only at least for now. I certainly haven’t seen any floating around on Newegg but then I haven’t been looking much recently either. ATM Baytrail seems to be getting used by OEMs to deliver OMG_features (like quad core) at low prices in certain channels — like those special-model HP laptops and desktops that are only sold at CostCo and Walmart. Intel wisely skipped branding these CPUs as Atom, and “Pentium” still has a largely positive rep so consumers presumably will purchase these machines without the trepidation they’d feel if they knew they contained Atom 2.0 (and to be fair, BayTrail is much more capable than Atom).

    • indeego
    • 6 years ago

    I’ll be another curmudgeon and say CPUs have not been exciting for a while now, and this doesn’t really change things up much. I’ll believe the desktop market hasn’t faltered when I see a consistent pattern of flat or rising quarters year-over-year.

    Anecdotal and all, nobody I know is clamoring for desktops, even high end for gaming.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 6 years ago

      Well, i have quite a few (non-enthusiast gamer) friends who’ve built a desktop in the last 3 years, I’ve switched quite a few components too.

      Some of them have bought laptops too, most have smartphones, two have tablets. One bought a new GPU.

      So I dunno, seems to be room for everyone, and as far as i can tell, gaming desktops are still preferred over laptops (and consoles) when portability isn’t an issue.

    • ermo
    • 6 years ago

    You have to wonder if AMD’s microarch front-end allows them to tack on an extra ALU and AGU pipeline to each ‘core’ in a module (from 2+2 to 3+3 per ‘core’). That alone would give them an IPC boost of up to 50% in single-threaded integer workloads, which is where they’re currently way down on intel. It would also make their arch as wide as the old PhII was in pure integer workloads. Since they can’t scale their clock speeds anyway, making the architecture wider seems to be the only viable option?

    If AMD did this, even their APUs would be borderline interesting. It would also mean better performance at the 65W and 95W TDPs, since they wouldn’t need to attempt to scale the clockspeeds as high as they do now, so in theory they could just keep the current process with no ill effects. Not to mention the fact that if they turn the clockspeeds down, they could also offer unlocked Black series parts with guaranteed headroom as far as the process is concerned, which means that the 95W parts effectively become 125W parts once the wick is turned up by OCers.

    How about it AMD? Are you just going to sit there and let Intel eat the last of your lunch?

      • maxxcool
      • 6 years ago

      Not possible with the current “module” architecture. shared front end means the off 1 only executes 50-70% of the time… a 2nd off core would execute even less .. around 20% or less.

        • ermo
        • 6 years ago

        As I understand it, a big part of the recent Kaveri refresh revolved around alleviating the starvation issues, including (but not limited to) those that were due to the front-end?

        Did I miss the memo?

        And just to make it clear: I’m talking about beefing up each existing core in a single module (not adding a third core to the module). The current front-end can dispatch 4 ops per two cycles IIRC. For this to work with the widened cores, the front-end would have to be able to dispatch 6 ops per two cycles instead. But given that the PhII could dispatch 3 ops per cycle per core, one would think that 6 ops per two cycles shouldn’t be entirely out of the question.

        Then again, I’m not a chip designer. There might be all sorts of reasons that what I propose won’t fly.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      AMD sat and watched Intel eat their breakfast, dinner, fourth meal from Taco Bell, the dessert course, and then bang their wife in a post-meal celebratory bliss.

      I’m pretty sure lunch is a foregone conclusion.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 6 years ago

    Side note, i noticed that on one of their “yay NUC!” slides, they had a small image of [s<]the Steam logo[/s<] a steam machine and the prototype controller. Intel approves Steam Machines, i think. Why wouldn't they, they can sell more CPUs... link: [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/gallery/Screen-Shot-2014-03-18-at-42144-PM,0101-427347-0-2-3-1-png-.html[/url<]

    • Krogoth
    • 6 years ago

    I’ll wait until there’s a killer app that actually makes desktop CPU’s of yesterday woefully inadequate.

    What is really happening is that Intel’s marketing is trying hard to make “Desktop CPUs” market relevant when it already lost its momentum five years ago.

    Intel internally knows this and their last several CPU R&D cycles correlate with this. The first branch has a massive focus on smaller form factors (energy efficiency, SOC designs, miniaturization) and second branch is following HPC’s demands (more cores, sockets, memory bandwidth and cache).

    Desktop CPUs from Intel as we known them are actually “failed” derivatives of these branches or testbeds.

    • oldDummy
    • 6 years ago

    Seems like ages since a CPU has meant any improvement in all that matters. Everything has been chipset, chipset, chipset and gfx, gfx,gfx..

    The only benefit offered in this article is more lanes for gfx,gfx,gfx plus more 6G SATA connections.
    Dare I say chipset again.

    NVidia/AMD hold the reins for advancement in games CPU is not the bottleneck.

    • PBCrunch
    • 6 years ago

    From the article:

    “High-end desktops also broke records. Core i5 and i7 unit shipments reached an all-time high in 2013.”

    I don’t think this means the market for high-end desktops is increasing. It means their competitor has absolutely nothing to offer so they are getting 100% of that market.

    I also imagine that the relative weakness of the last generation of game consoles at the end of their long product cycle increased the number of people spending money on a high-end gaming PC in the last year or so.

    An unlocked Pentium might be neat, but this is Intel we’re talking about. These guys are the absolute masters of product segmentation. For all we know the Iris Pro is a major handicap towards overclocking. And these chips will probably have all their encryption and virtualization features disabled.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 6 years ago

    Well, looks like my decision to wait for the refresh might have been a good one. But wow this feels good, like a warm hug or something.

    I also discovered why it’s good to be [url=https://techreport.com/news/26103/possible-haswell-refresh-cpus-listed-online?post=804084<]skeptical but keep my hopes up[/url<].

    • crystall
    • 6 years ago

    It’s good that Intel has finally acknowledged that the [s<]goo[/s<] thermal interface material they've been using recently is of pretty low quality. What's more annoying is that besides using it in their entire desktop range - including high-end processors - they also use it across all the Xeon E3 range. So not only they're making you pay a significant chunk of money for enabling ECC on otherwise unmodified desktop processors but they're not even bothering with a better thermal solution for them.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 6 years ago

      It’s not low quality thermal paste, it just wasn’t spread properly and there is an air gap between the IHS and the die. That’s been causing issues.

        • xeridea
        • 6 years ago

        That’s because $33 Billion in revenue just wasn’t enough to hire someone competent enough to figure out how to spread heat.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 6 years ago

          More likely that the competent person didn’t find it worth it and figured they’d rather save some bucks.

    • allreadydead
    • 6 years ago

    Well, this should stop “PC is dead” articles for a while..

      • Krogoth
      • 6 years ago

      Not really.

      The classical desktop PC as we know is already dead. The momentum that it carried is already waning away. The majority of people aren’t getting “desktop PCs” anymore. They are holding onto their aging system and when they finally decide to “upgrade” they are opting for portables and all-in-one systems.

      Classical desktop PCs will become anachronistic as big irons and mainframes of old.

        • Vaughn
        • 6 years ago

        Sorry Krogoth but i’m not impressed with your opinion on this 🙂

        i’ve held on to my socket 1366 system for 5 years and Haswell E is my next step.

        I also own a laptop and a tablet and when I need to do serious work its always on my desktop pc. And this won’t change anytime soon regardless of noobs and hipsters with their love for mobile devices.

        i’m not saying you fall into the hipster category just that some of us do not follow the status quo like the sheep.

          • Krogoth
          • 6 years ago

          I didn’t say that nobody was getting desktops PCs. I merely stated that demand for them is a far cry from what it used to be. There’s a reason why retail channels from brick & mortars and OEMs have shifted most of their volume towards portables and all-in-one platforms. Desktop PCs are in usually found in the backburner and more often or not are geared towards ultra-low budget tier.

          I like putting together and tweaking around desktop chassis as much as the next PC enthusiast, but I also understand that times have changed. We are becoming like the small gatherings who still prefer messing around with classical cars and old muscles while the masses are content with mainstream car platforms. 😉

            • allreadydead
            • 6 years ago

            Well, I was kinda expecting backfire replies under my comment not really link to articles about how PC market is dead.

            I’m gonna agree with you Krogoth on one thing; desktop Powerhouse PC’s are dead. And I won’t stop at that point; those kind of DIY PC is dead on birth. It’s always been too complicated for average Joe to build one and people went for pre-built ones from day 1. Mass market never wanted to read thorough all that benchmark stuff or the things that “we” Tech Enthusiasts cared about. Even they have read all the stuff and get the RIGHT components together, PC’s and Windows has never been care free ecosystems. User needed/needs to take care of the system to make it work. Sometimes, they even need to tweak things via typing jibberish things in black old screens. Average Joe, really deeply hated it.
            It was always a market that is bleeding out and about to die. At least, it was my vision since the day I built my first PC in 90s.

            Average Joe first went for pre-built PC, some went for Macintosh even at the top days of the custom PCs. Now, they go for tablets because those little dinner plate things can get in facebook, check mails, send tweets and they have FUN games with touchy touchy screens.

            However, Computer Cases at the size of fridge like CM Stacker Boxes, big desks to support multi monitors will never die. It will go niche, the variety will drop in time but this section of computing, the enthusiast level will remain strong as prestige class for every computer related manufacturer.

            At least, that’s how I see it.

    • ptsant
    • 6 years ago

    The fact that the enthusiast series is one generation behind (Ivy-E). Maybe they are at last waking up.

    Can I have a Haswell-E with 8 cores and ECC? Yes, I know that it’s called Xeon, but my point is that I don’t want to pay for a Xeon!

      • stdRaichu
      • 6 years ago

      What’s more annoying is that, at least last time I looked, you couldn’t even pick up a >6 core Xeon without plumping for the E5-2xxx range which are considerably more expensive than the E3’s that most of us like to use (since they’re a piddling premium over the equivalent desktop chips, something that doesn’t happen once you get to the E5’s). Looking at a not-that-highish-end clock of 3GHz what I currently see in the retail channel is:

      Quad core 3.1GHz E3: £150
      Quad core 3.6GHz E5-1x: £230
      Hex core 3.2GHz i7: £440
      Hex core 3.3GHz E5-1x: £800
      Hex core 2.9GHz E5-2x: £1150
      Octa core 3.1GHz E5: £1400

      Hopefully these new CPUs might do something to redress the balance but given that “market segmentation” appears to be Intel’s somewhat unwieldy middle-name I’m not holding my breath.

      As an aside, would have upgraded my 2600K to IVB-E or SB-E a year ago if the platform hadn’t been so limited in terms of I/O. Saving my pennies for a proper workstation platform instead.

    • tazpa
    • 6 years ago

    What .. the .. holy! Did I just wet my pants?

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 6 years ago

    …am I dreaming?

    Did Intel actually wake up?

    Did it really take them this long to realize why they weren’t getting the sales numbers they wanted from their desktop socketed CPU’s?

    …is this real?

    I must be dreaming. Seriously. There’s no way they actually realized that the enthusiast PC market is still growing and making tons of money.

    …is there?

    • USAFTW
    • 6 years ago

    Looks to me that those unlocked 2-core Pentiums could brutally murder anything, and I mean, anything in AMD’s current FX and APU line up, performance wise. And power consumption? Looking forward to see those…
    Lisa Graff is gonna put some serious hurt to AMD unless Intel somehow changes their mind.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      Unlocked low end CPU’s from Intel would destroy AMD. I mean, you could stick a fork in them, they’d be done.

        • WaltC
        • 6 years ago

        I’ve heard that one before…for years…;) Hasn’t happened yet…

        Here’s a thought…back when the A64 was routinely outperforming Intel P4’s handily (back when websites tested with AMD cpus instead of Intel cpus), Intel didn’t dry up and blow away because AMD’s high end was trouncing Intel’s high end, did it?

        Most people do not

        a) buy the top end

        b) overclock

        c) know what overclocking is and/or how to do it

        d) do not care about overclocking in the first place

        …so it’s doubtful that even if Intel unlocks the low end that most low-end customers will even be aware of it, imo.

          • HisDivineOrder
          • 6 years ago

          If AMD loses the low end of the market, they lose. Period.

          They don’t have a ton of money and they are investing every dime of it in the low end. They aren’t winning the high end at all. They aren’t even present. They aren’t winning the medium high end. They’re barely present (and only debateably so). They aren’t winning the low end or mid-range.

          They have a space, a tiny space, where the customer is interested in a decent/low-mid CPU and a semi-decent GPU combo chip, but they require high power and a lot of compromises in quality levels in gaming to use that.

          Intel’s inroads in their integrated GPU’s mean many of their low end CPU’s with integrated GPU’s are great HTPC’s.

          In short, the reason unlocked Intel low end CPU’s would destroy AMD is not because Intel outperforms them, but because that’d be the last bastion of a market that AMD is still winning. They literally are being obliterated in all other markets of CPU’s. Even APU’s as a class unto themselves barely have a point with GPU’s like Maxwell having such great performance per watt/pricing and Intel integrating a GPU solid enough for most HTPC’s in just about every CPU they make.

          But AMD DOES have that unlocked low to mid-range CPU niche. If Intel closes that, what does AMD have left? Jaguar-based CPU’s? Hell, even there NUC wins the high end of small computing while Bay Trail-based SOC’s win the low end…

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            AMD should knock on Intel’s door and strike a GPU fabrication deal before NVidia does.

            • USAFTW
            • 6 years ago

            Not gonna happen, period. I’m sure it sounds nice though. Intel as I recall it claimed once that it had opened it’s fabs to other chip makers, not specifying which ones or possible exceptions.
            Edit: I misread, apologies! Maybe for the GPUs, but not the CPUs.

            • anotherengineer
            • 6 years ago

            O well, then they exit the market and then Intel ends up in court for x86 monopoly. That would be interesting to see what would happen.

          • Welch
          • 6 years ago

          Intel didn’t dry up and blow away because it had superior funding (and still does) and they were playing dirty by holding OEMs hostage and gifting entire lots of CPUs to those same OEMs.

          Your B, C and D are pretty much the same exact thing. Over clocking isn’t relevant to people who buy low end parts. To that I say your not entirely correct. Parts like a new Pentium that is unlocked and is accompanied by Iris Pro could fit a niche for things like HTPC. These same systems are likely to become favorites for people interested in the Steam OS. With the ability to stream games from a more powerful system in the house using Steams in home streaming function, this CPU would be ultra attractive to HTPC enthusiasts. While still retaining its ability to handle other graphic and CPU functions on its own. Think light gaming for more indie like titles or scaled down recent titles where 30 fps is fine on a TV. Makes for an attractive option for a dorm room too 🙂

          Maybe Intel finally realizes that in order to keep people from flocking to mobile/consoles that they need to provide a solution to grab attention at the lower end. This new Pentium may be that solution.

      • Wirko
      • 6 years ago

      The K suffix will cost money, maybe as much as $30, and the “anniversary edition” sounds like a time-limited offer. Most people don’t even think about overclocking whatever they have, either.
      AMD will hurt a little, sure. But it will not be beaten to death by this single chip.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 6 years ago

        “Time limited offer”? Like, of one year. This isn’t software, man. And this is a Pentium chip, not a 12 core that’ll be profitable in a low-production run.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 6 years ago

      Lisa Graff “chic”? Seriously, man? I think, at her position and experience in a company like Intel, not to mention the likely major driving force behind Intel’s desktop refocus, she deserves far more respect than “chic”.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah he should at least spell his semi-derogatory name-calling right.

        • USAFTW
        • 6 years ago

        There, corrected it for you. I think you’re correct that she deserves respect for caring for PCs.
        BTW, reading this, Intel will definitely be my next purchase for a CPU.
        And please, don’t tell me calling a woman a woman is disrespectful.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 6 years ago

          No…it’s not…but that had it been Brian Krzanich or another man you’d have probably just written “Brian Krzanich is going to put some serious hurt…”, instead of “This Brian Krzanich man/dude/guy…”. I say probably, because i don’t know you personally so i really can’t/shouldn’t say with any certainty, that’ll be unfair.

          Question is: do we need to highlight her sex, just because she’s a woman? Well no, definitely don’t [i<]need[/i<] to. Is it a problem if someone does? I don't know, long debate. Not saying you did it with any ill intention (to highlight "woman"), but subconscious tendency in society to do so (highlight). I know this is completely off topic, but in an industry where "booth babe" culture is still prevalent, I can't help but bring it up.

            • USAFTW
            • 6 years ago

            I respect women who run big companies successfully.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            That indirectly excludes a lot of women…

            • USAFTW
            • 6 years ago

            Okay, let me clarify… Every woman except whores of any kind, including pornstars.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      I think you nailed it: The fancier overclocking high-end Broadwells and Haswell-E aren’t really a threat to AMD since they will certainly be more expensive than AMD’s products and since Intel is really just revving existing product categories with new parts.

      AMD’s selling point is that they have “good enuff” performance at a relatively low price. However, you get lower-end unlocked i3s or Pentiums where people can really go to town with the clockspeed and AMD’s selling point just became a lot weaker.

      • Vhalidictes
      • 6 years ago

      Whelp, that’s it for AMD. And that’s a shame, but… they had their chance and blew it. Sucks for us.

        • USAFTW
        • 6 years ago

        They had a chance you say? Intel is like 50 times bigger than AMD. They have more brainpower and money than any (not exactly – but relevant) companies. It’s though competing with Intel, and the lack of good management muscle inside AMD doesn’t help.

        • Ringofett
        • 6 years ago

        Eh, I still don’t think Intel will let AMD die. They’ll always carve out an area of the low end where AMD can survive by either gimping their products or being over-priced relative to AMD. The potential profits aren’t worth the legal nightmare of becoming the only major x86 competitor. Counterintuitively, probably more profitable (after legal expense and risk-adjusted) to keep throwing bones to AMD.

        Besides, lets be serious. If Intel wanted to destroy AMD, they could’ve very easily done it with Sandy Bridge. It’s “competition” was Bulldozer. They could’ve cut prices just a tad, and it’d of been lights out. One quarter of slightly lower margins, and then no more AMD.

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    about damn time!

      • BIF
      • 6 years ago

      Amen to this!

    • lycium
    • 6 years ago

    Awesome news, especially if the 128MB L4 materialises!

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    Exciting… Finally getting some TLC from Intel. I hope that edram makes its way down through the ranks and doesn’t become something like xram on creative sound cards.

    It’s sort of interesting that just a few small changes makes a world of difference too. The TIM and packages for the desktops has needed to be redone for a few years now, yet was still neglected, despite how easy it must’ve been to do it. Either by design or because no one cared. That’s probably going to make the biggest difference right there.

    I hope she sticks around. It sounds like she could make recommending new Intels a thing again, instead of gen 2-4 are pretty much the same.

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 6 years ago

    But will it play Commander Keen? :p

    7 years has been a nice run with my current main computer. Think this will be the year I finally build a new one.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 6 years ago

    Well, well, well…..

    This is promising.

    • Broman57
    • 6 years ago

    YAWN..I’ve just built 2 systems: i7 3820, and a Xeon E-3 1245 system fairly loaded.. I’m good for a long time..Time to focus on how my hardware interfaces with the software that’s out there.. I will continue to build for others, but I’m GOOD!!!

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    So what’s AMD gonna do about all this? Come on, AMD, we need you to stay in the x86 desktop PC market, and by that I don’t mean cheap-ass Kabini or perfect-for-grandma APUs!

      • f0d
      • 6 years ago

      i really do hope amd come out with something at least close to competitive

      i have been buying intel since core2 but only because i am not really biased to any brand and intel has had the performance crown since then – i would love to buy amd for their performance again like i used to with the old thunderbirds and athlon 64’s

      • Unknown-Error
      • 6 years ago

      They can’t do anything. Not with their current budget.

      • BIF
      • 6 years ago

      I pronounce it “Aapooo” (rhymes with “Aaah chooo!”)

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      Wouldn’t it be nice if AMD roared back to life, too?

      Alas, I don’t think they have the money to follow suit.

        • just brew it!
        • 6 years ago

        Alas, you are probably right.

        And even if they could, they won’t have a market differentiator like x86-64 this time around to put them in a position to drive the future direction of the platform.

      • shaurz
      • 6 years ago

      Heterogeneousnessness

      • Ninjitsu
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]So what's AMD gonna do about all this?[/quote<] Nothing. Or maybe shout "HSA" louder..

        • just brew it!
        • 6 years ago

        I don’t think they have any credible responses. At this point I see a few possibilities for the future of AMD, none of which involve a continuing presence in the x86 desktop market other than maybe at the low end:

        – Focus on GPUs.

        – Focus on supplying silicon to the console market.

        – Push aggressively into the 64-bit ARM server market (assuming such a market ever materializes).

        Any of these strategies would play to their strengths, while minimizing the negative impacts of their weaknesses. Which means they’ll probably do something else…

          • Ninjitsu
          • 6 years ago

          Well, yes, my initial response apart from nothing was “make more GPUs”, but i was thinking about x86…and yeah, what you said.

          An overclockable Pentium within $100 will probably decimate anything below the fastest A6 parts (that’ll only win in highly threaded tasks) as far as perf/W and perf/$ are concerned. Heck, even in absolute performance.

    • f0d
    • 6 years ago

    bout time intel….

    looks like i might upgrade my htpc with an overclockable iris pro
    and upgrade my 3930k with a haswell-e

    thanks intel for finally giving me reason to upgrade from sandy bridge

    • maxxcool
    • 6 years ago

    Wait .. what ??

    Iris-pro and unlocked “pentium” ? Holy balls… only if it where a quad core.

    Looks like AMD got what it wanted.. a more aggressive and BETTER VALUE pentium that will brutally savage the entire apu-line…

    Add to that a fully unlocked i5 + iris memory module ala 128mb l4 via local on cpu buss ???? AMD Eat your heart out.

      • maxxcool
      • 6 years ago

      Hmm can a micro linux distro run from a l4 cache?

      • puppetworx
      • 6 years ago

      [quote=”maxxcool”<]Holy balls[/quote<] Indeed. I don't imagine it will be quad core as it will cannibalize their i5 segment but I can't help hoping it is.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    Looks like this is a re-awakening of the giant, except this time, it’s the giant himself that woke himself up, not some plucky little guy.

    AMD surely can’t wait for the ARM server market to come soon enough.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Folks have even taken to de-lidding their brand-new processors in order to recover some of the clock speed headroom.[/quote<] I don't know what kind of maniac would do a thing like that, but I certainly can't condone that kind of warranty-violating behaviour. -- whistles and looks away --

      • firerules16
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah, [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=92353<]I can't even imagine[/url<] what kind of crazy person would do such a thing!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        Clearly it’s only someone who hates Intel so much that they want to physically mangle their product.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 6 years ago

      A maniacal warranty violator. That’s who.

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        YOU’VE FOUND ME OUT! [rips tag off mattress]

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          Ripping the tag off doesn’t void warranty

            • chuckula
            • 6 years ago

            Oh… you don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes Neely!

            TIN CANS AREN’T REALLY MADE OUT OF TIN EITHER!!

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            well now I have no idea what to believe.

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      I know what you did last summer.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 6 years ago

    “…software provided by the PC maker”

    Dear God no. If by that they mean the Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers, it’s a disaster waiting to happen unless they are literally just branding the Intel software. I wouldn’t even especially want Dell or HP to do this, but the thought of Asus or Gigabyte providing a key piece of system software scares me.

      • nanoflower
      • 6 years ago

      Why? They are already providing such software. Gigabyte has provided their EasySaver (?) for years to enable/disable the power savings of various Intel chips and I’m sure the other vendors have something similar. So they add this into the existing software.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah, but that existing software is often crappy in one way or another and doesn’t provide true system-level functions. The Gigabyte power saving software for example merely manipulates power phases on the motherboard itself or limits power draw – it is *not* an Intel platform technology. I just don’t trust motherboard manufacturers to provide something like this, just like I wouldn’t want them writing drivers for the chipset either for example.

        • Kougar
        • 6 years ago

        I own an Z87 Gigabyte board, and their EasyTune fan control doesn’t even work for the CPU fan. I can’t modify or change the CPU fan unless I do it within the UEFI interface. Their software also has trouble reading 200mm fans and my low-speed Noctua fan.

        I sure as heck wouldn’t want OEMs providing key software drivers, I remember when Z87 first launched and EasyTune wouldn’t even work if I disabled the IGP in the UEFI. It took over a month before that was patched out. And a year later I still can’t use the HD interface in GB’s UEFI because it isn’t supported on my GTX 480.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]And, amazingly, this CPU will include Intel's Iris Pro graphics technology. Now, a relatively fast IGP is one thing, but we suspect Broadwell's Iris Pro implementation will be similar to Haswell's and include an on-package eDRAM cache of 128MB or more.[/quote<] And therein lies the real reason why an upgrade from Sandy Bridge to Broadwell could be worth it. Not for the IGP, which will be overridden by a gaming card anyway, but because you still get that nice big L4 cache that really can be quite useful in the right situations.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah, if you can get most of the performance in some scientific workloads as a $1000 -E part with this, it’ll be well worth it.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Oh snap… somebody at Intel woke up.

    Oh, and I can’t help but being reminded of this clip: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-X1zY5KvV0[/url<] (the punk kid almost looks like Rory Read)

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