Intel's Broadwell goes broad with new desktop, mobile, server variants


14-nm chips for everyone

As expected, Intel widened the reach of its 14-nm Broadwell CPU architecture across more of its product lines this morning with the introduction of a whole raft of new CPU models for desktops, laptops, and even servers. These CPUs promise improved power efficiency, higher per-clock performance, and faster graphics than the Haswell-based products that came before them.

The suite of desktop Broadwell processors looks like so:

All of these products are fundamentally similar and are likely just variants of a single type of silicon die.

The two products of most interest to do-it-yourself PC builders are the Core i7-5775C and the Core i5-5675C. These two parts are socketed processors that promise to drop into existing Z97 motherboards. They're both unlocked for easy overclocking, and they both have quad cores with peak Turbo clocks of 3.6 and 3.7GHz.

Despite that fact, they're not your typical high-end enthusiast fare. These C-series models have relatively modest 65W power envelopes and come with Intel Iris Pro 6200 graphics—the "Pro" denotes higher performance thanks to the presence of 128MB of embedded DRAM that acts as a graphics cache and as an L4 cache for the entire processor.

As a result, the desktop Broadwells may have more appeal for those building quiet, compact systems like home-theater PCs or mini-ITX rigs than for traditional ATX-size systems used by gamers and power users. That dynamic could be altered by some really promising overclocking results, but we'll have to see. Intel says review samples of desktop Broadwell chips should ship soon, but we don't yet have them in hand.

The Core i7-5775C will have quad cores and eight threads via Hyper-Threading and sell for $366. The i5-5675C will have quad cores with quad threads and will list for $276.

The other desktop Broadwell parts are intended for all-in-one PCs and small-form-factor systems like the Intel NUC lineup.  They're meant for BGA-style mounting, not sockets, and will be consumed primarily by large PC manufacturers.

Above is a listing of the five different models of mobile Broadwell parts that Intel introduced for use primarily in larger laptops such as gaming-focused luggables and desktop replacements. They all have 47W power envelopes, well above the range of existing Broadwell chips. Most of them feature four cores, eight hardware threads, 6MB of L3 cache, and Iris Pro graphics with eDRAM acting as an L4 cache. Peak clock speeds are in the mid-3GHz neighborhood. As a result, Intel expects them to deliver much higher performance than earlier Broadwell-based processors.

In fact, it touts the gaming potential of the Core i7-5950HQ at 1080p in some of the world's most popular games.

The firm also announced four new Xeon E3-1200-series products likely based on the same Broadwell die. These Xeon E3v4 parts have power envelopes ranging from 95W to 35W, and all feature Iris Pro graphics. The firm bills them as having "Intel's most powerful data center graphics" and promises 1.4X faster video transcoding performance thanks to Broadwell's improved QuickSync accelerator block. The press release claims these CPUs could deliver "up to 4,300 simultaneous HD video streams per server rack," which gives you some sense of who the customers might be for these products.

Tags: CPUs

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