Haswell is here: we detail Intel’s first 4th-generation Core CPUs

ars techina by Andrew Cunningham

Intel is announcing the first of its fourth-generation Core processors based on the "Haswell" architecture.

Intel has been releasing information about Haswell, its next-generation CPU architecture, for months now. Our coverage has already been fairly extensive—we've already got a nice overview of Haswell's CPU architecture itself, along with a primer on its brand-new integrated GPUs. All we need to know now is specific product information, and Intel is finally giving us our first official taste of that today.

This morning's announcements revolve around high-end quad-core chips in the Core i7 and Core i5 families, 12 for desktops and 10 for laptops. If you're looking for specific information about U- and Y- series low-voltage chips for Ultrabooks or anything belonging to the Core i3, Pentium, or Celeron families, you'll have to wait a little while longer. We'll be sure to pass that information along as we have it.

What we'll do here is present a high-level recap of the CPU, GPU, and chipset enhancements Intel is introducing in Haswell. After that, we'll break down the specific CPUs that Intel is announcing today and the kinds of systems you're likely to find them in. Note that all of this information is coming directly from Intel—they're not going to out-and-out make things up, but they're definitely going to present their CPUs in the best possible light. We'll be putting all of the below performance claims to the test as we begin to review Haswell-based systems later this summer.

The CPUs: Performance is up a little, power consumption is down a lot

The biggest part of the fourth-generation Core launch is Haswell itself, the new CPU architecture that supersedes last year's Ivy Bridge (which was itself only a modification of 2011's Sandy Bridge). Haswell is a "tock" in Intel's overarching "tick-tock" refresh strategy, meaning that it is a new architecture built on Intel's established 22nm 3D tri-gate manufacturing process. Next year's refresh, code-named Broadwell, will modify the Haswell architecture for manufacture on Intel's forthcoming 14nm process. read more...

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