The NDA has recently been lifted on Intel's upcoming Haswell lineup. The Haswell chips will use a new socket, LGA 1150, instead of the current LGA 1155 package, and will feature a wide range of processors aimed at enthusiasts and the budget market alike. They will follow Intel's familiar naming pattern, being the Intel Core i3/i5/i7 4XXX series, with the higher numbers indicating higher end models. You can read our review on the Intel Core i7 4770K, which features a stock clock speed of 3.5GHz and a turbo clock speed of 3.9GHz. The full specs of a number of the chips can be found in the table below,
|Cores||Threads||TDP (W)||Clock Speed|
|Core i7 4770||Y||4||8||84||3.5GHz - 3.9GHz|
|Core i7 4770S||N||4||4||65||3.5GHz - 3.9GHz|
|Core i7 4770T||N||4||4||45||3.1GHz - 3.7GHz|
|Core i7 4765T||N||4||4||35||2.6GHz - 3.0GHz|
|Core i5 4670||Y||4||4||84||3.6GHz - 3.8GHz|
|Core i5 4670S||N||4||4||65||3.4GHz - 3.8GHz|
|Core i5 4670T||N||4||4||45||2.9GHz - 3.3GHz|
|Core i5 4570||N||4||4||84||3.4GHz - 3.6GHz|
|Core i5 4570S||N||4||4||65||3.2GHz - 3.6GHz|
|Core i5 4570T||N||2||4||35||3.3GHz - 3.6GHz|
|Core i5 4430||N||4||4||84||3.0GHz - 3.2GHz|
|Core i5 4430S||N||4||4||65||2.8GHz - 3.2GHz|
As you can see from the table, most of the mid-high end Intel processors feature four cores and a clock speed of around 3GHz+, which is fairly similar to the current Ivy Bridge chips. All of these chips, however, integrate a 16-lane PCIe 3.0 controller, and support for dual-channel DDR3 memory. There will also be some other low-end Core i3 models that will be introduced later in the year, as well as a BGA package, which is to support Intel's hugely anticipated GT3 graphics package.
In CPU benchmarks, the Core i7 4770K beats the current 3770K by a reasonable amount, some tests with the 4770K run at almost twice the speed of the 3770K which is fairly impressive. On the GPU side, the performance increase from Haswell is somewhat disappointing, despite a performance gain over Ivy Bridge - most games must be running on the 'Low' graphics preset for any chance of a reasonable frame rate at a 1366x768 resolution.
When compared to the Sandy Bridge E series of processors, the Haswell chip begins to show signs of weakness, with the performance gains from the 4770K still falling behind its Sandy Bridge counterpart, now two generations old. Haswell still manages a 7-13% performance increase over Ivy Bridge in its current state, which is unlikely to give any particularly noticeable performance boost in real-life applications. With the release of the i7 4770K this weekend, we expect to see more Haswell processors to be released in the near future.