One of the common complaints against Intel every time they launch a new generation of CPUs is the amount of die space used for the iGPU. Since Sandy Bridge, Intel has significantly improved their iGPU while CPU performance hasn’t moved much. This has all been worth it though as Intel is claiming once again that casual and even mainstream gamers don’t need a discrete graphics card anymore. In fact, according to Intel, iGPUs are now faster than 80% of discrete cards.
Of course, Intel is only claiming those numbers since the new Skylake Iris Pro HD 580 is a massive 50% leap up in performance over past iGPUs, placing it near the likes of the GTX 750 and R 250X. While these cards may be capable of 1080p at medium settings, any CPU with the 580 is likely outside a casual or mainstream gamer’s budget. The more tame HD 530 that most users have is unlikely to be useful for anything higher than 720p low/medium in any mainstream games. That makes it safe to say that the 750 and 250X are probably faster than 100% of iGPUs.
Nevertheless, iGPUs have become much more relevant than in the past. AMD has their own line of APUs and both firms undoubtedly want users to choose them not just based on CPU performance but for the iGPU as well. Even with all the talk, the move to 4K and VR and ever more demanding games at 1080p will likely move gaming out of reach for iGPUs once again.
MSI has just launched its MS-98G5 industrial motherboard with an embedded processing and graphics solution. The motherboard is based on the mini-ITX form factor and Intel 4th Gen QM87/HM86 architecture that comes with a BGA-type Haswell/Broadwell Mobile Core i7, i5, i3 or Celeron CPU, various displays, 1 PCIe x16, 8 USB 2.0 and 4 USB 3.0 ports, 5 COM ports, a SATA 3.0 connector, and 2 mini-PCIe slots.
The MS-98G5 is flexible in terms of system integrators, having the auto-switch DC 12/19V power inputs bring more possibilities of display deployment, I/O connection and extra expansion. The motherboard features HDMI, DP, DVI-I, and LVDS in terms of outputs and the HD Graphics as a graphical solution, giving it the high-performance Intel 4th Gen kernel the industrial sector needs for various industrial applications.
Here is a brief spec of the MSI MS-98G5:
Haswell/Broadwell Mobile Core i7/i5/i3/Celeron Processor
3 independent displays (HDMI/DP/DVI-I/LVDS)
Dual GbE LAN with iAMT (EIA+QM87)
2 x DDR3L 1333/1600 MHz up to 16GB memory
1 x PCIe(x16) w/ riser card to x8+x8 or x8+x4+x4
8 x USB 2.0; 4 x USB 3.0; 5 x COM; SATA 3.0
2 x mini-PCIe slots
Auto-switch DC power 12/19V
MSI has yet to give out a release date for the product at hand or a recommended retail price, but customers can go to its web page here for more information on the product.
Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information
To say that Intel’s HD Graphics are good enough for discrete class gaming is a lie, but to say that Intel’s HD Graphics have improved massively over the past few years is very much the truth. In early 2015, Q1 to be exact, Intel will bring its 8th generation of HD graphics to the table with the 14nm Braswell parts, further improving graphics performance for the masses. For those who don’t know Braswell will be the successor to the current Bay Trail line of products. This means Braswell will mainly be for the compact and mobile segments (such as net-tops, tablets, notebooks, chromebooks, etc.) where having stronger integrated graphics is vital because discrete graphics are not viable options due to cost, power and thermal requirements. Intel’s 8th Generation HD graphics will come with 16 EUs (execution units) which means they are fairly modest: the HD 4600 GT2 graphics on desktop chips like the Core i7 4770K have 20 EUs. However, compared to current Bay Trail chips this is a massive upgrade – they have just 4.
The 16 EUs means the Intel Braswell chips will have similar graphics performance to Intel’s Ivy Bridge desktop parts which had 16 EUs too, of course expect the frequencies to be a little slower as Braswell chips have to scale within smaller thermal envelopes. The Intel 8th Generation HD Graphics will offer full hardware support for video encoding and decoding and possible 4K support although this is still to be confirmed. Impressively the Braswell chips will be able to support three independent displays with resolutions up to 2560 x 1600. The Braswell parts should arrive as Pentium and Celeron J series products in order to properly distinguish them from existing Haswell and Bay Trail parts.
Intel is supposed to be launching their Skylake platform at some stage in 2015. Skylake will succeed Broadwell and it will be a “tock” in the Intel Tick-Tock model as it maintains the same 14nm process node but opts for a new microarchitecture. Skylake will bring DDR4 memory support and an improved graphics processing unit. There will be four variations of Skylake: U and Y series CPUs for ultra low power devices such as tablets and ultrabooks. H series CPUs for high performance mobile and all-in-one form factors and finally the S series which is for traditional socketed desktop CPUs.
Intel’s U and Y series CPUs will integrate the PCH on-die, so are effectively SoCs, Intel’s H and S series CPUs will require an external PCH, or chipset. The H and S series CPUs now communicate with the PCH over DMI 3.0, instead of the current DMI 2.0, and they will be dual channel CPUs. The U and Y series CPUs will be single channel. In terms of core counts the U and Y CPUs will have 2 cores and support LPDDR3 memory up to 1600MHz. The Y parts have GT2 graphics with a 4W TDP and the U parts GT2 graphics with a 15W TDP. There will also be “special” versions of the U series CPUs that come with 64MB of eDRAM and better GT3 graphics, these have 15 and 28W TDPs.
Moving onto the all-important H and S series parts now, the H series CPUs will have 4 cores with GT2 or GT4e graphics. The GT2 parts have 35 and 45W TDPs while the GT4e parts have 45W TDPs and 128MB of eDRAM cache. Unlike the U and Y series parts the H series parts have full support for DDR4 memory up to 2133MHz. The S parts, which are the desktop socketed CPUs, are offered in dual and quad core models as expected. The dual core models come with GT2 graphics and in 35 or 65W parts. The quad core models come with GT2 or GT4e graphics, except they get 64MB not 128MB of eDRAM.The TDP for these parts will be 35W and 65W but there will also be some 95W TDP parts with GT2 graphics. Presumably these will be the high-end enthusiast skews because there is no reason to give them anything other than basic entry-level GT2 graphics as most people will not use them. These S series parts will support DDR4 2133 but some of them will also support DDR3L and DDR3L-RS to allow for compact and SFF systems to be built.
The H, U and Y series CPUs will all be produced in soldered BGA packages – some are rumoured to have configurable TDPs. The S series CPUs come in the LGA 1151 package and are socketed.
Dell announced its education-focused notebook called Chromebook 11 at Dell World 2013, having it be the first Dell device with Chrome OS. The new Dell Chromebook 11 is an affordable and highly portable device, having an education-focused notebook designed to facilitate integration of technology in the classroom and at home for teachers, students and administrators. The chromebook is fast, secure and allows easy-to-manage access to Google apps for education with Dell resources, services and support.
In terms of specs, the 2.9 pounds Chromebook 11 has an Intel HD graphics display with a resolution of 1366×768, 1.4GHz Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 16GB internal memory, 2GB or 4GB RAM depending on your preference, front-facing 720p webcam and up to 10-hours of battery life, having its embedded 16GB Solid State Drive feature a fast boot-time of less than 8.4 seconds.
“Dell believes that when implemented successfully, teachers, students and technology work together to enrich the learning process,” said Neil Hand, vice president, Tablet and Performance PC Group, Dell. “The Dell Chromebook 11 will give schools and districts another tool to consider as they plan their digital content and curriculum strategies, and its competitive pricing will help open access to technology for more students around the country.”
The Dell Chromebook 11 will be available in two models, One 11 model shipping with 4GB of internal DDR3 RAM in January 2014. The Second model will have only 2GB of RAM and is expected to arrive later on during the first quarter of 2014. Both of these models will provide options for the education ecosystem. It will allow students, teachers and administrators to access, create and collaborate throughout the day at a price point that makes widespread student computing initiatives affordable.
Now in terms of pricing, the Dell Chromebook 11 is expected to hit the retail stores at a price somewhere below $300 in the US, and should be available for around £180 or below for the UK.
Intel recently announced that it would be removing driver support for XMir which is Canonical’s new X11 display server that will be added into upcoming releases of Ubuntu. Intel removes this support from the “xf86-video-intel” open source display driver for Intel graphics products.
Intel’s Chris Wilson stated that:
“We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream. – The Management”
“This just strikes me as trying to win the race by tripping the competition, not by running faster. Worse still, they made somebody else do the deed without the decision makers publicly taking responsibility for the decision.” Stated Michael Hall.
Canonical claims it will get around the move by Intel by regularly integrating an XMir Patch into each new release of Intel’s Linux graphics driver.
CPU World have managed to get a hold of some pricing details about Intel’s Haswell Core i3. The pricing information comes from pre-order listings from ShopBLT and they have the majority of the unreleased Haswell processor models listed. Above you can see a table compiled with all the models, their specifications and their price. Generally speaking the pre-order pricing of Haswell is more or less identical to that of Ivy Bridge, though we will likely see a higher premium at retailers because retailers know consumers will pay more for newer Haswell Core series processors than they would for older Ivy Bridge processors.
This is also an opportunity to check out the final confirmed specifications of these products. Interestingly the lower end Pentium models have weaked Integrated graphics that the Core iX models but they do come with a substantially smaller price point. No doubt the Haswell Pentium processors will continue to be a favourite among low end system builders and even moderate gaming systems – pairing the Haswell Pentiums up with a mid-range GPU like a GTX 650Ti or HD 7790 would be capable of doing most modern games on medium settings running at 1920 x 1080.
There were no details on when we should expect to see these new Haswell processors arrive but within the next month seems realistic since retailers and distributors now know what the final retail prices are.
Image #1 courtesy of Intel and Image #2 courtesy of CPU World
Alongside MSI’s two Primo tablets it displayed its Core i7 S20 Slider Ultrabook. This device features a multi-angled slide screen with an attached keyboard. This allows you to choose between either a tablet or an ultrabook. The MSI Slidebook S20 has reasonably impressive specifications with an Intel Core i7 mobile, an 128GB mSATA SSD and a full HD display. It also boasts battery life of around 5 hours when being continuously used.
MSI’s choice of operating system is Windows 8 Pro but this will probably be upgraded to Windows 8.1 when that hits the market. Given the flexibility of the integrated Intel GPU this S20 Slidebook can also output at 4K or 2K resolutions. The screen features 10 point multi-touch and the whole product weighs in at just 1.16kg. MSI have provided a decent I/O set with USB, HDMI and a card reader. The MSRP for this unit is around $1200 and it has already been released.
Gigabyte have already displayed two new notebooks at Computex powered by Haswell, the U35F and U24F and now they are showing us a new tablet/notebook hybrid device. The tablet is based on 3rd generation (Ivy Bridge) Pentium 2117U or Core i5 processors. The S1185 features an 11.6″ capacitive multi touch screen that is IPS and boasts a resolution of 1920 by 1080. It supports up to 8GB of RAM but has only one SODIMM slot. The GPU is the Intel HD 4000 and the tablet is available with either a 64, 128 or 256GB mSATA SSD. Connectivity is quite extensive with a USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, VGA out, HDMI out, microSD, a sim card slot and the keyboard dock connector.
Gigabyte are continuing their trend of integrating 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 which they have done on virtually all of their new motherboards so far. There is also an integrated 3.5G antenna built into the Gigabyte Padbook S1185. The device uses two cameras a front facing 1.3MP camera and a rear facing 5MP camera. The battery provides 39 watt-hours at 7.9 volts and the device weighs 1KG as a tablet and 1.4KG with the keyboard attachment.
Intel’s drive towards reviving notebooks is all about making them more accessible, portable and user friendly. Haswell mobile is a big part of this and we can already see Gigabyte taking this onboard with the U24F slim notebook. Gigabyte showed off this notebook in a demonstration at Computex and the U24F has some decent specifications. There is a choice of Haswell Mobile Core i5s or Core i7s and it uses a 14 inch 1600 by 900 LCD. 4GB or 8GB or SODIMM DDR3 come pre-installed and there is space for up to 16GB. The graphics are powered by a combination of Intel HD 4400 graphics and Nvidia’s GT 750M 2GB GPU. Nvidia Optimus technology means the U24F can switch between the two to balance performance and battery life.
Gigabyte are offering a 128 or 256GB mSATA SSD pre-installed and a 500/750/1000GB hard drive. A DVD-RW is provided as well as two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, an SD card reader, Gigabit LAN, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to top off the extensive connectivity options. The provided battery is a 47.73 watt-hour battery and should provide extensive battery life with the new power efficient Haswell mobile architecture.
The Gigabyte U24F weighs 1.59kg with an mSATA SSD and 1.69kg with an mSATA SSD and mechanical hard drive.
With the launch of Haswell comes the launch of new mobile processors, and Haswell was really designed from the ground up to be a processor for the mobile market. Gigabyte are taking advantage of this brand new architecture from Intel with a whole cluster of new notebooks. We will bring the details of all of these to you and first up is the Gigabyte U35F notebook. This notebook is powered by Haswell with an option for Core i5 or Core i7 models of your choice. Gigabyte are choosing to provide either a full HD 1920 by 1080 display or a 1366 by 768 display for the more budget conscious consumer. The U35F notebook comes pre-fitted with either 4 or 8GB of DDR3 SODIMM RAM and supports a maximum of 16GB of RAM.
Nvidia Optimus technology allows the graphics to switch between Intel HD 4400 Graphics and Nvidia’s GT 750M. There is an option of a 128GB or 256GB mSATA SSD as well as a 500/750/1000GB hard drive. A DVD-RW is provided as well as two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, an SD card reader, Gigabit LAN, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to top off the extensive connectivity options.
A six cell 68.82 watt-hour battery is provided and should have impressive battery life given Haswell’s new power saving technologies for the mobile market. The total weight of this notebook is 2.3KG. No pricing or availability has been announced yet.
Intel is gaining an increasing interest in developing better graphics for its new emerging product markets, Ultrabooks and the NUC (next unit of computing) are the main focuses here. The issue with Ultrabooks and the NUC is that they lack space for discrete graphics solutions yet they still need decent graphics performance to meet the ever more-demanding needs of the consumer as well as to help power higher resolution displays when they start to become more prevalent.
The solution to this? Well Intel will start churning out special variations of Haswell processors that feature extra graphics cores. These enhanced/enlarged Haswell processors are MCM (multi-chip-modules) of what is essentially two dies stuck together. The larger die is the Haswell processor itself with a smaller die that incorporates extra graphics cores and fourth level eDRAM cache. The graphics cores gets upgraded from having 20 Execution Units (EUs) to have 40 EUs – essentially double the amount of graphics processing – while the eDRAM cache should allow everything to operate faster with higher bandwidth and lower latency.
This new enlarged GT3 package from Intel is designed to rival discrete sub-20W GPUs from Nvidia and AMD. The enlarged Haswell GT3 package will have a TDP of 55W which may seem high but considering that will contain a processor and vastly improved graphics we think that’s actually pretty good. Not to mention that it will be backed by power management features that will look to cut power consumption down where ever possible.
What are your thoughts on the enlarged Haswell chips? A good idea from Intel? Ideal for mobile computing? Should they bring a similar concept to the desktop market?
Intel has been investing serious amounts of money into developing its Atom processors for the mobile market for quite some time now. Intel’s ValleyView based Atom processors, based on the Bay Trail platform, will feature the latest and greatest in Intel manufacturing technology, that is 22nm processing.
According to Industry Sources, probably from within Intel, the new Intel Atom quad core processors based on the ValleyView design will be competitive with their ARM tablet counterparts currently on the market. The 22nm Intel Silvermont cores feature much faster execution rates, higher clock speeds, better memory bandwidth, dramatically improved graphics and lowered power consumption.
Intel is expecting its quad core ValleyView Atoms to provide solid competition against ARM in the tablet, netbook and nettop markets. While Intel is also looking to gain within the server space by producing 8 core variants of their ValleyView processor for high performance low power variants that can compete with ARM based servers.
Intel is looking to prove everyone wrong as the general word in the market is still that ARM is more cost-effective and better performing than equivalent Intel Atom SoCs. Intel will be hoping to claw back some ground to its strong ARM competitors such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and Nvidia’s Tegra 4. Currently you will be hard-pressed to find Intel’s Atom processors in many smartphones or tablets but Intel is looking for that to change with ValleyView.
What are your thoughts on ValleyView? Would you buy an Intel powered tablet or smartphone?
We always seem to see a company’s range of mobile graphics processors arrive before the next generation of desktop graphics processors and this is indeed the case again with Nvidia’s latest range the GT 700M series. Nvidia have gone ahead and announce the bottom half of the GT 700M series which includes the 720M, 735M, 740M, 745M and 750M, all GT variants. The GT 710M and GT 730M had already been released. It is expected at a later date the GTX variants will arrive. All these new GPUs, with exception to the GT 710M, are based on the 28nm Kepler architecture while the 710M is based on Fermi.
The magnitude of performance increases isn’t fully known but you can compare performance to Intel’s latest HD graphics above. One of the main selling points of the new range of GPUs is GeForce experience which gives beginners automatic game configuration to find them the optimal settings for gameplay, that is the highest frame rates with the best possible graphic quality settings. GeForce experience also includes GPU Boost 2.0 which performs dynamic overclocking and an automated driver update engine. Nvidia claims 10 out of the 10 best 2012 game releases are optimally playable with the GT 720M.
Finally Nvidia is including its Optimus technology with all GeForce 700M series cards which allows for dynamic switching between integrated Intel HD Graphics and the discrete Nvidia processors. Despite all Nvidia’s criticisms of the Intel HD Graphics they still help to extend battery life.
Intel HD Graphics may not be the most exciting GPUs in the world to have, but for those who only do a bit of light gaming from time to time, or for those who simply cannot afford a discrete GPU, it is nice to know that the Intel HD Graphics are there and that Intel are taking serious steps to improve them. Typically we only expect to see major improvements as they are redesigned at a hardware level, for example the transition between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge saw a significant redesign that resulted in large performance improvements. However, we are hearing now that Intel is preparing a driver update that will boost performance by 10%.
A 10% improvement isn’t going to suddenly turn Intel HD Graphics into gaming machines but it will help performance. What’s interesting is that the 10% performance update also optimises power usage, so you get more performance and less power consumption, great news for people using Intel HD Graphics on mobile devices like notebooks. In Windows if you use the update utility to check for and install the update then you can get these new drivers right away, manual downloads aren’t available at the current time but they should be available in the next week or so.
Owners of Apple devices, like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, will have to wait longer. In fact, Intel hasn’t even said if it will bother to prepare the update for Mac users.
Be sure to check these updates out if it applies to you. Let us know if you notice, or measure, any extra performance!
If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the Intel Core i7 4770K performance preview news article we did then be sure to do that before you proceed with reading this to make sure you know what kind of performance the new Haswell flagship processor will bring.
Just a day after that sneak performance preview we now have some information on pricing. The i7 4770K has made its way onto a couple of Dutch e-tailers that specialise in selling PC components. One website, MaxICT, is selling the new Intel flagship for €331 which translates into £283 and $428 based on current exchange rates. Another website, TakeItNow, is selling the same Intel i7 4770K for €351 which translates to $454 and £300 based on current exchange rates.
If we consider that the Core i7 3770K currently has a UK price of £260-£280 then seeing a potential price of £280-300 for the i7 4770K isn’t totally unrealistic. It is also worth noting that pre-order pricing tends to be significantly higher than actual pricing when the product hits the market. Therefore we wouldn’t be surprised if the actual market price was something alone the lines of €320/£275/$380.
Intel’s Core i7 4770K will have four cores, eight threads, a 3.5GHz base clock, a 3.9GHz boost clock, 8MB of cache, Intel HD 4600 graphics and an 84W TDP (an increase from the 77W on Ivy Bridge!?).
What do you think of that pricing for Intel’s new flagship? Is €330/£280/$430 fair? Would you/ will you be buying it at that price? What do you think would be a fair price? Let us know your thoughts.
For all the hardcore tech enthusiasts out there that are eagerly awaiting news of Intel’s upcoming Haswell line of processors, you will be pleased to know detailed performance results have finally been revealed. Intel’s Core i7 4770K will be the next flagship CPU from Intel based on the next generation architecture, codename Haswell. Haswell represents a redesign of the 22nm architecture or a “tock” in Intel’s tick-tock model.
Traditionally we have seen tech sites get access to exclusive performance previews, well ahead of NDAs, based on engineering samples and last year we saw Anandtech do it with Ivy Bridge. Now Tom’s Hardware have had the chance to do it with Haswell.
As expected the performance of Haswell is very good in comparison to Ivy Bridge giving about 7-15% more performance depending on the application. Below you can see the i7 4770K versus the i7 3770K, i7 2700K and i7 3970X to get an estimate of how the Haswell flagship deals with the rest of the Intel competiton. Unfortunately, AMD were excluded from the testing but given the really high performance nature of these tests it is unlikely that the FX 8350 would of been able to keep up anyway.
First up, 3ds Max gives us an idea of the kind of rendering performance that the i7 4770K will have. As you can see it is clearly better than the i7 3770K but just can’t match the extra 2 cores on the i7 3970X.
Handbrake gives you an idea of what the encoding performance is like and we can see the i7 4770K knocking on the door of the i7 3970X – really impressive stuff here.
Again Visual Studio 2010 shows similarly impressive results with the i7 4770K halving the gap between Ivy Bridge and the very expensive (and power hungry) Sandy Bridge-E platform.
Multi-threaded blender performance shows about 7% extra performance over the i7 3770K but not enough extra clock-per-clock performance is present to catch the 6 cores on the i7 3970X.
If you make considerations for single core single threaded clock-per-clock performance then we can see Haswell’s i7 4770K manages only an extra 3% performance over Ivy Bridge.
Gaming performance is something Intel have started to take more seriously and we can see that in the evolution of the graphics from HD 4000 to HD 4600. Dirt Showdown shows some really excellent gains although you can still see we are quite some way off 1080p gaming at low/medium quality settings.
Hitman Absolution showed less impressive scaling so we can see that the Haswell GPU performance will vary significantly between titles. The general rule of thumb still seems to be that anything above 1366 by 768 is unplayable and if you use a monitor of that resolution with this CPU then it is almost criminal! Most people who buy an i7 4770K will be pairing a discrete GPU with it, especially if they are gaming.
So there you have it, a performance preview of the Intel Core i7 4770K courtesy of Tom’s Hardware. If you want some extra detail then be sure to head on over to check the full preview out.