Core 2 quad to Nehalem and Nehalem to Sandy Bridge are both about 15-20 percent increase in CPU performance but Sandy to Ivy Bridge is only 5-7 percent increase. I think Haswell will also have less than 10 percent increase on CPU performance, but huge gain in iGPU.
Will ivy bridge have better performance it intel made a 130 watt version of it?
Why doesn't intel want to make 6 cores mainstream? Will we see less CPU performance increase on the next generations of Processors?
Currently I have a core i7 930 and AMD 5870 and I dont care how much haswell will improve on it's desktop GPU because I will be upgrading to a GTX 7xx or HD8xxx. Though I am also planning on buying an ultrabook or tablet with a Haswell or AMD APU once they are available.
The money is shifting from desktops to mobile devices (laptops, phones, tablets), so Intel is putting more R&D effort into improving integrated graphics, and improving power efficiency, as those factors are more relevant on mobile devices.
At this point, most users don't need more processing power, so Intel is not focusing too much on that point anymore. If you truly do need that much power, Intel does offer their hexacore extreme edition chips at a huge price premium. The market for that much CPU horsepower is quite small, so Intel isn't likely to start launching mainstream hexacores anytime soon.
We are also starting to get close to hitting a brick wall when it comes to silicon, at least as far as die shrinks go. We can't shrink the transistors down much more before we start running into problems that can't be solved without somehow altering the laws of physics. Intel can keep tweaking the architecture to yield some improvements, but I think we are going to hit a plateau soon with silicon chips. Don't expect any massive leaps in processing power until either quantum computing, or carbon nanotube based chips start taking off. Even then, it will probably be a while before such things appear in the consumer market. Part of the problem is there isn't much in the way of software to really drive development of faster CPUs. Even entry level chips will handle most tasks fine these days.
As stated, Haswell will be focusing more on power savings than performance. I would think overall CPU performance increase will be less than 10% assuming Haswell and Ivy Bridge CPUs are clocked at the same speed. Also, while the GT3 version of the next iGPU in Haswell will have 40 shaders (mobile CPUs only) the main focus is to reduce power consumption by reducing the clockspeed. There will be a iGPU performance increase over the Intel HD 4000, but not to a great extent.
Broadwell will be coming out in 2014 which is going to be based on the 14nm die process so power consumption will decrease further, but it will also be Intel's opportunity to provide much more performance increase over Haswell.