Intel announces a 2014 Haswell refresh that will usher in a plethora of new enthusiast-class CPU models to be released before 2015’s Broadwell.
What’s a CPU company to do when its new motherboards are launching months ahead of its new processors? Well, when the socket’s the same, just refresh the old processors! Intel quoted a mid-year launch during its Monday press briefing, but mid-year will need to come early if Intel wants this launch to coincide with Z97. Motherboard makers tell us to expect the new Haswell models three months after Z97’s mid-April launch, which sounds to be a few months shy of Intel’s mid-year launch claim. Oops?
An improved Thermal Interface Material (TIM) between the CPU core and heat spreader is set to improve thermal transfer in a new, enthusiast-class Haswell-based processor codenamed “Devil’s Canyon”. Intel didn’t name the processor model, but industry insiders tell us to expect this change will apply at least to the firm’s upcoming Core i7-4790. Without hazarding further guesses on model numbers, we’re trusting Intel’s stated intention of a mid-year launch.
Pentium Anniversary Edition
In yet another high-profile Haswell refresh, Intel unveiled an unlocked Pentium (20th) Anniversary Edition, which is also slated to launch mid-year.
Haswell-E Gets DDR4
Pushing beyond the limits of quad-channel DDR3, Intel smashes all hope for Haswell-based X79 processor upgrades by announcing that Haswell-E will utilize DDR4. While Intel tells us to expect a launch sometime in the second half of 2014, motherboard manufacturers whisper about August. Turning to official documents that we weren’t supposed to see, the associated X99 PCH adds integrated clock generation to the X79 that it’s set to replace. The four disabled SAS ports of X79 become enabled SATA ports in the X99, bringing the total SATA count to ten.
Though Intel occasionally discussed Broadwell’s launch in the same breath as Haswell-E, the firm stipulated that it wasn’t ready to announce a launch date. Motherboard partners estimate that the socketed version will launch no earlier than CES 2015.
Story updated with photos.