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Intel's 2014 line-up: It's looking good for enthusiasts

Posted on 7th Apr 2014 at 13:20 by Antony Leather with 22 comments

As we reported here, Intel has announced the rest of its 2014 line-up. However, I for one am extremely excited by what the future holds for LGA1150.

With Broadwell being delayed and Haswell seemingly focusing more on power efficiency than giving anything significantly new to the enthusiast and performance user, I was pretty amazed when I read the finer details of Intel's latest roadmap that was announced on 19th March.

In the press release, the company has announced its intentions to better-support the enthusiast and overclocking communities and has detailed a couple of very interesting products.

The first is a new Pentium that will feature an unlocked multiplier to celebrate 20 years of the brand. Could this be the first cheap overclockable CPU since the likes of the Pentium G9650, all the way back on LGA1156? If so, it could prove a huge boon to those looking to overclock on a budget and give a massive boost to overclocking and the enthusiast market.

Intel's 2014 line-up: It's looking good for enthusiasts
Click to enlarge

At the moment we're forced to buy comparatively expensive K-series CPUs, and there have only been two to choose from for each of the last several generations too. It never used to be this way and certainly for the majority of my overclocking life, it wasn't a case of if you could overclock a CPU, it was a question of which one out of an entire range of CPUs was the best at it.

If the Pentium retails for current Pentium prices - ie around £80-100, but you can add 500-1000MHz to the clock speed, this could potentially match the performance of a Core i5, at least in software that isn't massively multi-threaded, and give AMD's cheap FX-series CPUs some competition too.

The new Pentium will be supported by current 8-series chipsets and also forthcoming 9-series chipsets, presumably Z97, although we'll have to wait and see whether it will need a BIOS update to run in current boards.

Intel's 2014 line-up: It's looking good for enthusiasts
Click to enlarge

Another gleeful bit of information is that Intel will also be launching its first 8-core desktop CPU. The monster will likely feature hyper-threading, for 16 threads in total, will also support DDR4 and will be supported by the new X99 chipset.

Ivy Bridge and Haswell CPUs meanwhile have suffered from hot-running chips, especially when you've overclocked them. It's fairly common for people to de-lid their CPUs - having done so with my Core i5-3570K, I can honestly say it made a huge difference. However, Intel appears to have admitted the issue as it will be introducing 'Improved thermal interface material' to the expected Haswell refresh CPUs, codenamed Devil's Canyon, due out this summer.

Intel's 2014 line-up: It's looking good for enthusiasts
Click to enlarge

As well as the expected performance boost that comes with every refresh, this could mean better overclocking too. The new CPUs are slated to be supported by a new Intel 9-series chipset, although it's likely Z87-based boards will support them via a BIOS update too.

Finally, there was scant information on Broadwell - Intel's 5th gen Core processor range. However, it did confirm the new CPUs would be based on a 14nm manufacturing process, will feature unlocked CPUs, and for the first time, offer its Iris Pro Graphics to socketed unlocked processors too, which could give AMD some competition in the APU department.

It looks like we could have some exciting new products just around the corner. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

22 Comments

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Deders 7th April 2014, 11:19 Quote
I presume that means Devil's Canyon will be DDR3?

I hope so, I've only just bought some new ram.
DbD 7th April 2014, 11:41 Quote
As a user of an old i2500K still don't see anything exciting. I will upgrade if either:
-I can get a 6+ core cpu at sensible prices (i.e. not the over priced extreme stuff Intel sells).
-I can much higher ipc, so far the gains have been too small for me to bother upgrading.

All I can see from this is a low end o/c chip which isn't very exciting, the i2500K was cheap considering original price wasn't that high and how many years it has lasted. Slightly better o/c'ing isn't going to change the world either.
dolphie 7th April 2014, 11:55 Quote
2500k sandy bridge here too, overclocks to 4.8ghz nice and stable - if I actually have something to play...

99% of the time I have it left on standard speeds because that's all I need for work and the types of games I play. I turn the OC on if I play Arma3 but that's about it. I will keep this until it either dies or something hugely better comes along.

I am more concerned about graphics cards :( I need a better one and don't have the 450 quid I would really need to spend to get something good for this resolution.
Dave Lister 7th April 2014, 14:36 Quote
I was planning on a new system this summer using a 4770k, should I hold off for a few months and see if I can get a similar priced and performing chip that won't need delidded ?
Combatus 7th April 2014, 15:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
As a user of an old i2500K still don't see anything exciting. I will upgrade if either:
-I can get a 6+ core cpu at sensible prices (i.e. not the over priced extreme stuff Intel sells).
-I can much higher ipc, so far the gains have been too small for me to bother upgrading.

All I can see from this is a low end o/c chip which isn't very exciting, the i2500K was cheap considering original price wasn't that high and how many years it has lasted. Slightly better o/c'ing isn't going to change the world either.

The 4670K is already 15% faster than the 2500K and even at 4.6GHz it’s noticeably quicker than a 5GHz 2500K too. Admittedly this is probably not enough to warrant an upgrade, especially as you’d need a new board too, but if the new Core i5 is even faster clock for clock and offers better overclocking than Haswell, then it could well be worth considering.

‘All I can see from this is a low end o/c chip which isn't very exciting’. Heresy! :D You only have to look back at Core 2 days to see just how popular cheaper overclockable CPUs were. Considering Pentiums currently retail for £50-90, imagine if it’s overclockable to around 4670K speeds or maybe even faster? A sub £100 overclockable CPU is going to have massive appeal to anyone that can’t really afford a Core i5 and will give AMD a run for its money at the low end too. Couple it with a decent £70 Z87 board and that's a pretty exciting prospect.
Combatus 7th April 2014, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I was planning on a new system this summer using a 4770k, should I hold off for a few months and see if I can get a similar priced and performing chip that won't need delidded ?

Definitely. Or at the very least, wait and see what the new CPUs are like and you'll have the choice of a 4770K in the sale or a Devil's Canyon chip that will hopefully run cooler and faster.
PlayLoud 7th April 2014, 15:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
...I will upgrade if either:
-I can get a 6+ core cpu at sensible prices (i.e. not the over priced extreme stuff Intel sells)...
Same. My 3570k (tops out at 4.2 for me) is fine for gaming. I have my 3770k running at 4.4 for 24/7 folding. THAT system I would be willing to upgrade if there were an affordable 6-8 core CPU to replace it. Otherwise, the speed increase just isn't there to justify the cost.
Stanley Tweedle 7th April 2014, 19:11 Quote
Some nice stuff emerging from Intel. When 32nm came along it was good, then 28nm and it was like whatever... 14nm is truly stunning. I am reminded of the days when we were at 130nm then the gradual decrease to 90, 66 etc.
Omnituens 7th April 2014, 19:22 Quote
I'm still running a i7 920 running at 4.2GHz, has been for years. Was thinking of retiring this rig and building a new one, but can't justify it when this one is still in working order.
Dave Lister 7th April 2014, 19:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I was planning on a new system this summer using a 4770k, should I hold off for a few months and see if I can get a similar priced and performing chip that won't need delidded ?

Definitely. Or at the very least, wait and see what the new CPUs are like and you'll have the choice of a 4770K in the sale or a Devil's Canyon chip that will hopefully run cooler and faster.

Cheers man, as I suspected but I just needed that confirmation !
r3loaded 7th April 2014, 21:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
As a user of an old i2500K still don't see anything exciting. I will upgrade if either:
-I can get a 6+ core cpu at sensible prices (i.e. not the over priced extreme stuff Intel sells).
-I can much higher ipc, so far the gains have been too small for me to bother upgrading.

All I can see from this is a low end o/c chip which isn't very exciting, the i2500K was cheap considering original price wasn't that high and how many years it has lasted. Slightly better o/c'ing isn't going to change the world either.
A Haswell chip is noticeably faster than its Sandy Bridge equivalent. The difference is not big enough to be worth upgrading but it's definitely there.

Skylake will probably be worth it though - that's the next architecture I'll be upgrading to.
damien c 8th April 2014, 06:32 Quote
X99 here I come, the 8 core cpu won't be used to it's full potential straight away but it will be good to know, it will have the extra speed available to me.

Will be March time next year when I do a rebuild so need to start saving as no doubt the 8 core is going to be a £1K cpu.
DZZRtt 8th April 2014, 07:50 Quote
Dear God, please make them stop. I just finished upgrading my rig
Corky42 8th April 2014, 08:25 Quote
I am kinda disappointed that if we want faster SSD speeds we are going to have to invest in a M.2 drive.
Unless the normally sub par non Intel SATA controllers can get their act together and give us decent SATA Express.
tonyd223 8th April 2014, 10:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DZZRtt
Dear God, please make them stop. I just finished upgrading my rig

That's exactly what I was thinking, as well as the AMD product development department...
maverik-sg1 8th April 2014, 11:17 Quote
Looking forward to seeing how the Devils Canyon CPU's handle the temps when overclocking, improved TIM is a welcome addition, clock for clock improvement over SB and equal or greater OC potential will have me sold - purchase trigger for me is a 4.8ghz+ OC at reasonable temps under full load :)
Cei 8th April 2014, 11:23 Quote
I assume that new i7 Extreme won't fit in a 1150 board?
Saivert 8th April 2014, 12:34 Quote
Lol. I'm still on Sandy Bridge/Z68 platform. Time to upgrade?
i7 2600k btw.
jopers1986 8th April 2014, 12:59 Quote
There's a few comments on here about holding out for this when it comes to upgrade, but will improvements only really been seen by true enthusiasts? my main wonderment is what impact will it have on prices of the current Haswell CPUs and z87 mobos? there wasn't a huge price difference from sandy/ivy and Haswell from what i can see?
Gurdeep14 8th April 2014, 13:48 Quote
I'm still rocking a 1366 i7 920 @4Ghz. Been tempted to upgrade at sandy Bridge, ivy Bridge and then Haswell, but never enough to warrant the price. Hopefully theses new chips will finally help me make the jump, and hopefully it'll be a big on. Especially as I play a lot of ARMA 3
Otis1337 8th April 2014, 16:18 Quote
Another in the i7 920 club here.

the 920 has really stud the test of time, got the D0 stepping on release my self. The best hardware purchase iv ever made.
Corky42 8th April 2014, 16:33 Quote
Is this 'new Pentium' just going to be unlocked Haswell's ? Is the locking of the multiplier a hardware thing, or something that is done via microcode ?
Does it mean we are going to have old Haswell's with unlocked multipliers (new Pentiums) and the Haswell refresh codenamed Devil's Canyon with the normal locked multiplier ?
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