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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.

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Hardware 29 – We are not Server Admins

Posted on 29th Nov 2011 at 08:00 by Podcast with 29 comments

Podcast
Now that both Intel and AMD have released their next-gen, super-fast processors, James, Clive, Paul and Antony gather in a dingy room to discuss the fall-out. We should stress that this isn’t a server room, so they’re still a bit disappointed by what amounts to a pair of server CPUs in consumer guise.

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Hardware 28 - Chatting with Corsair

Posted on 25th Sep 2011 at 11:30 by Podcast with 16 comments

Podcast
Paul, James and Harry go a little peripheral crazy in this week's hardware podcast, but that's understandable as they're joined by special guest Reuben Mookerjee, vice president of Corsair's Component division.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of peripheral design, however, we do have time to cover one or two of the most pressing stories of the week. First on the list is Intel's announcement that it will be selling a low-cost liquid cooler for use with its forthcoming LGA2011 CPUs.

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Why so many Core i7-2600 flavours?

Posted on 9th Aug 2011 at 11:35 by Clive Webster with 26 comments

Clive Webster
There’s an interesting article over at Ars Technica, titled What processor should I buy: Intel’s crazy pricing makes my head hurt. That might seem a silly question at first: as the author points out, surely you just buy the most expensive CPU in the LGA1155 range. However, Peter Bright is no fool; looking closer at the specs and his requirements, the author struggles to make sense of Intel’s strategy with new features, performance and compatibility.

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Intel's 'Ultrabook' Strategy is Outdated

Posted on 8th Jun 2011 at 07:28 by Clive Webster with 70 comments

Clive Webster
While it’s good news for customers that Intel is aiming to make superportable laptops that rival the MacBook Air affordable for many, via its ‘ultrabook’ project, it shows a slightly outdated mode of thinking. When asked what would make superportable laptops successful, Intel’s executive vice-president Sean Maloney replied that a low price would do it. Low price = more sales = more profit, the conventional wisdom goes. Or does it?

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Computex 2011 Predictions

Posted on 31st May 2011 at 14:21 by bit-tech Staff with 4 comments

bit-tech Staff
Computex is one of the most important times of the year for PC hardware – whether you’re a manufacturer or enthusiastic follower, the Taiwanese tech show is the place to be to see the best and brightest.

After all, Computex is where the netbook craze took off after Asus showed its EeePC 701 back in 2007, and it’s typically where we first see all the tech that’ll we be buying in the September rush and that’ll appear in our Christmas stockings.

We’ve already seen some news from Taiwan, but we thought we’d put together a few predictions before the show starts in earnest and see how they come out.

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Hardware 21 - The Coffee Incident

Posted on 1st Apr 2011 at 11:59 by Podcast with 17 comments

Podcast
This week's podcast finds Harry, Paul and Clive having a good chat about what's current in the PC hardware world.

At the top of the list is Nvidia's new graphics card, the GeForce GTX 590 3GB. The card crams two whole GPUs onto a single PCB, and its performance is great. As we discuss in the podcast, though, it's really the driver support that will make it either a classic or a flash in the pan.

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The Tablet You Want Isn't What You'll Get

Posted on 10th Jan 2011 at 08:12 by bit-tech Staff with 43 comments

bit-tech Staff
It goes without saying that CES will see a lot of tablet launches. However, the tablet you really want is unlikely to be among them.

Why? Not through lack of innovation; it's more about economics and materials.

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Intel Sandy Bridge launch was pointless

Posted on 4th Jan 2011 at 14:12 by James Gorbold with 49 comments

James Gorbold
While the review we published yesterday of Intel's new Sandy Bridge range of CPUs was extremely glowing, the fact remains that launching it at 5am (UK time) on 3 January was pointless.

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bit-tech is testing Sandy Bridge

Posted on 6th Dec 2010 at 12:36 by Paul Goodhead with 60 comments

Paul Goodhead
Yep, forgive us for feeling a little smug but we've been putting a selection of Sandy Bridge chips through their paces over the last few days. Obviously we can’t say anything about the numbers we're seeing but needless to say we'll be well prepared to give a full and comprehensive review when the CPUs launch.

Obviously the fact that we're testing these CPUs must mean we've got some compatible motherboards in the labs too, so you can also expect a veritable bevy of motherboard reviews at launch too.

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MSI 970 Gaming Review

MSI 970 Gaming Review

MSI Brings its popular Gaming Brand to AM3+ and the 970 chipset
Mod of the Month July 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month July 2014 in association with Corsair

We've picked six of the best in-progress projects - vote for your favourite

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