192GB of RAM in a system, Bay Trail, and Haswell-E—Oh my!
We’ll admit it, it was damned hard to find desktop and enthusiast-related hardware at the 2013 Intel Developer Forum 2013. We almost wondered if the old desktop PC was like the Intel’s crazy aunt living in the basement. Fortunately, the desktop PC and PC enthusiasm was alive at well at IDF—if you looked hard enough.
Click through our photo gallery for the most important PC news from IDF and—gasp!—proof that Haswell-E on desktop lives!
Rumored x86-based processor will be super tiny and power efficient
Intel showed off what it claims is the smallest system on chip with a new line of Quark chips that are 1/5th the size of Atom SOCs and will use 1/10 the power.
The company didn’t reveal too many details of the new SOC, but said it would be open architecture, offer industry standard software support and be fully synthesizeable. The chip is presumably x86-based but because it is fully synthesizable customers would be able to customize the design with their own intellectual property.
A bridge too far: Is the big boy version of Ivy Bridge too little and too late for enthusiasts? (Ivy Bridge-E review)
The release of Intel’s Ivy Bridge E series of chips is about as anti-climactic as you can get. It’s a chip that’s essentially based on a CPU microarchitecture already going out of style. Haswell, for the most part, has stolen its thunder.
If you’ve ready any reviews of when Ivy Bridge processors came out 16 months ago you already know the story: 3D transistors, newer 22nm process and amazing improvements in performance! Well, amazing if you only count the graphics performance. On the x86 side, what we got was a decent, evolutionary upgrade. It instantly replaced the Sandy Bridge parts as our recommended part but it certainly wasn’t the 20 percent performance or more jump people have been chasing ever since the Core 2 and Nehalem Core i7 parts were introduced.
Power users take note, Intel will likely unveil its long-awaited Ivy Bridge-E processor lineup during the Santa Clara chip maker's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco later this month. The IDF conference runs from September 10 through 12 and figures to be an interesting one with so much emphasis lately on non-traditional computing devices, such as smart TVs, wearable computing devices (smart watches), and mobile products.
Will there be another FX processor beyond the FX 9590?
We're a little hesitant to fan the flames on this one, but according to a series of documents AMD supposedly handed out to OEMs "behind closed doors," the end of the road for the Sunnyvale chip designer's FX Series might be fast approaching, if not already here. Should AMD ultimately decide to retire its FX Series sooner than later, the FX 9590 could end up being the brand's swan song.
Remember when AMD was widely criticized for acquiring ATI for a reported $5.4 billion back in 2006? It turned out to be a wise investment in an area (GPUs) where AMD has been able to vie for the performance crown. Right now it's Nvidia's GeForce GTX 780 that sits in the spotlight, but coming soon is AMD's Radeon HD 9970 graphics card with a brand new architecture and some impressive specs that have been leaked to the web.
Socket 2011 CPUs priced similarly to Sandy Bridge-E
Even though the thermal paste is barely dry on Intel’s new Haswell CPU microarchitecture, its performance-oriented Ivy Bridge-E processors are due to be launched soon, and now we finally have some pricing info. According to VR-Zone, we’ll be seeing three Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E CPUs debuting around Q3 this year, including the 4820K, 4930K, and 4960X.
We're still waiting on Intel to deliver enthusiast-grade processors such as Ivy Bridge-E, but in the meantime, the Santa Clara chip maker is busy fleshing out its Haswell processor family, including a new flagship part. In the coming weeks, Intel will reportedly launch a Core i7 4771 processor, a quad-core part clocked at 3.5GHz and Turbo clockspeed of 3.9Ghz. In other words, it won't be much faster than the current flagship CPU, the Core i7 4770.
It's kind of ironic that AMD once pooh-pooh'd the whole MHz/GHz craze back when Intel was kicking tail with its Netburst architecture, because these days, the Sunnyvale chip designer is making headlines based on clockspeed. If you recall, AMD was quick to point out that its FX-9590 Piledrive part qualified as the world's first commercially available 5GHz processor (Turbo speed). Now just a couple of weeks later, an overclocker just set a record with AMD's A10 6800K processor.
Intel's Atom brand grew to notoriety in the netbook era, during which time select ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processors were also found in nettops and embedded applications. Today's Atom processors are much more powerful than those early models that debuted in 2008, but because of negative connotations attached to the Atom brand in terms of performance, Intel may decide to drop the brand name.