Intel remains on track to launch its next-gen Haswell (x86) chip architecture this summer.
Unsurprisingly, Haswell silicon significantly reduces power compared to its Ivy Bridge predecessor, all while increasing performance with an emphasis on graphics optimization.
As Tarinder Sandhu of Hexus notes, a top-of-the-range Core i7-4770K Haswell chip offers up the same basic topology as the current Core i7-3770K - translating to four cores, hyper-threading and 8MB of last-level cache.
However, the use of different sockets - LGA 1150 vs. LGA 1155 - means that a new motherboard, an Intel 8-series, is also required for Haswell.
Recently, the folks over at Tom's Hardware managed to run some benchmark tests on a pre-production Haswell chip. The results?
The pre-production Core i7-4770K is typically between 5-10% faster than a Core i7-3770K for CPU-intensive benchmarks. As expected, the most significant generation-to-generation improvements are found in the performance of the chips' on-board 'GT2' graphics.
Indeed, the 4770K's HD Graphics 4600 IGP is between 10-50% faster than the 3770K's HD 4000 Graphics, with the difference apparently contingent on specific game titles. Meanwhile, the A10-5800K's IGP is 10-25% faster than the HD Graphics 4600.
"Of course, where we’re ultimately headed is a world where these desktop-class architectures are pulled down into smaller computing devices. It’s already happening with Ivy Bridge-based chips, but will continue with Intel’s Y-series parts and AMD’s Kabini," wrote Chris Angelini of Tom's Hardware.
"I know a lot of enthusiasts are bemoaning the slow erosion of unfettered configurability. However, the sky is not falling, and we're not ready to throw in the towel as power users. To the contrary, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Ivy Bridge-E, a Haswell-based Surface, and the next generation of x86-based consoles."