Intel is launching a new single socket workstation platform alongside Haswell refresh processors. The platform is the Intel Z97 and H97 “9 series” chipsets. Alongside these chipsets, Intel is creating new SKU’s and changing performance per dollar with the same Haswell architecture that debuted in 2013. In this article we have a quick value comparison of the new processors and an overview of the platforms.
In terms of Haswell refresh processors, the basic idea is that Intel has moved 100MHz increments down one price point. We took the new SKUs and put together an analysis of cost per GHz both for cores and threads.
One can see this is not overly exciting for a full year worth of progress. The Intel Core i7-4970T does seem to be a very interesting proposition at a suggested retail price of $303, especially at 45w TDP.
In terms of platforms the two are the Intel Z97 and Intel H97 chipsets. Intel is not releasing a myriad of chipsets since there are a few new and notable features. Here is the side-by-side:
One can see that Intel is adding support for PCIe storage. With this generation, PCIe SSDs are going to start penetrating mainstream. With the Intel H97 part one does get Intel Small Business advantage. With the Intel Z97 platform one has the ability to overclock.
Overall, this refresh is a bit of a letdown. Intel was having process issues at 14nm so we are stuck with 22nm parts for another few months. Intel’s Tick-Tock cadence has been interrupted due to manufacturing technology. Unlike on the server side (Xeon E5) we are not getting more cores. We are not getting major jumps in IPC. Instead we are stuck with mundane single digit percentage improvements in performance. That does go to show that AMD is not really a threat in the lower end desktop segment.