Intel’s Core i series of processors have been on the market for more than a few years now. Basically there are three processors available, the i3, i5, and i7; each one respectfully better than the last. Earlier this year Intel announced their 4th generation of the Core i family, going by the name Haswell. Intel boasts several significant improvements on this generation of chipsets. The biggest achievement seems to be the ability to use less power than the previous generation chips. The new core i5 and i7 chips will have better performance using 15ws compared to their predecessors who used over 17w. This improvement will benefit the new i3 chips the most, designed to work with tablets, notebooks and other mobile devices. The 4th generation i3 will now only require 4.5w; Intel claims this can increase battery life up to 50% in some devices.
Two other features that are available on the i5 and i7 chips are Intel Hyper Threading Technology and Intel Turbo Boost Technology. The two technologies can effectively work together for “simultaneous processing of multiple threads” (Intel.com). Intel Hyper Threading technology allows each of the processor cores to independently work on a different task; While Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology can automatically throttle the processors frequency to allow it to work faster. The processor takes four factors into account when deciding the CPUs upper limit; those factors are number of active core, estimated current consumption, estimated power consumption, Processor temperature.
It seems many of these advancements will go unnoticed by desktop users but one change to the processor might be paving the way for a new standard in graphical processing. Intel has allocated twice as much space on their new chips for graphic processing than in their 3rd generation chips. If Intel continues to advance their Integrated Graphic Processors can we one day have high performance desktops with no graphic cards? I wouldn’t count on this happening anytime soon but Intel’s Haswell processors are an innovative step in this direction.
Written by: Gregory Hispanski