Intel Unveils 2014 Roadmap: 4 Fantastic New Processors For PC Enthusiasts – Forbes
In its press release to technology journalists, the company highlighted its plans to boost the enthusiast segment including three very interesting new processors, including an unlocked Pentium processor – something that we haven’t seen for many CPU generations.
Intel also stated that the replacement for current DDR3 memory – unsurprisingly called DDR4, will come to its high-end segment that will offer the new X99 chipset and look to be the sucessor to current X79 LGA2011 motherboards.
The first exciting announcement will be the first processor to support the new X99 chipset and DDR4 memory. The as yet unknown processor will also be the company’s first true 8-core desktop model. The highest core count currently stands at six cores with models such as the 4960X 3.60GHz Extreme. The processor will likely use hyper-threading technology too, providing a total of 16 threads for sure-to-be stellar multi-threaded performance.
Continuing its support for enthusiasts that like to overclock their processors, there are other very interesting products. The highly-anticipated successor to the company’s current Haswell LGA1150 K-series processors, codenamed ‘Broadwell’, will be the 5th generation Core processor and will use a smaller 14nm manufacturing process, which should lead to lower power consumption and better performance per watt.
The new processor will also offer Intel’s Iris Pro graphics for the first time on a socketed unlocked processor – unlocked meaning that you can increase the multiplier to get extra performance doing what’s known as overclocking.
One of the major bugbears of Intel’s current and previous generation processors is the fact they run hot, especially when overclocking. Enthusiasts have blamed poor thermal interface material between the processor core and heatsink, and Intel has apparently addressed this with the refresh of its current Haswell-based CPUs.
The new unlocked processor, codenamed Devil’s Canyon, will be available sooner than Broadwell in mid-2014, and Intel states it will use ‘improved thermal interface material’. This could improve overclocking and lower operating temperatures – potentially a huge deal for enthusiasts.
The final product that should be hugely interesting to enthusiasts is that of an Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition-labelled processor. The most fascinating feature with the new product is that there will be an unlocked version allowing you to overclock it to get more performance.
Intel hasn’t allowed overclocking on its budget range of processors for several generations and this could provide a huge boost to the enthusiast scene. At the moment, the only way to achieve significant overclocks is with a K-series CPU such as the Core i5-4670K. However, these are expensive, so in the past, it’s been very popular for enthusiasts to buy a cheaper processor and overclock it to the same speed as a more expensive model.
How far the new unlocked Pentium can be overclocked will be fascinating to see but this could herald a new age of enthusiast products from Intel that don’t just focus on the $200+ segment. As usual, let me know your thoughts on this in the comments.