Intel’s eight-core i7 5960X super chip may have grabbed a lot of headlines for its unprecedented multi-threading capabilities, but as a $1,000 CPU it was effectively irrelevant for most PC gamers. Their significantly cheaper Core i7 5820K, though, is a serious step up in performance from the Devil’s Canyon quad-core, and I’ve just got my hands on it for the first time.
Ah, now this takes me back. A budget-priced, low-end Intel Pentium chip with serious overclocking headroom. This is what overclocking PC hardware used to be about—not pushing the latest $1,000 CPU to see what extra few numbers you could squeeze out of a synthetic benchmark, but cooking the clocks on a cheapo chip to get your games to actually run faster. It is a bit of a shame that it’s taken the celebration of 20 years of Pentiums to get Intel to relax it’s iron grip on the clockspeeds of any CPU outside the K-series.
The fact you can’t actually buy a K-series i3 is still a bit of a disappointment to me. But forget the politics and the marketing shenanigans, this is an awesome little budget gaming CPU that’s got a really good chance of wresting the budget market away from AMD’s bargain FX range.
Rumours have surfaced from Taipei and DigiTimes that Intel will be launching it’s brand new processors, with their funky new architecture, on June 2nd this year. That’s a couple days before the start of Computex in Taiwan, one of the biggest tech trade shows in the world. That means you can bet there’ll be a host of Haswell motherboards littering the show following the launch.
I’m actually rather excited about the next CPU to come from the Intel labs, especially after being bombarded with info at this year's Intel Developer Forum. And now Chinese site, VR-Zone, has posted up a leaked datasheet purporting to display the full details of the upcoming Haswell i5 and i7 lineups.
The new chips will still be running on the same 22nm production process, but with a new architecture that should see the graphics performance of the HD 4600 graphics components doubling.
Cooler Master have decided it's now safe to get back into the water-cooling game and are releasing the new Seidon 120M onto the market this month. With a price tag of around £50 this closed-loop water cooler isn't sitting too high on the price spectrum, though I would expect Cooler Master to be releasing an £80-odd Seidon 240M with a double fan array and larger reservoir quite soon after.
The Seidon 120M is the now-classic style of liquid CPU chiller with a 120mm PWM fan attached to an equivalent-sized water reservoir, all linked up to a diminutive water block that sits atop your CPU. The fan can operate between 600 and 2,400RPM, so that PWM function ought to allow for the ability to balance performance and noise.
As the biggest partner for AMD graphics cards Sapphire are no strangers to having to chill out hot bits of silicon, but now they are turning their vapour chamber tech to new use with the release of the Vapor-X CPU cooler.
“We are harnessing our expertise in advanced technologies to deliver better performing products for the enthusiast which will then push down into an expanding product line for the mainstream,” said Adrian Thompson, Sapphire’s VP of marketing.
We’ve had the cooler in our labs for a little while now and the cooling on offer is impressive, as is the blinged-up pair of blue LED fans and detailing. It certainly copes with its enthusiast branding, being able to keep an overclocked Core i7-3770K running at 4.5GHz without having to throttle it back.
There have been rumours floating around for the last couple days that Intel is going to end the traditional socketed CPU once the Haswell chip is out of the door. Based upon a supposedly leaked processor roadmap, Japanese site, PC Watch, is claiming to show that Intel will be calling time on the CPU upgrade market.
What they are saying is that the Broadwell CPU, the next-generation chip to follow Haswell, will be sold soldered into the motherboard, doing away with the LGA socket altogether. As the Broadwell lineup will represent the die-shrink down to 14nm from the 22nm Haswell variant, it's possible there may be an architectural need for these CPUs to be permanently attached to the motherboard.
Now that AMD has finally released the rest of its new Piledriver line-up into the wild, I've been able to spend a little quality time with the six-core FX-6300 - a CPU that I think offers a sweet-spot in terms of price/performance metrics.
It’s a decent little chip at stock speeds, and in raw CPU computational terms its six cores comprehensively out-play the i3-3225, Intel's similarly-priced dual-core Ivy Bridge chip, thanks to the extra multi-threading performance on offer. Intel’s dominance in the gaming sphere is evident, however: the FX-63000 doesn't compete with the dual-core Intel chip in my Batman: Arkham City or Shogun 2 CPU tests.
Until you get busy with the overclocking that is. Then it's a very, very different story.
IBM have demonstrated a new way to place carbon nanotubes as transistors in the commercial production of the teeny, tiny and freakishly powerful, processors of the future.
Microchip manufacturers have been looking for ways to keep up with the demand for ever smaller, ever quicker, ever more efficient chips to power all our techie devices - and they have been very successful. But we are getting to a point where the limits put in place by the laws of physics are going to get in the way of further generations of our gaming processors.
Launched at the CES trade show last month, the latest Core i5 and i7 processors from Intel have been winning plaudits from PC Gamer chums like TechRadar. Codenamed Sandy Bridge, performance of these new chips is notably up against the already respected older Core processors, while the price has been kept the same or, depending on where you shop, even lowered.
It's not surprising, then, that most online pundits have marked the new range as 'the one to get' if you're after a new CPU.
So yesterday's news that Intel was performing a massive product recall for PCs designed around Sandy Bridge CPUs put a bit of a dampener on things. Something which none of the early reviewers spotted has gone wrong, and it's going to cost Intel an estimated $1bn to fix.