Intel Broadwell CPUs arrive, but you'll have to wait for gaming chips

Broadwell CPU Intel

Just as promised, Intel have announced a huge number of Broadwell processors at this year's CES. Only these probably aren't the CPUs you're looking for. unless you're in the market for a new thin and light notebook.

The new Broadwell U range follows on from the previous Haswell U lineup, which means another chip devoted to low power consumption. These Broadwell U chips are 15W and 28W dual-core CPUs in a variety of flavours, from Celerons all the way up to Core i7s.

Broadwell U

But these dual-core CPUs aren't the gaming powerhouses I'm hoping for from the new 14nm microarchitecture; the proper quad-core/eight-thread processing behemoths are being held back until "mid-2015", according to this latest Intel presentation.

Speaking with a motherboard manufacturer in December I was told to expect the 100-series motherboards for Skylake—Intel's 6th Gen Core—at Computex in June. If that's still the case then the tardy desktop Broadwell chips could arrive at the same time as the first flush of Skylake processors.

In that case it might make sense to skip a generation. Intel have been busy telling our TechRadar pals that Skylake is going to be worth the wait. (opens in new tab)

Right now the only Broadwell chips you'll find are in notebooks, though the 5th Gen Cor GPU does take up a huge amount of space on these dual-core chips. That shows where the performance priority lies in these mobile parts. Intel suggests that the HD Graphics components offer up to 22% more gaming performance compared with the previous generation—not a bad performance boost from something that was only meant to be a die-shrink of an existing processor design.

But while the graphics boost—and impressive extra battery life—means your work laptop will be a sleeker machine with a high-res screen, we'll have to wait to see what Intel's performance processor engineering can really do for gaming in the coming months.

The full Broadwell U lineup in all its

Broadwell U Processors

Broadwell U chips2

Broadwell U chips 28W

Dave James

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.