Intel Launches Five 47W Laptop Broadwell SKUsby Ian Cutress on June 2, 2015 8:50 AM EST
As part of Intel’s batch of announcements today, including Broadwell on the desktop and Thunderbolt 3, the 47W laptop/mini-PC processors that were also launched offers an interesting talking point. These are essentially the drop in models for current high end Haswell laptops, offering manufacturers an upgrade path before Intel’s 6th Generation, Skylake.
The five SKUs are:
|Intel 47W Broadwell Lineup|
|Base CPU Freq.||2.9GHz||2.7GHz||2.5GHz||2.7GHz||3.0GHz|
|Turbo CPU Freq.||3.7GHz||3.6GHz||3.4GHz||3.5GHz||3.5GHz|
|Graphics||Iris Pro 6200 (GT3e)||Iris Pro 6200 (GT3e)||Iris Pro 6200 (GT3e)||HD 5600
|Iris Pro 6200 (GT3e)|
(DDR3L / LPDDR3L)
|L4 Cache||128MB (Crystal Well)||128MB (Crystal Well)||128MB (Crystal Well)||None||128MB (Crystal Well)|
The clear odd one out here is the i7-5700HQ, already announced in some laptops, which holds HD 5600 graphics whereas the rest are on Iris Pro 6200 with Crystal Well and have an extra 128 MB of eDRAM that acts as an L4 cache. The i5 is also the lower SKU coming with two cores and four threads, suggesting that this is a disabled die to satisfy yields rather than a native dual core design. Pricing is appropriate, with the i5 also getting only 4MB of L3 cache but a higher base frequency than some of the quad core variants.
We have 47W Broadwell based laptops inbound for review, but the interesting element in this is that Apple recently updated their Macbook Pro line but decided not to wait for the official Broadwell announcement. It is a little unclear why, but the i7-4770HQ and i7-4870HQ variants would match up nicely (with speed bumps) to the i7-5750HQ and i7-5870HQ as they are both listed at the same price.
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name99 - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkClaims about how Apple is only interested in screwing their customers are not helpful in understanding this situation. Something important has been signaled by this behavior; only problem is we don't know what yet.
Is it a pricing issue? Perhaps. But Ark lists i7-4770HQ at $434. Obviously no sane person understands a damn thing about Intel pricing, especially when you start bringing in volume discounts. BUT this pricing does not seem to indicate that Intel is trying to dump Haswell inventory to make way for Broadwell.
So next possibility. Broadwell actually offers nothing of value over Haswell at these power levels --- no extra hour of battery life, no higher quality graphics. That also seems a stretch. The performance is about the usual 2 or 3% faster, but there SHOULD be noticeable battery life improvements, working TSX should be worth something, and the GPU improvements are real.
So why would Apple not wait for a slightly superior chip which is apparently at the same price?
First possibility is that announcement is not availability. Intel has been playing this dance of the seven veils crap since Broadwell-M was announced nine months ago --- claim that the thing is shipping (so that their investor statements about ship dates weren't lies) but ship such tiny volumes that it's utterly irrelevant to any serious manufacturer. That is MY guess as to what's going on. Intel STILL has fab issues (either with 14nm or with Broadwell) and STILL won't 'fess up.
Second possibility is that they didn't tell Apple these were coming until too late for Apple's plans. My guess is that didn't happen because it would be a cock-up of monumental proportions. Apple is not a customer that will forgive something like that lightly.
Third possibility is that Apple is quietly signaling that they no longer want to be on the x86 upgrade train, with its endless delays, 3% peak single-threaded performance increase each year, and Intel's utterly insane market segmentation attempts with all that means for constantly changing ISA and feature set. Which means they're getting close to their desktop CPU replacement.
I know we all want that to be true; but if I had to bet, my bet would be on Broadwell 4-core shipping late in volume (ie on-going Intel screwup) NOT on Apple's x86 replacement shipping next year.
fokka - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkmaybe you know more than me, but i have the feeling your phantasizing about "apple's x86 replacement" isn't any more sound than other people claiming apple only wants to screw its customers.
and regarding intel ARK: as i see it the listed prices are more like MSRP (for patches of 1000 units), i doubt apple will pay the same price for an EOL chip now as it payed for them when they were new. i don't think ARK pricing changes to reflect that.
jeffkibuule - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkI'd say it was actual ship date. Apple announced 15" update and was available next day, Broadwell chips like these will take a few weeks to come out. 13" MBP shipped sooner since those chips have been shipping in laptops since January. rMB was using a new chip and took a month to be released.
There's quite a bit of GPU benefit to the 6200 over the 5200, so I don't see why they'd willingly skip it. My guess is they didn't want a super stale product that was over a year old and didn't want to wait for Intel's Broadwell-H ramp up.
Daniel Egger - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - linkHowever Apple often gets its chips earlier than other companies, in a few cases they were even shipped in new products before being publicly announced. I'm very sure if they had been available in time for the latest Apple upgrade *and* were a fit Apple would have used them. Maybe there're technical reasons not to integrate them or they wanted to have a very minor incremental update compatible with current processes because they didn't want to have larger assembly changes before the next large upgrade.
systemBuilder - Saturday, June 27, 2015 - linkI think Apple is pretty good at getting value-for-money out of their hardware suppliers. That seems to be the reason why they are buying outmoded and stale CPU's at bargain prices and manufacturing their own ARM64 A7, A8, and A9 CPU's for mobile (because Intel and Qualcomm are resting on their laurels, that's why.)
MrCommunistGen - Thursday, June 4, 2015 - linkI agree with a lot of the other ideas listed here (pricing, margins, availability, timing, etc), but have an additional comment to add:
There's a decent chance that the i7-5950HQ might underperform the existing top of the line i7-4980HQ due to the latter having higher single-core and 4-core turbo clockspeeds. The 4980HQ has a 3.8GHz 4-core turbo, whereas the 5950HQ has a 3.7GHz single-core turbo.
Even with IPC gains I wouldn't expect the top Broadwell SKU to outperform the top Haswell SKU unless the former has improved thermal characteristics under load.
XZerg - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkcould someone tell me what those "pins"/contacts at the top of the package are meant for? specifically check this image of haswell based cyrstall wall: http://images.anandtech.com/doci/6993/DSC_0343.jpg that has way too many such contacts.
willis936 - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkI'll take a WAG and say they're for diagnostics/testing/QC and testing after the chip has been integrated before the laptop is sent out.
ZeDestructor - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkThey are indeed. If you have the need for it, you can buy a devkit (I found the subsite with them, and various motherboard power delivery testing devices) that plugs onto it and allows much more advanced instrumentation. Thankfully, unless you're doing very serious OS or driver work, you shouldn't need that level of access ever.
ZeDestructor - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - linkI'm talking about the round contacts, not the square ones. Square ones are for the tiny SMT components.