Nearly six years have passed since the Core i7 series debuted as a 45nm part on the LGA1366 platform. Codenamed Bloomfield, Intel's Nehalem-based quad-core lineup included the celebrated Core i7-920 and has since been refined over many iterations through Intel's tick-tock philosophy, which follows every architectural update with a die shrink.

Today's release isn't a tick or a tock, it's simply a refresh -- and as such we don't expect much more than 100MHz speed bumps.

Until Intel is ready to ship Broadwell, it has tweaked the Haswell range with models that are slightly faster and/or cheaper. If anything, your attention should be on the fact that Intel has also released its new 9-series chipsets, and we happen to have a few motherboards on hand. Before we check those out, let's cover what may as well be called Haswell 1.1.

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