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 -- like what we saw with Sandy Bridge in 2011 when Intel released the Core i7-2600K in January, then refreshed it with the 2700K in October. Those new CPUs offered a measly 100MHz speed bump and based on what we've seen, we don't expect much more from the updated Haswell parts.

Considering the small boosts between Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell, it's fair to say Intel has been taking baby steps for years. In fact, we would usually be looking at a brand new architecture around now, but the fifth-generation Core chips have been delayed until the fourth quarter due to suspected yield issues with the 14nm design process.

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.

4th Gen Refresh Line-Up

At the top of the mound we have the Core i7-4790 which is effectively replacing the Core i7-4771 at the slightly lower price of $303 versus $320. This processor is clocked 100MHz higher at 3.6GHz with a 100MHz higher boost clock speed of 4GHz. Everything else as far as we can tell is the same and there should also be an unlocked 'K' version of this CPU.

Model Cores Threads Base clock L2 cache Price
Core i7-4790 4 8 3.6GHz 8MB $303
Core i5-4690 4 4 3.5GHz 6MB $213
Core i5-4590 4 4 3.3GHz 6MB $192
Core i5-4460 4 4 3.2GHz 6MB $182
Core i3-4360 2 4 3.7GHz 4MB $149
Core i3-4350 2 4 3.6GHz 4MB $138
Core i3-4150 2 4 3.5GHz 4MB $117

The Core i5-4590 will fill the speed gap between the Core i5-4570 and Core i5-4670, though it will replace the 4570 as it is expected to occupy the same price tag. Then we have the i5-4460 which is effectively the i5-4570 with less aggressive boost frequencies, it will replace or at the very least force down the price of the i5-4440.

The flagship Core i5 processor -- the Core i5-4690 -- comes clocked 100MHz higher than the Core i5-4670K, but should cost less at $213 since it isn't unlocked.

The updated Core i3 series includes the Core i3-4150 ($10 pricier than the 4130 at $117 with a 100MHz speed bump), the Core i3-4350 (position to take out the equally-specced 4340 while matching the price of the 4330 at $138), and the 4360 ($149 and clocked 100Mhz higher than the 4350 as well as the older 4340).

There is a huge amount of new low-powered Haswell parts, so rather than go through them all please check the table below.

Model Cores Threads Base clock L2 cache Price
Core i7-4790S 4 8 3.2GHz 8MB $303
Core i7-4790T 4 4 2.7GHz 8MB $303
Core i7-4785T 4 8 2.2GHz 8MB $303
Core i5-4690S 4 4 3.2GHz 6MB $213
Core i5-4690T 4 4 2.5GHz 6MB $213
Core i5-4590S 4 4 3.0GHz 6MB $192
Core i5-4590T 4 4 2.0GHz 6MB $192
Core i5-4570S 4 4 2.9GHz 6MB $192
Core i5-4460S 4 4 2.9GHz 6MB $182
Core i5-4460T 4 4 1.9GHz 6MB $182
Core i3-4530T 2 4 3.1GHz 4MB $138
Core i3-4150T 2 4 3.0GHz 3MB $117

There are also new Haswell-based Pentium and Celeron processors. The Pentium G3450 will replace the existing G3430 offering a 100MHz speed bump at the same price, the Pentium G3440 will replace the G3420 at the same $75 price tag offering another 100MHz boost, and the $64 G3240, which also gets a 100MHz clock increase.

Model Cores Threads Base clock L2 cache Price
Pentium G3450 2 2 3.4GHz 3MB $86
Pentium G3440 2 2 3.3GHz 3MB $75
Pentium G3240 2 2 3.1GHz 3MB $64
Celeron G1850 2 2 2.9GHz 2MB $52
Celeron G1840 2 2 2.8GHz 2MB $42

The Celeron G1840 will take out the G1830 considering it offers the same specifications at a discounted price and therefore in the process will also retire the G1820 as it offers a 100MHz frequency jump for the same price. Then we have the Celeron G1850, which is the new flagship Celeron part and the first Haswell version to operate at 2.9GHz, and it will cost the same as the older G1830.

Below are the new low-powered Pentium and Celeron processors.

Model Cores Threads Base clock L2 cache Price
Pentium G3440T 2 2 2.8GHz 3MB $75
Pentium G3240T 2 2 2.7GHz 3MB $64
Celeron G1840T 2 2 2.5GHz 2MB $42

Apart from the 100MHz bump, it looks like the entire Haswell line-up should be slightly more affordable as well, not a bad deal for an otherwise uneventful release.