Intel's Haswell processor may not have delivered a ton of performance improvements over Ivy Bridge but most hardcore enthusiasts were probably willing to look past that as they knew Haswell-E was in the pipeline. The platform is still a ways off as we're awaiting the launch of Ivy Bridge-E later this year but here's some of what users can look forward to in 2014.
For starters, Intel will use Haswell-E to launch an eight core desktop CPU for the first time. Specifically, users will have their choice of six or eight core chips with up to 20MB of L3 cache. With Hyper Threading, we're looking at 16 logical cores with a maximum TDP somewhere in the range of 130W to 140W. The chips will be built using Intel's second generation 22nm Hi-k process.
Another key feature will be the use of DDR4 memory clocked up to 2133MHz which could result in bandwidth increases of nearly 50 percent compared to triple-channel configurations. Other speed steppings include 1333MHz, 1600MHz and 1866MHz, we're told.
The Wellsburg chipset will support up to six UBS 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and up to 10 SATA 6Gbps ports - plenty of ports for most users. Naturally, of course, there's also a new socket in play - LGA 2011-3. It carries the same ball pattern pitch and dimensions as the original LGA 2011 but the layout is different. Intel says this design is more efficient and easier to handle.
Overall performance should be somewhere between 33 to 50 percent better than the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E platform which, if you've been paying attention to processor releases lately, is a colossal jump. It could be just the chip you're waiting for to really kick your system up a notch but you'd better start saving now as I'm pretty confident it won't be cheap.