With time quickly approaching the launch of Haswell, leaks on both motherboards and CPU performance are coming out of the woodworks.  Similar to our advance Ivy Bridge coverage, here is a current roundup of everything we were allowed to show or is currently in the public domain.

Fun with Z87

So as you would expect, reviewers like Anand and I are knee deep in getting Haswell coverage and testing ready for launch.  We cannot tell you what we are testing, or what is coming in our repertoire, but we try to match what our readers want to see.  As a general rule, in order to receive media kits from Intel, we sign a company-wide NDA, and then if we want kit from other companies (motherboards, pre-release systems), then they may request NDAs from specific people as well.  I know I have personally signed a few in recent months leading up to the release.

So What Is In This Preview Then?

So some manufacturers have decided to release data to media like AT in order to boost coverage before launch.  Others have had leaks from media events posted online, and here we have tried to collate that information.  Everything you see in this post we have permission to post from the various manufacturers, or the information is already in the public domain.  Some information has been from Intel itself, such as Beijing IDF presentations released on the internet.

Much like our Ivy Bridge preview, we will be going through the motherboards expected to be released – either final ES images or retail ones.  We have the big four up ready to bat – ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI, with appearances by ECS, Biostar and EVGA as well.

AnandTech’s Haswell Coverage

At AnandTech we have been hot on the heels of Intel, attempting to understand what is behind the new silicon.  We have covered the following topics so far:

Intel's Haswell Architecture Analyzed: Building a New PC and a New Intel
Intel Haswell Architecture Disclosure: Live Blog
Intel Details Haswell Overclocking at IDF Beijing
Making Sense of the Intel Haswell Transactional Synchronization eXtensions
Haswell: Up to 128MB On-Package Cache, ULV GPU Performance Estimates
Intel Haswell GT3e GPU Performance Compared to NVIDIA's GeForce GT 650M
IDF 2012: Haswell GT3 Running Skyrim
Intel Haswell Architecture Slides (IDF 2012)
Haswell at IDF 2012: 10W is the New 17W

Pricing

In previous years, motherboard launches have ranged the full gamut from the $60 to over $200 at launch, even reaching $400 as the platform develops.  Within that is the cost for the chipset (a not-insignificant cost), the production, the modules, the extra controllers and all the licensing for extra features such as SLI or HDMI.  Of course no manufacturer wants to announce pricing just yet, but like the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge launches, we at AnandTech are hoping for a motherboard roundup of around $200 (+/- 10%) to go live at launch.

Details regarding pricing led us to Chinese websites:

At current exchange rates, this puts the pricing at the following:

ASRock Z87 Extreme4: ¥1099/999 = $179/$162
ASUS P8Z87-Deluxe: ¥2699 = $439
ASUS ROG Maximus IV Hero with a 4770K: ¥2999 = $488
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming: ¥1699 = $276
ASRock Z87 Pro3: ¥699 = $114

Personally I believe that this pricing is a bit high, indicating ‘put your order in early’ for when stock actually arrives.  There is not any import tax (most if not all these motherboards are made in China), and sales tax / VAT is technically 17%.

But for now, let us look at what motherboards have actually been on display.

ASUS Z87
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  • vailr - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    What about DDR4? Will Intel offer a revised chipset (Z88?) for DDR4 + Haswell CPU's later this year? Reply
  • sticks435 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    No, DDR4 will most likely debut on the new Enthusiast boards (X79 or X89 or X99). It will be either 2014 or 15 before we see it on mainstream boards. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Haswell doesn't seem to support DDR4. The memory support is based on the CPU since a few generations back, not the motherboard/chipset anymore. Haswell-E might support DDR4 by the looks of it. Reply
  • Sm0kes - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Really interested to see if Thunderbolt can make any meaningful advances..... if not this year, i suspect this will be dead technology. Was really looking forward to seeing eGPU's become a reality. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Thunderbolt only has a PCI x4 access so a AMD Radeon HD 6670 is going to fully saturate it....

    I want to believe Intel will fix this so eGPU's can succeed!
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Haswell uses the same x4 configuration, but with PCIe 3.0 and a bandwidth of 20 Gbps. Since that matches the current max Thunderbolt spec, why would they use more than 4 lanes? There simply isn't a lot of headroom for going > 20 Gbps over copper without limiting the cable length to only a few cm..They are working on silicon photonics to integrate a chip level optical interconnect to make optical Thunderbolt cheap enough, but until then there just isn't much need for more than 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    on P1, "Within that is the cost for the chipset (a not-significant cost)"

    Do you mean not-INsignificant?

    thanks for the article!
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Well, any of the mATX motherboards look good. My preferred brand is Gigabyte for the good value and performance. Asus usually when I have the money laying around and want a feature or two they offer. AsRock is also good if they are competitive with Gigabyte by being cheaper or offering more for the same money. The other manufacturers I have little experience or dodgy experience with. :D
    I would like a mATX with good overclocking, Intel NICs, decent onboard sound, 8 SATA connectors and maybe mSATA. I don't need wifi, more than 8 SATA, more than 2 USB 3.0, LCDs, reset/power buttons onboard, SLI/CF support or anything fancy like that.
    Reply
  • Egg - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    Am I misinterpreting something, or do post of the lower end boards include PCI? I thought some of them would drop it, as people with the expansion cards that need it often will look for better boards, and it now needs an extra controller. Reply
  • meacupla - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - link

    They fill in the gap between the business (B series) and enthusiast (Z series) chipset. Reply

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