For those who are just looking for information on the various processor models with their associated features, we wanted to put together a short list of all the parts being launched today to go along with our architecture and performance testing (among other things). Similar to the previous two launches, Intel is starting off with their quad-core parts, to be followed at a later date by dual-core offerings. We’ll actually be going into the Ultrabook parts sooner rather than later, but for now there are no Core i3, Pentium, or Celeron Haswell chips. We’ve got a separate article going over the desktop SKUs, and our focus here will be on the mobile offerings.

Intel 4th Gen Core i7 M-Series Mobile Processors
Model Core i7-4930MX Core i7-4900MQ Core i7-4800MQ Core i7-4702MQ Core i7-4700MQ
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8
CPU Base Freq 3.0 2.8 2.7 2.2 2.4
Max SC Turbo 3.9 3.8 3.7 3.2 3.4
Max DC Turbo 3.8 3.7 3.6 3.1 3.3
Max QC Turbo 3.7 3.6 3.5 2.9 3.2
TDP 57W 47W 47W 37W 47W
HD Graphics 4600 4600 4600 4600 4600
GPU Clock 400-1350 400-1300 400-1300 400-1150 400-1150
L3 Cache 8MB 8MB 6MB 6MB 6MB
DDR3/DDR3L 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600
vPro/TXT/VT-d Yes Yes Yes No No
Intel SBA No No No Yes Yes
Price $1096 $568 $378    

On the mobile side of the fence, other than some slight changes to the naming scheme relative to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (there’s no more “20” suffix on most of the initial models and they’re now “MQ” instead of “QM”), the mobile Haswell rollout is what we expected. There are actually two quad-core mobile processor families, with the M-series being the “traditional” models while the H-series gets some iGPU upgrades and other tweaks.

Along with the traditional Extreme part at the top of the hierarchy, we now get a 4900MQ, 4800MQ, and 4700MQ in place of the previous 3820QM, 3720QM, and 3610QM that we saw with Ivy Bridge. The 4800MQ, 4702MQ, and 4700MQ are 6MB L3 cache parts, so only the 4900MQ and 4930MX get the full 8MB L3. Other than the clock speed variations and the lack of vPro/TXT/VT-d on the 470x chips (which at the same time also get the distinction of being part of the Intel Small Business Advantage platform—basically, for non-managed networks), the parts all have HD 4600 Graphics. That means slightly better iGPU performance than HD 4000, but these are GT2 (20 EUs) rather than GT3/GT3e (40 EUs).

TDPs are up 2W relative to Ivy/Sandy Bridge models, but how that will actually play out in practice remains to be seen. Considering the max TDP is rarely hit under mobile workloads, we don’t expect any major changes, and Haswell is introducing a host of other improvements all aimed at delivering better battery life. Dustin has at least one Haswell notebook in for review, with a high-end CPU and dGPU. It won’t be a great representation of battery life, but at least we can get some idea of how much things have changed relative to the 3rd Generation Core i7 processors.

Intel 4th Gen Core i7 H-Series Mobile Processors
Model Core i7-4950HQ Core i7-4850HQ Core i7-4750HQ Core i7-4702HQ Core i7-4700HQ
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8
CPU Base Freq 2.4 2.3 2.0 2.2 2.4
Max SC Turbo 3.6 3.5 3.2 3.2 3.4
Max DC Turbo 3.5 3.4 3.1 3.1 3.3
Max QC Turbo 3.4 3.3 3.0 2.9 3.2
TDP 47W 47W 47W 37W 47W
HD Graphics Iris Pro 5200 Iris Pro 5200 Iris Pro 5200 4600 4600
GPU Clock 200-1300 200-1300 200-1200 400-1150 400-1150
L3 Cache 6MB 6MB 6MB 6MB 6MB
DDR3/DDR3L 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600
vPro/TXT/VT-d Yes Yes No No No
Intel SBA No No Yes Yes Yes
Price $657 $468      

Here’s where things get interesting, the mobile H-Series processors. CPU clocks are down slightly relative to the above M-series, and all of these are 6MB L3 cache parts. To make up for that, Intel has equipped the top three HQ parts with their Iris Pro 5200 iGPU. While having faster integrated graphics may not really matter much on a desktop if you have a discrete GPU, on notebooks we generally always like having the faster iGPU available—you don’t always need a full discrete GPU for some tasks, but the cut-down GT1 of the previous generation sometimes fell short. Heat and noise are also more of a concern with notebooks, so running off the iGPU whenever possible is generally a good thing.

Intel has targeted roughly the level of performance offered by NVIDIA’s GT 650M with their Iris Pro 5200 graphics, or roughly a two-fold increase in performance over HD 4000, and that should be enough for everything short of high-quality, high-resolution gaming. What’s even more interesting is that there’s the potential for a reasonable gaming experience with the CPU and iGPU combined still drawing less than 47W of power; GT 650M may still be a better gaming chip, but the combined CPU + dGPU power draw is quite a bit higher than 47W. Of course, even on a 90Wh battery a load of 45W means you’d still get less than two hours of battery life. We’ll see about testing this as soon as we get more time with the hardware.

What I’m not quite getting is the role the 4702HQ and 4700HQ are supposed to fill; they’re still equipped with HD 4600 graphics, just like their MQ relatives, so we’ve asked Intel for clarification. Best guess right now: the MQ and HQ parts are different packages, so the 470xHQ chips are lower-echelon offerings for OEMs/users that don’t necessarily need/want Iris Pro 5200. It’s a way for an OEM to have one laptop that can support a range of processors, rather than locking all the HQ parts into higher-cost CPUs. Maybe down the road, we’ll even see some Core i5 H-Series CPUs, but we don’t have any concrete information on that yet.

For those interested in the desktop side of things, we’ve broken out those parts into a separate Pipeline article.

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  • Flunk - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    TDP is normally not actually hit. It's a worst-case scenario. Apple probably tested their product through and found 85W to be enough.

    I have an Alienware m14x with basically the same specs as the rMBP 15", the adapter is 150watt. I think it's more a factor of Apple being cheap.
    Reply
  • Amaranthus - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    They probably don't go over 85W but in the past Apple laptops would lock out the highest CPU clocks if you didn't have the battery in because they were capable of using more power than the adapter could provide. Reply
  • Hector2 - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    The simple fact is that Intel is NOT trying to eliminate any reason to have discrete add-on GPUs. That would cost too much die real estate. What they ARE trying to do is to enable laptop OEMs to not need them in all but their high end laptops. They've accomplished that with Haswell by taking a huge chunk out of the performance gap between integrated & discrete GPUs. Even Apple will continue to use these for their lower price & ultrathin Mac Books Reply
  • skiboysteve - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    I use my work laptop with a core 2 due almost exclusively for CPU. But it has a power hungry nvidia Quattro gpu in there that is really slow. I'm really excited to upgrade to one of these in a smaller form factor instead of my old 6 pound dell. I need it to last just as long (3+ years) so I need the fastest CPU I can buy.

    the question is: what is the better CPU performer? The 4900MQ with the higher clocks or the 4950HQ with the huge L4? I'm wondering if the performance is so similar I might as well get the 4950HQ just to have the GPU in case I need it. Next step is finding a thin light laptop with it included
    Reply
  • AFQ - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    @Jarred
    There is an error in the first table. Its Core i7-4930MX, not MQ.
    Reply
  • critical_ - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Yup, it's the Core i7-4930MX. Also, I am surprised the Extreme part doesn't have vPro, TXT, and VT-d. Is this a mistake? The 2920XM, 2960XM, and 3940XM all came with vPro and VT-d. I know because I own or have owned laptops will each of them. I am already disappointed to see "K" and "R" desktop parts lacking these features. It will only infuriate me further to see the Core i7-4930MX without them. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    Unless I messed up the table initially (which is entirely possible), the MX and the other top two MQ SKUs have VT-d/TXT/vPro; only the 470xMQ lack those. Reply
  • blackbrrd - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Looking at the prices I do wonder what Intel is smoking. 300-1000$ for a cpu? Are they trying to destroy the PC market completely? They don't have any competition from AMD, but they have considerable competition from ARM based tablets.

    No wonder people go for these when Intel sells just the CPU/GPU for 2x the price of a good tablet.
    Reply
  • madmilk - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    If you can do all your work on a tablet, Intel is targeting you with a $50 Celeron or Atom, not a $300 i7. A Celeron with a small SSD/hybrid drive and a clean install of Windows/Linux/Chrome OS is extremely snappy for typical tablet tasks.

    Of course, all the OEMs are stupid and sell i5 + HDD + bloatware instead, which for most use cases is slower.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    Keep in mind that at least for now, there are a ton of businesses that are still sticking with PCs and Laptops. Plus, while for some things an iPad or tablet will be "fast enough", try doing complex spreadsheet work or document editing on one. There are use cases where the fact that the quad-core Haswell chips are an order of magnitude faster than a tablet is still important. Paying three times as much as the cost of a basic tablet to get performance that's over 10X as high is not necessarily a bad investment, at least if your primary concern isn't mobility and battery life. Reply

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