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Intel boosts speed in latest Core i5, i7 high-end processors

updated 11:49 pm EDT, Mon July 21, 2014

Chips likely to debut in revamped MacBooks, other top-of-line notebooks

Intel has goosed the speed in its latest Haswell Core i5 and Core i7 processors, first unveiled yesterday. The new chips are destined for notebooks such as the MacBook Pro, which is expected to get a speed bump sometime this summer. The new clock speeds range from 2.2GHz to 3.0GHz across three new Core i5 models and four new Core i7 offerings. In addition, four budget "Bay Trail" Celeron and Pentium processors were released as well, rated between 1.58GHz and 2.16Hz.

Graph by CPU World
Graph by CPU World

The cheaper ULV "Bay Trail" chips still offer the same 22nm process as the more expensive chips, but feature extremely low power and lower clock speeds. They are cheaper, but don't include the Haswell technologies that increase battery life, for example. Two of the four Bay Trail chips have two cores and 1MB of cache -- the Celerons N2808 and N2840 -- with the Celeron N2940 and Pentium N3540 offer four cores and 2MB of cache. All four have burst speeds of up to 2.25GHz, 2.58GHz, 2.25GHz and 2.66GHz respectively.

For the Haswell chips, there are the dual core i5-4278U (2.6GHz), i5-4308U (2.8GHz) and i7-4578U at 3.0GHz in the ULV low-voltage line. All three feature Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, integrating Iris 5100 graphics and aimed at ultrabooks and thin notebooks like the MacBook Air. The ULV models are rated at 28 watts TDP.

Graph by CPU World
Graph by CPU World

The higher-end chips, aimed at machines such as the MacBook Pro (which is rumored to be getting its semi-annual speed bump soon), are referred to as the "H" line and offer either two or four cores. The bottom of this class is the dual-core i5-4210H, rated at 2.9GHz (burst up to 3.5GHz), which includes Intel HD 4600 graphics -- and like all the Core i5 Haswell series, features 3MB of cache. There is one dual-core Core i7 ULV chip, the 4578U, which offers 4MB of cache and a burst mode up to 3.5GHz.

The "HQ" chips are aimed at traditional top-of-the-line notebooks such as the Retina MacBook Pro, and feature three quad-core i7 chips with 6MB of cache and supporting Iris Pro 5200 graphics. The 4770HQ is rated at 2.2GHz but can burst up to 3.4GHz, the 4870HQ is at 2.5GHz with a burst up to 3.7GHz, and the 4980HQ is rated at 2.8 with a top speed of 4.0GHz.

by MacNN Staff



  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    When are we going to get back to 4 GHz?

    We had these like 5-10 years ago, back when Apple was struggling to get to 2 GHz.

    Where are they now?

    This is ridiculous.

    Intel Finally Has a Real 4 GHz CPU

    Example of a computer with a 3.8 GHz processor (cost $500) - albeit uses a lot of power

    An 8-core processor with each core at 4 GHz (less than $200)

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Why? Clock speed is but one of many factors that determine how "fast" a computer will be.

    Obsessing over the clock speed alone is nothing more than a pissing contest.

    There's nothing inherently "faster" about that AMD octo-core processor you linked to in your last link versus other offerings on the market. In fact, it frequently loses out to CPUs with half as many cores and lower clock speeds in many, if not almost all, benchmarks and tests.

    If you want to boast that you've got a computer that runs at 4GHz, then by all means, that AMD octo-core is a good and inexpensive way to go... but if you want a computer that's actually fast on all fronts and isn't just a "quien es mas macho" contest over clock speed, your money is much better spent on competing, "slower," processors, potentially with fewer cores, and more efficient thermal dynamics.

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