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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  • doug1970 - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    Sorry I am stupid I didn't edit my own post, I spelled beginning really badly.
  • gxtoast - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    Just noticed that none of the Haswell i7s support Intel EPT, which is required for nested virtualisation of 64-bit guests. Jarred, what are we to do?
  • JesperL - Saturday, June 15, 2013 - link

    Anyone care to venture a guess on which model will be in the Mac Minis?
  • n13L5 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    So, much later the reason for the i7-4702HQ comes into sharp focus:

    The lesser Intel GPU making this a 37W part allowed Razer to install a quad core CPU paired with a GTX 870M GPU into their rather slim 2014 Blade 14.

    Best not to waste 10W on Intel's Iris in cases like this.

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