Final Words

I’m a fan of Haswell, even on the desktop. The performance gains over Ivy Bridge depend on workload, but in general you’re looking at low single digits to just under 20%. We saw great behavior in many of our FP heavy benchmarks as well as our Visual Studio compile test. If you’re upgrading from Sandy Bridge you can expect to see an average improvement just under 20%, while coming from an even older platform like Nehalem will yield closer to a 40% increase in performance at the same clocks. As always, annual upgrades are tough to justify although Haswell may be able to accomplish that in mobile.

Even on the desktop, idle power reductions are apparent both at the CPU level and at the platform level.  Intel focused on reducing CPU power, and it seems like Intel's motherboard partners did the same as well. Under load Haswell can draw more power than Ivy Bridge but it typically makes up for it with better performance.

Overclockers may be disappointed at the fact that Haswell is really no more of an overclocker (on air) compared to Ivy Bridge. Given the more mobile focused nature of design, and an increased focus on eliminating wasted power, I don’t know that we’ll ever see a return to the heyday of overclocking.

If the fact that you can’t easily get tons of additional frequency headroom at marginal increase to CPU voltage is the only real downside to the platform, then I’d consider Haswell a success on the desktop. You get more performance and a better platform at roughly the same prices as Ivy Bridge a year ago. It’s not enough to convince folks who just bought a PC over the past year or two to upgrade again, but if you are upgrading from even a 3 year old machine the performance gains will be significant.

Quick Sync Performance
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  • gregounech - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Finally, let's see how good Haswell is. Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Disappointing, to say the least. He's even comparing it to 2-3 older generations, just to be able to write some non-embarrassing numbers in the review, considering Haswell is only like 5-10% faster than IVB.

    The only big improvement seems to be in idle power consumption, of about 30%, which seems to "impress" Anand, but it just means that if your laptop had a 12h idle time, now it gets 16h.

    It won't do much in ACTIVE power, which is really what matters. So much for all the "Haswell will totally dominate tablets in the near future" hype from Anand. Yes, this is not the mobile version, if Haswell really were an impressive design for power consumption, you'd see it here, too. It actually consumes 5-10% more than same clock speed IVB chip, which means its extra performance is almost completely negated.

    This means that my predictions that Intel will try to "trick" us into thinking Haswell is ready for tablets will soon come true. Because if Haswell is not that efficient to warrant being used in "normal" tablets, then they'll try to dramatically lower clock speed and performance to even achieve 10W TDP (still too high for a tablet).
    Reply
  • gregounech - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Pretty good points.

    I'll still upgrade from my i5 750, and we won't get anything interesting until Skylake on the desktop (apparently, it wont be BGA), as I'm expecting motherboard OEMs to force us into buying their high end motherboards with any of the high end i7s Broadwell.
    Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    I'm using an i7-950 (over 4 years old) and its funny seeing how still-competitive it is to Intel's newest chips. It seems Sandy Bridge brought the bang and its just been trickle down performance since... Reply
  • Deelron - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    No kidding, I'm in the same boat and was thinking of upgrading but with my moderate over clock and these results have no problem waiting until the next generation. Reply
  • klmccaughey - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    I'm still running my i5-2500k @ 4.3GHz and see nothing here of interest. I don't see myself upgrading any time soon. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    I'm still running an E8400. I see plenty of reason to upgrade. Reply
  • dananski - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    Ahh I had one of those until this time last year. The E8400 found a happy home with a friend and I went to Ivy Bridge. Even small improvements like Sandy -> Ivy -> Haswell are useful, so don't feel too bad for having waited so long. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    haha. I'm still running an OC'd E6600 (amongst others) for my desktop, which I hardly touch anymore, and am unsure whether to upgrade. I'm curious to see how Haswell performance vs power consumption vs price, is for NAS systems.

    Aside from natural degradation in one of the components (cpu, memory, psu, or gpu), which brings on an error every once in a while, the E6600 still does 98% of what I want of it and 100% of what I need it to do. So I suppose my needs are to get my electric bill down.

    I need to read more because I was hoping this chip would bring me to buy a Surface Pro.
    Reply
  • slickr - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    You will get benefits upgrading from E6600 no doubt about it. For you its worth it as you are going to get a lot less power consumption, cooler operating chip and less noisy as well, with a significant performance increase especially in multithreaded applications, but for those thinking upgrading from Sandy or Ivy bridge to Haswell its worthless.

    I mean upgrading from 2500k to the new 4770k is useless. At best you are going to see 40% performance improvement which calculates into 5 seconds faster decoding or 5 seconds faster unzipping, but at worst you are going to get 2% performance increase which amounts to milliseconds of faster decoding and stuff.

    You are not going to get less power consumption and it seems you may even get worse power consumption at loads. The new chips don't even overclock as well either, so its a waste of money to upgrade. If you have 3-4 generations older chip its worth upgrading, but else your money is better spent elsewhere.
    Reply

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