Intel’s well-known tick tock cycle has been working quite well for them over the years. Every tick brings with it a reduced CPU die size, while the tock signifies a boost in performance. The current Broadwell range sits firmly on the tick – delivering some extremely power efficient performance on a smaller die. It also means the recently revealed desktop variations are nothing to get excited about.
Intel launched Broadwell chips exclusively for mobile devices earlier this year, but the jump to desktop has finally been revealed at Computex. Two unlocked CPUs (now with the suffix of “C” instead of “K”) will be hitting markets in the next month or so, in two different flavours. The i5 series will be getting the i5-5675C, while the i7 series will say hello to i7-5775C.
Here’s the problem though: Both chips come clocked at much lower speeds than the Haswell ones they’re meant to replace. The i5-5675C comes in at 3.1GHz, while the i5-4690k opens up at 3.5GHz. Similarly, the i7-5775C starts things off at 3.3GHz, with the i7-4790k showing it up with 4GHz out the box. Sure the unlocked multipliers leave room for overclocking, but with such disparity from the beginning it’s hard to imagine the Broadwell getting anywhere close to better.
It’s because they weren’t designed for that, which is why Intel is already prepping Skylake to launch in a few months. It’ll fall on the tock cycle, meaning the performance boost you’d expect from the new die size will only really be realised then. Not only that, but it’s launching with the new Intel 100 socket, as well as DDR4 support. If you’re looking to the horizon, waiting for Skylake is easily your best bet.
And if you absolutely have to upgrade today, Devil’s Canyon still seems like the best bet. Broadwell is out in a few weeks, but for a predictably cheaper rice you could get better performance today. I’m not sure who Intel is aiming at with these chips – but you certainly shouldn’t fall for it.
Last Updated: June 3, 2015