In a somewhat uncharacteristic turn from Intel, we were hooked up and loaded in to a press conference call this week regarding the announcement of some exciting new products coming to market. The purpose of the press conference call was to explain some new technologies coming to the scene, as well as Intel stating that they are listening to their userbase, including enthusiasts. As an enthusiast, these announcements make me very excited, although they do produce more questions than they answer.

The announcement is the introduction of a socketed version of Iris Pro, coming to Intel’s Broadwell platform.

So the first big thing here is Iris Pro coming to a socketed platform, which we have requested since the release of Crystal Well BGA parts in devices like the Apple iMac and GIGABYTE BRIX Pro. This should allow users to build SFF socketed systems with Intel’s highest end integrated graphics. What was not mentioned was if this will be a new Iris Pro for Broadwell, or just another Iris Pro HD 5200 part with a Broadwell CPU.

The second big part from this one announcement is that the CPU is said to come fully unlocked. This should mean that the CPU multiplier, CPU strap, memory and the uncore should be fully adjustable - Intel have told us that this part will have a similar set of overclocking tools as the other unlocked parts. Intel are not disclosing what the limits are or what is expected, and equally no information regarding the release date, whether this CPU will come with the Broadwell CPU launch or at a later date afterwards.

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  • willis936 - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link

    The real story is if they maintain socket compatibility. They're not really known for that but since none of these announcements seem to be consumer chipset feature centric there's a chance they're not planning a new chipset for broadwell.
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    Actually they usually do keep the same socket if it is just a die shrink of the current architecture. Like when 32nm sandy bridge shrunk to 22nm ivy bridge it kept the same socket then when IB changes to haswell it was a new architecture still on 22nm so the socket changed up broadwell is just a die shrink to 14nm it will not have ddr4 or pcie 4.0 or sata express so I don't see any reason why it would not use the same LGA 1150 socket.

    When intel goes from 14nm broadwell to the new skylake architecture on 14nm which will bring ddr4 pcie 4.0 and sata express to mainstream desktop users we will have to see a new socket for the new features.
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    broadwell will also still only have 16x pci-e lanes on the mainstream socket just like haswell does. Nowhere close to the 40 lanes haswell E has on the enthusiast socket, we will have to wait for skylake 14nm architecture changes and even then the mainstream lga 1151 socket will get 20x pci-e lanes still very short of the 40 lanes the enthusiast socket gives.

    I hate how intel does that. They purposefully cut the lanes so you'll buy the higher enthusiast boards and chips to get the full 40 lanes
  • Homeles - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    The vast, vast majority of consumers don't need remotely close to 40 lanes. You're a niche user -- you have to pay niche pricing. Get over it.
  • 1Angelreloaded - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    2011 isn't enthusiast centric, x58,x79,x99 are really hybrid boards that allow workstation regular PC hybrids similar to the Titan series GPUs, fact of the matter is for an enthusiast especially gamers you really don't need anything beyond the PCIe 3.0 x8 in a dual configuration(SLI/Crossfire), you will never bottleneck at the bus level, now for workstations well lets just say 3-5k GPU cards x4 in some cases isn't really ever enough.
  • Flunk - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    It's a lower cost version of the Xeon platform for servers.
  • Kevin G - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    That 20 lane figure is a bit deceptive. That likely includes the DMI link which uses a PCIe physical layer.
  • hrga - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - link

    According to old intel's slideware (circa IDF2011) that couldn't be more wrong
  • JBVertexx - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    Please guys, enough with using the wrong subject/verb agreement with companies. Intel is singular, not plural. Basic grammar.
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    In British English, companies are plural entities. Basic grammar.

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