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Appeared on: Sunday, May 11, 2014
Intel Officially Launches The Z97 Chipset

Today Intel is officially launching two mainstream 9-series chipsets, with Z97 and H97 motherboards based on the new silicon also go on sale today, supporting the LGA1150 socket.

Compared to the existing 8-series, the new 9-series chipsets introduce more storage options, including SATA Express and M.2. The Z97 is the overclocking platform aimed at multiple GPUs whereas H97 is a cheaper option with Intel's Small Business Advantage add-on with certain firmware versions.

Both new chipsets are intended for high-end desktops, the main difference bewtween the new 9-series chipsets is that Z97 supports processor overclocking when paired with an unlocked Intel CPU, while H97 does not. Both chipsets will support current LGA1150 processors (Haswell) and future ones (Broadwell).

Compared to the previous generation Z87, the Z97 has support for the M.2 SSD form factor, additional silicon resource on the chipset for SATA Express, and support for Devil's Canyon CPUs.

The 9-series chipsets offer a total of 14 USB ports (up to six of those can be USB 3.0), up to six SATA III ports, an integrated gigabit Ethernet controller, and a total of eight PCI Express 2.0 lanes for connectivity to other peripherals like Wi-Fi adapters and SSDs.

With 9-series, Intel is enabling Rapid Storage Technology 13, allowing UEFI support, RAID 0/1/5/10 on chipset ports and TRIM in RAID 0 SSD configurations. With M.2 and SATA Express, the RST will solely be for a PCIe x2 slot).

With RST13 / 9-series, Intel is supporting the Rapid Start Technology with 16 GB of storage. This would allow systems to enter a sleep state, write the contents of DRAM to the SSD cache, and then resume to active use.

Formerly known as next-generation form factor (NGFF), M.2 is the replacement for the mSATA interface found on some motherboards.

Intel's M.2 implementation on Z97 runs off PCI Express and uses two of the chipset's PCIe 2.0 lanes for storage duties, meaning a potential 1GB/s bandwidth on tap. Real-world transfer speeds are likely to be no more than 850MB/s - higher than the 600MB/s available to SATA III drives.
A handful of PC OEMs are already shipping products that use PCI Express-connected storage rather than mSATA for their SSDsmore full-size motherboards alongside the usual SATA ports.

Next, Intel's Smart Response Technology (SRT) feature has received an upgrade. SRT allows you to use a solid-state cache that's 16GB or larger in size alongside a traditional mechanical hard drive to speed up launch times for your most frequently-used applications while providing a cheaper pool of storage than a regular solid-state drive. Previously, the feature required separate solid-state and mechanical hard drives connected to separate connectors. Now, SRT supports hybrid hard drives with integrated flash storage, obviating the need for different drives. PCs can also use a single SSD cache to support both SRT and the related Rapid Start Technology.

Z97 also offers additional security by way of Intel Device Protection with Boot Guard. Device Protection Technology, among a few other things, prevents "unauthroized boot loaders" from working on Intel-powered Android tablets. The 9-series chipsets introduce this feature to Core-powered systems with the refreshed Haswell CPUs.

This security technology works through a combination of software and Haswell-architecture hardware to decrease the chances of malware and rootkits being installed on the machine.

All the major motherboard manufacturers will have 9-series based products up for purchase today, ranging from $120 to $400.

For the refresh, Intel is launching a 42 new SKUs. Prices for batches of a thousand will range from $42 to $303 on the desktop and $75 to $434 in mobile:

Intel Haswell Refresh CPU List (Desktop)
New SKU
Cores 
Base
Turbo
L3 Cache
IGP
TDP / W
Intel
List
Price
Celeron G1840
2 / 2
2800
-
2 MB
HD (Haswell)
53
$42
Celeron G1840T
2 / 2
2500
-
2 MB
HD (Haswell)
35
$42
Celeron G1850
2 / 2
2900
-
2 MB
HD (Haswell)
53
$52
Pentium G3240
2 / 2
3100
-
3 MB
HD (Haswell)
53
$64
Pentium G3240T
2 / 2
2700
-
3 MB
HD (Haswell)
35
$64
Pentium G3440
2 / 2
3300
-
3 MB
HD (Haswell)
53
$75
Pentium G3440T
2 / 2
2800
-
3 MB
HD (Haswell)
35
$75
Pentium G3450
2 / 2
3400
-
3 MB
HD (Haswell)
53
$86
Core i3-4150
2 / 4
3500
-
3 MB
HD 4400
54
$117
Core i3-4150T
2 / 4
3000
-
3 MB
HD 4400
35
$117
Core i3-4350
2 / 4
3600
-
4 MB
HD 4600
54
$138
Core i3-4350T
2 / 4
3100
-
4 MB
HD 4600
35
$138
Core i3-4360
2 / 4
3700
-
4 MB
HD 4600
54
$149
Core i5-4460
4 / 4
3200
3400
6 MB
HD 4600
84
$182
Core i5-4460S
4 / 4
2900
-
6 MB
HD 4600
65
$182
Core i5-4590
4 / 4
3300
3700
6 MB
HD 4600
84
$192
Core i5-4590S
4 / 4
3000
3700
6 MB
HD 4600
65
$192
Core i5-4590T
4 / 4
2000
-
6 MB
HD 4600
35
$192
Core i5-4690
4 / 4
3500
3900
6 MB
HD 4600
84
$213
Core i5-4690S
4 / 4
3200
3900
6 MB
HD 4600
65
$213
Core i5-4690T
4 / 4
2500
-
6 MB
HD 4600
45
$213
Core i7-4785T
4 / 8
2200
-
8 MB
HD 4600
35
$303
Core i7-4790
4 / 8
3600
4000
8 MB
HD 4600
84
$303
Core i7-4790S
4 / 8
3200
4000
8 MB
HD 4600
65
$303
Core i7-4790T
4 / 8
2700
-
8 MB
HD 4600
45
$303

 

Haswell Celeron
 
Celeron G1840
2.8 GHz (New)
Celeron G1830
2.8 GHz (Current)
CPU Speed
2.8 GHz
2.8 GHz
Cores
2
2
Threads
2
2
L2 Cache
512 KB
512 KB
L3 Cache
2048 KB
2048 KB
IGP
HD (Haswell)
HD (Haswell)
IGP Frequency
Unknown
1050
TDP
53W
53W
Price
$42
$52

 

Haswell Core i7
 
Core i7-4790
(New)
Core i7-4771
(Current)
CPU Speed
3600 MHz / 4000 MHz
3500 MHz / 3900 MHz
Cores
4
4
Threads
8
8
L2 Cache
1024 KB
1024 KB
L3 Cache
8192 KB
8192 KB
IGP
HD 4600
HD 4600
IGP Frequency
350 / 1200 MHz
350 MHz / 1200 MHz
TDP
84W
84W
Price
$303
$314 (OEM) / $320 (box)

 

Last but definitely not the upcoming Intel Devil's Canyon chips will be unlocked and are expected to appear at Computex this June.

Intel has already provided details for the Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K chips:

Both chips also support 1600MHz DDR3 RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4600 with a dynamic frequency of 1250MHz. Their TDPs is at 88W.

Despite their high clocks, the i7 Devil's Canyon chips will be able to operate without requiring any special cooling, thanks to the an 'improved thermal interface material (TIM)' and updated their packaging, according to Intel.





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