We’ve known about these models for quite some time, but now they’re both official. If you were disappointed by the launch of “Haswell Refresh” with its locked CPUs and incremental speed bump, you might be more interested in these.
The big feature, besides the 4.0 GHz base frequency, is the use of “NGPTIM”, the snazzy abbreviation (if that’s an acronym I’d love to hear someone say it) for Next Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material.
As you know, Haswell has been been severely hampered by the poor heat transfer capabilities, as well as adding a VRM unit to the core. You can see this in action in our Noctua NH-D15 review. There is a ceiling at which coolers can no longer keep up with the heat loss, and overclocking is held back because of it. NGPTIM looks to remedy that, while continuing to save costs by not soldering the heat plate directly on. At least, I assume that’s why they didn’t just use solder.
They have also beefed up the VRM, which should make for even smoother power delivery. Devil’s Canyon should be available by the end of this month, and it will be interesting to see how well it overclocks. We can only get our Core i7 4770K to about 4.5 GHz reliably with reasonable voltage settings. If DC can do 4.8 GHz+, then it is a solid product.
Possibly even more interesting is the Pentium G3258 “Anniversary Edition”. This marks the first low end CPU with an unlocked multiplier from Intel for a very long time.
The Pentium G3258 is a fully unlocked CPU with a pair of Haswell cores running at 3.2 GHz base. We know that Haswell performs very well clock-for-clock, and even though there is a dual thread limit, if the clock speed can be pushed, this may be an impressive little CPU for $70-80. What we don’t know is whether it uses “NGPTIM”. If not, and it only hits 3.7 GHz or whatever, there may not be much to get excited about here. We’ll have to wait and see.