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In Brief: Intel's Haswell Refresh is Underwhelming

By Norman Chan

The good stuff comes later this year.

When we saw Apple's refreshed 2014 MacBook Airs late last month, it wasn't a big surprise that this was the least exciting hardware update to the lineup in a few generations--the $100 price drop was the most notable change. That's because Intel hasn't had its major chipset upgrade for this year. We didn't see a generational shift like we did with Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge/Haswell. Intel does have a new 9 Series chipset that they're currently rolling out this week, but the CPUs that come along with it are Haswell refreshes, boosted by 100MHz. As ArsTechnica reports, this release is relatively underwhelming because Intel had to delay its Broadwell CPUs until the second half of this year, due to complications in Intel's new 14nm manufacturing process. Broadwell is supposed to bring along a significant Iris GPU update, as well as up to 30% increased power efficiency. Based on Anand's tests, the new Haswell desktop CPUs are the ones to get if you're looking to build a new PC today, but I would hold off until the end of the year and see what the Broadwell "tock"-release looks like.