IDF-2014 San Francisco: This week at IDF, Supermicro is showing their latest X10 servers featuring a dual-processor Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 which is based on 22nm process and Haswell microarchitecture.
One of the things that makes a board stand out from the crowd, beside features and price, is how well it performs. Even with a massive feature set a board is not going to do well if the performance is not there. With the Z97-I Asus is trying to push the same level of features that you would find in a larger board, but will they be able to get the same level of performance? That is what we are looking to find out today. So without much in the way of ceremony, let’s get into why you are here and see what the Z97-I is hiding inside its small frame. You can also check out our coverage of the design and features of the Z97I Plus.
As Intel moves more and more core components to their CPU we are seeing an interesting shift in motherboard design. The manufacturers are all realizing that the performance difference between them are narrowing. The days of seeing a massive difference in benchmark scores are almost gone. However, instead of just pushing out a bunch of cookie cutter boards some motherboard makers are looking for new ways to differentiate their boards. Asus is one of these makers and we will be taking a look at a board that has more than a few departures from the normal motherboard design philosophy. This is the Asus Z97-A. So without too much more delay, let’s dive in and see what Asus has given us.
The small form factor crowd has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Every day on Facebook or some other spot on the internet you will see some pretty impressive builds with tiny motherboards stuffed in them. However, one of the things that has always seemed to be missing I full chipset support. Most of the time you can find mini-ITX boards running business or consumer chipsets. Fortunately, this trend has been changing and we are seeing more powerful boards hitting the market. We have one of these newer boards in the lab in the form of the Asus Z97I Plus. This Z97 chipset based board is intended to put all the power and features of larger boards into a tiny package. Let’s see how well Asus does at reaching this goal.
The internet is a blaze with articles about what is supposed to be a picture of a Haswell-E engineering sample CPU. The image popped up over at VR-Zone and got everyone all excited about news of the next top-end CP from Intel. We were interested and decided to take a look at this image ourselves. What we saw did not impress us at all and immediately had us wondering if it was a fake.
The revamped series Adora24 All-In-One PCs will have incorporated Intel's latest Core i3 and Core i5 processors based on the Haswell platform . Along with new processors MSI has decided to install a new discrete graphic card NVIDIA GeForce GT 740m.
It looks like Intel will be delaying their next CPU core, Broadwell by at least one quarter. The reason for this delay has been listed as a technical difficulties. What these difficulties are we have not been able to identify, but it is possible that the 14nm process could be part of the equation. Intel showed Broadwell working at IDF which is good news, but it is still possible that there are minor problems with yields that put things behind schedule.
A Rumor popped up today that claims that Intel’s 14nm Broadwell might be pushed back to 2H 2014. This information comes as a slide that was posted on the site VR-Zone. In the slide it seems to show that the second generation of Haswell is now slated for release later than originally expected 2Q 2014 and with Boradwell slipping with it. The new information (if accurate) means that Intel will be pushing back their expected “tick” for desktop and dropping in a refresh instead (another “tock”?).
Rumors have it that 2014 will bring us Haswell-E enthusiast CPU. As many are just getting used to the Haswell CPUs appearing in PCs and notebooks, Intel has plans on releasing an enthusiast class processor with the same name.
Editor’s Note – We delayed our release of the Haswell review due to some performance issues we saw with some of our tests. We reached out to Intel and all of the companies that provide our testing software to ensure that our numbers were accurate. We did find that at least Sisoft’s SANDRA suite needed to address the use of the AVX2 instructions in Haswell. We are also in the process of validating LightWave 11 for use in the lab (and other new tests). Additionally we removed the gaming tests from this review, due to problems encountered with the updated games we are using. We intended to publish our gaming tests at a later date. This should help show off Haswell and the new Z87 chipset in a better light than some of the current tests. So without further commentary lets dive into our Haswell review