GDC 15: Intel Demos Socketed, LGA1150 Broadwell CPU with Iris Pro Graphics

Subject: Processors | March 4, 2015 - 09:07 PM |
Tagged: GDC, gdc 15, Intel, Broadwell, iris pro, LGA1150, core i7

Consumer have been asking for it since the first time Intel announced it, but Iris Pro graphics is finally finding its way to the desktop, socketed market. Shown powering one of Dell's new 5K displays, this processor shipping in "mid-2015", is going to be configured with a 65 watt TDP and will be unlocked for overclockers to tweak. Intel first disclosed these plans way back in May of 2014 so we are going to be approaching the 12-month mark for availability.

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It doesn't look special, but this system has the first desktop Iris Pro processor

In a new disclosure at GDC, Intel showed the first 5th Generation Core LGA-socketed CPU with Intel® Iris™ Pro graphics. This 65 watt unlocked desktop processor, available mid-2015, will bring new levels of performance and power efficiency to Mini PCs and desktop All-In-Ones. Since 2006 the 3D performance of Intel Graphics has increased nearly 100 fold (Intel 3DMark06 measurements) and powerful form factors from Acer, Medion and Intel’s own NUCs are becoming available with 5th Generation Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Graphics.

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Under that little heatsink...

Details of this new CPU offering, including clock speed and graphics performance, are still unknown but Intel claims we will have this part in our hands in the near future. This isn't targeted to overtake consumers with mid-range discrete graphics systems but instead will bring users interested in a SFF or low power system with both home theater features and improved gaming capability. Our testing with Iris Pro graphics in notebooks has proven that the gaming performance gains can be substantial, but often the battery life demands have limited implementations from OEMs. With a desktop part, we might actually be able to see the full capability of an integrated GPU with embedded memory.


March 5, 2015 | 04:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks neat, but with Skylake supposedly so close, I'd be anxious about getting this.

March 5, 2015 | 11:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This isn't meant to compete with Skylake. It's a 65W CPU for small form factor PCs, not a successor to Devil's Canyon.

March 5, 2015 | 03:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Then why unlock the multiplier?

March 5, 2015 | 07:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Because they don't have any unlocked 65W Haswell/Skylake chips. This chip is in a class of it's own (lower power but can still be overclocked). Intel doesn't want to compete with their own parts. Skylake 95W unlocked desktop chip is coming later this year.

March 5, 2015 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've a Z97 board and I need a proper unlocked CPU. I hope this isn't indicating that there will be high performance unlocked Broadwell.

Or will the TDP not matter much because when one overclocks it just means there is increased headroom?

Any thoughts?

March 5, 2015 | 04:20 PM - Posted by crashtech (not verified)

One possibility is that overclockers could disable the IGP and gain some thermal headroom. I have a nice Z97 board as well, but it is looking more and more like the 4790K will be the best CPU available for it now and in the future.

March 5, 2015 | 10:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Really gamers are going to be using discrete GPUs, this Iris pro is still not going to be a concern for any serious gaming, gamers would rather have more CPU cores to go along with the discrete GPU. With the new graphics APIs getting better multiprocessor support and such built into their respective APIs! Unless Intel can enable its graphics to work alongside The discrete GPUs makers products, Intel is just wasting SOC realestate.

The OS makers, and graphics APIs project managers, have needed for a very long time to make APIs/software stacks that enable all the computing resources available on computing platforms (CPU, GPU, Other), regardless of brand, able to provide graphics and compute for gaming/GPGPU/other on an always on all the time basis, sharing the gaming/other computational workloads. There are features in Vulkan, that will enable conversion to SPIR-V intermediate language for any code, allowing both graphics OpenGL, and compute OpenCL, other graphics/GPGPU languages(converted to SPIR-V IL) to be sent to any graphics processing units available on computing platforms. This is a parallel type of system to the HSA foundation's HSAIL, and could very well supplant/merge the need for HSAIL, or others type of VM IL industry standard. SPIR-V is ostensibly the equivalent of HSAIL in its reach. DX12, probably, has similar features, so what is in a name does not matter, it's the functionality that HSA aware APIs will allow that is important, and should have been the OS systems makers goal for at least 10 years now, but the vested market forces have kept the full goals of true HSA aware OSs/APIs under wraps for long enough! The whole consumer computing market is being held back from something the supercomputer/HPC market has provided for decades in HSA aware computing OSs/APIs. AMD does not own HSA, HSA predates AMD's entry or any manner of adopting of HSA's scientific principals.

The vested interests in the consumer market have been holding gaming/computing technological advancement back for much too long, just in order to maintain/keep market share, for sure they do not want their products to complement the functionality of their competitors, but the hamstringing of technological progress has gone on too damn long.

March 7, 2015 | 03:30 PM - Posted by TheNetAvenger (not verified)

"...Really gamers are going to be using discrete GPUs, this Iris pro is still not going to be a concern for any serious gaming..."

True, however with multi-monitor configurations, having snappy graphics driving other monitors is something gamers will want.

Also with DX12 and Windows 10 where Microsoft is forcing GPUs to use the WDM features introduced in Vista that NVidia locked out, will provide boosts in gaming without running dual discrete video cards.

So if you consider the NT kernel and its ability to agnostically schedule GPU threads, the GPU will act like an additional core, and be able to take on threads when the kernel deems it to be a faster path. The additional core in this context also offers more functionality being FP optimized.

As for your HSA rant, see Windows Vista WDM/WDDM, reference the changes in Win7/Win8, and also reference how NVidia and AMD specifically blocked the inherent SMP interoperability that the NT kernel with the WDM/WDDM offered. As I mention above, this changes with Windows 10, and it also changes with DX12 - with Microsoft not allowing NVidia or AMD to artificially crippler the agnostic GPU scheduler features of NT.

I liked your post, take care...

March 13, 2015 | 09:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

what does it mean Socketed? are they permanntaly fixed on board?

March 14, 2015 | 01:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The opposite. Previous Iris Pro products (i7-4770R) were soldered onto BGA boards. This one you can add or remove like any other LGA1150 CPU.

March 16, 2015 | 03:26 PM - Posted by @me@you (not verified)

If I can, I will tray to biuild steam machina on it.

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