A lot of pixels have been spilled over the past few days in relation to Intel's new Haswell processors. As far as power goes, they're a little faster than previous generation hardware. But when it comes to power consumption,is light years ahead of Intel's older Ivy Bridge architecture, as well as anything that AMD has to offer.
But this power saving comes at a price.
Intel announced two new processors aimed at Ultrabooks, the Core i7-4650U (2.9GHz base, 3.3GHz turbo, 4MB cache) and the Core i5-4350U (2.6GHz base, 2.9GHz turbo, 3MB cache). These are priced at $454 and $342 respectively for a tray of 1,000 processors.
Compare these to the equivalent previous-generation Ivy Bridge parts, the Core i7-3687U and the Core i5-3437U, which are priced at $346 and $250 respectively, same as they were the previous month according to Intel's price list.
That's a heck of a premium that OEMs – and eventually customers – are expected to pay for better battery life. That Core i5 Haswell processor alone costs almost as much, which is powered by an 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core Clover Trail processor.
While battery life has grown to be a very important metric, I'm not sure that it is important enough that price-sensitive buyers – both regular consumers and cautious enterprises – will be willing to pay such a hefty premium in exchange for a few extra hours of battery life.
We'll have to wait and see.