While the PC market continues to struggle to find growth, it's not the fault of Intel's latest family of processors. The Haswell rollout has solidified the company's dominance in the computer chip business (including what it claims are record sales of desktop Core i7 CPUs), especially on the mobile side of things. Intel is looking to further its advantage with the release of a new batch of fourth-generation Core processors designed for notebooks.
The nine new mobile Haswell CPUs are a mix of Core i5 and i7 chips that will power performance portables, though a couple are ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processors that can be used in Ultrabooks. The cheapest new one is the i5-4310M at $225 (prices will factor into the cost of a new notebook, as the laptop upgrade market is neglible); its two cores run at 2.7GHz. For about $40 more, the i5-4340M goes to 2.9GHz, while for svelte systems, there's the 2GHz i5-4310U and the 1.5GHz 4360U. Despite the slower clock speed, the 4360U costs more than the other ULV chip because it makes use of Intel's more powerful HD 5000 graphics.
For gaming (and other high-performance) laptops, there are five new Core i7 processors, including one dual-core version, the $346 i7-4610M. The remaining ones are all quad cores, ranging from the 2.8GHz i7-4810MQ to the 3.1GHz i7-4940MX Extreme Edition, which is priced at a whopping $1,096. The i7-4860HQ only runs at 2.4GHz, but makes use of HD 5200 graphics, which would seem to justify its higher price than the 4610M.
Even though these are new processors, they aren't a quantum leap beyond their predecessors. Because they are clocked about 100MHz higher than the initial Haswell CPUs, that's only about a few percentage points better in performance. But who's going to argue with faster, especially when it's going to be baked into new laptops over the next few months.
[Via CPU World]