Well, it’s almost here. It looks like Intel will take the ST crown, although MT is a bit of a different story, and might rely explicitly on the software being used or if the difference in performance is worth the price. The use of the hybrid architecture might be an early pain point, and it will be interesting to see if Thread Director remains resilient to the issues. The bump up to Windows 11 is also another potential rock in the stream, and we’re seeing some teething issues from users, although right now users who are looking to early adopt a new CPU are likely more than ready to adopt a new version of Windows at the same time.
The discourse on DDR4 vs DDR5 is one I’ve had for almost a year now. Memory vendors seem ready to start seeding kits to retailers, however the expense over DDR4 is somewhat eyewatering. The general expectation is that DDR5 won’t offer much performance uplift over a good kit of DDR4, or might even be worse. The benefit of DDR5 then at this point is more to start on that DDR5 ladder, where the only way to go is up. This will be Intel’s last DDR4 platform on desktop it seems.
Intel is taking a different approach than AMD, and follows more in the footsteps of ARM chips – there’s both performance and efficiency cores, and it’s up to Intel’s and others’ software to make proper use of it. It’s great to see what competition can lead to, and both AMD and Apple have lit a fire under this entire industry.
Finally, an Intel CPU i can get excited about. And they’ve done exactly what i hoped. Glued a bunch of Atom cores to a bunch of heavy desktop cores and released a big.LITTLE x86 processor. This is the game changer i’ve been waiting for when it comes to Intel chips. Whilst it’s still not quite the heavy core-count you’d expect from Ryzen, most background tasks on a modern PC don’t need such large and powerful cores, and benefit greatly from more smaller cores than just one large monolithic beast of a core.
I think it’s a bit of a shame that such an architectural shift hasn’t warranted a rebrand. The i-series branding is getting long in the tooth now, and such a big change in chip design would normally warrant a brand new marketing strategy. I think this lack of rebranding may actually come back to bite Intel in the sales department.