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Intel delivers low power fanless Core i3 CPU

Intel

Intel’s latest generation processors, codenamed Haswell, have promised to bring longer battery life and better heat management to Windows tablets and notebooks alike. What they forgot to mention besides the release of their regular processors is a special Core i3 processor with a power draw as little as 4.5 watts.

The special dual core i3 processor is part of the new Haswell processors, but promises to bring even longer battery life then its regular brothers. The chip can consume as little as 4.5 watts of power in specific scenarios and can be fully operational in a fanless unit.

Lighter and faster tablets with the power of a full PC are in demand; Lenovo tried to deliver on that concept with their ThinkPad Helix, a Core i7 machine gone tablet, but the unit fell short; Mediocre design and awkwardly placed internal fans led to a less than satisfactory experience.

Intel Core i3

Intel’s Core i3 processor isn’t going to promise you the power of a Core i7 CPU, but it is a step forward for low power and fanless processing chips. The company claims that their new Haswell chip will bring up to 50% more battery life compared to their previous CPUs.

Windows 8 has been focused around hybrid and tablet style form factors, but has been held back due to users having to choose between a high powered, yet low battery life, unit or a low powered, yet high battery life, unit. Intel’s new architecture allows us to stop the need to pick between an Atom processor and a full-fledged Core CPU – we may get the perfect combo of power and battery life shortly.

When it comes down in the end, Intel processors can only truly be harnessed by the design process of OEMs and it is up to them to ensure that the future vision of Windows tablet hybrids is fulfilled.

Do you have a Windows 8 tablet – are you running on an Atom or Core chip?

Source: PC World

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Reader comments

Intel delivers low power fanless Core i3 CPU

74 Comments

I have an i5 Samsung ativ pro which kicks butt although battery life isn't too good, then I have an atom Asus vivo tab smart with tons of battery life, but not as fast but quick enough for most things

The Surface 2 will have the Haswell i5 so there SHOULD be some amazing increases in power efficiency. Lots of emphasis on should. 

As with every other 4th generation machine, it will have a moderate increase in battery life. If it even hits eight hours that will be impressive. The 3rd gen i5 processor is not the reason for weak battery life. It is the touch screen and digitizer. Sony has only been able to get 5+ hours out of the 4th gen processor in the upcoming Tap. Microsoft will do better due to a slightly smaller screen and obviously larger battery, plus a year of experience figuring out how to make it work.

Yep, I love the performance of my atom Acer W510, I think the best in battery life. Unfortunately I dropped it from my couch and the screen shattered. So much for gorilla glass :(

I've dropped my 920 from all sorts of places and I guess it always landed on its edge because never a scratch or issue to report for the screen. Then one day it slips off of the Qi charging pad and lands nary 2 ft on the floor against lamp pedestal screen first. I didn't notice it and put it back on pad. When I next checked screen it was shattered at the impact point and spidered beyond belief. I had to use 3M box tape to keep the shards from falling out/ cutting me until my warranty replacement came in. Gorilla glass can definitely break and when it does it is nasty.

I have the Ativ Tab 500 series which is Atom powered too. Can't say I love it but I do like it for regular stuff, can't run heavy apps but it does the job I need it to do. My complaint isnt even the processor though, its my screen. It has burn-in with minimal use... It goes away but its annoying. My wife says she can't see it but I certainly can... Guess I'm a bit picky but hey... What can I say... jejeje

I can also see the burn-in... happens very frequently.
Another problem for me is the screen sensitivity. It is less sensitive than most of the devices I have and it is having problem registering light touches. I realized that it is also the same for Surface tablets... Is this a windows 8 issue or hardware issue?

Don't know why my comment was marked as spam...
 
Samsung no longer cares about Microsoft.  Their laptops used to be superb, but ever since Android gained traction, they've only put out mediocre products.

There are so many options for OEMs it seems unlikely that there will be a complete package that's perfect for me.

ARM, Bay trail, Haswell, low power Haswel, all at different sizes:7, 8, 10, 13 inches with a varied arrangement of ports, screen types and battery sizes.

Well it seems to me that more options for OEMs means more options for you which increases the likelyhood of there being a "complete package" that is perfect for you.
 
At least compared to something like the iPad which only offers a few very similar choices.

I think what he means is it's harder to pick a clear winner; everyone does different stuff at the moment. I'm sure it'll settle down at some point again.

I got the ThhinkPad Tablet 2.  I was pleasantly surprised with the Atom processors performance.  Launching a website was faster than my iPad3.  I got it knowing that I would only be doing light duty computing on it.

I was awefully tempted by the ThinkPad Tablet 2.  I just love a tablet that comes with a digitizer pen... and the Tablet 2 even stowed it away into the tablet "spine".  Pure win!

I have the Lenovo TPT2 also - well pleased with it!
HO provided me with the latest iPad, it's like trying to use a prosthetic arm, seriously. And yes the Atom is underpowered but the TPT2 runs like a 'slippery dream' for normal day-to-day on-the-road tasks. I wouldn't be without it (at the moment) - plus all my associates are genuinly jealous as I use the digitizer for copious note-taking

I picked up an HP Envy X2.  Exact same internals, but because it was a slightly older device, it was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the Thinkpad.

Love it.

14 hours real world battery life, faster performance than an iPad or Android, best app ecosystem hands down (you can't beat x86 compatibility), and lighter than an iPad.

What would be interesting to see, is if this would work in a phone/phablet. If Windows Phone and Windows RT does merge, maybe it might make sense to just merge with Windows all together and standardize on x86 and have a phone that does it all. We'll have to see what happens with WP 8.1 to know where we go in the future.

Merging app stores and development tech is great. But Windows RT/Phone has one major advantage over x86 windows. Stability. The attack surface for viruses or malware on RT/WP is virtually non-existent in comparison. Apps run in a very locked-down sand-box and that is a good thing!

There's more to system compromise than viruses and malware, code execution, memory buffer overload; RT gets its fair share of Windows security updates so the notion that its so much safer than x86 platforms is misguided.

The point is that RT can't run apps from outside the Windows Store, so the attack surface is reduced ;-)

I agree, as they have full windows 8.1 running on 8" tablet, maybe they can trim it down to a 6" phone / phablet. Imagine the press conference where the new Ms CEO is at a desk, using word or some relatively light application, then they get up and disconnect the phone from the dock which was connecting to the screen, keyboard and mouse. That would be a HUGE win over anything iphone could claim.
They should come with the understanding that you would be silly to complain that desktop is too small to use on a 6" screen. Maybe they could by default lock it so in phone mode it would only use the windows store apps, then when you dock, it releases the desktop for use (but would like to be able to enable desktop in phone mode just cuase i hate blocking off options)
With the low power usage bay trail processor this should be possible and would really sell well for corporate environment. Could even do something like the Asus padphone for a tablet version.
Sure, it would be open to malware but it should be sold to people with the understanding that its like buying a laptop/tablet. They could also try to squeeze windows RT onto more consumer focused phones around 5"
 
 

RT isn't just about ARM processors. It's also about having a "light" version of Windows that can be licensed at a lower dollar value (without cannibalizing the full version of Windows) and compete directly with iOS/Android on "tablet only" devices.

You don't have to use the desktop with touch, its there for traditional Windows programs that people still use with keyboard and mouse. And you can still use the touch environment exclusively if you choose on a Core/x86 device. That's the beauty of full Windows and why RT did not take off. And there is nothing to support the idea that it was lighter and cheaper because it took up the same space as x86 Windows and cost the same.

Actually RT was thiner and didn't need vents/the larger battery.  I know because I have one.
 
And an ARM chip is cheaper than Intel.  There is a reason Microsoft sells RT for $350 and Pro for $700 or whatever it is these days... and obvioulsy it's not that much cheaper (SSD/RAM etc. are all different), but you get the point.

What's the difference between the i3, i5, and i7 Haswell chips? Just power? How about battery life too? How much more powerful is the i7 than the i5?
The last time I bought a computer, years ago, processors were a lot easier to compare: 2.0GHz was better than 1.0GHz. Now, I'm totally confused by it all.

Hi, Intel rep here. The i7 is largely faster than the i5 because the i5 is a dual core with about 3mb of l2 cache and a typical i7 is a quad core with 6mb of cache. The tricky thing is, Intel has a dual core version with of the i7 which is a low voltage energy saving i7. You can tell if its a dual core i7 by looking at the processor model should be 4xxxU or even Y series which is an even lower voltage i5. These will give you good battery life but for anyone buying an i7 for video rendering, high powered gaming or 3D modeling then you always need to get the quad core i7 found in laptops by model number 4xxxQM or quad core mobile.

that's the difference between i5 and i7. I usually recommend for power users who need speed but not a full i7QM to always get the regular i5 over a U or Y model i7 because its actually faster. If you have any more questions pm me please.

Brian Krzanich talked about a 14 nm SoC based on broadwell that will ship at the end of this year. Does that mean we will get products based on that SoC Q1 2014?

No. He's talking about design samples shipped to OEMs and ODMs. Consumers should be able to buy a Broadwell device around July-August '14 at the earliest.

The i3 will be the low-power dual-core processor. You'll see it in entry-level devices and HTPCs.
The i5 is a quad-core. It will serve whatever purposes probably 95% of users have.
The i7 is a quad-core with hyperthreading (8 virtual cores, but the same 4 physical ones as the i5). It's clocked a little bit higher than the i5, and has more L3 cache memory than the i5.
 
Really, the vast majority of PC users won't use more than what the i5 offers. Get the i5-4670K, so you have the optoin to overclock it, if you really need some added juice. I doubt you'll come close to maxing it out, though.

You would be correct of an i5 being quad core if it was a desktop CPU but in laptops it's only a dual core with hyperthreding making it two physical cores and two virtual. Since we were talking about mobile CPUs instead of desktops.

I have Surface RT currently, and I use Remote desktop to use my desktop applicatiosn - Im an architect, and do complex rendering, and AutoCAD / BIM graphics intensive programs.  When is one of these OEM's besides Sony going to come out with an external docking station for a tablet that has a GPU in it.  Sony's Power Media Dock (http://www.dailytech.com/Sony+Rolls+Out+13+VAIO+Z+Ultraportable+with+External+GPU+Dock/article22020.htm)
has this - but the damn laptop that they bundle with it costs like 2 grand, and the connector is propietary, and you cannot buy it separately.  I want Surface Pro, with a dock like this so that I can connect external monitor, and run my programs.  Until this happens, I will stick with my RT, and use RDP to controll my desktop computer.
 
This is the reason I am such an advocate for RT - using RDP is so much better than using Teamviewer, or Logmein, or anything else for that matter.  If the Surface 2 has digitizer built in it will be that much better.  Windows RT will only get better as the windows 8 store matures.  The more apps that come out on the platform the more of an option it will be for people.  I never use my ipad anymore, the Surface RT does everythign i want it to and then some.

Wait, the i5 is faster? I am going to get the Yoga 2 Pro next month. I thought I would get it with the i7 because I assumed it was better, but maybe I'll get it with the i5 instead.

Sorry if my response was confusing. The i5 is only faster if it is a non low voltage CPU meaning the model number doesn't end with U or Y. A dual core i7 is a lower voltage U or Y series based of similar architecture as the i5 instead of the i7 so for example a 4xxxm i5 is faster than a 4xxxU i7 because the i7 has less l2 cache than a quad core i7 and only 2 cores running at 1.8ghz compared to a standard 2.7ghz i5

Well I couldn't find a quick search that shows the yoga 2 pro CPU chips,but if you base it off the current generation of yogas they are all running U series processors meaning I would suggest saving the money and just get the i5 version since the i7 won't be the powerhouse it's quad core brother is.

Intel's naming conventions has been confusing. Why couldn't they just have made the i3 a low end / power chip, i5 a dual core chip, and the i7 a quad core or above chip? Then consumers would know what they were getting without all of the confusion.

Number of reasons. First the i3 is dual core but doesn't have turbo boost like the i5 and i7 which allows it to over clock itself for more intensive tasks for an extra boost inspeed when you need to but conserves energy when you don't. The i5 and i7qm are also different architecture while the i3 is passed off the Pentium series therefore is much slower. Intel brought the U and Y series processors into market to bring better battery life for consumers who need more power than just web surfing but nothing more than 15 layers in PhotoShop or playing LOL while still getting great battery life. The regular i5 and i7 are for people who really need that extra speed for large photshop files or 3D rendering.

that said I think Intel put out the dual core i7 because consumers are misinformed and heard the i7 was better even if they only needed and i5 so they created a cheap alternative i7 that's costs about $100 more than an i5 but isn't dramatically faster. Remember this only applies when talking about the i7 U or Y models not the QM

I want battery life, but I don't want an Atom or ARM cpu.  
Looks like this will be it!  You got my attention!

Don't expect the real world numbers to be that high, Intel are well known for inflated claims when it comes to battery life and performance!!!!

Its tempting just buying an ivy bridge laptop as prices have dropped but the performance and battery improvements of haswell is worth it

I need 4gb+ for my next tablet as I use heavy apps. This is nice though. I may upgrade my (well... my wife says it's hers) Ativ Tab this Christmas if these processors are as good (maybe even better) than they are reporting.

Oh nice. This defeats having Atom or ARM. Running Atom, its good for most everything, but graphics leaves much to be desired.

Not really, ARM is still the best for power saving and the numbers Intel state should have a disclaimer that it's under lab conditions. Real world figures will be drastically different!!

I hope in the Surface Pro 2 they go with amoled, I prefer the amoled screends my self, and they are more efficent when it comes to power consumption in most situations. A win win for me.

Nice, this is very good news :) I don't need the performance of i5 or i7 (running an old i3 on my current laptop and it works great!) so I'll save money and battery life (well, we'll just have to wait and see if the claims are true)!

I have a clover trail atom tablet works great! I'm super excited about the bay trail atoms though! I think it is awesome that the i3 can be fanless! But I wonder about the total hour battery life still.

so... is this processor already being build into tablets, or will this be released in the (near) future?

Why are you not talking about the new amd all in one chip. Looks great with hd8000 graphics and both a dual core and a quad core option. Im going for one of them

I have a Asus VivoTab TF810 with Atom Clover Trail and I'm very happy with it. Connected Standby and a fanless design are my basic demands for a tablet or hybrid. Does anyone know if these low-power Core i3 have Connected Standby? I hope the Surface Pro 2 will support it.

I am getting a w700 from acer, only wish it had haswell in it already.
The core i5 runs for 8 hours or more on some benchmarks, the battery life is acceptable =)
Can't wait to see what will come of these tablets in a year or two, android might make the move and switch to x86 too hehe!!