Intel’s main processor roadmap was leaked last week. The main takeaway is Intel’s new Broadwell processor will be delayed until 2015. Intel does have a few updated Haswell processors coming out in 2014, but they do not show significant improvement over current designs.
Intel will be using their new 14nm design on the Broadwell processor, which is the main reason for the big delay. This new chip is rumored to have a 40% increase in GPU performance over their current GPU built into the Haswell processor, which is a main focus for Intel. The current Haswell processor’s main improvement was battery life with only modest CPU improvements. So what does all this mean for Mac users?
Apple typically ships at least one Mac model a month or two after a new Intel CPU release. This delay will mean current Macs will be staying near the top of the performance curve for longer than they have before. These new computers should last at least another one to two years longer. If one is looking to purchase a new Mac, now is a great time to purchase one since current Macs will likely stay on top for at least another year or more. The only exception would be the Mac Mini, since Apple still has not updated the Mac Mini model to the Haswell processor and might at any time.
The last two Intel processor updates appear to reveal that Intel is less focused on the main CPU processor speed and more focused on battery life and GPU speeds. Intel knows ARM chips are quickly catching up. That said, Intel could be making a poor decision to try and compete directly with ARM instead of focusing on improving their own main processor. By going after ARM with the Atom chip, Intel may be losing the war against ARM with the iCore chip. If Intel does not produce significant speed improvements in the iCore CPU after Broadwell, we just might see a MacBook Pro running an Apple ARM processor in two-three years.
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