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Intel Businesses Hardware

Intel Kills a Top-of-the-Line Processor 99

itwbennett writes: In June of this year, Intel announced a processor branded as Broadwell-C. Now, the company has confirmed that the part was cancelled but would not give an official reason. Why did Intel kill the Broadwell-C? ITworld's Andy Patrizio speculates that it's a 'combination of increased cost, lower yield and potential product cannibalization' — cannibalization of the company's newly-launched Skylake processor, which the Broadwell-C outperformed.
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Intel Kills a Top-of-the-Line Processor

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  • by Holi ( 250190 )
    Broadwell lacks ddr4 support. That is as good a reason as any to let the line die. DDR4 is out now and no one wants their flagship model to be relying on last years tech.
    • DDR4 is out now

      I thought DDR4 came out in 2000 [], and the PlayStation family was up to GDDR5 [].

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        thought DDR4 came out in 2000, and the PlayStation family was up to GDDR5.

        First one was a joke on your part.

        I don't know about the second one but there exist no spec for DDR5, GDDR5 isn't based on and improved upon DDR4. It's based and improved upon GDDR4 which in return is on DDR3.

        One is the chimpanzee the other the human so to speak.

  • So the fastest Skylake is not as fast as the fastest Broadwell which was not even as fast as the fastest Haswell.....

    Damn it Intel, get the high-end Skylakes out.

    • i7 series parts top out at $1000, Xeon E5-4xxx series parts start at $1000

      Why would you want your cheap consumer grade hardware cannibalizing your bread and butter business chips? The large cloud providers have already shifted to "consumer" hard drives to save money, knowing that their failure rates will be more than compensated for by lower unit costs.

      • Because more than enough corporations will buy the "corporate" version of a chip even if it's slower and more expensive than the toy-like "consumer" version.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:08PM (#50544403)

        The large cloud providers have already shifted to "consumer" hard drives to save money, knowing that their failure rates will be more than compensated for by lower unit costs.

        Consumer drives do NOT have higher failure rates. The myth that "enterprise" drives are more reliable has been debunked by research done by Backblaze [] and Google [].

        • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

          I can already feel the angry replies coming at your post.

          The reason people react so strongly to this is that they are confusing two separate issues.

          1. There are physical changes and firmware changes that can make one hard drive more reliable than another.
          2. Companies are truly selling premium drives using these changes.

          So yes, in fact, it is indeed possible for companies to create special enterprise-focused drives with carefully tuned hardware and firmware which will have a greater MTBF than consumer drives

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Even though you might be right, why should anyone care? The matter of fact is: Hardware may break and you better be ready for it. It usually means using raid or other forms of redundancy. The only reason one should, imho, have in calling something enterprise is a featureset that is different (e.g. management consoles, high performance, hw redundancy).

          • Yes I'm sure you are correct, but... the lower TCO is in using consumer drives, they have lower replacement warranty periods but they must actually be lasting significantly well enough that the cheapest cost per month to ownership is in consumer drives.

            This presumes you have factored in costs to replace, diagnose, deal with issues that might crop up more often due to partial/complete failure in units. I guess the mean variation is within 150%, when the consumer drive is 2 year warranty, the cost of replace
          • by swb ( 14022 )

            I wonder if the "enterprise" drives aren't just tuned for performance advantages when used in specific controller or SAN configurations. MTBF may be improved not because of specific advantages in actual mechanical reliability but in fault reporting schemes that allow the controller to better evaluate whether the drive has truly failed and to adapt to smaller scale faults versus failing the entire drive.

            "Consumer" drives may have firmware which flags some errors more easily because common use cases can't ad

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If you don't compare apples to bananas the picture is slightly different.
        Let's take i7-5930K vs. E5-1650v3.

        i7-5930K: 6C/12T, 15MB L3, 3.5/3.7 stock, fully multiplier and bclk unlocked, $594 boxed.
        E5-1650v3: 6C/12T, 15MB L3, 3.5/3.8 stock, fully multiplier and bclk unlocked, ECC support, >64GB memory support, $586 boxed.

        i7-5960X vs. E5-1660v3? Same deal.

        Did I mention plenty consumer X99 boards support the 1xxx Xeons and e.g. ASRock Extreme also supports registered and reg. ECC DDR4 with em?

        ... yeah.

  • To have a fairly powerful OpenCL GPU and tons of eDRAM on chip, it could have been a pretty powerful parallel computing platform to pair with GPGPU.
  • You killed Broadwell. You bastards!
  • Lies (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:10PM (#50544415)

    Benchmarks of Skylake i7-6700K vs Broadwell i7-5775C show the Skylake CPU to be faster. Cheaper too. The Broadwell chip can perform better on some OpenCL tasks due to the Iris Pro integrated GPU, but non-GPU tasks handled by integer and floating point units, cryptography and media extensions are always faster on the Skylake CPU. The "which the Broadwell-C outperformed" part is stupid sour grapes from an unhappy little malcontent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aliquis ( 678370 )

      Skylake outperformed in doing the same instructions over and over in benchmarks but Broadwell outperformed in games.

    • Re:Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @07:33PM (#50545445) Homepage

      Yes, pretty much the only thing it did better was integrated gaming though at a $2-300 premium you could use that for a significantly better discrete GPU. The only thing it was good for was a stylish AIO where you couldn't fit anything bigger, my guess is Apple didn't want it for any iMac so volume would be too small. Also Skylake is really small when it comes to die size, so I guess the profit margin is actually better than selling Broadwells.

      • Re:Lies (Score:4, Funny)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @07:44PM (#50545505) Homepage

        Perhaps they might make a much smarter move like redesigning the CPU. Discrete GPU process, "hey I noticed you have a separate GPU doing the work I was designed to do, do you want me to do something else, like crunch numbers or do AI stuff".

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        $200-$300 premium?

        I7 5775C in Sweden: 3949 SEK.
        I7 6700K in Sweden: 3629 SEK.
        Difference: 320 SEK = $39 - VAT = $31.2

        So more like $20-30 premium...

        And that's before you consider the Z97 + DDR3 vs Z170 + DDR4 difference.

        Asus Z97-P 790 SEK.
        ASUS Z170-P D3 1129 SEK
        ASUS Z170M-E D3 1012 SEK

        Z170 = 222 SEK more expensive.

        2x4 GB DDR3 474 SEK.
        2x4 GB DDR4 545 SEK.

        i7 6700 + Z170M-E D3 + 2x4 GB DDR4 = 5186 SEK
        i7 5775C + Z97-P + 2x4 GB DDR3 = 5213 SEK
        Difference: 27 SEK = $3.3

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          $200-$300 premium?

          I7 5775C in Sweden: 3949 SEK.
          I7 6700K in Sweden: 3629 SEK.
          Difference: 320 SEK = $39 - VAT = $31.2

          For the integrated graphics, for gaming you're better off with a <$100 CPU and a >$200 GPU instead of the 5775C. Basically you are paying way too much to have the graphics integrated into the processor. I wasn't comparing it to the 6700K, it's a significantly better CPU but you need to pair it with a dGPU to match gaming performance and then you're in another budget category.

  • How does this relate to memory exploits on the WinTEL platform?
  • One Source (Score:3, Informative)

    by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <> on Thursday September 17, 2015 @05:35PM (#50544579) Homepage

    At one time the open software community was proud of porting their software to every hardware platform. Now people don't even know or care that there are alternatives to x86/x64 architecture. Nor do they know about the days when hardware shipped crippled, unless you paid the upgrade cost to remove a jumper. I fear that those days are returning.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everything is locked down these days, including increasingly x86/x64. Thanks, smartphones.

    • Nor do they know about the days when hardware shipped crippled, unless you paid the upgrade cost to remove a jumper.

      This still happens and not just for IT. The difference is it's no longer a jumper but rather some discrete hash or hard coded settings.

  • Doesn't matter how fast the processor is, I'll still be waiting, waiting, waiting.
  • Iris Pro was first introduced with Haswell with much fanfare. There were both as desktop and laptop versions. But in reality the products barely existed. There is only a handfull of design wins, which sold in very small quantities.
    Now, we have a product based on Broadwell Iris Pro that's cancelled. At this point it's looking like Intel were having major yield problems with the production of the on chip eDRAM.

  • Better question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moof123 ( 1292134 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @07:59PM (#50545591)

    A better question is why we have plateaued on performance so badly. 7700k vs 4770k is a wash at best after 2 years for power and performance (way less than a Moore's law cycle would lead you to expect). Consumer grade processors are stuck at 4 cores, and now we get to pay for a bunch of low end GPU die area that will never get used. I don't get it.

    Give me a 6 core with no GPU over a 4 core with a low end GPU any day.

    • by ark1 ( 873448 )
      Why? Lack of competition.
    • Simple, no competition, AMD is almost dead and can't put out anything close to what intel can do, and intel it self will not drive prices down on a monopoly, so we will get same performance at the same price just with a different sticker, until the day mobile processors actually can get close to what a desktop can do.
      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        ZEN is supposed to increase IPC speeds by 40% at the same clock. It will also get SMT but I guess that may already be accounted for.

        Whatever those clock speeds will be and how many cores they will have we don't know. Manufacturing process likely 14 nm in both cases.

        AMD R&D budget is much smaller though.
        Though Intel also build their plants.
        Both invest in graphics but I guess Nvidia graphics R&D budget may also be higher than AMDs? =P

        Suck to be AMD.

        • AMD usually overpromises, but even if we assume they get a 40% IPC improvement, it still won't be enough to catch the current Intel chips. At least it's a step in the right direction.
    • by eWarz ( 610883 )
      Wait, there is a 7700k now? Oh no, there isn't. Just like this article, it's a complete fabrication.
    • The reason is changing product uses. The reason there has been little progress in performance is that chips today are being optimized for power rather than performance. The reason is most people buy laptops now, which have a battery, which means power conservation is a bigger priority than ever increasing performance to which only a very small subset of users actually ever utilize.

      Back in the day, you just poured more power into the chip, and so long as you could cool it enough from melting you didn't reall

  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @08:49PM (#50545873)
    Intel responded to Anandtech's inquiry into the killing of the chip line and denies that it is dead and in fact is wondering where the bad information has come from: []
  • Yet another post from timothy that won't get fixed

  • From: TFA: CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of the story misidentified the product that has been retired. It is the Skylake-C and not the Broadwell-C that has been discontinued.
  • Not like AMD is releasing a faster processor. They can cool their jets and profit anyway.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor