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What is 4th Generation Processor?
The 4th generation processors are an upgraded version of the 3rd generation processors’ family that supports desktop computers as well as mobile devices and embedded products. Improved features and architecture based on a 22 nm process offers optimal performance per watt making the best use of the FinFET technology.
- The useful features of the 4th generation processors make them more power-efficient even when you stream HD videos.
- The graphics performance is quite good to support graphics intensive tasks and playing high-end games.
- The processor comes with most advanced features such as advanced API set and AVX 2.0, touchscreen and sensor support, higher clock speed make it usable in desktops and laptops, ultrabook, workstations, tablets, and All-In-Ones.
- Limited storage support and motherboard compatibility are some major issues with the 4th generation processors.
Understanding 4th Generation Processor
The 4th generation Core processors are the ones that have been replacing the 3rd generation processors, known as Ivy Bridge, gradually.
The good thing about this processor is that it works with the same configuration and system setups.
In order to make these processors work with the new systems, the manufacturers have refined and expanded their designs. This makes this processor to be used across different devices such as:
- All-in-One desktops that are the latest and support multitasking
- Hybrid ultra-books that comes with screen that can be detached from the keyboard to work like a tablet and
- The latest laptop computers that are thinner and lighter.
The low powered Atom platform used in the design of these processors will not reduce the performance level but, in fact, it will increase the battery life significantly when you use it.
The existing chassis and form factors of the 4th generation processors help the innovative systems to work at a better level and speed.
The new 22 nm process gives the new microarchitecture and a die shrink to these processors.
These features ensure that the 4th generation processors are more energy efficient as compared to other types of processors.
This processor comes with advanced features that enhances its capabilities. These includes:
- Face detection
- High performance and complex computing
- Increased vectorizations and
- Complex video and imaging.
In addition to that, it also supports several other advanced and complex video processing tasks due to the use of the Intel Advanced Vector Extensions or AVX 2.0.
This is a 256-bit instruction set extension that is similar to Intel SSE or Streaming SIMD Extensions. This feature is built on version 1.0. The uniqueness of this feature is that it comes with:
- A Fully Pipelined Fused Multiply Add on with two ports that helps the processor to perform at double the floating point to handle data and multiply workloads
- A 256-bit numeral SIMD operations instead of the 128-bit gather operations in the older versions to make it faster and better and
- A dedicated set of bit manipulation instructions to provide better computing results.
The graphics performance is significantly enhanced with the integrated graphics in the 4th generation Intel Core platform.
Ideally, these graphics cards are twice as powerful as those cards that were used in the previous generations of Core processors.
The graphics extensions of this processor are the added feature that helps in linking the API to the DirectX extensions. There are two APIs available in the processor that helps it to:
- Produce better pixel synchronization and
- Instant access to the pixel data.
This means that you can modify the pixel data which will make things more programmable.
It is also the Order Independent Transparency or OIT that makes it more accessible and efficient.
Due to these features, the users can access the CPU and GPU both much easily. This is because the features allow rendering and mapping of the same memory.
The APIs of the 4th generation processor works on DirectX 11 and other extensions.
The real-world performance of this specific type of processor is enhanced and controlled by the settings on autodetect.
The Intel 4600 graphics of this processor will outclass the earlier generations of processors that failed significantly in pushing it above 30 frames per second.
Though 30 fps is considered to be playable, the framerate of Acer is higher than the others.
This is because it has a display resolution of 1366 x 768 and that of the other systems are 1080p or even more panels.
However, that does not take away any credit from the other types of 4th generation processors.
The Intel 4th generation processors are those chips in the Core processor family that deliver maximum performance with each watt of power consumed.
This applies irrespective of its usage. This means that, whether you use it for your desktop or laptop computer, any mobile devices or embedded products, it will offer the same higher level of performance.
The 4th generation processors or Haswell has an architecture that utilizes two specific technologies namely:
- The FinFET technology and the
- The 22 nm process technology.
Both these technologies ensure low power consumption and reduced leakage.
The 20x improvement of this 4th generation processor as compared to the other previous generations of processors ensures that the power consumption in its idle state is significantly lowered.
It also uses the unique Intel Rapid Start that provides the processor with a 3-second wakeup time.
This is considered to be the first ever SoC or System on Chip processor for use in a personal computer.
The SoC integrates all the significant building blocks of the entire system into one single chip. This includes:
- The CPU
- The memory
- The graphics and
- Its connectivity.
With all these available in a single package, this processor provides maximum flexibility and one of its kind graphics solutions. Ideally, this processor can be used easily and effectively for different multiple form factors.
These processors come with a Thermal Design power or TDP as low as 35 watts. This enables the processor to stream HD content to an HDTV from any portable device. This also facilitates embedded applications.
The 4th generation processors designed for the desktop computers come with:
- A clock speed of 3.9 GHz when the Intel Turbo mode is used
- Different sockets that support LGA 2001
- Advanced Vector Extensions 2
- BMI 1 and BMI 2 and
- FMA 3.
On the other hand, for the processors used in the mobile devices there is the rPGA947 and BGA1364 variant.
The 4th generation processor adds to the Core i3, i5, and i7 core processor family and is also known as ‘Haswell.’ These ubiquitous fourth generation Core I-series processors come in different types such as:
- Quad-core processors for desktops
- Dual-core processors for mainstream computers
- Ultra-book processors that uses lower power and has a longer battery-life and
- Specific processors that are designed especially for the tablets.
This means that you will get one to use for your laptop or desktop computer and even for any Windows tablet available out there in the market.
Benefits of 4th Generation Processor
1. Increased battery life
The 4th generation processors ideally come with a 9.1 hours of battery life as compared to the 6-hour limit of the 3rd generation processor, even when HD videos are viewed.
As for the standby power, the 4th generation processors typically have 10 to 13 days standby power in comparison to 4.5 days of the 3rd generation processors.
2. Better graphics
The Intel Iris graphics will allow the users to play high-end games that are graphic intensive.
This will not need using any extra graphics card as the graphics performance will be doubled by the 4th generation processor as compared to the Intel HD graphics that are used in the previous version of processors.
3. The variants
The 4th generation Intel Core processors come in different variants and packages.
This will ensure that you have one to use for the varied types of computing systems including the desktops, laptops, workstations, Ultrabook, All-In-Ones, and Tablets.
4. Use of AVX 2.0
This technology in the processor provides it with the most advanced features that helps it in performing all simple and complex video processing jobs.
5. DirectX API
The API set of the processor helps the DirectX extensions that ensure better display with an improved pixel synchronization. This will help you to read, modify or write per-pixel data.
The 4th generation processors designed for use in the Ultrabook systems especially will provide higher security with its enhanced features like the platform trust and identity protection technology, Insider and more.
These features ensure fraud deterrence and identity protection.
7. Supports touch screen
A few specific types of the 4th generation processors also support sensors and touch screens that the latest systems come with.
The developers simply have to follow the guidelines to design the user interface to optimize the performance of the apps and ensure a better user experience.
8. Supports sensors
The 4th generation processor comes with features that align different sensors such as GPS, Gyroscope, Compass, Ambient Light, and Accelerometer.
It follows the standard for Microsoft Windows 8 while using the sensor APIs and codes.
9. Clock speeds and efficiency
The processor comes with higher clock speed for enhanced performance and better efficiency.
It is the smaller lithography of the processor that reduces power consumption. This makes the processors more energy efficient.
The 4th generation processors are ideal for general usage and are more reliable.
These are not only faster but the heat generation is also negligible.
The Graphics User Interface or GUI technology provides more comfort and experiences to the users.
The maintenance cost is low, the need for repairs is less, and it can be used for all types of high-level languages of all different types of computers.
Drawbacks of 4th Generation Processor
11. Storage support
The processor comes with DDR3 memory that enhances the storage capability of it but it only supports PCIe 2.0 × 2 SATA Express NAND storage drives.
You will need a different compatible motherboard to use this processor because it will have different RAM support and sockets such as LGA 1150.
13. Integrated graphics
The integrated graphics of the 4th generation processor will not be as good as it should be when you use it with a discrete or a dedicated GPU.
14. Design and fabrication
The design of the 4th generation processor and its fabrication is very complex. It will need an expensive setup.
It is for this reason that these types of processors are developed by only a handful of companies such as Intel and AMD.
Wrapping it up
The 4th generation processors are good enough to use for general purpose and a few specific applications.
It is better than the 3rd generation processors in several aspects and is worthy for upgrading a system.