Intel’s Broadwell-C desktop processor is alive and well—for now, at least.
A report on Thursday by ITWorld claimed that Intel was discontinuing the socketed Broadwell CPU after just one month on the market. But Intel quickly corrected that story, telling AnandTech that it will continue to manufacture and sell Broadwell-C. (Disclosure: Both PCWorld and ITWorld are owned by International Data Group.)
Broadwell-C is a unique chip in Intel’s lineup for a couple of reasons: First, it’s the only Broadwell chip for desktop tower PCs, and it arrived much later than usual in Intel’s product cycle. (Intel originally planned to skip socketed Broadwell entirely, a move the company now regrets.)
More importantly, Broadwell-C is Intel’s only socketed desktop chip with 128MB of embedded DRAM. This on-package memory allows for impressive gaming performance with just integrated graphics, and also provides a nice boost when paired with discrete graphics. In the past, Intel has reserved this configuration for laptops and mini-desktops where the CPU is soldered to the motherboard.
The reported demise of Broadwell-C was apparently just a mix-up, but made waves in enthusiast tech forums such as Slashdot and various subreddits. ITWorld has since corrected and amended its story, noting that it is in fact the next-generation Skylake-C that has been cancelled. Apparently Intel just doesn’t see enough market demand for that embedded DRAM setup. ITWorld also speculates that increased costs and lower yields could be to blame.
Why this matters: For many users, this may all be a moot point with the arrival of Skylake CPUs, but it could also be an opportunity to pick up a decent last-generation CPU for less cash as long as Intel keeps making them. While opting for a cheaper processor and a low-end graphics card probably makes the most sense in traditional PC setups, Broadwell-C could be a compelling option if you want to perform entry-level gaming or other graphics-heavy tasks in a rig with an ultra-small form factor case where discrete graphics can't fit well.
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