Intel is working on the new Haswell architecture and new pieces of information surface on the Internet on a daily basis. The news today is that the company’s new CPU will also integrate the voltage regulation part, but we don’t think this is good news overall.
The first guys to have a problem with this are the overclockers and other enthusiasts that find it rather easy to modify the voltage regulator on the mainboard when trying to achieve better frequencies.
Now that the voltage regulator will be fully integrated onto the chip itself, this will be much harder to do, if not outright impossible.
The company is also reportedly
claiming this will reduce the cost of the platform. However, we don’t think this will be the case, as Intel’s CPUs and platforms are always very expensive and we don’t expect mainboard manufacturers and customers to really feel any reduction in costs.
When the fully integrated voltage regulator (FIVR) is burnt out, if your chip is still covered by warranty, you will be able to swap it out with a replacement from Intel, but if this happens after the warranty period has expired, you can throw it in the garbage can.
On a mainboard, the voltage regulator can still be repaired by professionals, but the FIVR on the CPU
itself will not be readily fixed.
The other side of the paradigm shows us that the FIVR will offer finer granularity in power delivery on the different units located on the processor’s die, and this is likely to improve thermals and power consumption.
Intel seems rather uninterested in its CPU thermals, as the company started using lower quality thermal interface materials (TIM) in its new Ivy Bridge processors that lead to much higher working temperatures.