Intel is being super-misleading about its chips capabilities
That's it. I've had it with Intel. I've always known they were misleading about how they portray their chips, and I think Turbo-Boost is a huge scam, to make people believe their chips are faster than they really are, but with Haswell they've gone too far, and with reports of "Broadwell going even to 5W or lower", I expect them to be even more misleading than they were with Haswell, in a desperate attempt to make it look like "they've caught up with ARM" - when they actually didn't, at least not if you look at all the details.
So I was looking to buy a pretty mid-range laptop soon, and was checking out the HP Probook 430 on Notebookcheck, which is supposed to have a "dual core Core i3 1.6 Ghz" chip. Here's what they found in the review:
In our stress test, we stress the CPU and the graphics processor for more than one hour. We pay close attention to the clock speed of the processors to check if the cooling system can keep everything running well.
We observed a surprising behavior: the temperature of the chip remained below 65 °C (very cool) and yet the processor would only run at 800 MHz, instead of 1,600 MHz and the graphics processor ran at 600 MHz, instead of 1,000 MHz. This explains the low TDP value of 15 W, which is the combined value for the chipset, the CPU and the IGP. The clock speeds of both processors are kept well in check so as to avoid exceeding this level. This limits the performance significantly.
Unbelievable. Why the f@$# is the CPU limited to 800 Mhz when I'm buying a supposedly 1.6 Ghz one? Don't sell me this crap by making me think the chip is a 1.6 Ghz one, and therefore usually runs at 1.6 Ghz, unless it's actually going to do that! Don't sell a "15W chip at 1.6Ghz", if it's not going to run at 1.6 Ghz at 15W. In a normal world, they should be fined for false advertising over this.
If it's going to run at that frequency only for the first 5 minutes, to bypass benchmarks, and show high scores in those benchmarks, then FU Intel! And yet that's exactly what they're doing, because that's really the main purpose of Turbo-Boost, too - to make the chip look much faster than it really is, in benchmarks.
Same thing with the GPU, which will most likely use the 1000 Mhz frequency for the first minutes, enough to run a benchmark or two, but if you actually play a game, you're going to be playing it with *half* of that performance.
Also, remember when TheVerge called Intel out for trying to sell bullshit 800Mhz IVB chips (please do read it) as "low-power chips"? It seems they realized they are going to be criticized hard over that, because if you say you caught up to ARM (or not even) by lowering your frequency to a measly 800Mhz, you know people are going to call BS on that.
Yet it seems they went ahead with that plan anyway. It's just that they didn't tell anyone about it. They kept calling their chips 1.6 Ghz or whatever, when in fact you're going to have a 800 Mhz chip inside that Surface tablet or whatever device using this kind of chip.
I would expect more of this type of misleading tactics from Intel with Broadwell, too, as they try to force the message that they "caught up with ARM", even though they didn't, or at least not at the high performance their chips had, but with a performance much closer to ARM chips, at which point you have to wonder - why pay an extra $100 (potentially $200 at retail) for Intel's chips, when you can just use ARM-powered devices?
Oh, and their "2.5Ghz" Atom chips, actually only run at 1.3 Ghz normally (I actually read this on Anandtech when they announced Silvermont), and I believe there's a hard limit just like for this notebook, too, but it will use that 2.5Ghz frequency for a few minutes in benchmarks, to make it look like it competes toe-to-toe with ARM, or even beats some of them.
This pisses me off so much, because I can't believe I almost bought a god damn 800 Mhz machine, because Intel has become so evil and and misleading with the way it promotes its products, and if this almost happened to me I imagine it's happening to the vast majority of customers out there, too, buying Intel-powered devices thinking they are at a certain level of performance when they really aren't.
As a tip, don't trust benchmarks, even if they come from Anandtech, because Intel can trick the benchmarks, and unless reviewers are super careful about how they review the chips, they will be tricked, too, if all they do is looking at the benchmarks, and not at how the chip is running after an hour or longer (continuously).