Intel’s new Haswell chips have been out for about half a year and are incredibly powerful CPUs. Ranging from the i3 to the i7, the 4th generation core processors was set from the offset to be a big thing.
But recently, my computer; known as The Zebra, which was a second generation Core i7 2600K based system, died on me. The problem was related to a motherboard issue. The system had to be replaced from board to CPU and I decided to replace it with a new Haswell system to make it as future-proofed as possible. The specs of the system are now being boosted several generations further, but it’s not without problems.
For a start, I could not find any board featuring FireWire headers or connectors, making my drives with FireWire harder to connect to the system (I eventually decided to trade in FireWire for eSATA). This was none the less a disappointment. On top of that I could only get a decent board without PCI at all. Now it’s fully understandable that PCI is being completely phased out, but it’s just getting so rapid that it’s more costly to the end user. Luckily, I found a mid range board that suits me fine and features just one PCI connector, the Gigabyte Z87-UD3H. This is actually my third Gigabyte and my third UD3 model, with my previous being the Z68XP-UD3 and the previous being the P45-UD3R model.
But the real problem is down to compatibility with Haswell. I’ve read numerous forums where users are complaining about solid state drives and compatibility with Haswell, in particular the Sandforce controller in the 1000 series (this does not include the SATA 6Gbps versions, apparently). This is the exact drive I own for my PC, so on top of a failing motherboard, I now know that I’ve got to fork out on a new solid state drive. The Sandforce controllers in the original drives were actually pretty bad for numerous reasons such as a false advertising AES256 instead of AES128 etc. but it was not enough to put me off buying four of them (with my MacBook Pro is the only one of the four that has been a Sandforce SATA 6Gbps).
Anyway, on top of the issues with the drive, there have also been reports that some power supply units (PSU) have also had problems, as such Corsair and other power supply manufacturers are now doing their bit to specify which of their units are working with Haswell boards. Now when you add all this together, it seems like a disaster on Intel’s behalf, but from what I am reading it down to the fact that some drives are out of date and do not support the new C states to the full. C states are power states for a computer system, and apparently Haswell adds more C states that makes energy saving better in the system. Of course, all the hardware needs full compatibility with these states in order for it to work and this is where some power supply units and solid state drives have problems.
Corsair’s compatibility list can be found here:
You can share any experiences you may have had down below.