Intel is updating its notebook chip family with a number of slightly faster Haswell and Bay Trail processors including 7 new chips aimed at relatively low-power portable notebooks or 2-in-1 systems.

There are 4 new Bay Trail chips which use 7.5W or less, and 3 new 28W Haswell ULV (ultra low voltage) chips for higher-performance devices.

Intel Logo

These new processors give modest speed bumps to existing chips but otherwise they look a lot like their predecessors, so don’t expect any major new features.

Here’s a quick run-down of the new processors:

Bay Trail

ChipCoresFrequency/BurstL2 CacheGPUTDP
 Celeron N280821.58 GHz / 2.25 GHz1MB311 MHz / 792 MHz4.3W
 Celeron N284022.16 GHz / 2.58 GHz1MB311 MHz / 792 MHz7.5W
 Celeron N294041.83 GHz / 2.25 GHz2MB313 MHz / 854 MHz7.5W
 Pentium N354042.16 GHz / 2.66 GHz2MB313 MHz / 896 MHz7.5W


ChipCores/ThreadsFrequencyL3 CacheTDP
 Core i5-4278U2 / 42.6 GHz3MB28W
 Core i5-4308U2 / 42.8 GHz3MB28W
 Core i7-4578U2 / 43 GHz3MB28W

These are all 64-bit chips, and the Haswell models support up to 16GB of RAM while most of the Celeron chips can work in systems with up to 8GB. The Celern N2808 tops out at 4GB. That chip will most likely be used only in low-cost notebooks, Chromebooks, tablets, or 2-in-1 systems.

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17 replies on “Intel updates Bay Trail, Haswell chip families for low-power portables”

  1. what’s with all these micro-updates from Intel that are neither Tic nor Toc…?

  2. Are the Acer E11, V11 and B115 the only fanless Bay Trail M ultraportables (11.6″ or smaller screen)? Admittedly, I’ve only been just recently in need of an upgrade and just started looking. I’d like to go the fanless (but doesn’t burn my lap) route this time.

  3. Am I the only one here who dislikes the whole Bay Trail series? I get the point though it’s lowering the price point for these cheap entry level PCs but performance wise these chips at the same price points of the chips they replaced are a throwback in performance and a complete reminder to me on how much I disliked the ATOM series when they were used in conjunction with netbooks.

    Personally if I only had 350 to buy a cheap laptop I’d much rather buy the Acer C720p Chromebook with the core i3 or the haswell Celeron, rather than a Baytrail Pentium Windows 8 laptop because of the performance difference alone. If Chromebooks had been completely locked down I would have settled to buying second hand or refurbished from the previous generation.

    I do realize there is a battery life difference between laptops with either chips, but at the end of the day haswell based laptops still get very reasonable battery life, and in response to the lower wattage most manufactures tend to install smaller batteries in the Baytrail laptops so it’s largely a wash.

    Maybe I am not seeing something that’s there, can you guys convince me why at the same price point should I pick a Baytrail based laptop versus a Hawell based laptop?

    1. My current laptop is 3 years old i5-450 (2*2.4GHz) which gets quite noisy under load. It’s computing power is enough for all I do. I am looking forward to some fanless model based on Pentium N3540 which is same computing power but totally silent and triple battery life

      1. You make a good point as performance wise the N3530 performs about 10-15% below that 4 year old Core i5, I can’t find benchmarks for the N3540 but it’s safe to assume it’s close. When compared to Haswell units in comparative price points like the Pentium 3558U the difference seems to be marginal in performance in the ball park of maybe 10 to 20% slower with approximately half of the battery usage.

        I guess if you’re willing to take the hit minor in performance you’ll contend with less heat and weight from the smaller battery required. In addition to the fact that most laptops with that Haswell processor are either 15″ or 17″ laptops so if scale is tilting towards the Baytrail.

        1. I have an 11″ Vaio Pro with a Haswell i5, which is really easy to carry (0.975 KG) and the battery life is pretty good. This year, I also bought a 2014 14″ Razer Blade with a Haswell quad core i7, which is a bit harder to carry (2KG) and battery life tops at less than 4 hours.

          Still, when it comes to deciding which one I will take with me, its always the Razer I take for the desktop performance.

          Well, ok the better keyboard does impact my choice too.

          I also have a Dell Venue Pro with Baytrail. That thing sucks, but worse than the slow speed are the touch screen’s dead areas around the edges (which you constantly need, when you work with maximized windows.) Whatever you do, if you buy a Baytrail, don’t buy it from Dell, unless you can verify they fixed their touch recognition at the edges of the display.

          As for 15″ or 17″ laptops, I wouldn’t be caught dead with an overweight clunker like that. 14″ or 13.3 is more than enough for me. Even Sony’s 11″ FHD display is perfectly usable. For people who don’t have a desktop computer on the other hand, I guess a 15″ / 17″ laptop might make some sense, although I think I’d still prefer to just hook up a 29″ monitor to any laptop.

    2. BayTrail die size is about half of the Core CPUs (including Core Celeron). It is also made on a different (low-leakage) process. It competes with ARM chips… don’t expect it to compete with anything else. It allows for even cheaper Chromebooks and Windows “netbooks”. They are not meant to come close to modern laptop performance. There is a huge price gap between Baytrail and i3… I personally like the Core Celeron 2955u pricepoint.

      1. I have one of the 2955U Celerons, and I am happy with the performance of the unit, some of the baytrail laptops I’ve played around with made it seem lacking in performance as it didn’t snappy even with an SSD installed.

        1. You pay your money… you take your choice 🙂

          I have a Bay Trail-D Celeron in my reworked Pentium4 desktop case.
          Its 6X as fast and uses 1/6 of the power.

          Its constrained by the laws of physics. If you don’t like that … don’t buy one!

          1. Well I can’t imagine a processor that isn’t bound by the laws of physics, that said there are compromises made to allow the processor to sip that little power, back in the days of the original Atom series that yielded extremely poor single core performance. The embedded version of the Atom processor used in desktops like the Atom 330 weren’t awful as they were dual core so at the very least multitasking was reasonable.

            The desktop Atom desktop series were normally quite reasonable as wattage was not as much of a concern so adding another core or enabling faster core speeds was possible.

            That said Intel’s approach with the original Atom series left a bitter taste in my mouth, incremental updates that did little to improve performance but rather patch up complaints common to netbooks and seemingly catering to Microsoft’s whims to hardware limitations. It felt like more and more compromises were being made to milk as much as they could out of the netbook craze.

          2. Don’t confuse the modern ATOM with the netbook gen ATOMs…

            Original ATOM was left on a long 5 year product cycle, with prioritizing well vetted technology and off the self parts to minimize costs… So even by the time the netbook market finally collapse there was hardly any advancement…

            But Modern ATOMs on the other hand is on the same 2 year tic-toc cycle as their primary core processors… The upcoming ATOM updates will even use the latest 14nm FAB meant for Broadwell and will also use the same gen 8 GPU as Broadwell!

            Present Bay Trail is already over triple the performance of the last gen dual core netbook ATOM Cedar Trail… and they plan to more than double the CPU performance and increase GPU performance by more than 5x by the end of 2015 when they move the ATOM to the Goldmont architecture…

            Keep in mind that Intel intends the ATOM to let them compete with ARM SoC products and that means it needs to advance at an equal or greater rate as other solutions in the mobile market…

            Sure, the performance may not compare to the latest Core processor but instead of being multiple times behind it’s not more like around 50% difference and as Intel prioritizes power efficiency in even their Core processors that gap is starting to close…

            Haswell Y processors for example start to overlap the performance range of the Bay Trail ATOMs because of how low powered they have to be…

            While the upcoming Core M is the first time we can possibly see Core processors seriously start getting into mobile range devices but it’s still far easier to put a ATOM into such devices and can be used for even smaller and more mobile devices that are also more affordable and more ideal for that device range…

          3. Someone should really explain branding to Intel. Intel has tarnished the Atom series in general primarily on how they handled the original series. That said I haven’t confused the series of old with the new, I still think it’s awful in the application of laptops just like most ARM processors would be in normal laptops. The performance is not there yet but they have at least hit their goal on excellent battery life.

          4. Intel had their reasons for the way they handled the original series… Namely it was a sub market that they didn’t want to effect their primary markets…

            Netbooks were extremely low margin products… some companies made as little as a few pennies for every unit sold and thus were only profitable when sold in large quantities… It even effected the software as it was MS, not Intel, who imposed the limitation that any netbook sold with Windows 7 Starter Edition must only be sold with just 1GB of RAM…

            So most of the industry basically conspired to cripple the appeal of netbooks… Sure, they cashed in on it while it was popular but they never wanted it to continue indefinitely and much preferred the higher profit margins of the then quickly growing mobile market… which is what we deal with today…

            Also, Intel wasn’t serious about the mobile market at that time, mainly viewing netbooks as a way to keep users in the PC market and away from the mobile market, and was primarily more focused on their Core processor series… but with the declining PC market and growing mobile market they eventually re-prioritized and the modern ATOM has benefited from that change…

            Anyway, not all laptops are intended for serious work!

            The device ranges these products go into are specifically for the mobile market and budget value range devices and compete with the likes of Chromebooks and usually sub $500 laptops…

            The performance is more than fine for the things people do with computers most of the time… Surfing the web, checking emails, social networking, consuming media, and even some light gaming… especially, considering these devices will usually be used while being mobile…

            Really, it’s more than just excellent battery life but good enough performance for most every day activities and can be fitted into devices a lot smaller than a typical laptop… like a fan-less 7″-8″ tablet or similarly small device…

            The whole lot of core components, not counting ports and screen, can be fitted onto something barely bigger than a SD Card!

            Also mind that the modern ATOM market now extends beyond just low end laptops but tablets and even Smart Phones and embedded devices…

            So the performance per watt, and for the size devices they’re primarily intended for, is actually quite good… It’s not like we’re anywhere near putting a Core processor into anything similarly small or as power efficient…

          5. The original Atom was the orphan stepchild of 3 kids college project. It didn’t get a lot of love from Otellii’s management team who saw it as a “threat to margins”
            And then someone ELSE threatened their margins and they woke up , just before they were fired!! .
            I’m still suffering from the hernia I got laughing when Otellini said “We view tablet PCs as ‘additive'”.

            Silvermont Atom is a whole different story. Did you know they’re using it to build THIS …


            72 Atoms on 1 chip make a very competitive supercomuter !!

          6. Pentium 4… ugh

            That’s a low hurdle to take. Especially given that software bloat has been increased to soak up all those previously superfluous Core i7 CPU cycles.

            I mean the whole problem with the current computer market is, that Microsoft has faltered in their efforts of gobbling up more CPU cycles every year. Totally dropped the ball…

          7. It IS a low hurdle but it provides an adequate desktop experience for 20 watts power, including its “legacy” PSU and is completely cool and silent.

            Sure, it won’t play WOW at 60FPS but it loads desktop apps snappily and runs 1080p video and enables fast internet access.

            What more does Joe Public want??

      2. Yeah, better not to go below the Celeron, unless you never do much beyond browsing the internet, or you don’t mind going to the kitchen to make a coffee while Excel loads.

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