Intel releases next generation Core processor line up
As you have probably noticed, CES is in full swing in Las Vegas, and we have all been bombarded in the tech news by all the wonderful new gizmos. Once again 2011 looks like the year of the tablet. Whereas 2010’s CES had everyone wondering what Apple’s rumoured tablet would be like, this year everyone is also trying to get in on the party. Some are more successful than others however…
Perhaps more importantly, Intel has released the latest version of it’s processor lineup, running on a new chipset, called “Sandy Bridge”. While the same basic model structure is followed as before, the new model names make even less sense. Initial benchmarks look promising, but the jump in performance isnt as game changing as the leap from Core 2 to the Core i3/i5/i7.
Changes are more evolutionary, and Intel seems to have focussed more on graphics and better power efficiency. With Intel’s renewed focus on graphics, they do make some very strange choices. In the latest Sandy Bridge chips, Intel integrates the graphics on the chip, but this time actually integrates the graphics on the same die as the CPU.
Currently Intel is putting two different classes of its graphics processor on the chip – a “2000” series and “3000” series. Essentially the biggest difference is the frequencies at which these integrated GPU’s run, but the 3000 GPU does offer much better performance. One problem – currently Intel will only put the 3000 GPU on the top 2 processors, and the people who buy those level of processors will most definately skip the integrated GPU and fit a discrete graphics card. Do not quite know what Intel’s thinking was with this…
The big performance changes with Sandy Bridge comes down to better Turbo Boost functionality and a new video decode/encode accelaration language called “Quick Sync” which fixes Intel graphics apparent lack in this field up until now. So if you have been holding out on a new PC recently, you might want to wait just a little while for the Sandy Bridge chips to arrive on our shores…
Find Intel’s press release below:
Smart Performance, Energy Efficiency and Intelligence Merge The Intel® Coreâ„¢ i3, i5 and i7 processors also include the enhanced Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. This feature automatically reallocates processor core and processor graphics resources to accelerate performance, giving users an immediate performance boost when and where it‘s needed.
Other new chip features include Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), Intel® InTruâ„¢ 3-D, and Intel® Clear Video Technology HD. Intel InTru 3-D enables immersive stereoscopic 3-D to 3-D-capable HDTVs or monitors via HDMI 1.4, making movie excitement almost come out of the screen.
Intel® AVX increases performance for such demanding visual applications as audio processing and professional video image editing such as stitching together multiple photographs. Intel® Clear Video improves the visual quality and color fidelity during video playback for a spectacular screen experience. To make it easy for users to find a 2nd Generation Intel® Coreâ„¢-based system that is just right for their particular needs, Intel is also announcing a wide array of SKUs including Intel vProâ„¢-enabled processors.
The chips are made on Intel‘s 32nm manufacturing process on the company‘s second-generation high-k metal gate transistors. These unique advantages further boost performance; reduce power consumption for better battery life and smaller designs, and lower overall manufacturing costs. Intel announced more than 20 processors, wireless adapters and chipsets, including new Intel® Coreâ„¢ i7, i5 and i3 processors, Intel® 6 Series Chipsets, and Intel® Centrino® WiFi and WiMAX adapters. More than 500 laptop and desktop PC platform designs are expected from all major computer makers worldwide based on these products. The quad-core-based systems (four processors inside one chip) will be available on Jan. 9 with additional dual-core versions in February. Video, benchmarks, photos and more details are available at www.intel.com/newsroom/CES.