Intel’s new architecture codename Sandy Bridge mobile and desktop processors are now officially available. The new range of Sandy Bridge processers are known as the 2nd Generation Core processor family or Intel Core 2011 processors.
The new Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, will come in 29 new flavors with Integrated graphics options. The new Core processor range is an upgrade from existing Westmere 32nm processor, essentially falling into Intel’s “Tock” development phase in which they improve the performance, features, efficiency on the existing Chip fabrication technique i.e. 32nm.
Whats New in Core 2011 Processors
The new family of processors are all based on Intel’s 32nm microarchitecture and are the first to put the processor, memory controller, and graphics on the same die. This means you will have a smaller package and parts get to take advantage of each other better, e.g. by dynamically clocking both the CPU cores and graphics to match whatever workload you throw at it, and giving them up to 1MB of shared cache. Speaking of those graphics, while they may still not be on par with a discrete video card, they’re more powerful than ever before. According to Intel, the new HD 2000 and 3000 processor graphics provide 2x the performance of Capella-based systems.
Intel has improved its Turbo Boost and Hyper-threading technologies such that the new chips enable higher levels of CPU performance as well — up to a 60 percent improvement with quad-core mobile CPUs.
The performance is not at the cost of efficiency. The new integrated chips reduce power consumption by using a smaller integrated package and can actually switch off components its not using , to improve battery life.
The processor details
Intel is this time looking to satisfy Overclockers with a set of specially-marked overclockable ‘K’ series processors which lets them individually set the clockspeed ratios for each individual core, provided they run on a premium P67 Express motherboard.
New Features in Core 2011 Processors:
Geek part aside, these are the few features every user can understand:
- Intel Quick Sync Video – Intel’s promising way faster video transcoding with it’s new integrated Quick Sync feature, which does encoding in hardware — it says it will be 17x faster than older generations of integrated graphics. Intel’s partnered with media software companies like CyberLink, Corel, and ArcSoft to enable this hardware-accelerated H.264 and MPEG-2 video conversion.
- Intel InTru 3D / Clear Video HD – 3D Blu-ray playback over HDMI 1.4? Not a problem for Intel’s Core 2011 platform. This doesn’t mean Intel’s providing the 3D technology for laptops or desktops, but it’s promising that you can play stereoscopic 3D and HD content on your TV using HDMI.
- WiDi 2.0 – Our biggest complaints about the original WiDi was the lack of support for 1080p. Well, Intel’s finally enabled streaming of full HD with its latest processors. There’s still lag and you will need to pick up a new TV receiver, most likely a new one from Netgear, to take advantage of the new full HD abilities. We’ve got more details on this and Intel’s new Insider video content service here.