Sandy Bridge

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Sandy Bridge

Post by hnzw_rui » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:39 pm

We just got AMD Bulldozer news a couple of days ago. Now, it's Intel's Sandy Bridge turn:
The Sandy Bridge Preview
AnandTech wrote:If Intel's roadmap and pricing hold true, then the Core i5 2400 should give you an average of 23% better performance than the Core i5 760 at the same price point. If we compare shipping configurations, the Core i5 2400 should actually perform like a Core i7 880 despite not having Hyper Threading enabled. Clock for clock however, Sandy Bridge seems to offer a 10% increase in performance. Keep in mind that this analysis was done without a functional turbo mode, so the shipping Sandy Bridge CPUs should be even quicker. I'd estimate you can add another 3 - 7% to these numbers for the final chips. That's not bad at all for what amounts to a free upgrade compared to what you'd buy today. Power consumption will also see an improvement. Not only will Sandy Bridge be noticeably quicker than Lynnfield, it'll draw less power.

While Nehalem was an easy sell if you had highly threaded workloads, Sandy Bridge looks to improve performance across the board regardless of thread count. It's a key differentiator that should make Sandy Bridge an attractive upgrade to more people.

The overclocking prevention Intel is putting into Sandy Bridge sounds pretty bad at first. However if the roadmap and pricing stay their course, it looks like overclockers looking to spend as much as they did on Core i5 750/760s won't be limited at all thanks to the K SKUs in the mix. The real question is what happens at the low end. While I don't get the impression that the Core i3 2000 series will be completely locked, it's unclear how much rope Intel will give us.

Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics is good. It's fast enough to put all previous attempts at integrated graphics to shame and compete with entry level discrete GPUs. The fact that you can get Radeon HD 5450 performance for free with a Core i5 2400 is just awesome. As I mentioned before, you won't want to throw away your GTX 460, but if you were planning on spending $50 on a GPU - you may not need to with Sandy Bridge.

Assuming mobile Sandy Bridge performs at least as well as the desktop parts, we may finally be at the point where what you get with a mainstream notebook is good enough to actually play some games. I'm really curious to see how well the higher spec integrated graphics parts do once Sandy Bridge makes it a little closer to final. I should add that despite the GPU performance improvement - don't believe this is enough. I would like to see another doubling in integrated GPU performance before I'm really happy, but now it's very clear that Intel is taking integrated graphics seriously.

Architecturally, I'm very curious to see what Intel has done with Sandy Bridge. Given the improvements in FP performance and what I've heard about general purpose performance, I'm thinking there's a lot more than we've seen here today. Then there are the features that we were unable to test: Sandy Bridge's improved turbo and its alleged on-die video transcode engine. If the latter is as capable as I've heard, you may be able to have better transcoding performance on your notebook than you do on your desktop today.

With Sandy Bridge next year you'll get higher clock speeds, more performance per clock and reasonable integrated graphics at presumably the same prices we're paying today. What's even more exciting is the fact that what we're looking at is just mainstream performance. The high end Sandy Bridge parts don't arrive until the second half of 2011 which add more cores and more memory bandwidth.
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Re: Sandy Bridge

Post by skier » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:44 pm

you get a very limited amount of chips that can overclock (K), and these will have huge price jumps over mainstream CPUs, not to mention one generation per socket (removing one pin and changing the notches to force upgrade? seriously?), Sandybridge isn't even in the back of my mind.
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Re: Sandy Bridge

Post by Apoptosis » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:25 pm

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Re: Sandy Bridge

Post by Sttm » Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:12 am

The only way the whole 'only K chips can be overclocked' thing would be ok in my mind is if they came ready for OCing!

Would it really be that hard for Intel to come up with a heatsink/fan combo that could match the $50-60 air coolers out there. They all seem pretty much the same, take 6-8 heat pipes, run them up to some fins, drop a 120mm fan on both sides.
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Re: Sandy Bridge

Post by hnzw_rui » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:50 am

Sttm wrote:Would it really be that hard for Intel to come up with a heatsink/fan combo that could match the $50-60 air coolers out there. They all seem pretty much the same, take 6-8 heat pipes, run them up to some fins, drop a 120mm fan on both sides.
Isn't that kinda what comes with the i7-980X already?
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Re: Sandy Bridge

Post by Sttm » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:57 pm

Kind of. I think the 980x boxed cooler is around the same level as a Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, or a Zalman Performa. A good single fan solution; which would be great if they started putting that in every box instead of that terrible little one.

But I am thinking more of a Frio or NH-U12P like setup with Dual Fans for an overclocking premium cpu.
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Re: Sandy Bridge

Post by hnzw_rui » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:31 pm

Sttm wrote:Kind of. I think the 980x boxed cooler is around the same level as a Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, or a Zalman Performa. A good single fan solution; which would be great if they started putting that in every box instead of that terrible little one.

But I am thinking more of a Frio or NH-U12P like setup with Dual Fans for an overclocking premium cpu.
I actually think Intel should keep the smallish CPU coolers. With the advent of the Atom, SFF systems have become the rage and even the somewhat smallish (for a tower cooler) i7-980X HSF isn't going to fit in a lot of small cases. I think even with the i7-980X, the reason Intel went with only 92mm is because 120mm and taller HSF's would require wider cases. While it's somewhat unlikely that people building Gulftown-based computers would be using cases that are only around 7" wide, it can happen and I reckon Intel's just covering their bases. Besides, I reckon a lot of the people who would buy extreme processors would also go for water cooling.
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