bit-tech is testing Sandy Bridge

Written by Paul Goodhead

December 6, 2010 // 12:36 p.m.

Tags: #cpu #intel #sandy-bridge

Yep, forgive us for feeling a little smug but we've been putting a selection of Sandy Bridge chips through their paces over the last few days. Obviously we can’t say anything about the numbers we're seeing but needless to say we'll be well prepared to give a full and comprehensive review when the CPUs launch.

Obviously the fact that we're testing these CPUs must mean we've got some compatible motherboards in the labs too, so you can also expect a veritable bevy of motherboard reviews at launch too.[break]
bit-tech is testing Sandy Bridge  bit-tech is already testing Sandy Bridge
Can you tell which chip is LGA1156 and which is LGA1155?

We're literally just about to start overclocking the chips this afternoon so it'll be interesting to see what sort of numbers we can achieve. Obviously a lot has been written about how well Sandy Bridge chips will or won’t overclock so we’re pretty excited to be finally finding out which side of the internet hyperbole is actually on the mark.

It’s also our first chance to take a look at the EFI BIOSes that are being introduced with all Sandy Bridge motherboards. What we’ve seen so far is interesting - it looks like EFI BIOS design will become a major area that motherboard manufacturers can differentiate themselves in. We’ve got no doubt EFI BIOSes will improve with time but we’ve been pretty impressed with what we’ve seen so far.

bit-tech is testing Sandy Bridge  bit-tech is already testing Sandy Bridge
Our Sandy Bridge test system, not that you'd be able to tell

The good news is that the LGA1155 packaging is very similar to that of LGA1156. This means the chips look very similar (we’ve had to clearly mark our Sandy Bridge chips) but also that the CPU socket is of a very similar size. This is a smart move by Intel as it means that LGA1156 coolers should fit LGA1155 boards; the ones we’ve tried have at least. This should reduce the upgrade cost for anyone looking to go from LGA1156 to LGA1155.

Are you in the market for an upgrade in the New Year and looking forward to seeing what Sandy Bridge can offer? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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