bit-tech.net

Intel unveils Sandy Bridge at IDF

Intel unveils Sandy Bridge at IDF

Intel CEO Paul Otellini claims 'Sandy Bridge will revolutionise PCs'

IDF 2010 The main topic, or practically only topic, of conversation at this years IDF (Intel Developers Forum) is its forthcoming CPU family, Sandy Bridge.

Earlier today, Intel CEO Paul Otellini kicked things off by showing some stats from Gartner which claim that over 1 million PCs are sold worldwide every day, and that this number is expected to grow by 18 per cent next year.

Otellini then went on to say that the majority of these new PCs are laptops, using this to explain why Intel's forthcoming Sandy Bridge processor family is so heavily optimised for mobile use.

One of the first facts about Sandy Bridge to be bandied about by Intel was its headline-grabbing 1 billion transistors. This is an approximate 30 per cent increase over the previous generation of Intel desktop CPUs, although Sandy Bridge does of course include an integrated GPU.

Given the dire performance of previous-generation Intel GPUs when it comes to gaming don't ditch your GeForce or Radeon card quite yet, although an Intel product manager did tell us that 'Sandy Bridge is capable of playing Bad Company 2 at medium detail at 1,024 x 768', which does at least sound like a step forward.

However, Intel did get rather touchy when questioned on its decision not to support DirectX 11 in Sandy Bridge. Tom Piazza, Intel Fellow and Director of Graphics Architecture, claimed that 'most games still fall back to DirectX 9'.

Intel also made some pretty bold claims about the performance of Sandy Bridge, stating that 'tasks that took hours on Core 2 and took minutes on Nehalem/Westmere will only take seconds on Sandy Bridge'. Nehalem is the code name for the original Core i7 microarchitecture and Westmere its 32nm die-shrink.

Marketing guff aside, an anonymous source within Intel has told us to expect '[i]superior performance to Bloomfield [quad-core LGA1366 Core i7] and performance close to Gulftown [6-core Core i7]'. This probably helps to explain why Intel recently slashed the price of the Core i7-950, as otherwise its premium price LGA1366 platform would look decidedly unattractive.

Finally, Intel also confirmed that Sandy Bridge CPUs will be branded as Core i3, i5 and i7 when they go on sale early next year.

More details to follow, as Intel reveals more on the technical side of Sandy Bridge. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in the forum.

16 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
eddtox 14th September 2010, 10:57 Quote
I swear if I hear the word "Revolutionary" one more time I'm going to blow a gasket!
Woohoo! New technology is an improvement on the old! Stop the presses and hand your paychecks over to intel! Oh, and bow - for pity's sake - bow and worship intel!

Sorry for the rant. I'm not trying to belittle Intel's efforts but they really ought to have a look at the definition of revolutionary. This is a textbook example of evolutionary improvement.
tozsam 14th September 2010, 10:59 Quote
I wish they would come up with some different core names for the new family. It's just confusing using i3, i5 and i7 again
shanky887614 14th September 2010, 11:18 Quote
is this the third or 4th new process for the same family of proccesors?
mi1ez 14th September 2010, 11:23 Quote
i3 i5 and i7? Really?
I just want to slap them sometimes...
r3loaded 14th September 2010, 11:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
is this the third or 4th new process for the same family of proccesors?
Nope, only the second. Nehalem started off with 45nm, the same process as Penryn, and was then shrunk to 32nm in the form of Westmere. Sandy Bridge is also 32nm, and will be shrunk in 2012 to produce the 22nm Ivy Bridge.
mclean007 14th September 2010, 11:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
I swear if I hear the word "Revolutionary" one more time I'm going to blow a gasket!
Woohoo! New technology is an improvement on the old! Stop the presses and hand your paychecks over to intel! Oh, and bow - for pity's sake - bow and worship intel!

Sorry for the rant. I'm not trying to belittle Intel's efforts but they really ought to have a look at the definition of revolutionary. This is a textbook example of evolutionary improvement.
I'm so with you on all of that! "Revolutionary" is so overused that it has become meaningless. It's like Apple's iPhone 4 propaganda - "This changes everything. Again." Aside from the unnecessary grammatical clanger, calling the iPhone 4 a game changer devalues the achievement Apple made with the original iPhone which, for all its flaws, I would argue was revolutionary - multi-touch capacitive touchscreen; ability to download directly from iTunes; the App Store (okay that came a little later but still); the interface and even the basic form factor are all things we now take for granted, but which have literally shaped the smartphone market. Every generation after that has done no more than fix the flaws and make iterative improvements.

Very few technologies are actually groundbreaking in the sense of making a real shift in consumer behaviour or experience. A bit quicker doesn't cut it. Here are a few thoughts as to what I think have been the real game changers over recent years - things that have materially changed the way I interact with technology. I'd love to hear what you guys think:

* WiFi
* iPhone
* GPS in mobile phones
* mobile internet
* Google (search, maps, Gmail, docs)
cgthomas 14th September 2010, 12:09 Quote
The new high end sandy bridge will be i7 930 !?
Great naming conventions
Zinfandel 14th September 2010, 12:24 Quote
Aren't they going to be named like i7 2930?
Timmy_the_tortoise 14th September 2010, 12:56 Quote
Okay.. I've been out of the loop for a while..

Is this a whole new architecture, or just a die shrink?
StoneyMahoney 14th September 2010, 13:43 Quote
It's revolutionary and game changing to the boffins who designed it. Technically it's really pushing the boat out and using design paradigms that stagger the imagination and needed an awful lot of hard work to perfect.

Unfortunately the actual real-world result will be shaving another second or so off spell-checking times, Crysis will get a 1-2fps boost, DVD's will rip in 10 minutes less time, and Bill Hick's ghost will continue to beg people working in marketing and advertising to kill themselves.
Redbeaver 14th September 2010, 14:32 Quote
ugh... hate the naming convention.

seriously.

other than that, i'd up for it lol
MajestiX 14th September 2010, 15:24 Quote
it's a new architecture so the tock

i prefer the tick how ever
Showerhead 14th September 2010, 15:52 Quote
So does this mean we have potentially four different sockets all with CPUs sharing the same name.
Sloth 14th September 2010, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinfandel
Aren't they going to be named like i7 2930?
That's my understanding of it. Bit had a news article on it here: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2010/08/12/intels-sandy-bridge-list-leaked/1.

Of course, even without having ever seen that, this recent article still only says Sandy Bridge will use the i3, i5, i7 name. Never says they'll be the same trailing numbers, so it's a bit hasty to jump to that conclusion!
bobsuruncle777 14th September 2010, 17:13 Quote
I'm getting a new computer in October. Will they be released by then or will I have to just stick with the i5 760?
DarkFear 14th September 2010, 19:01 Quote
Good to know the i7 930 I bought 6 days ago will be (even more) obsolete in a few months :D
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums