We do processor- and platform reviews quite rarely, but in order to keep up with what’s new we’re now going to put the Intel’s new Ivy Bridge-CPU to the test. The Ivy Bridge represents the “Tick”-phase in Intel’s development theme, and is basically an upgraded version of Sandy Bridge, but also packs some important upgrades.
The whole tick-tock-thinking represents Intel’s way of launching an entirely new CPU every couple of years and then coming up with an updated CPU with new manufacturing process. In this case the 32 nm process used for the Sandy Bridge has been updated to 22 nm process. Not only this, but the Ivy Bridges are made of 3D tri-gate transistors, which is also a completely new approach on CPU-manufacturing.
These changes mean that the chip is smaller than its predecessors and more of them fit onto a single silicon disc, which in turn helps lower the production prices.
|Cores / thread||4/8||4/4||4/8||4/4|
|3,5 / 3,9 GHz||3,4 / 3,8 GHz||3,5 / 3,9 GHz||3,3 / 3,7 GHz|
|L3 Cache||8 MB||6 MB||8 MB||6 MB|
|Graphics Core||Intel HD 4000||Intel HD 4000||Intel HD 3000||Intel HD 3000|
|Graphics Core Frequency (max)||1150 MHz||1150 MHz||1350 MHz||1100 MHz|
|DDR3 (MHz)||1600 MHz||1600 MHz||1333 MHz||1333 MHz|
|TDP||77 W||77 W||95 W||95 W|
The new Ivy Bridge processors use the same LGA 1155-socket as the Sandy Bridges, and can be used on motherboards with 6-series chipsets. The current top of the line model - i7-3770K is replacing the i7-2700 K, and a lower spec i5-3570K is the follower of the i5-2500K-model. Looking at the specifications the main differences can be seen in the updated graphics chips, official support for 1600 MHz DDR3 and also the lower TDP-value.
Apart from the 22 nm process, probably the most significant improvements of the Ivy Bridge have taken place in its IGP. The new chips use HD4000-series IGP, which should offer higher performance than its predecessors and also packs DirectX11 and OpenGl 4.2-support. The integrated graphics now also support three simultaneous displays, which is always good news.
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