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All posts tagged "sandy bridge"


Monday, November 14, 2011

Hardwarecanucks Examines Intel's Sandy Bridge-E Core i7-3960X CPU

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:39 AM

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...cpu-review.html

"The flagship Core i7-3690X Extreme Edition is a 32nm six-core/twelve-thread processor with a 3.3Ghz default clock, but which never ever dips below 3.6GHz and tops out at 3.9GHz in single and dual-threaded workloads. Accompanying these six cores is 15MB of L3 cache, the most of any desktop processor, and a new beefed up memory controller that features a quad-channel DDR3-1600 interface which is theoretically capable of 51.2GB/s of bandwidth."

A Sandy Bridge 6 core CPU starting at 3.3 Ghz sounds impressively fast, but I am not sure many are willing to shell out the $990 list for it. I suppose it is only for the most hardcore users (or those whose work heavily depends on fast encoding of videos); for the rest of us, a nicely overclocked i5-2500K will do quite well for many things.


Monday, October 31, 2011

A Q&A With Intel Canada on Sandy Bridge's QuickSync Feature

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 AM

Intel's second generation Core i-series processors, referred to by us geeks as "Sandy Bridge CPUs", brought with them a significant boost in overall processing power. What really got me curious though was Intel's QuickSync technology. Intel has a page on their Web site that talks about this technology, but I wanted to dig deeper so I reached out to Intel Canada and Joe Ellis, Market Development Manager for Intel Canada, responded.

DHT: A key feature in the second generation of Intel Core processors, known as Sandy Bridge CPUs in the tech circles, is the inclusion of an on-chip graphics processor. One of the benefits of this integration is Intel's Quick Sync video technology. Can you describe what Quick Sync technology is and how it works? Why is it better that a straight CPU-based video encode?

ELLIS: "Intel Quick Sync Video has often been described as "hardware acceleration" technology built into 2nd Gen Intel Core processors. This is partially correct. Traditional hardware acceleration has been enabled through software optimizations for general-purpose CPU resources otherwise shared with multiple PC functions. This approach was widely adopted with the first MMX instruction set in 1995, and resulted in much faster multimedia rendering and playback times - though often at the expense of other computing functions waiting for those same computing resources. Subsequent Intel CPU generations introduced ever more powerful instructions and architectural advancements to accelerate a variety of parallel tasks, but always using processor resources common to every task." Read more...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Want to Upgrade your Processor? There's an App For That!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...idge-processors

"Intel is now offering to upgrade your Core i3-2312M, Core i3-2102, or Pentium G622 processor using software. Just download a program, buy an “upgrade card” from your local supermarket, enter your magic code, and voila: a 15-20% performance boost (CPU frequency bump), and in the case of the i3-2312M you can even unlock more cache."

It looks like Intel's old Intel Pentium G6951 project for software based upgrading was enough of a success that Intel is at it again. Certain low end CPUs will be locked to a more restrictive performance level in order to sell for a lower price. The practice is similar to an industry method called "binning" but with an official, hopefully warranty supported method of unleashing better power. The biggest problem I see with this system is that it only affects certain CPUs, so there could be plenty of sales which end up with a useless upgrade card. With lots of different model computers out there, purchase choices are difficult enough as it is. People more serious about hardware will easily avoid these CPUs, though some might in hopes of doing their own unauthorized upgrades. Reality probably means that this attempt at software upgrading will not pan out though.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: A Review of Low Cost CPUs

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 05:00 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...1075t,2859.html

"Indeed, game performance is what this article is all about. Up until now, AMD's Phenom II X4 and Athlon II X3/X4 processors have vigorously defended their status as value-packed engines in inexpensive gaming systems using sub-$200 price tags. Between June of last year and now, we've seen AMD add a couple hundred megahertz to each price point. Yes, we like more performance without a corresponding rate-hike. But the company is competing with architectural updates that make a far more profound impact on performance."

It looks like AMD might have some challenges ahead of itself. With the release of Sandy Bridge, Intel has some low cost CPUs that appear to compete fairly well against AMD's budget options. This just happens to coincide with AMD now being able to offer a comparable, if not better product to Intel's Atom line of CPUs. Fortunately, there is time and room for AMD to fashion a counter-attack and all the while, it serves to keep PC gaming alive for those with limited funds.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Did Intel's QuickSync Technology Kill CUDA/APP?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 03:00 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...00k,2833-5.html

Take a look at that image above. It's from an article on Tom's Hardware that talks about how Intel's QuickSync technology - which is part of the Sandy Bridge platform - stacks up against GPU acceleration from NVIDIA's CUDA and AMD's APP (formerly Stream) technologies. The numbers above are simply shocking: GPU acceleration using CUDA or APP gives an almost 2x performance increase in HD video trascoding...yet, amazingly, Intel's QuickSync manages to get the same job done 5x faster than CUDA or APP. And let's be clear about something: it's able to do that with an integrated GPU that's part of the overall CPU, not with a beefy, power-sucking, loud graphics card that costs $300+. Read more...


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Intel Wants to Sell You This Bridge

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:30 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/08/...dge-laptops-if/

"Fret not, to-be Sandy Bridge buyer -- it looks as if the laptop delays won't be as severe as expected. According to Intel, it's working hard (read: coercing) with OEMs to keep Sandy Bridge laptops flowing from the factory, and apparently, that involves a pinky swear that partners won't utilize the four affected ports. "

In case you have not heard, Intel admitted to a flaw in its 6 Series Chipset which supports Sandy Bridge. Over time, some of the computers using the 6 Series could see a degredation of performance over its 3Gb/s SATA ports. So, a recall is born and manufacturers eager to sell some high performance love are forced to wait. Or are they? Laptops usually only come with two SATA devices built into them, and the 6 Series Chipset does have two ports (the 6Gb/s SATA ports) which work as advertised. So instead of tossing all these hardware, why not make use of it?

I have seen many complaints and people swearing off buying these laptops, considering them broken from the start, but I have to wonder how many regular users would be affected by such a choice. Yes, there are laptops that come with eSATA, but most people I know still opt to use a network, or USB to handle their external storage needs. Considering the potential waste (even the effort to recycle a laptop motherboard is costly) resulting from this recall, it sounds like a fair compromise.

What do you think? Is Intel making lemonade, or lemons?


Monday, January 31, 2011

Intel Identifies Serious Chipset Error on Sandy Bridge Support Chip, Halts Shipment

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:00 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/intel-ide...ries-6-chipsets

"This morning, Intel announced it had detected a serious error in one of the support chips that ships with its 2nd Generation Core Series CPUs (aka Sandy Bridge), and has stopped shipment of the affected chipsets while it manufactures new versions of the chip for shipment to customers in late February. The company expects full volume recovery in April and, accordingly adjusted its revenue projections lower by about $300 million. Due to the delays in shipping the chipset, OEMs may also choose to delay shipping some or all of the their new Sandy Bridge notebooks, though none of the notebook vendors has commented yet."

Given the incredibly complexity of the technology we use today, it's somewhat surprising problems don't happen more often - but Intel is certainly doing the right thing in jumping on this issue before it impacts the wider public. It seems the lessons they learned from the Pentium floating point bug back in the '90s haven't been forgotten.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Digital Storm's New Slim Enix Desktop Cools From The Bottom Up

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.digitalstormonline.com/compblackops.asp

"Overclocked, custom-built PCs are nothing new, and neither is 4.7GHz from the factory. But Digital Storm has managed to take one of Intel's newest Sandy Bridge chips to that height, and it's doing so in a case that's far sleeker than most of the towers out there. The all-new Enix relies on a Micro-ATX system board, vertical heat dissipation and a mobo that's rotating 90 degrees -- a move that's being made in order to "take advantage of heat's natural tendency to rise." Consumers can order one starting today, with the $1,132 base unit boasting a Core i3-2100, 4GB of DDR3-1600 memory, NVIDIA's 1GB GeForce GT 220, a 1TB hard drive and a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium. The high-end model tops out at just north of two large, with each model offering a hot-swap bay and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Eye candy is below, and the source link shouldn't be ventured to unless you're fairly immune to impulse buys."

This desktop PC is a bit unique in it's layout and I recommend you look at the pictures on Engadgets website to see what I mean. With a top to bottom layout aimed at better cooling, it's certainly different from other PC designs I've seen. I'm not sure that having all the inputs for keyboard, mouse, USB and display on the bottom of the case is great for easy access though.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Time to Cross that Sandy Bridge - Review of the ASRock P67 Extreme4

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4080/...ck-p67-extreme4

"As you would expect, the new socket 1155 processors are incompatible with socket 1156 motherboards. The new motherboards will come in H and P varieties, with the H series taking advantage of the graphics on the processor die, whereas the P series will utilize discrete graphics only. At launch, both P67 and H67 chipsets will be available, with the H61 chipset released during Q1 2011."

Sandy Bridge is out in a big way and you will probably find millions of manufacturers now touting their Sandy Bridge products. What surprises me is that there are Sandy Bridge set ups that allow for discrete graphics only. There must be some sort of tangible cost difference between the two as from what I have seen in the benchmarks so far, the Sandy Bridge Integrated Graphics is not too shabby; it does not compete against mid to high range discrete graphics in any fashion, but it holds it own against other IGPs and even low-end discrete competitors. If there is a minimal cost difference, why not include it? 2011 is off to a great start!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Intel's Sandy Bridge To Somewhere

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/...wins-in-a-row/1

"That's all going to change starting next year. This time it's the masses that get the upgrade first. While Nehalem launched with expensive motherboards and expensive processors, the next tock in Intel's architecture cadence is aimed right at the middle of the market. This time, the ultra high end users will have to wait - if you want affordable quad-core, if you want the successor to Lynnfield, Sandy Bridge is it."

The huge force that is Intel continues moving along at a steady pace. While AMD is fighting back with its Bobcat and Bulldozer chips, Intel's Sandy Bridge seems to be a continuation of moves first seen with the Core i3 and i5 processors. Processing power is increasing, as expected, but the integrated graphics are what have caught my eye. While integrated graphics offered low power consumption and great 3D performance at a great price, its 3D capabilities were laughable at best. While Sandy Bridge will not be toppling the discrete GPU market, it is edging into the lower end and that means that the lowest bar for computing will offer something worthwhile. Programs like Google Earth will run even more smoothly, and 3D accelerated browsers are right around the corner. We might be watching the next push in computing fads!


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