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If I told you about Sandy Bridge theres a chance you don’t know what I am talking about. If I write that Intel is preparing a revolution in processor technology, maybe you can take the subject a more seriously. However, if I comment that the processor, which will appear at the beginning of the next year, is not going to be the fastest Intel processor ever, maybe you think that call that a revolution maybe is a bit exaggerated.

In this article, I’ll tell you a little about the Sandy Bridge processor from Intel.

What is the name of the new processor?

Sandy Bridge is the code name of the project but the new processors will be called 2nd generation Core i7, i5 and i3 processors.

Are they going to be faster than current processors?

Intel processors are subdivided by performance i.e., not all i7s are equal. Intel is not going to change the fastest processors at first. For a while, we are going to see faster processors at the same price.

What is the big difference between this family and the current i3, i5, and i7 generation?

The new processors use a new 32 nanometer technology (the current is 45 nanometer.) A processor is made of millions of transistors; these transistors have a rectangular shape so if we change one of its sides is going to fulfill a smaller area. Intel has reduced that side to 32 nanometers. With a simple calculation we can see that this implies we can have double number of transistors.

Using this new technology Intel has opted to introduce a GPU, graphics processor unit, inside the CPU. This means that every processor will have its own graphics card.

What is going to change with this technology?

A smaller transistor’s area drives to less power consumption. So this makes this processor an excellent choice for environment where battery life is an issue.

Why is the new Turbo Boost Technology so Important?

A  modern processor has more than one core on the CPU. Sometimes the programs we are running are not using all CPUs so stopping some of them doesn’t make a change on the performance. When we do that we can increase the speed of the running processors leaving to a better performance.

This is something that present processors do but Intel has realized that it can maintain this Turbo mode for more time.

Will this technology Need a New Socket?

Yes and a new chipset so you will need a new motherboard.

What RAM is it Going to Use?

The same as we use with i7, DDR 3.

What Implications Does a Processor with an Onboard GPU have?

Imagine a phone with a processor that is capable of playing 3D games and play HD  movies.

Can I play real games with this GPU?

Yes, maybe it is really very soon to know what the real performance will be, but it is going to run some games without problems (at very least in low resolution.)

What happens if I already have a graphics card on my computer?

The onboard graphics feature will be disabled when a card is added to a PCI Express slot.

What different models will we see?

At least for now, Intel is preparing the following models:

  • K, Special for using overclocking features.
  • S,  normal processors.
  • T, Low-power processors that have relatively lower clock-speeds as compared to standard models.
  • M, Mobile.
  • QM, Quad core mobile processors.
  • XM,  Extreme quad core for using overclocking features.

About Angel Luis

I am an Engineer of Telecommunications that love computers. My first computer was a Commodore 16kb, about 25 years ago and since then I am always fighting computers problems. Please visit my entries and ask me about whatever problem you have, I will be pleased to help you. My email is discoveryourpc [at] gmail [dot] com. You can follow me on twitter @agenlu or read my blog www.discoveryourpc.net

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4 thoughts on “Sandy Bridge: Intel’s New Processor Features (2nd Generation i3, i5, and i7)”

  1. Rich says:

    Nice feedback. Thank you.

  2. Angel says:

    Thanks for the reply, but you can play a lot of 3d programs with it:http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-preview-three-wins-in-a-row/11even starcraft II.

    1. Angel says:

      As you can see in that site you can compare the performance between new Core i5 and present Core i7.

      By the way we are talking about a future processor so things can change until it gets to the public.

      Just a curiosity, why do you think there is a secret list?

  3. Angel says:

    I think that for a real 3d gamer is not going to change anything, you need the latest graphic device but not everyone is interested on that.
    But at least for me is a good advance basically because they are planning to launch a new processor for the next year using a 22nm technology. That means about the double of transistors with is more graphic power.
    Only say that Intel is aware of that and for that reason if you have a PCI express graphic card the feature become disabled.

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