By 3 January 2011 | Categories: news


As we welcome in the new year we will simultaneously be welcoming the long anticipated introduction of Sandy Bridge, Intel's second generation of Core processors.

According to Engadget, Intel has announced that a total of 29 new mobile and desktop CPUs will be available, with new Core i3, i5 and i7 options hitting the market, aiming to once again dominate the chipset scene in 2011.
The new Sandy Bridge processors will be based on the 32nm (nanometre) microarchitecture and will be the first chipsets to include the processor, memory controller and graphics on the same die. This equates to a smaller, more efficient system wherein the different parts can work together much more smoothly.
Including graphical processing capabilities on the chip itself is a great advantage of Sandy Bridge and may prove to be a large driving force of sales for the system. While not yet quite as powerful as a discrete video card, they are bound to give the option a run for its money, quite possibly marking the extinction of onboard graphics options such as Intel's popular GMA 4500.
Turbo Boost and Hyper-threading performance have also been boosted to enable increased CPU capabilities while the new chips also helps to reduce power consumption, even being able to automatically turn off idle optical drives to conserve power.
As previously mentioned, Intel is planning to release a whopping 29 new processors, ranging between mobile and desktop options and including different i3, i5 and i7 models. For the frugal, four new Core i3 processors are on the way, while the more mid-range inclined can expect twelve new Core i5 processors, including four for notebooks. Another twelve new Core i7 processors are also on the way, which include a massive nine processors for the notebook market, and if you're really serious about building a monster rig, Intel will be releasing a single new Core i7 Extreme Edition processor as well.
If you enjoy getting down and dirty with your machine, in an overclocking way of course, Intel is also releasing new overclockable 'K' series processors which allows users to individually set the clockspeed ratios for each core. This series option also requires you to own a P67 Express motherboard though, so take note.
In addition to flaunting its tech specs, Intel has also been actively engaging the broader consumer market with Sandy Bridge, with a number of consumer friendly features being marketed for the new processors. These include Intel Quick Sync Video, a feature which Intel promises will enable 17x faster video transcoding compared to older generations of integrated graphics.
Also included is Intel's InTru 3D, allowing users to display stereoscopic 3D and HD content on their TV using HDMI 1.4, you still need a 3D TV (and 3D glasses) though.
As Sandy Bridge makes its way into the market, expect 2011 to be filled with desktops and notebooks powered by these new processors. A little time is still needed before solid judgement can be delivered on Intel's new processor generation, but given the good things we saw out of the first Core series of CPUs, Sandy Bridge is set for a warm welcome. Look forward to more info being revealed at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), taking place from the 6th to the 9th of January.


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