Intel Announces 'Sandy Bridge' Core Processors

014713 sb block diagram 500

Today, Intel announced their next generation processor architecture known as "Sandy Bridge" (or 2nd Generation Core processor). The new processors are built on the 32nm process and integrate the processor, memory controller and graphics on the same die. In particular the new integrated graphics performance is significantly improved over previous Intel's previous chips.

TechReport summarizes the changes:

Sandy Bridge is, essentially, a next-generation replacement for Intel's primary CPUs for desktops and laptops .... At the heart of Sandy Bridge is an essentially new processor microarchitecture, the most sweeping architectural transition from Intel since the introduction of the star-crossed Pentium 4. Nearly everything has changed, from the branch predictors through the out-of-order execution engine and into the memory subsystem. The goal: to achieve higher performance and power efficiency, even on single-threaded tasks, where the integration of multiple CPU cores hasn't been much help.

Anandtech in particular notes that the new processor architecture is a major step forward for laptops, significantly closing the price/performance gap between desktops and laptops.

Also promising for Mac users is that they found the graphics performance generally exceeded that found in the NVIDIA 320M that is presently used in the MacBook and MacBook Airs in Low detail settings:

Again, Sandy Bridge delivers playable performance in every single title at 768p and "Low" detail settings. What's more, it actually surpasses the GeForce 320M in Apple's MacBook Pro 13 in five out of six games (the exception being STALKER).

Performance, however, did lag in Medium detail settings. Intel's previously poor integrated graphics performance was seen as one of the reasons why Apple has stuck with pairing of previous generation Intel processors and NVIDIA 320M GPUs.

Overall, Anandtech is impressed with the performance and battery life of the new chips:

Not only do we get 50 to 100% better performance than the previous generation high-end Intel mobile chips, but we also get more than double the integrated graphics performance and battery life in most situations should be similar to Arrandale, if not better. And that's looking at the quad-core offerings!

Meanwhile, dual core and low-power versions of Sandy Bridge processors are expected to arrive next month.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Related Forums: MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

Popular Stories

Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 2

Monday June 24, 2024 12:52 pm PDT by
Apple today released the second betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers, and the software adds support for new features that Apple is working on, plus it tweaks some of the interface changes that have been made in the updates. Apple will refine iOS 18 over the course of the next few months, with multiple changes and refinements expected from now until September. We've highlighted...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
amazon echo dot

Amazon Could Charge Up to $10/Month for Alexa

Friday June 21, 2024 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple competitor Amazon is working on a revamp of its Alexa assistant, and the new version could cost up to $10 per month, according to a report from Reuters. The upcoming version of Alexa will support conversational generative AI, and Amazon is planning for two tiers of service. There will be a free tier and a second, premium tier that is priced at $5 at a minimum, with Amazon considering...
top stories 22jun2024

Top Stories: Apple Watch X Rumors, New Final Cut App for iPhone, and More

Saturday June 22, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
The avalanche of news coming out of WWDC earlier this month is finally starting to slow, but that doesn't mean there wasn't still lots to talk about in Apple news and rumors this week. This week saw some additional rumors about the upcoming Apple Watch models, the release of major Final Cut Pro updates, the launch of Apple's annual Back to School promo in the U.S. and Canada, new...