Manufacturers have finally started releasing and shipping systems with the new Ivy Bridge line of processors in them, but is it a big difference between older model processors and Ivy Bridge?
Ivy Bridge improves on a few fronts:
Graphics Power – This is the big one, and the leap is pretty huge. The HD 4000 graphics processor found in the laptop line (and some of the higher end desktop CPUs) graphics and 3d performance is 20 – 50% faster than last generation’s Sandy Bridge processors.
Power Usage – The new line of processors is manufactured using a 22nm process, which reduces power consumption and boosts laptop battery life, allowing for more performance without added weight.
Computing Power – Though ivy bridge isn’t a giant leap in performance, it does offer 10 – 15% better performance than the previous generation of Core I Processors. That, plus it offers a few advanced features, like native PCI Express 3.0 support and quad channel memory.
What does this mean for someone looking to buy a laptop or desktop in the near future?
Two great things:
1.) Getting a Sandy Bridge line desktop or laptop at a discount. You can tell these by the processor name (an easy way is to Google the processor model and you can easily find out if it’s a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPU. Ex: Google i5-2430m, then google i5-3360M. The generation will either be listed under micro-architecture or codename.
2.) You can get a new ivy bridge processor and get a performance boost all the way around without sacrificing on battery life, graphics performance or size. Ivy bridge is expected to generate a lot more interest in ultrabooks (which are very thin and light model laptops), as the cpu will permit desktop level performance in these very small packages. Those looking to do light gaming can finally use the integrated HD 4000 at acceptable frame rates at low to medium quality settings.
For more information on just how good the ivy bridge processors are we recommend reading the detailed performance benchmarks over at Tom’s Hardware.