Sandy Bridge is the code name for Intel’s newest processor family. The official name for Sandy Bridge is the second generation Intel Core processor. The first generation Intel Core is a Core i3, i5 and i7 which has long been on the market.
For desktop computers, Intel launched a series of processors, such as the Core i7-2600, Core i5-2500, i5-2400, i5 and Core i3-2300-2100. As for notebooks, available Core i7-2900, i7-2800, i7-2700, i7-2600, i7-2500, i5-2400, i3-2300. It’s quite a headache? Each series has a few variants (K, S, and T for the desktop, XM, QM, and M for mobile) and the additional numbers (for example, Core i7-2600 is divided into i7-2635QM, i7-2630QM, i7- 2649M, 2629M-i7, i7-2657M, and i7-2617M). Relax, you can see the difference between all processors in the specification table.
In general, the performance offered by Sandy Bridge could reach 20 to 60% faster than comparable processors than its predecessor generation. Overall, the Intel Core i7-2600K offers comparable performance with the Core i7-980X, Intel’s fastest desktop processor with six cores are aimed at the enthusiast user / workstation professional.
This alone is quite impressive, but a more severe and remember that this is achieved with 50 watts power consumption more efficient.
Graphics Processor Chip in
The main difference is most obvious among second-generation Intel Core processor with the first version is the graphics chip that is now integrated into the processor. The previous generation of graphics chips placed in the same module with the processor, but physically they remain separate. In addition, you need a separate graphics card for an additional quad-core processors. With Sandy Bridge, you can still use an integrated graphics card, even with a quad core processor though.
For the desktop version, there are two versions of these graphics chips – 6 and 12 units of the EU. Only the Core i7-2600K and 2500K which has a version of the EU to 12 units of desktop version. On a mobile version, all processors using version 12 units. More units, which offer better performance.
Graphics chip also supports hardware acceleration for several popular codecs such as H.264, VC1 and MPEG4-ASP (DivX and XviD), both for standard size (standard definition) or large (high definition). That is, the processor can enter a power saving mode while you watch the video with a codec above, including the videos available on websites such as YouTube.
The performance offered is also very good, much better than previous generations. That said, performance and compatibility offered by Intel’s HD 3000 and HD 2000 integrated graphics card equivalent such as AMD Radeon HD 3300 integrated or NVIDIA ION.
Feature the most attention from the Sandy Bridge is Quick Sync. This is a built-in hardware video encoder inside the processor die, but remain separate from the core. Now, you do not need to burden the processor when doing video encoding for movies that you want to transfer to iPad, iPod or other equipment that can play H.264 video.
To be able to use it, you must have the hardware (the second generation Intel Core processor) and the required software. Currently, the software can take advantage of this feature is Cyberlink Media Espresso 6 and ArcSoft’s Media Converter 7. Intel has also released an encoder plugin for Adobe Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro, which you can download directly from Intel’s website .
New Chipset for New Processors
Both versions of desktop and mobile processors Sandy Bridge requires a new chipset. In addition, the layout of the processor socket and the pad is different from previous generations. In short, you can not install this processor on old motherboard. If you want to use processors with Sandy Bridge platform, you have to buy a new motherboard that is currently available in two chipsets: the Intel P67 and H67.
The main difference between P67 and H67 chipsets support lies in the graphics card output (VGA). If you want to use the integrated graphics chip with the processor, you should use the H67. Conversely, if you want to do overclocking, you should use the P67 chipset.
To do overclocking with Sandy Bridge, we recommend choosing K series processors (Intel Core i7 and i7-2600K-2500K) with a P67 chipset motherboard. For those who want to use the integrated graphics chip on the Sandy Bridge and still get the best performance, choose a combination of Intel Core i7-2600 and H67-chipset motherboard. Facilities overclocking K series can not be used with the H67 chipset, but you still can use the Turbo feature that automatically increase the processor clock in certain situations.
As for those who want to use two graphics cards, P67 chipset supports AMD’s Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI. Keep in mind, if you use a motherboard with a chipset H67, you will be restricted can only use one graphics card.
Sandy Bridge – The Best Processor Today, But Wait Till April to Buy
No doubt, the second generation of Intel Core processors are currently the fastest mainstream processor. You get the equivalent performance of 6-core processors like the Core i7 980X at a price that is cheaper and more efficient power consumption than Core i3/i5 available on the market. Unfortunately, due to problems with the chipset P67/H67, you should postpone a decision before buying a platform equipped with Sandy Bridge. Intel promised to match the number of chipset production in April, so the vendors can immediately remove their products with a chipset problem free.