Intel used the first workday of 2011 to announce a fresh lineup of Core processors. The second generation of i3, i5 and i7 chips uses the Sandy Bridge architecture and so far includes no less than 29 CPUs.
All the new Intel processors are based on 32nm manufacturing process and boast improved performance plus better power efficiency. And it’s not just the reduced-size instructions that lead to it – according to Intel it’s also due to the L3 cache, which is now shared between all cores.
The new CPUs come with built-in HD 2000/3000 graphics that promise a 2x improvement in performance compared to their predecessor. That’s still not matching a discrete GPU, but it’s not like everyone actually needs so much graphics power. Early reviews say that the new Intel graphics are even good enough for gaming if you can live with the lowest detail settings.
The Turbo boost technology was also improved in the latest generation of Intel chips. It now allows for even higher clock speeds. For example the 2.8 GHz Core i7-2600S can reach 3.8 GHz with Turbo Boost, which is downright impressive.
If you are looking to upgrade your desktop PC or laptop in 2011 you obviously have quite a lot to look forward to. Intel promises over 500 systems based on the new chips to appear this year so you can bet choice won’t be limited.