At CES in Las Vegas, Intel announced a vast range of 32nm LGA 1155 processors, including no fewer than fourteen desktop and fifteen mobile processors. However, although the four core versions have been officially available since January 9th, the dual cores only started arriving in stores on February 20th. We have, of course, managed to test them!
Sandy Bridge architectureSandy Bridge is Intel’s code name for its new architecture and the processors based on it. This new generation is a ‘tock’ in Intel parlance, signifying a new architecture using a manufacturing process already used previously. Sandy Bridge CPUs are therefore manufactured at 32nm, like the Westmeres, the 32nm versions of Nehalem.
Among the innovations introduced by Sandy Bridge CPUs, the most notable are:
- A new Socket LGA 1155
- An integrated IGP sharing the L3 cache, now known as LLC (Last Level Cache)
- An improvement of the IPC and performance per watt
- A new AVX (Advanced Vector Extension) instruction set
- A new version of Turbo Boost
Beyond these aspects of the spec on which Sandy Bridge differs from its predecessor, the technological choices introduced or reintroduced with Nehalem have been retained, namely:
- The integrated DDR3 memory controller (dual channel and DDR3-1333)
- The built-in PCI-Express controller (2 x 8 PCI-E 2.0)
- A three levels cache architecture
We won’t go back over the architecture here but for more detail you can consult our report on the LGA 1155 socket Core i7s and i5s