Intel has finally officially launched its ‘Ivy Bridge’ Core i3s. Engraved at 22nm, these dual core processors with Hyperthreading and 3 MB of L3 cache include the improvements already ushered in by Ivy Bridge, namely a slight gain in performance at equal clocks (3 to 4%), a reduction in energy consumption and official support for DDR3-1600. In contrast to the Ivy Bridge Core i5s and i7s, they still have a Gen2 PCI-Express controller, a new purely marketing limitation that can only be regretted. VT-d and AES-NI instructions are also absent. You can consult these articles for further information:
- Ivy Bridge 22nm Review: Intel Core i7-3770K and i5-3570K
- Intel Core i3-3110M Ivy Bridge versus i3-2370M Sandy Bridge
Three processors join the standard range, with a TDP at 55W compared to 65W for the Sandy Bridge Core i3s:
- Core i3-3240: 3.4 GHz, HD Graphics 2500, 55W, $138
- Core i3-3225: 3.3 GHz, HD Graphics 4000, 55W, $134
- Core i3-3220: 3.3 GHz, HD Graphics 2500, 55W, $117
In the absence of any competition, Intel has unfortunately only done the bare minimum as, at equal clocks, the new Core i3-32xxs are priced the same as the Sandy Bridge Core i3-21xxs were before this launch. Worse still, as the Core i3-2130 (3.4 GHz) has been reduced from $138 to $117 on this occasion, there’s not necessarily any improvement in the price/performance ratio.
Two low energy consumption versions have been launched:
- Core i3-3240T: 2.9 GHz, HD Graphics 2500, 35W, $138
- Core i3-3220T: 2.8 GHz, HD Graphics 2500, 35W, $117
This time Intel has kept the same thermal envelope as for the i3-2120T (2.6 GHz and $117), though the clocks have gone up.
The Pentiums have also been brought out in Ivy Bridge versions, with two models:
- Pentium G2120: 3.1 GHz, HD Graphics, 55W, $86
- Pentium G2100T: 2.6 GHz, HD Graphics, 35W, $75
In comparison to the Core i3s the Pentiums, remember, don’t have Hyperthreading, AVX, QuickSync or Clear Video HD. Here again there’s not really any improvement in the price/performance ratio in comparison to the old range because while the Sandy Bridge G870 3.1 GHz was priced at $86 before this launch, it is now priced at $75. The G2100T is however at the same price and has the same clock as the G860T. Intel has taken the opportunity of introducing the Pentium G645s and G555s to the Sandy Bridge range. Right at the bottom of the range a new single core Celeron with 1.5 MB of L3 cache has made its appearance with a clock of 1.9 GHz. This is the Celeron G465, priced at $37.
Note finally the arrival of two new Ivy Bridge Core i5s. The Core i5-3350P and the Core i5-3330, on sale at $177 and $182 respectively. The first is a version of the Core i5-3450 ($184) with its IGP deactivated and a less powerful Turbo. The second has an HD Graphics 2500 module but is only clocked at 3 GHz. It’s also possible that its Turbo might be lower. Nothing transcendental then, given the small price difference between the existing versions!