Every year September brings round the Intel Developer Forum, held in San Francisco. This is the event at which Intel brings us up to date with its long and short term plans. A chance, or at least we hoped, to learn a bit more about the Sandy Bridge Es and their platform, Ivy Bridge and the 22 nanometre process, Cedar Trail and tablets and the MIC architecture and successors to Larrabee.
The opening keynote from Paul Otellini, Intel President and CEO, was however unusually sober and vague in terms of announcements, notably avoiding all references to the Sandy Bridge Es, the finalisation of whose platform seems to be posing some last minute problems.
Paul Otellini mainly highlighted the importance of offering users a consistent environment in which to be able to circulate information in a transparent way between various connected and ever more numerous peripherals. This task naturally includes providing sufficient security and the McAfee buyout will start bearing its fruit very soon with the arrival of DeepSAFE, reserved for the pro environment at first and which will offer stronger security against rootkits. This is a first step before DeepSAFE is integrated more thoroughly across the board between the CPU and software to strengthen security across all Intel platforms.
To facilitate “all day computing”, Paul Otellini says that he is relying on Intel's determined work undertaken over the last few years to reduce energy consumption of the platform. In addition to reducing the thermal envelope in load by 50%
, the Ultrabook 2013 platform, built around the Haswell CPU engraved at 22nm, should allow a more than x20 reduction in energy consumption in connected standby mode, extending battery life in this mode to over ten days! To recap, connected standby gives you, for example, instant access to your email when you wake the PC up, as well as any other data that comes from the new usages made possible by the mode (weather, news, how full your fridge is…).
Paul Otellini and Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile, Google.
Lastly, to conclude this first keynote, Paul Otellini announced an important, long awaited partnership: further cooperation with Google to optimise the Android platform on the Atom family of chips. Intel is thus assuring itself of access to an ecosystem that is growing like wildfire and Google’s payback is an x86 platform that is far from having come to the end of the road. To demonstrate the impact of this announcement, Paul Otellini briefly showed us a smartphone based on the Atom Medfield SoC, which will serve as the development platform for Android 2.3.
|Intel has just launched 16 new processors, 11 of which are part of the desktop range. We’ll begin with the Core i5-2320, which is now part of the Core i5 range (quad core):
- Core i5-2500K, 3.3 GHz, $216
- Core i5-2500, 3.3 GHz, $205
- Core i5-2400, 3.1 GHz, $184
- Core i5-2320, 3.0 GHz, $177
- Core i5-2310, 2.9 GHz, $177
- Core i5-2300, 2.8 GHz, $177
Rather than cutting its prices, Intel has launched a new model, even though this does make its price list a tad cramped. The Core i5-2310 and 2300 are now rather redundant and there’s only a slight price jump to the 2400, though the same does go for the clock. Two new Core i3s have also been launched (dual cores with HyperThreading), the 2130 and 2125:
- Core i3-2130, 3.4 GHz, $138
- Core i3-2125, 3.3 GHz, $134
- Core i3-2120, 3.3 GHz, $138
- Core i3-2105, 3.1 GHz, $134
- Core i3-2100, 3.1 GHz, $117
To recap, the Core i3-21x0s have HD Graphics 2000, compared to 3000 for the i3-21x5s. Here again, there has been no price cut but Intel is now offering better clocks than on the previous models for similar pricing. The Core i3-2105 and 2120 are therefore no longer of much interest, but the i3-2100 is still the least expensive dual core with HyperThreading on socket LGA 1155.
Next we have two new Pentiums (dual cores without HyperThreading)
- Pentium G860, 3.0 GHz, $86
- Pentium G850, 2.9 GHz, $86
- Pentium G840, 2.8 GHz, $75
- Pentium G630, 2.7 GHz, $75
- Pentium G620, 2.6 GHz, $64
You get an extra 100 MHz on the Pentium G860 than on its predecessor at the same price. The positioning of the G630 doesn’t make much sense as the G840 is at the same price!
Intel is also launching three Celerons on the LGA1155 platform. In comparison to the Pentiums, the G540 and G530 are still dual cores without HyperThreading but the cache drops from 3 to 2 MB. The G440 only has one core and 1 MB of cache!
- Celeron G540, 2.5 GHz, $52
- Celeron G530, 2.4 GHz, $42
- Celeron G440, 1.6 GHz, $37
In view of its very weak spec, the G440 should obviously be avoided – whatever usage you’re planning for your machine, you may as well go for the Celeron G530.
When it comes to the low consumption CPUs, note the 8% price cut for the Core i7-2600S (2.8 GHz, 65w), now $294 down from $306. There has also been a slight pricing adjustment on the Core i5 range with reductions of 5, 2 and 6% for the Core i5-2500S, 2405S and 2400S (2.7, 2.5 and 2.5 GHz, 65w) making them $205, $201 and $184 respectively. The Core i5-2500T (2.3 GHz, 45w) and 2390T (a dual core with HT, 2.7 GHz and 35w) have been cut by 5 and 6% to $205 and $184.
The low consumption Core i3 range (35w) now includes the i3-2120T, which at 2.6 GHz, offers 100 MHz more than the i3-2100T at the same price ($127). The Pentium G630T is in a similar position with respect to the G620T, with a clock of 2.3 GHz and a price of $70. The Celeron G530T, running at 2 GHz, is also on the list at a price of $47.
Note also that on the laptop side, the Core i7-2690XM, 2860QM, 2760QM, 2640M and Celeron B840 have been introduced, giving the respective gains in clock of 200, 200, 200, 100 and 300 MHz on their predecessors for the same price.
|Launched in june in their mobile version, the A Series APUs have arrived on the desktop PC via Socket FM1. Two processors are now available, the A8-3850 and the A6-3650. Let’s put them through their paces!
> AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650: staking it on the APU
|An extract of what is reported to be the AMD desktop PC roadmap for 2012 has appeared on Zol.com.cn. Pretty believable, it gives lots of very promising information that was unknown up until now!
The first piece of noteworthy news is that the Komodo CPUs could have up to five modules, or 10 cores according to AMD’s nomenclature, compared to four modules and 8 cores for the AMD FX “Zambezi”. These new modules use a development of Bulldozer architecture known as Piledriver and will have a new version of Turbo CORE, Turbo CORE 3.0.
It has also been confirmed that an AMx type socket won’t be used, but rather socket FM2 in common with the Trinity APU. The unification of sockets is a good thing, although it does go against AMD’s sacrosanct backwards compatibility policy and will rapidly render obsolete the AM3 infrastructure that was only launched in June. Komodo will be accompanied by the FCH Hudson D4 which will support USB 3 and 8 SATA 6 Gb/s natively, as the PCI-Express controller is now integrated on the processor. The Corona platform will include a new generation GPU in addition to the Komodo and the Hudson D4.
In terms of APUs, the Virgo platform will combine this same GPU family with the current AMD A75 and A55 chipsets. The Trinity APU will have up to two Piledriver modules (4 cores) as well as a DirectX 11 GPU announced, to recap, as being 50% faster than the one used in the current Llanos, and will also use socket FM2 though we don’t yet know if it will be compatible with socket FM1.
At entry level, the current Brazos platform will be replaced by Deccan, which will include the Wichita APU. Engraved at 28nm, this APU will have up to 4 Bobcat cores and integrated FCH, which will allow the platform to be further miniaturised.
|DonanimHaber has published a few details on the forthcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors designed for the 2011 platform. Three processors should be launched at first:
- Core i7-3960X: 6 cores at 3.3 GHz (Turbo at 3.9 GHz), 15 MB cache
- Core i7-3930K: 6 cores at 3.2 GHz (Turbo at 3.8 GHz), 12 MB cache
- Core i7-3820: 4 cores at 3.6 GHz (Turbo at 3.9 GHz), 10 MB cache
This information confirms the details published in April
. The X and K processors should be entirely unlocked in terms of the overclocking multiplier, while only the quad core, the i7-3820, isn’t likely to be able to go beyond the x39s used in Turbo mode. This is however likely to be less limiting than on LGA 1155 because the LGA 2011 platform should normally allow overclocking with the bus.
For now, only the Xeon range is likely to integrate the highest end LGA 2011 processor, the Sandy Bridge-EP, which is an eight core with a 20 MB cache. This, combined with the inclusion of the Core i7-3820, gives a rather confusing picture of the exact positioning of this platform, which will partly compete with the more affordable LGA 1155.
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