Intel Ivy Bridge to intro mid-tier PCIe upgrade
Intel stated Thursday to PCWorld that its Thunderbolt implementation would get a faster back infrastructure with its Ivy Bridge processor era. New Thunderbolt chipsets will use PCI Express 3.0 as its interface with the system instead of PCIe 2.0, boosting the bandwidth from five gigatransfers per second to eight. The upgrade won't change the 10Gbps external speed but will reduce any bottlenecks past the initial interface.
Intel Ivy Bridge gets pre-release test
An unofficial, pre-release benchmarking of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge architecture has shown an overall speed up, but most of all in graphics. Testing at AnandTech of a 3.5GHz, quad Core i7-3770K desktop chip has shown that the Intel HD 4000 integrated video is about 20 to 40 percent faster than the 3000 video on a roughly comparable earlier Core i7 using the current Sandy Bridge architecture. While still trailing behind AMD's Fusion in an A8 chip, it's enough to make games playable that wouldn't have been practical otherwise, such as running Skyrim smoothly at 1680x1050 and medium detail.
HP Z420, Z620, Z820 hint plans for others
HP confirmed that Intel was launching its long-in-the-making Xeon E5 workstation processors after it introduced a trio of new Z workstations. The regular Z420, mid-tier Z620, and flagship Z820 can all use the new E5-2600 chip line, which scales up to eight cores in one chip and has new ceilings for memory. At its extreme, the Z820 can have 16 cores across two processors, 14TB of storage, and a very large 512GB of error-correcting memory.
Intel Core i7 3820 offers great performance value
Intel just began selling its promised Core i7 3820 CPU, the specs-to-price ratio of which promises to make it a favorite among gamers. It has a 3.6GHz clock speed and 10MB of cache, and costs $294 in bulk, 1,000-unit quantities (PDF), which compares very favorably with the 3.2GHz Core i7-3930K with 12MB of cache which costs nearly twice as much. The 2011 socket-based 3820 has four cores, eight threads through its use of Hyperthreading, and is based on the 32nm architecture.
4 gaming models feature water cooling and i7 CPUs
CyberpowerPC has introduced its Fang III series of desktop gaming PCs. The four hardware configurable models all come with water cooling and overclocked second generation Intel Core i7 processors. Two of the models feature the recently released Core i7 Extreme (Sandy Bridge-E) processors which offer a minimum of 12MB L3 caching and supports quad-channel memory.
Apple hints at quick 2011 iMac refresh
Apple in posting its Thunderbolt support details may have inadvertently revealed plans for a second iMac update this year. The document makes reference to a "late 2011" alongside the current mid 2011 edition. The all-in-one isn't referenced anywhere else, but the phrasing makes it clear the reference was deliberate, if not intended to go live so soon.
Intel Sandy Bridge-E may have firmer ship date
Intel's mid-cycle Sandy Bridge-E processors may have received a more definitive timeframe after a Turkish leak. The initial batch of Core i7 processors, their companion X79 chipset, and possible Xeon E5 processors have a general "Platform Launch" window of between November 14 and 27, but DonanimHaber expected a more exact November 15 date. The release should be a 'hard' launch where shipping computers and individual parts are already in stores.
Sandy Bridge E chip appears in eBay auction
Intel's plans for an upgraded Sandy Bridge E processor may have been validated after an auction on eBay showed an unreleased model. An engineering sample of an eight-core chip arrived on sale this week and was described as a Core i7 using the Sandy Bridge architecture but designed for the new Patsburg (incorrectly labeled "Platsburg") platform, which represents Intel's unreleased X79 chipset. An X79 mainboard is targeted at high-end users and enthusiasts with an external clock speed generator that would let users overclock the processor without affecting other parts of the system, like the SATA bus.
Intel schedule shows Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge
An uncovered roadmap in the midst of Intel's Developer Forum in Beijing has revealed plans from Intel to speed up its current desktop processors from the Sandy Bridge platform as well as some early details of its Ivy Bridge successor. A fall update known as Sandy Bridge-E should upgrade the current platform with support for 16X PCI Express video cards, a quad-channel memory interface, and expected upgrades like increased Level 3 memory cache and more cores. WCCFTech's copy doesn't show any more than six-core processors, although the pricing would put it in the mid-range or higher for a territory occupied by quad-core chips.