|30 Aug 2010||#1|
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Intel's Core 2011 Mobile Roadmap Revealed: Sandy Bridge Part II
While Sandy Bridge is pretty significant for mainstream quad-core desktops, it's even more tailored to the notebook space. I've put together some spec and roadmap information for those of you who might be looking for a new notebook early next year.
Mobile Sandy Bridge
Like the desktop offering, mobile Sandy Bridge will arrive sometime in Q1 of next year. If 2010 was any indication of what's to come, we'll see both mobile and desktop parts launch at the same time around CES.
The mobile Sandy Bridge parts are a little more straightforward in some areas but more confusing in others. The biggest problem is that both dual and quad-core parts share the same brand, in fact the only indication that the Core i7 2720QM is a quad-core and the Core i7 2620M isn't is the letter Q. Given AMD's Bulldozer strategy, I'm sure Intel doesn't want folks worrying about how many cores they have - just that higher numbers mean better things.
You'll notice a few changes compared to the desktop lineup. Clock speeds are understandably lower, and all launch parts have Hyper Threading enabled. Mobile Sandy Bridge also officially supports up to DDR3-1600 while the desktop CPUs top out at DDR3-1333 (running them at 1600 shouldn't be a problem assuming you have a P67 board).
The major difference between mobile Sandy Bridge and its desktop countpart is all mobile SB launch SKUs have 2 graphics cores (12 EUs), while only some desktop parts have 12 EUs (looks like the high end K SKUs will have it). The base GPU clock is lower but it can turbo up to 1.3GHz, higher than most desktop Sandy Bridge CPUs. Note that the GPU we tested in Friday's preview had 6 EUs, so mobile Sandy Bridge should be noticeably quicker as long as we don't run into memory bandwidth issues.
Even if we only get 50% more performance out of the 12 EU GPU, that'd be enough for me to say that there's no need for discrete graphics in a notebook - as long as you don't use it for high end gaming.
While Arrandale boosted multithreaded performance significantly, Sandy Bridge is going to offer an across the board increase in CPU performance and a dramatic increase in GPU performance. And from what I've heard, NVIDIA's Optimus technology will work with the platform in case you want to do some serious gaming on your notebook.
...2011 is going to be an exciting time for the semiconductor market.
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