Sandy Bridge Overview
Intel uses a “tick-tock” development cycle where the “tick” represents a new process technology and the “tock” represents a new architecture. Sandy Bridge is a “tock” in development cycle. Intel tells us these new processors offer these impressive features: Impressive leap in energy-efficient performance, optimized Intel Turbo Boost technology and Hyper-threading technology, significant advances in visual and 3D graphics capabilities, and new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) instructions for enhanced floating point intensive application performance.
Sandy Bridge is a whole new processor architecture. This new architecture adds a graphics engine as part of the core. These processors are made using Intel’s 32nm High-K manufacturing process. Below is a photo of the processor so you can see how it is designed and another picture highlighting all of the features of the processor.
Turbo Boost is back with the Sandy Bridge processors and it is Turbo Boost 2.0. Turbo Boost is designed to help manage the workload on the CPU. Many programs we use are not multi-threaded so turbo boost will disable the cores that are not in use and automatically ups the frequency of the core that is in use. Turbo Boost is available on all desktop processors except the Core i3 models.
As I said there are 11 desktop processors. The naming scheme is pretty similar to the previous Intel Core processors. We still have i3, i5, and i7 processors. The “2” that starts out the model is for the 2nd generation model and the numbers and letters after are the SKU. The “K” on the end of our processor let’s us know that it is a full unlocked CPU.
The 2 main desktop chipsets for Sandy Bridge are P67 and H67. P67 is designed for power users and requires and discrete video card, therefore it does not offer any on-board graphics support. On the other hand the H67 chipset is geared towards media PC’s and offers the on-board graphics support.