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2nd Generation Intel Core Processors


Sandy Bridge is a microprocessor architecture that Intel is rolling out across three chipsets and a couple dozen microprocessors.  It is the best mainstream chip family Intel has introduced since the Centrino in 2003.

YouTube – Tech Analyst Peter Kastner on 2nd Generation Intel Core Processors.

Sandy Bridge is a microprocessor architecture that Intel is rolling out across three chipsets and a couple dozen microprocessors.  It is the best mainstream chip family Intel has introduced since the Centrino in 2003.

Sandy Bridge brings quad-core processors to mainstream, everyday computing. This keeps the hardware capacity up with the increasing multi-tasking load caused by always-on Internet, social networking, chat and instant messaging, emails, and all the background tasks supported by the operating system.

Sandy Bridge graphics is about twice the performance of the 2010 version on integrated graphics. This means a large proportion of casual gamers (Farmville, World of Warfare) won’t have to buy up for a discrete graphics card.

SB graphics shine at video rendering, such as TV and BluRay DVD playback compared to previous generations. Sandy Bridge chips also have industry-leading video transcoding performance, making conversions from TV-optimized to smartphone-optimized video in seconds instead of overnight. This technology will make just-in-time video conversion a must-have feature going forward.

Because all the processor, memory controller, and graphics logic is on a single 32 nm chip with Sandy Bridge, energy efficiency is excellent. That bodes well for good battery life in quad-core Sandy Bridge notebooks that will arrive over the next couple of months.

Corporate buyers face the triple-play this year of Microsoft’s Windows 7 SP1, Sandy Bridge’s excellent and efficient quad-core platform, and much improved Intel vPro administration, especially remote provisioning. 2011 is the year to accelerate PC and laptop replacements that were deferred during the recession, while reducing Total Cost of Ownership by several hundred dollars per PC per year compared with the in-service PCs. That’s worth crunching the numbers on.

Bottom Line: Core 2 Duo owners should look to Sandy Bridge immediately for 2011 replacements. Video-oriented families will especially enjoy Sandy Bridge.  But these are mainstream processors that bring big computing steps forward with this generation. Personally, I’d pass on the 2010 leftovers now being swept out of inventory.

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