Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge has now become the company's current-generation flagship CPU architecture. Built at 22nm, it's primarily a die shrink of the highly successful Sandy Bridge platform, allowing for greater power efficiency and thereby higher performance ceilings relative to its predecessor. Ivy Bridge was slightly delayed in making it to the market, but in late April 2012, Intel finally set laptop and desktop makers loose, triggering a deluge of upgrades of computer systems, both young and old.
May 14, 2012
It's no news to say that Apple will upgrade its MacBook Pro laptop range to Intel's latest generation Core processors, but what else can we look forward to? 9to5Mac has been in touch with sources within Apple's supply chain, who suggest that the 2012 iteration of MBP hardware will be the first in the Mac line to include Retina displays, while also slimming down in the most significant design alteration since 2008.Read Article >
Specifically addressing a new 15-inch model, the site's informants claim it will omit the optical disc drive in an effort to reach a new thinner profile — albeit one that's still thicker than the MacBook Air — with the power button taking the place of the now-defunct eject key on the keyboard. Their familiarity with Apple's plans stems from seeing prototype unibody casings, which are said to be undergoing test production rounds, so things might still change, though we're not encouraged to hear the designs "lack room for Ethernet."
May 3, 2012Read Article >
Samsung's Series 9 ultrabook is the thinnest 15-inch laptop around, which would seem to make it a good candidate for a new low power Ivy Bridge processor. Sure enough, Samsung's UK site is listing a model called the N900X46 with a 1.7Ghz Intel Core i5 3317u chip, which is an ultra-low voltage unit that we first caught wind of back in March. Beyond the new processor the internals are much the same — you're still looking at a 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM, and a 1600 x 900 display. While the external design looks almost identical the N900X46 is 14.9mm thick, which is a likely imperceptible gain of 0.2mm on the previous model. Unfortunately there aren't any details on pricing or a release date, but since the 3317u wasn't included in Intel's initial Ivy Bridge launch it may be some way off.
Apr 23, 2012
Intel has just revealed its third-generation Core processors, codenamed Ivy Bridge, and the reviews are already starting to pile up. At first just the quad-core versions are going to be available — ultra low voltage and dual-core Ivy Bridge processors are slated to come out later this spring — so the reviews only cover two of the beefier chips offered by Intel today: the 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K for desktops and the 2.6GHz Core i7-3720QM for laptops. The new processors all represent a "tick" in Intel's upgrade cycle; it's a refinement and improvement of the previous Sandy Bridge processors that offers improved integrated graphics and power savings in a smaller package (it's built on the company's new 22nm architecture). Most of those changes are beneficial for laptops, but there are slight improvements to be seen for the desktop users among us, too.Read Article >
Anandtech and PC Perspective spent some time with a reference 15.6-inch Asus N56VM laptop using Intel's new 2.6GHz Core i7-3720QM, and the good news for mobile users is that the integrated graphics have come a long way, just like the chipmaker promised. Anandtech ran the processor through a litany of modern games on medium detail settings at 1366 x 768 and, on average, integrated graphics performance on the HD 4000 was nearly 50 percent better than on Sandy Bridge's HD 3000 graphics, making "medium quality gaming now possible" on mobile (see chart below). Unfortunately, at least on the Asus system, battery life didn't see a massive improvement — either matching or hardly bumping up life compared to Sandy Bridge — but much of that is dependent on individual systems. We'll just have to wait to see the new processors in more laptops (especially when the ultra low voltage and dual-core ones find their way into ultrabooks later this year) to see if Ivy Bridge offers a substantial improvement in that department.
Apr 23, 2012
If you haven't yet heard of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, you might be living under the proverbial rock: between Intel's own boasts of having invented a new 3-D transistor, countless leaked roadmaps, and overeager OEMs intent on deploying the silicon, we've known practically everything there was to know about the company's 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor (codename Ivy Bridge) for weeks, if not months. Today, however, Ivy Bridge is official, and Intel's announcing its first fifteen chips: six quad-core mobile powerhouses, five full-voltage desktop parts, and four low-power desktop CPUs.Read Article >
Here's what you need to know:
Apr 23, 2012Read Article >
Intel launched its highly-anticipated 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge processors today. However, while the initial launch of quad-core processors in the Core i5 and Core i7 families for desktop and full-sized laptops will start immediately, dual-core chips and low-power chips for thin, ultrabook-style computers won't be available until later this spring, the company revealed. Ivy Bridge marks the shift from 32-nanometer to 22-nanometer transistor technology, with the smaller size bringing enhanced efficiency and more computational power — "about 20 percent more processor performance using 20 percent less average power," Intel's PC business chief Kirk Skaugen told the BBC. The new chips also feature "3D" Tri-Gate transistors that add vertical silicon fins to reduce energy leakage. While the launch of Intel's new processors has seen some delays related to the new 22-nanometer manufacturing process, the company is hoping to make more of the chips available right at launch, with 50 percent more units available in the first six months after launch than with last year's rollout of the Sandy Bridge architecture.
Apr 17, 2012
We've been eagerly following specifications, release dates, and all sorts of rumors about Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors, but until now, we haven't had much of a chance to see how the chips perform in the wild. Laptop Reviews has obtained a still-unannounced HP EliteBook 8470p that contains an engineering sample of an Ivy Bridge Core i7. After double-checking the chip, they confirmed that it's indeed one of the new 22nm versions, as opposed to the 32nm Sandy Bridge.Read Article >
Next, they tested the processor with several benchmark tools, both for general performance and specialized tasks like using 3D graphics. Ivy Bridge apparently performed consistently well, with fast performance, low heat, and sparing battery use. In the PCMark 7 suite test, for example, it scored a 4,520, higher than more powerful computers with the current generation of processors (although Laptop Reviews admits that the SSD in their test unit probably bumped the score a good bit.) You can read the full laptop review and testing results here. Since Laptop Reviews is working with a test unit, it's possible we'll see small changes by release, but at this point it should be virtually a finished product.
Apr 11, 2012
After teasing 50 new ultrabook designs for CES earlier this year, Intel's now promising we'll see 75 even newer SKUs over the coming months. The x86 chip designer and producer is feeling bullish about its future laptop strategy and even forecasts that entry-level prices for ultrabooks will dip below the $700 mark in time for the back-to-school shopping period this autumn. Aggressive pricing wasn't supposed to be at the core of the ultrabook ethos (and Acer even told us that $799 prices aren't sustainable), but Intel clearly appreciates the pressure it's under from ARM-based devices, whether they be tablets like the iPad or forthcoming laptops running Windows 8.Read Article >
Among the multivariate OEM ultrabook designs to come — most of them likely relying on the imminent Ivy Bridge CPU — will be hybrid touchscreen devices, which will be able to alternate between the laptop and tablet form factors. Nothing is being left to chance with Intel's Ivy Bridge ultrabook push, which includes a big-budget advertising campaign and will be augmented with dedicated ultrabook demo zones in stores, serving to differentiate those products from regular laptops. And lest you're worried so much variety and choice will dilute the meaning of the term "ultrabook," IDG News quotes Intel's Kirk Skaugen as saying the company "plans to ensure ultrabooks have a consistent experience. And if it's too thick it won't be called an ultrabook."
Apr 10, 2012
As if new tablets and all-in-one PCs weren't enough, Toshiba has updated its laptop lineup and given options for Intel Ivy Bridge processors almost across the board — though the spec sheets we have unfortunately don't go into detail on the precise chips available. Heading up the lineup is the Satellite P800 series, which (depending on configuration) puts an Nvidia GeForce 630M GPU, Blu-ray drive, and Harman Kardon speakers inside a sleek aluminum body with an Ivy Bridge processor. The S800 series is the next step down, with a choice between Ivy Bridge and AMD processors, options for a Blu-ray drive and ATI graphics card, and a blue brushed aluminum case. Both the P800 and S800 series laptops come in 14-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.3-inch screen varieties, and will be available from the start of Q3 2012. The P800 range starts at $799.99, and the S800 series will go for $699.99 in its base configuration.Read Article >
Also announced today are two new gaming laptops, the Qosmio X875 and X875 3D. These both feature Ivy Bridge processors, 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M GPUs, Harman Kardon speakers, an HDMI port, a Blu-ray drive, four USB ports, and 17.3-inch displays, which is a 1600 x 900 unit on the X875 and a 3D-ready 1080p display on the X875 3D. Both laptops come in Toshiba's new "Black Widow" styling, with a diamond texture and the almost obligatory (for a gaming machine) glowing red LED logo. They're both going on sale from June 24th, and you'll be paying anywhere from $1,299 to $2,499 depending on your options.
Apr 10, 2012Read Article >
We're still a ways away from the availability of Intel's third-generation Core processors, not to mention Windows 8, but Toshiba has a pair of new all-in-one PCs that are designed to embrace both inevitabilities. The 23-inch Toshiba LX835 and 21.5-inch LX815 will come with the new Ivy Bridge CPUs, 1080p displays, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 3TB of magnetic storage, HDMI input to connect game consoles, virtual surround sound speakers, a folding stand, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and optional extras like a Blu-ray drive, a TV-tuner with IR remote, and a Windows 8-ready edge-to-edge touchscreen. In other words, they've just about everything you'd expect from an all-in-one PC these days. The LX835 will start at $879.99 and the LX815 at $599.99 when they ship in Q3. Unfortunately, we don't have a detailed spec sheet so it's hard to say how much power you get from an entry-level configuration.
Apr 9, 2012
The first motherboards with Ivy Bridge-compatible Panther Point chipsets have been detailed by AnandTech and The Tech Report. The sites looked at motherboards from ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, ECR, and Biostar. Although perhaps not quite as interesting as the new Ivy Bridge processors themselves, there are still some big improvements over the Sandy Bridge chipsets to note.Read Article >
Intel's new architecture finally includes native USB 3.0 — a long time coming — although the chipset itself will only provide two ports. Manufacturers will be able to add more, just as they have done for Sandy Bridge motherboards, but for low-end models the integrated support should help keep costs down. PCI Express (PCIe) has also seen a revamp, with all 16 lanes from the CPU now fully compliant with PCIe 3.0, providing faster speeds and more flexibility for multi-GPU setups.
Mar 18, 2012Read Article >
Without any fanfare HP has updated its website with the company's first laptops to feature Intel's new 22nm Ivy Bridge processors. As noted by Laptop Reviews, the low-end Pavilion dv4-5000 pairs a 14-inch 1366 x 768 display with a 2.3GHz i7-3610QM, a Nvidia GeForce GT 630M GPU, and 4GB of RAM. The dv6-7000 takes the same specs, but substitutes a 15.6-inch display of the same resolution, while the dv7-7000 ups the ante all around with a 2.6 GHz i7-3720QM and a 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 display. 8GB of RAM, dual hard-drive bays, and a Nvidia GeForce GT 650M round out the package. While these aren't some of the sexier Ivy Bridge machines that we've been looking forward to, their appearance seems to be an indication that the rumored Ivy Bridge delays we'd heard about may have indeed been overblown. April was originally pegged as the release date for Ivy Bridge computers, but unfortunately, HP's site has no release or pricing information listed as of this time.
Mar 12, 2012
Asus' new Ivy Bridge Zenbooks are coming soon, but the UX31 and UX21 refresh isn't the only thing you'll be seeing: Asus also plans to release an all-new pair of lower-cost ultrabooks. The Zenbook UX32A and UX32Vd will both come with 13.3-inch screens and will include the full range of low-voltage Ivy Bridge chips; buyers will have a choice of the Core i3-3217U, i5-3317U, or i7-3517U as long as they wait out the first few shipments, which will still come with Sandy Bridge. In an interesting move, the UX32Vd will also include a switchable 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT620M graphics card, making it the second ultrabook we've seen to incorporate a discrete graphics card. The UX32A will come with the usual integrated Intel graphics.Read Article >
Unlike the Asus UX31A and UX21A, which will start at around $1,100, the UX32A and UX32Vd are supposed to sell for between $800 and $1,100. In some areas, you won't be losing too much with that $300 drop. Both new ultrabooks look very similar to the UX31A and UX21A and will offer the same 1920 x 1080 IPS matte display at the highest spec level. You'll also get the option to add Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. Like the UX31A, the battery is supposed to last between six and seven hours, and all models come with the option of either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Unfortunately, it looks like the 256GB solid state drive isn't included: instead, you'll get up to a 500GB HDD with a 24GB SSD cache. There's also a little extra weight — these weigh 1.45kg, slightly more than the UX31A — but both are still quite thin at 18.3mm. Although there's no release date for these ultrabooks, we expect them to coincide with the general Ivy Bridge rollout.
Mar 12, 2012
Asus Zenbook UX31A and UX21A coming soon with Ivy Bridge, WiDi, matte Full HD IPS display, and backlit keyboard
Matte screen options will be available on both new models, with the highest spec offering 1920 x 1080 resolution on an IPS display — that's for both the 13.3-inch UX31A and 11.6-inch UX21A. You'll get 350 nits of brightness if you opt for the upgraded IPS display or 300 if you go with a more conventional LCD, in which case resolutions drop to 1600 x 900 on the UX31A and 1366 x 768 on the UX21A.Read Article >
The Ivy Bridge processors inside will all come from Intel's low-voltage (17W TDP) range and will span the full breadth of options, from Core i3 up to Core i7:
Mar 2, 2012
As Ivy Bridge nears release, some more details on the processors are showing up — this time from Intel's own site. Yesterday, CPU World spotted a PDF labeled "New 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors" on Intel's Retail Edge subsite. The slideshow turned out to contain a list of all Intel desktop and laptop processors to be released from January to April 2012, including Core i7-3xxx and i5-3xxx chips. The new i3 models are as absent as they've been in previous leaks, but as CPU World points out, you'll see two new ultra-low voltage i5 and i7 processors. The other specs corroborate the details posted before by Intel partners.Read Article >
The two ultra-low voltage processors listed are the Core i7-3517U and Core i5-3317U, both of which were first detailed a few hours before the leak by VR-Zone. The i5-3317U is listed in both places as having a standard speed of 1.7GHz and a Turbo Boost speed of up to 2.6GHz. VR-Zone puts the i7-3517U at 1.9GHz and 3GHz for standard and turbo respectively, but the Intel PDF puts both at 3GHz in what we imagine is a typo. The third new processor is apparently called the i3-3217U, and is supposed to clock in at 1.8GHz with no turbo option, but was absent from the PDF.
Feb 27, 2012
We'd heard rumors earlier this month that Intel would be pushing back the release of its new Ivy Bridge processors, and now the company's executive vice-president has confirmed the delay. Speaking to the Financial Times, Intel's Sean Maloney stated that the new processors — whose mobile versions were expected to ship as early as April — were being pushed back, and that when it came to new release dates, "I think maybe it's June now." While earlier suggestions had been that the company was making the delay merely to clear out existing stock of the current-generation Sandy Bridge line, Maloney indicated that the shift was actually due to the manufacturing process used (Ivy Bridge chips utilize a 22nm process, rather than the 32nm used in Sandy Bridge). To be fair, Intel has always officially stated that the chips would ship in the second quarter of 2012, and a June release would sneak in just under the wire. Whether the delay is cause for concern over future Ivy Bridge chip yields, however, remains to be seen.Read Article >
Update: It appears Intel didn't like the inference that it was having issues with Ivy Bridge. A spokesman reached out to CNET to clarify that Intel's schedule "has only been impacted by a few weeks," and that the company expects to ship over 50 percent more Ivy Bridge units in the first two quarters of availability than it did with the Sandy Bridge line.
Feb 16, 2012Read Article >
It appears that Intel is postponing shipments of its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors. DigiTimes reports that the company has notified its hardware partners of the delay, and while it will be releasing "a small volume" of the processors in April, the motherlode won't be hitting the market until after June. After an initial announcement of the chips' availability in the first half of 2012, Intel narrowed the release window to Q2 (April and May for its mobile processors), before rumors of the delay were reported.
Jan 10, 2012
Intel's Mooly Eden found himself in an awkward situation yesterday, when a demo that was represented as him playing a DirectX 11 game on an Ivy Bridge ultrabook turned out to have been powered by a computer running backstage. For Intel, proving the graphical powers of its integrated processors has been a long-running priority, so this incident will be more than a little embarrassing. After all, the question goes, if you can't do it live, why simulate it?Read Article >
Well, AnandTech asked Intel that exact question and the answer was that the demo was added to the presentation late and there was insufficient time to test and set it up, so the team fell back to a more reliable method. That's hardly cause for outrage — a simulated demo of something you know to be working isn't much of a deceit. Anand kept his detective hat on and followed up with Intel, getting the company to demonstrate the same game, in DirectX 11 mode, running on an Ivy Bridge laptop, and sure enough, Intel's graphics were plenty good enough. So it was an uncomfortable moment for Mooly and a slight tinge on Intel's credibility — we still don't think he should have pretended to play the game on the laptop in front of him — but the truth is that Ivy Bridge can do what Intel claimed it could.
Dec 20, 2011
We'd already seen the specifications for the forthcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge desktop processors from Intel's roadmaps that leaked early this month, along with some more details on the mobile range since. Now, a report from CPU World has given us a better idea of the wholesale pricing for the chips, which falls directly in line with the current generation of Sandy Bridge processors. The lower-end Core i5 models start at $184, rising to $332 for the Core i7-3770K which has an unlocked multiplier for easier overclocking. The only model to see a price rise over the comparable Sandy Bridge processor is the Core i5-3570K, up to $225 from $216. The range has also retained the S and T models, denoting lower energy consumption, with no price premium over their power-hungry equivalents.Read Article >
There's no further information on the Core i3 models, which were also absent from the roadmap leaks, and remain the only question mark in a range that we're otherwise getting to know pretty well. CPU World also gets a little more specific than the Q2 release we'd heard before, saying that the majority of the chips will launch in April 2012, with the voltage-sipping dual-core Core i5-3470T following in May.
Dec 6, 2011
Details on Intel's Ivy Bridge mobile CPU lineup may have leaked, just three days after supposed information on its desktop versions surfaced. According to alleged internal documents published by VR-Zone, Intel is doing away with the low-voltage variant seen in Sandy Bridge, condensing the product line down to just standard voltage and ultra-low voltage (think ultrabook) versions. Intel now allows for programmable TDP in its mobile processors, making the low-voltage products redundant.Read Article >
The standard-voltage line will bring a modest speed bump to laptop users, with options ranging from a 2.6GHz dual-core i5 to a 2.9GHz quad-core i7 "Extreme Edition." As for the chips likely to end up in next year's deluge of ultrabooks, Intel will be launching two different models: a 1.8GHz dual-core i5, capable of 2.8GHz single-core turbo speeds, and a 2GHz dual-core i7, with a single-core turbo maximum of 3.2GHz. As for i3 options, they're not to be seen on the roadmap whatsoever, though whether this is a temporary omission or a permanent choice is still unclear.
Dec 5, 2011
We weren't blown away by the Aspire S3, but according to recent comments Acer is planning an Ivy Bridge revision to the ultrabook that could be shipping in five months' time. "I think in April next year we are having a new slightly redesigned version of S3," Acer Middle East country manager Grigory Nizovsky told reporters at a recent breakfast. According to the Khaleej Times Online, Nizovsky noted the revision would include a new platform from Intel — which we take as a reference to the aforementioned Ivy Bridge architecture — and that while ultrabooks currently account for 20 percent of Acer's sales in the United Arab Emirates, the company expects that number to double next year.Read Article >
Intel had previously planned to begin production of Ivy Bridge chips in Q4 of this year, with sales starting in the first half of 2012. However, it recently informed its partners that the chips wouldn't be shipping until the second quarter of next year, making the April date somewhat optimistic. Still, with CES expected to be an ultrabook extravaganza, we'll have much more information on the plans of Acer, and other OEMs, for you very soon.
Dec 3, 2011Read Article >
As previously reported, the chips use more powerful and efficient 22nm technology — compared to 32nm in Sandy Bridge — and will have a new graphics core that supports DirectX 11. The only missing piece of the puzzle now is how Ivy Bridge will translate to i3 and mobile chips, which weren't part of the leaked information. For more analysis and lots of charts, check the links below.
Nov 28, 2011
DigiTimes cites supply chain sources in claiming that Apple is set to launch a new 11.6-, 13.3-, and 15-inch MacBook Air series in the first quarter of 2012. The Taiwanese publication with a hit-or-miss record on Apple rumors says that the new MacBook Airs, including the new 15-inch model, have started pilot production.Read Article >
Apple already makes an 11- and 13-inch model and a 15-inch ultra-thin Mac notebook was originally rumored by MacRumors back in July. TUAW later corroborated the 15-inch claim, adding that an ultra-thin 17-inch model was on the way too — both would be members of a redesigned MacBook Pro lineup, "not oversized Airs." While it may be rumor, it's clear that Apple's moving towards a product lineup that eschews optical drives and spinning hard disks in favor of Thunderbolt connectivity, SSD flash drives, and "cloud" services. The only question is when.
Nov 18, 2011
The Consumer Electronics Association, organizer of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has revealed it expects this coming January's event to play host to the launch of "30 to 50 new ultrabooks." In spite of the downbeat global economy and the fact we already have five ultrabooks from the major manufacturers, Shawn DuBravac from the CEA have informed PC Pro that a deluge of new laptops is yet to come. We've already seen some evidence of Fujitsu and Lenovo's plans for this category, and there's also the promise Paul Otellini made last month that HP and Dell ultrabooks would be arriving in "early 2012."Read Article >
Otellini, Intel's CEO, will be delivering the CES keynote address in January, which is also when his company's next change of CPU microarchitecture will be made official, the 22nm Ivy Bridge. The only way we can imagine reaching that minimum of 30 new ultrabook launches, however, would involve all the present makers of those laptops introducing refreshed varieties with Ivy Bridge silicon inside them. Which would be nice.
Nov 13, 2011Read Article >
We're drowning in ultrabooks at this point, but we have a feeling the onslaught is just beginning. Our handy little secret Lenovo roadmap points to 13-inch "premium" and 14-inch "mainstream" ThinkPad ultrabooks coming in May or June of next year. Lenovo seems to be contrasting these ThinkPads with "consumer" IdeaPad U offerings (we just reviewed the U300s), and says "commercial" laptops that meet Intel's ultrabook spec will be running Intel's Chief River laptop platform, which will be powered by those fancy new Ivy Bridge 22nm chips. Lenovo is no stranger to incredibly thin ThinkPads, and its $1,300+ 13-incher will be a X1 (pictured) successor — the mainstream laptop will be closer to $800. Non-ultrabook ThinkPads should get Chief River in March or April. What's even more exciting is that Lenovo expects Windows 8 to be ready by fall of 2012 — Microsoft had hinted as much, but it's nice to hear a trusted partner spouting the same line.