Cache, Memory Controller & Overclocking Changes

Despite the title of this section, to my knowledge there haven't been any changes to Ivy Bridge's cache. The last level cache (L3) is still shared via a ring bus between all cores, the GPU and the system agent. Quad-core Ivy Bridge CPUs will support up to 8MB of L3 cache, and the private L1/L2s haven't increased from their sizes in Sandy Bridge (32+32K/256K).

The memory controller also remains relatively unchanged, aside from some additional flexibility. Mobile IVB supports DDR3L in addition to DDR3, enabling 1.35V memory instead of the standard 1.5V DDR3. This is particularly useful in notebooks that have on-board DDR3 on the underside of the notebook; OEMs can use DDR3L and keep your lap a bit cooler.

From Nehalem to Sandy Bridge, Intel introduced fairly healthy amounts of power gating throughout the processor. With little more to address in Ivy Bridge, Intel power gated one of the last available portions of the die: the DDR3 interface. If there's no external memory activity, the DDR3 interface can now be turned off completely. External IOs leak current like any other transistor so this change makes sense. Power gating simply increases die size but at 22nm Intel should have some extra area to spend on things like this.

Memory overclocking also gets a bump in Ivy Bridge. The max supported DDR3 frequency in SNB was 2133MHz, Ivy Bridge moves this up to 2800MHz. You can now also increase memory frequency in 200MHz increments.

Core Architecture Changes Power Efficiency Improvements & Configurable TDP
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  • AstroGuardian - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    "Intel implied that upward scalability was a key goal of the Ivy Bridge GPU design, perhaps we will see that happen in 2013."

    No we wont. The world ends in 2012 remember?
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    It ended in the year 2000. Hello! Y2K ring any bells? Come on, keep up with current events would ya? Reply
  • TheRyuu - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    "I've complained in the past about the lack of free transcoding applications (e.g. Handbrake, x264) that support Quick Sync. I suspect things will be better upon Ivy Bridge's arrival."

    As long as Intel doesn't expose the Quick Sync API there is no way for such applications to make use of it, not to mention the technical limitations.

    There are hints on doom9 that they know a bit about the lower level details but that it's all NDA'ed. Even with that knowledge he says that it's probably not possible or probable to do so.

    You can find various rambling/rage here:
    http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=156761 (Dark_Shikari and pengvado are the x264 devs).

    tl;dr: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=1511469#po... (to the end of the thread)
    Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I would also wonder who (software wise) would be willing to put a lot of resources into supporting something that isn't really available on most SB platforms - or at least not available without jumping through hoops (correct mb, correct chip, 3rd party software, etc). Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    "By the time Ivy Bridge arrives however, AMD will have already taken another step forward with Trinity."

    I wonder how realistic this is considering that AMD can't even get Bulldozer out the door.

    My money is on Ivy Bridge showing up before Trinity.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Considering Trinity was shown at IDF up and running and the fact that Trinity and other AMD nex gen products were developed concurrently with Zambezi and Opteron Bulldozer chips - which have been shipping by the tens of thousands already, I'd say Trinity will be here in Q1 '12. Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    "Opteron Bulldozer chips - which have been shipping by the tens of thousands already"

    And, yet, nobody can benchmark them.

    I hope that I am wrong, but given AMD's continual delays shipping the desktop BD I am not holding my breath.

    Whichever comes first gets my money - assuming that BD is actually competitive with SB performance.
    Reply
  • thebeastie - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    You talk about what's for support for handbrake but to put it harshly your mind is stuck in the past gen device era.
    I simply grab a full DVD and run makemkv on it to just store it unmodified in a single file and copy it to my iPad2 directly.
    Plays perfectly fine under avplayerhd.

    I consider it that you would have to be insane as in you think your an onion to bother handbrakin your videos if you got a device like ipad2 that can just play them straight.

    If your the hoarder type that insists that you watch Rambo 4 etc every week and need to pack 100+ full movies on your single device at the same time your a freak so pipe you niche life style comments to /dev/null.
    I would not understand why you have time to bother shrinking/ converting your movies all the time over just getting sick of some of them and putting new stuff on from time to time.
    Reply
  • TheRyuu - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    8.5GB for a movie seems a bit impractical for an ipad. Reply
  • thebeastie - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - link

    Full 8gb is big but they still copy of amazingly quickly over to a ipad2 64gb, a lot of DVDs don't get that full size anyway.
    If you bought a honeycomb tablet and put sdslot storage on it, I am sure it would be a extremely painfull slow copying experience if you use SD over built in flash, maybe this is what Apple avoid sd lslotd in the first place. Built in flash is lighting fast and less draw on battery.

    Having full on pc and just coying over in 2mins vs bothering to convert I know what i just choose full copy every time.
    Once I have watched it takes at least a year before I consider watching the same thing again.
    Reply

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