Ivy Bridge Architecture Recap

At IDF Intel disclosed much of Ivy's CPU architecture, but below is a quick summary:

- 4-wide front end with µOp cache from Sandy Bridge
- OoO execution engine from Sandy Bridge
- Data structures previously statically shared between threads can now be dynamically shared (e.g. DSB queue), improves single threaded performance
- FP/integer divider delivers 2x throughput compared to Sandy Bridge
- MOV instructions no longer occupy an execution port, potential for improved ILP when MOVs are present
- Power gated DDR3 interface
- DDR3L support
- Max supported DDR3 frequency is now 2800MHz (up from 2133MHz), memory speed can be moved in 200MHz increments
- Lower system agent voltage options, lower voltages at intermediate turbo frequencies, power aware interrupt routing
- Power efficiency improvements related to 22nm
- Configurable TDP

I've highlighted the three big items from a CPU performance standpoint. Much of the gains you'll see will come from those areas coupled with more aggressive turbo frequencies.

On the GPU, the improvements are more significant. Some of the major changes are below:

- DirectX 11 Support
- More execution units (16 vs 12) for GT2 graphics (Intel HD 4000)
- 2x MADs per clock
- EUs can now co-issue more operations
- GPU specific on-die L3 cache
- Faster QuickSync performance
- Lower power consumption due to 22nm

Introduction The Lineup
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  • Valitri - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    "there's also the question of which one (CPU or GPU) approaches "good enough" first."

    I was worried that my A6 3420 laptop would feel sluggish in windows and general tasks, especially compared to my 2500k desktop system. However, I've been very surprised and think it works just fine in windows.

    I was also very impressed that the iGPU lets me play most newer games comfortably. I was able to OC my A6 3420 on my Samsung 3 series to 2.0ghz. It runs Crysis 2 on low at 1366x768 in the 25-30 fps range. Now to me that is not really playable, but I was surprised it could even run it. Other games like SC2, Arkam Asylum, CSS, WOW, have all ran like a champ. Most of them even on medium settings!

    So I think if you want a cheap laptop (mine was $399), and you want the ability to play some games while still doing general tasks well, we have already hit that "good enough" stage on the CPU department. It will be interesting to see if Windows 8/Metro does anything to change this.
    Reply
  • p05esto - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    You are dead wrong. I need fast CPU for my work but need or care about the gpu. You realize people do more than game, right. Reply
  • SquirrelPunch - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Could not disagree more.

    In fact the majority of power users do not need a powerful GPU, just lots of RAM and fast CPU.

    Graphics designers: All 2D mostly, do not need powerful GPU.

    Video Editors: Same as above.

    Software developers (not games): same as above

    Standard CAD: No intensive 3D models involved.

    Most also don't care for multi-monitor setups, or the 2x that HD series will let you use.
    Reply
  • klmccaughey - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Intel needs another Larrabee. It keeps cobbling together these graphics cores, which are always well short of the mark. Either Larrabee 2 or licence from Nvidia, but something has to be done about it in the long (possible mid) term. It makes perfect sense and, to me anyway, has the air of inevitability about it.

    Why not take the plunge?
    Reply
  • MarkJohnson - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I find it odd the AMD A8-3870K was left out of the power consumption section, but is in the others.

    I ran a quick test and my kill-a-watt meter read 126Watts max x264 HD v5.0.1 which bests all of them

    It also idles at 34.5 watts which blows them all away by a very large margin. The best is double what the AMD A8-3870K idles.
    Reply

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