The Lineup

Intel will initially launch quad-core SKUs on the desktop. Ivy Bridge will be branded as Intel's 3rd generation Core microarchitecture and use model numbers below 3800. The 3800 - 3900 series are reserved for Sandy Bridge E for the time being, while the 2000 series refers to last year's Sandy Bridge parts. Just like we saw with Sandy Bridge, Ivy will be available in fully unlocked (K-series), partially unlocked (any part with Turbo support) and fully locked (anything without Turbo support) SKUs.

What we know about the lineup today is summarized in the table below:

Processor Core Clock Cores / Threads L3 Cache Max Turbo Intel HD Graphics TDP Price
Intel Core i7 3960X 3.3GHz 6 / 12 15MB 3.9GHz N/A 130W $990
Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz 6 / 12 12MB 3.8GHz N/A 130W $555
Intel Core i7 3820 3.6GHz 4 / 8 10MB 3.9GHz N/A 130W $285
Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 4000 77W $332 est
Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 4000 77W $294 est
Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.8GHz 4000 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3570 3.4GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.8GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3550 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3470 3.2GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.6GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3450 3.1GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.5GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3330 3.0GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.2GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i7 2700K 3.5GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 3000 95W $332
Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.8GHz 3000 95W $317
Intel Core i7 2600 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.8GHz 2000 95W $294
Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 3000 95W $216
Intel Core i5 2500 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 2000 95W $205

Unlike the initial Sandy Bridge launch, both fully and partially unlocked Ivy Bridge parts will ship with Intel HD 4000 graphics - although that's still reserved for the high-end on the desktop. I am also seeing movement towards removing core-count restrictions on turbo frequencies. Today max turbo is defined in most cases by the highest frequency you can reach with only one core active. I would not be surprised to see Intel eventually move to a setup where max turbo can be reached regardless of number of active cores and just base it on current power consumption and thermal conditions.

Chipset Support

Ivy Bridge uses the same LGA-1155 socket as Sandy Bridge. Provided there's BIOS/UEFI support from your board maker, you can use Ivy Bridge CPUs in older 6-series motherboards. Doing so won't give you access to some of the newer 7-series chipset features like PCIe Gen 3 (some 6-series boards are claiming 3.0 support), native USB 3.0 (many 6-series boards have 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers) and Intel's Rapid Start Technology.

Chipset Comparison
  Z77 Z75 H77 Z68 P67 H67
CPU Support IVB
LGA-1155
IVB
LGA-1155
IVB
LGA-1155
SNB/IVB
LGA-1155
SNB/IVB
LGA-1155
SNB/IVB
LGA-1155
CPU Overclocking Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
CPU PCIe Config 1 x16 or
2 x8 or
1 x8 + 2 x4
PCIe 3.0
1 x16 or
2 x8 PCIe 3.0
1 x16 PCIe 3.0 1 x16 or
2 x8 or
1 x8 + 2 x4
PCIe 3.0
1 x16 or
2 x8 PCIe 3.0
1 x16 PCIe 3.0
Processor Graphics Support Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Intel SRT (SSD caching) Yes No Yes Yes No No
RAID Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
USB 2.0 Ports (3.0) 14 (4) 14 (4) 14 (4) 14 14 14
SATA Total (Max Number of 6Gbps Ports) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2)
PCIe Lanes 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s)

The big change this year is that all 7-series chipsets support processor graphics, while last year Intel had the silly P vs. H split until Z68 arrived and simplified everything.

Ivy Bridge Architecture Recap The State of Ivy Bridge Silicon
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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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