The Lineup: Quad-Core Only for Now

Very telling of how times have changed is that today's Ivy Bridge launch only comes with a single Extreme Edition processor—the Core i7-3920XM, a mobile part. There are some great enthusiast desktop parts of course, but as with Sandy Bridge the desktop Extreme Edition is reserved for another platform. In this case, we're talking about LGA-2011 which won't launch in an Ivy flavor until the end of this year/early next year at this point.


From left to right: Clarkdale, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge E

Contrary to everything I've been saying thus far however is the nature of the launch: only quad-core parts will be available first. The dual-core, and more importantly for Ivy Bridge, the ultra low voltage parts won't come until May/June. That means the bigger notebooks and naturally the performance desktops will arrive first, followed by the ultraportables, Ultrabooks and more affordable desktops. This strategy makes sense as the volumes for expensive quad-core notebooks and performance desktops in general are lower than cheaper dual-core notebooks/desktops. From what I've heard, the move to 22nm has been the most challenging transition Intel's fab teams have ever faced, which obviously constrains initial supplies.

Intel 2012 CPU Lineup (Standard Power)
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 $999
Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz 6 / 12 12MB 3.8GHz N/A 130W $583
Intel Core i7 3820 3.6GHz 4 / 8 10MB 3.9GHz N/A 130W $294
Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 4000 77W $313
Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 4000 77W $278
Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.8GHz 4000 77W $212
Intel Core i5 3550 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 2500 77W $194
Intel Core i5 3450 3.1GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.5GHz 2500 77W $174
Intel Core i7 2700K 3.5GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 3000 95W $332
Intel Core i5 2550K 3.4GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.8GHz N/A 95W $225
Intel Core i5 2500 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 2000 95W $205
Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.4GHz 2000 95W $195
Intel Core i5 2320 3.0GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.3GHz 2000 95W $177

There are five 77W desktop parts launching today, three 65W parts and one 45W part. The latter four are either T or S SKUs (lower leakage, lower TDP and lower clocked parts), while the first five are traditional, standard power parts. Note that max TDP for Ivy Bridge on the desktop has been reduced from 95W down to 77W thanks to Intel's 22nm process. The power savings do roughly follow that 18W decrease in TDP. Despite the power reduction, you may see 95W labels on boxes and OEMs are still asked to design for 95W as Ivy Bridge platforms can accept both 77W IVB and 95W Sandy Bridge parts.

We've already gone through Ivy's architecture in detail so check out our feature here for more details if you haven't already.

Intel 2012 Additional CPU Features (Standard Power)
Processor GPU Clock (base) GPU Clock (max) PCIe 3.0 Intel SIPP Intel vPro Intel VT-d Intel TXT
Intel Core i7 3770K 650MHz 1150MHz Yes No No No No
Intel Core i7 3770 650MHz 1150MHz Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel Core i5 3570K 650MHz 1150MHz Yes No No No No
Intel Core i5 3550 650MHz 1150MHz Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel Core i5 3450 650MHz 1100MHz Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

The successful K-series SKUs are front and center in the Ivy lineup. As you'll remember from Sandy Bridge, anything with a K suffix ships fully unlocked. Ivy Bridge K-series SKUs support multipliers of up to 63x, an increase from the 57x maximum on Sandy Bridge. This won't impact most users unless you're doing any exotic cooling however.

If you don't have a K in your product name then your part is either partially or fully locked. Although this doesn't apply to any of the CPUs launching today, Ivy Bridge chips without support for turbo are fully locked and cannot be overclocked.

If your chip does support turbo boost, then you can overclock via increasing turbo ratios by as much as 4 bins above their standard setting. For example, the Core i7 3550 has a max turbo frequency of 3.7GHz with a single core active. Add another four bins (4 x 100MHz) and you get a maximum overclock of 4.1GHz, with one core active. The other turbo ratios can also be increased by up to four bins.

Sandy Bridge vs. Ivy Bridge Pricing
Sandy Bridge Price Price Ivy Bridge
Core i7 2700K $332 $313 Core i7 3770K
Core i7 2600 $294 $278 Core i7 3770
Core i5 2550K $225 $212 Core i5 3750K
Core i5 2500 $205 $194 Core i5 3550
Core i5 2400 $184 $174 Core i5 3450

The 3770K is the new king of the hill and it comes in $19 cheaper than the hill's previous resident: the Core i7 2700K. The non-K version saves you $16 compared to Sandy Bridge. The deltas continue down the line ranging ranging from $10—$19.

Unlike the Sandy Bridge launch, Intel is offering its high-end GPU on more than just K-series desktop parts right away. It is also differentiating K from non-K by adding another 100MHz to the base clock for K series parts. While the Core i7 2600K and Core i7 2600 both ran at 3.3GHz, the 3770 runs at 3.4GHz compared to the 3770K's 3.5GHz. It's a small difference but one that Intel hopes will help justify the added cost of the K.

Classic feature segmentation is alive and well with Ivy Bridge. In the quad-core lineup, only Core i7s get Hyper Threading—Core i5s do not. When the dual-core Core i3s show up in the coming months they will once again do so without support for turbo boost. Features like VT-d and Intel TXT are once again reserved for regular, non-K-series parts alone.

 

Introduction Die Size and Transistor Count
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  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    On the desktop, you are correct, especially if one overclocks. On the mobile front, IVB is a definite step up on the graphics front. My main reason for the responses to this thread was that it seemed premature for the original poster to imply that this site is being unfair to AMD/Trinity before we even know how much the improvement will be or read a review. Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    I read other press about 22nm 3D transistor as 11 years in the making. 11 years! Did anyone remember a article Anandtech posted a long time ago. It was about 3D transistors and Die Stacking. I did Google and Site search but could not find it. I cant record when was the article written but i was a long time. We have been waiting forever on these tech. We thought we wont see it for another 5 years.... and this is 11 years since then!

    Bit About Haswell Monster Graphics. Charlie also pointed towards CrystalWell, or a piece of silicon L4 SRAM Cache that is built for Graphics. Could Die Stacking be it, a piece of SRAM Cache on top or under?
    I hope we do get more then 300% increase in performance. These way Ultrabook can really do get away with discrete graphics.

    Well Ivy Bridge QuickSync wasn't as fast as we first thought. 7 min to transfer to iPad is fast, but what we want is sub 3 min. I.e the time transcode 1080P to portable format should be the same time to transfer 2.5 GB File from a USB 2.0 to iPad. Both Process should be happening in the same time. So when you "transfer" you are literally transcoding on the fly.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    I'd say most of the same things to you. If you think the 15% clock speed increase of the CPU in Llano MX chips will somehow magically translate into significantly faster GPU performance, you're dreaming. Best-case it would improve some titles 15%, but of the 15 games I tested I can already tell you that CPU speed won't matter in over half of them--the HD 6620G isn't fast enough to use a more powerful CPU. The 10W TDP difference only matters for CPU performance, not the GPU performance, as the CPU clocks change but the GPU clocks don't. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    No, I think they're equal because these are the parts that are being sold, and they perform roughly the same. Actually, I think that the laptops most people buy with Llano are actually WORSE than Ivy Bridge's HD 4000, because what most people are buying with Llano is the cheap A6 chips, but that's not what we compared.

    But let's just say that we add DDR3-1600 memory to Llano, and we test with 8GB RAM. (Again, if you think 8GB actually helps in gaming performance, you don't understand technology.) Let's also say that every single game is CPU limited on Llano for kicks. With an MX chip in our hypothetical laptop, the best Llano would d would be to average 15% faster than HD 4000.

    That's meaningless. It's the difference between 35FPS and 40FPS in a game, or 30FPS and 26FPS. Congratulations: you GPU might be 15% faster on average buy your CPU is half the speed. That's not a "win" for AMD.

    Here's the facts: What was a gap of 50% with mobile Sandy Bridge vs. mobile Llano is now less than 5% on average. AMD has better drivers, but Intel is closing the gap. Trinity will improve GPU performance, and likely do very little for CPU performance. The end.
    Reply
  • Riek - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Hi Anand & Ryan,

    Would it be possible to use one type of comparison through the pages?

    Currently there are pages 'A8 is xx%faster than IvB' and their are pages ivyB trails A8 performance by .. or something similar.
    My assumption is (since english is not my native language):
    Trailing by 55% means that a A8 122% faster or vice versa. (e.g. it is is 55%slower than the A8)
    Achieving 55% of the A8 means that A8 is 81% faster (e.g. it has 55% of the A8 score. if A8 scores 100, it scores 55).

    Would great if the reader knows which one you use an can stick by it instead of having to recalculate it after they read every sentence twice. (and assume the understanding of the sentence is correct). I believe the general use would be part A is x% faster than part B or use the 2600K as a baseline and calculate all others as faster than compared to it.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    I'll bet you $100 I can put 8GB RAM in the Llano laptop and it won't change any of the benchmark results by more than 2%. If I swap out the RAM for DDR3-1600, it will potentially increase gaming performance in a few titles by 5-10%, but that's about it.

    Anand's testing on the desktop showed that DDR3-1600 improved performance on the A8-3850 by around 12-14%, but the A8-3850 also has the 400 cores clocked 35% higher and can thus make better use of additional memory bandwidth. It's similar to DDR3-1866 vs. DDR3-1600 on desktop; the 17% increase in RAM speed only delivers an additional 6%, because the 600MHz HD 6550D cores are the bottleneck at that point. For laptops, the bottleneck is the cores a lot earlier; why do you think so many Llano laptops ship with DDR3-1333 still?

    If you'd like to see someone's extensive testing (with a faster A8-3510MX chip even), here's a post that basically confirms everything I've said:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/gaming-software-gr...
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - link

    Kudos Jarred on the professional way you handled that.

    Tough to argue with someone who doesn't base their arguments on facts, rather their impression/belief on how things work/perform.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    If I have Ivy Bridge on the desktop, and have my monitor plugged into a dedicated GPU can I still use Quick Sync?
    Or do I still have to plug the monitor into the motherboard and be using integrated graphics?

    Frankly quick sync is useless on the desktop if it doesn't work with a GTX560.
    Reply
  • elkatarro - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Why the hell can't you see that comparing i7 3770K with 3,5 GHz to i7 2600K which runs at 3,4 GHz is POINTLESS?! Pretty much every other site got that point and used 2700K. Sure the 3770K will be faster than 2600K, duh... Reply
  • S20802 - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    32 -> 22 nm, transistor dimension reduced by 31%,
    75% of die size, 20 % increase in transistor count. This means for the same die size there will be an increase of transistor count by 26%.

    Projection
    22 -> 14 nm, transistor dimension reduced by 36%.
    Applying similar pattern we may get roughly 30% gain in transitor count.
    However the gain may be lesser since the gain in IVB could have been due to 3D transistor tech.
    So at best 30% and worst around 24% just for the decrease in transistor dimension.
    This is by no means a precise calculation taking all factors into consideration.

    Assuming the 14nm plant under construction goes online in 2013 with 450mm wafers, we can predict something like below
    Transistor Count - nm - Die Size - Wafer Size - Dies/Wafer - Plant Capacity [Wafers/Month] - Plant Efficiency [%] - Yield [%] - Total Plants - Processors/Month

    1.4B 22 160 300 441.9642857 50000 75 50 3 24,860,491.07
    1.8B 14 160 450 994.4196429 50000 75 50 1 18,645,368.30

    A staggering 18 Million working dies per month with 1.8B transistors at 160 mm2, with plant capacity of 50000 wafers/month, plant efficiency 75% and yield 50%, with 1 plant

    Lets not forget the partly defective dies will be fused off to become some low end part which means the yield could touch 60%, taking the working dies to 22 Millions per month!!
    This means Intel is going to make really cheap processors. 450mm wafer + 14nm = Game changer. Of course the fab is super expensive. But from what came out from Intel those first few batches of chips are paying for the ramp up to 22nm.
    For an ultra mobile processor like Atom, in 2014, even a massive redesign of chip would still keep it well under 100 mm2. At 100 mm2, an Atom in 2014 will have ~1B transistors!!! Take that ARM.
    My faith in Intel is rekindled. :-). AMD needs to be around to shove Intel whenever it gets too lazy. ARM is now helping AMD too in shoving Intel.
    Reply

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