Mobile Ivy Bridge Lineup and New Chipsets

Similar to the Sandy Bridge rollout, Intel is starting at the high-end with Ivy Bridge and will work its way down from here. All told there are six new mobile Ivy Bridge processors launching today: one Extreme Edition, two consumer i7 models, and three OEM i7 models. You’ll note that there are currently no announced Core i3, Core i5, or Pentium processors; those will come later (though leaked information already gives a hint of what’s to come). Here’s the full rundown of the current mobile Ivy Bridge CPUs, all of which will be quad-core:

Intel 3rd Generation Core Mobile Series Processors
Processor Number i7-3920XM i7-3820QM i7-3720QM
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8
CPU Base Frequency 2.9GHz 2.7GHz 2.6GHz
Max Turbo (SC/DC/QC) 3.8/3.7/3.6 3.7/3.6/3.5 3.6/3.5/3.4
L3 Cache 8MB 8MB 6MB
GPU Base Frequency 650MHz 650MHz 650MHz
Max GPU Frequency 1300MHz 1250MHz 1250MHz
TDP 55W 45W 45W
Package rPGA rPGA/BGA-1224 rPGA/BGA-1224
Price $1096 $568 $378

Intel 3rd Generation Core Mobile Series Processors
Processor Number i7-3615QM i7-3612QM i7-3610QM
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8
CPU Base Frequency 2.3GHz 2.1GHz 2.3GHz
Max Turbo (SC/DC/QC) 3.3/3.2/3.1 3.1/3.0/2.8 3.3/3.2/3.1
L3 Cache 6MB 6MB 6MB
GPU Base Frequency 650MHz 650MHz 650MHz
Max GPU Frequency 1200MHz 1100MHz 1100MHz
TDP 45W 35W 45W
Package BGA-1224 rPGA/BGA-1224 rPGA
Price N/A (OEM) N/A (OEM) N/A (OEM)

Intel typically has several parts intended for OEMs along with the other retail products, and they don’t disclose pricing on the OEM parts. We’ve broken things down with the retail SKUs in the top table and the OEM versions in the second table. As usual there’s the obligatory Extreme Edition i7-3920XM, with the most extreme part being the price. For roughly twice the cost of the i7-3820QM, you get an extra 100MHz on the CPU side and 50MHz on the GPU, plus a 55W TDP. (You also get a fully unlocked multiplier, though I’m not convinced that’s super useful for notebooks.) The other two retail parts are likewise separated by 100MHz on the CPU clocks, but the 3720QM also cuts the L3 cache down to 6MB.

Move to the OEM parts and the story is again similar to what we saw with the Sandy Bridge launch, only with a few extra parts out of the gates. The i7-3615QM drops down another 300MHz from the 3720QM, and the GPU clock also drops 50MHz. The 3610QM is basically the same part but with a different package and a lower maximum GPU clock. Rounding things out, the i7-3612QM actually looks quite interesting; it’s clocked 200-300MHz slower than the other two parts, but it also drops the TDP to 35W—the first time we’ve seen Intel do a 35W TDP quad-core CPU. Of course TDP isn’t everything, but if it means better battery life without sacrificing the extra cores it should garner quite a few followers. With Sandy Bridge the i7-2630QM was very popular among OEMs, and the i7-361xQM models should follow suit.

Compared to the initial launch of Sandy Bridge, the quad-core Ivy Bridge parts are clocked on average 300-400MHz higher, but relative to the refreshed Sandy Bridge lineup Ivy Bridge only nets you an extra 100-200MHz (e.g. the 2760QM has a base clock of 2.4GHz and a max turbo of 3.5GHz—200MHz higher than the original i7-2720QM). Architecturally, we’ve discussed elsewhere what has and hasn’t changed; the short summary is that you get potentially better power and efficiency, slightly improved IPC (instructions per clock), some security changes, and a few new instructions. Most of these changes won’t have an immediate impact on performance, and very likely a large number of users won’t notice their presence (or lack if you stick with Sandy Bridge or another CPU). The real change is on the graphics side, and as we’ll see in a moment the change is significant.

New Mobile Chipsets

Along with the new CPUs, Intel will be launching some new chipsets. We’ve discussed the chipsets previously, but here’s a short table and overview:

Intel 7-Series Mobile Chipsets
Model HM75 HM76 HM77 UM77 QM77 QS77
USB Ports (USB 3.0) 12 (0) 12 (4) 14 (4) 10 (4) 14 (4) 14 (4)
PCIe 2.0 Lanes 8 8 8 4 8 8
SATA Ports (6Gb/s) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 4 (1) 6 (2) 6 (2)
VGA Output X X X   X X
RAID     X X X X
Smart Response Technology     X X X X
Active Management Technology         X X
Small Business Advantage     X X X X

For most of our readers, HM77 is going to be the desired chipset, as it includes four USB 3.0 ports and Intel’s Smart Response Technology—the use of a small SSD as a caching device to improve overall performance without giving up the storage capacity of using a hard drive. Value-oriented laptops on the other hand will go with the HM75 and HM76 to help keep costs down. The Q-series chipsets are primarily focused on business laptops, while the UM77 will be for the ultrabook/ultraportable market. Besides the above features, all of the 7-series chipsets support Intel’s Anti-Theft Technology (the ability to remotely lock a laptop if it’s stolen), Wireless Display (WiDi—you’ll need an adapter on the display side as well), and up to three simultaneous displays (up from two displays in Sandy Bridge/6-series chipsets).

Ivy Bridge Intro: Putting Intel’s Mobile CPUs in Perspective Meet the ASUS N56VM


View All Comments

  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Temperature is related to the amount of cooling and the speed of the fans. For the N56NV, it runs very quiet -- I don't have numbers, but it never got really loud and I'd guess it maxes out at around 35dB. As for temperatures, I just did some load testing to see what sort of temperatures we get. The i7-3720QM hits 86-89C on the four cores with various stress tests.

    Is that hot? Sure. But again, you can't compare temperatures in a vacuum; the Sony VAIO SE reaches similar temperatures on a dual-core SNB CPU, but the fan in the VAIO is much, much louder than the N56VM. ASUS should probably bump the fan speed up a notch, IMO, but it's one of the quietest laptops I've tested under load.
  • GDSquared - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I'm certainly no expert, but if Intel made it so that the integrated GPU could ALSO supplement a discrete GPU, every gamer on the planet would want one.

    Surely there are some functions that could be off-loaded to an integrated GPU and thereby free up discrete GPU resources?

    Failing that, NVidia could at the very least toss a gazillion dollars Intel's way to let the integrated GPU handle Physx!
  • Zink - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Even AMD hybrid crossfire doesn't work well. It would probably be a driver disaster. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I think you mean that NVIDIA would want a bunch of money from Intel in order to let them license PhysX for their IGP (assuming it could handle the workload, which I'm not at all sure it could!) PhysX currently needs something around the level of GTX 460 before it's really useful and won't seriously drop performance. As much as HD 4000 is an improvement over HD 3000, GTX 460 is still about five times more compute and shader performance. Reply
  • Zink - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Even AMD hybrid crossfire doesn't really bring much benefit. It would probably be a huge driver fiasco. Reply
  • A5 - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    It would also be slower and draw slightly more power. Reply
  • Angengkiat - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Hi Jarred,

    Can u pls help us to verify that the notebook is supporting triple display(1 internal, 2 external) output since it is using hm77 chipset thanks!

  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Hi Angengkiat,

    I just checked and this laptop does not support triple displays. You can connect two external displays and disable the internal display, but it appears ASUS did not include the necessary third TMDS transmitter or whatever.
  • Angengkiat - Sunday, April 29, 2012 - link

    Thanks for your reply! :) Reply
  • Angengkiat - Sunday, April 29, 2012 - link

    I wonder if this inapplicable to all ivy bridge notebook (or hm77-powered ones) cos my Vaio Z with nvidia gt325 graphics can't support dual output..:( Reply

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