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 - Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - link

    Ivy Bridge is technically capable of supporting three displays, but it needs three TMDS transceivers in the laptop (or on the desktop motherboard) to drive the displays simultaneously. Some laptop makers will likely save $0.25 or whatever by only including two, but others will certainly include the full triple head support. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    Just a quick correction, in case anyone is wondering:

    For triple displays, Ivy Bridge needs to run TWO of the displays off of DisplayPort, and the other can be LVDS/VGA/HDMI/DVI. I can tell you exactly how many laptops I've seen with dual DP outputs: zero. Anyway, it's an OEM decision, and I'm skeptical we'll see 2xDP any time soon.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    "I'm not sure what your point is, at all"? You cannot be serious. Either you have no understanding of thermodynamics, or you're just an anonymous Internet troll. I don't know what your problem is, rarson, but your comments on all the Ivy Bridge articles today are the same FUD with nothing to back it up.

    Ivy Bridge specifications allow for internal temperatures of up to 100C, just like most other Intel chips. At maximum load the chip in the N56VM hits 89C, but it's doing that with the fan hardly running at all and generating almost no noise compared to other laptops. Is that so hard to understand? A dual-core Sandy Bridge i7-2640M in the VAIO SE hits higher temperatures while generating more noise. I guess that means Sandy Bridge is a hot chip in your distorted world view? But that would be wrong as well. The reality is that the VAIO SE runs hot and loud because of the way Sony designed the laptop, and the N56VM runs hot and quiet because of the way ASUS designed the laptop.

    The simple fact is Ivy Bridge in this laptop runs faster than Sandy Bridge in other laptops, even at higher temperatures than some laptops that we've seen. There was a conscious decision to let internal CPU temperatures get higher instead of running the fans faster and creating more noise. If the fan were generating 40dB of noise, I can guarantee that the chip temperature wouldn't be 89C under load. Again, this is simple thermodynamics. Is that so difficult to understand?

    How do we determine what Ivy Bridge temperatures are like "in general"? How do you know that it's a "hot chip"? You don't, so you're just pulling stuff out of the air and making blanket statements that have no substance. It seems you either work for AMD and think you're doing them a favor with these comments (you're not), or you have a vendetta against Intel and you're hoping to make people in general think Ivy Bridge is bad just because you say so (it's not).
  • mtoma - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    I really don't want to play dumb - but if I get an honest answer I'll be pleased: Jarred said that the panel used in Asus N56VM is an LG LP156WF1. OK - how can I find the display type in a specific laptop? I have a Lenovo T61 and... I need help. I want to know the manufacturer, display type, viewing angles. Thanks! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    I use Astra32 (, a free utility that will usually report the monitor type. However, if the OEM chooses to overwrite the information in the LCD firmware, you'll get basically a meaningless code. You can also look at and see if they have the information/screen you need ( Reply
  • leovande321 - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

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  • Spunjji - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    Calm down there. His comment is pointing out that measuring the temperatures of this laptop will tell you nothing about how hot mobile Ivy Bridge is as a platform. We need more information. It looks like it's not as cool as Intel marketing want everyone to believe, but we just don't know yet. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    The real heart of the matter is that more performance (IVB) just got stuffed into less space. 22nm probably wasn't enough to dramatically reduce voltages and thus power, so the internal core temperatures are likely higher than SNB in many cases, even though maximum power draw may have gone down.

    For the desktop, that's more of a concern, especially if you want to overclock. For a laptop, as long as the laptop doesn't get noisy and runs stable, I have no problem with the tradeoff being made, and I suspect it's only a temporary issue. By the time ULV and dual-core IVB ship, 22nm will be a bit more mature and have a few more kinks ironed out.
  • leovande321 - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

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  • raghu78 - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - link

    Even though you have mentioned that 45w Llano would have improved the gaming performance it would have been better to include such a configuration in your testing. Given that you were testing a 45w high end next gen core i7 product which itself skews the balance in Intel's favour given the vast difference in CPU processing capability the least you could have done was put a similar wattage AMD Llano SKU. The result would be that other than Batman and Skyrim the rest would all be better on HD 6620G. As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words ". All your charts cannot be undone by a small note at the end of the charts. The damage has been done.
    This is my opinion that objective comparisons can only be made under similar parameters. Its even more critical in the notebook market which have strict thermal restrictions. The desktop market is slightly less restrictive except for HTPCs which need 65w or lesser processors. When the comparisons for Trinity 35w are made it should be against 35w Ivybridge core i3 and core i5. By benching a ivybridge core i7 with a 45w rating and comparing with a Trinity 35w we aren't making a fair and objective comparison. Also the fact that the ivybridge core i7 and trinity are not in the same price segment makes things worse. I hope my comments are not taken negatively.

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