Final Words

If Intel's roadmap and pricing hold true, then the Core i5 2400 should give you an average of 23% better performance than the Core i5 760 at a potentially lower point. If we compare shipping configurations, the Core i5 2400 should actually perform like a Core i7 880 despite not having Hyper Threading enabled. Clock for clock however, Sandy Bridge seems to offer a 10% increase in performance. Keep in mind that this analysis was done without a functional turbo mode, so the shipping Sandy Bridge CPUs should be even quicker. I'd estimate you can add another 3 - 7% to these numbers for the final chips. That's not bad at all for what amounts to a free upgrade compared to what you'd buy today. Power consumption will also see an improvement. Not only will Sandy Bridge be noticeably quicker than Lynnfield, it'll draw less power.

While Nehalem was an easy sell if you had highly threaded workloads, Sandy Bridge looks to improve performance across the board regardless of thread count. It's a key differentiator that should make Sandy Bridge an attractive upgrade to more people.

The overclocking prevention Intel is putting into Sandy Bridge sounds pretty bad at first. However if the roadmap and pricing stay their course, it looks like overclockers looking to spend as much as they did on Core i5 750/760s won't be limited at all thanks to the K SKUs in the mix. The real question is what happens at the low end. While I don't get the impression that the Core i3 2000 series will be completely locked, it's unclear how much rope Intel will give us.

Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics is good. It's fast enough to put all previous attempts at integrated graphics to shame and compete with entry level discrete GPUs. The fact that you can get Radeon HD 5450 performance for free with a Core i5 2400 is just awesome. As I mentioned before, you won't want to throw away your GTX 460, but if you were planning on spending $50 on a GPU - you may not need to with Sandy Bridge.

Assuming mobile Sandy Bridge performs at least as well as the desktop parts, we may finally be at the point where what you get with a mainstream notebook is good enough to actually play some games. I'm really curious to see how well the higher spec integrated graphics parts do once Sandy Bridge makes it a little closer to final (Update: it looks like we may have had a 12 EU part from the start). I should add that despite the GPU performance improvement - don't believe this is enough. I would like to see another doubling in integrated GPU performance before I'm really happy, but now it's very clear that Intel is taking integrated graphics seriously.

Architecturally, I'm very curious to see what Intel has done with Sandy Bridge. Given the improvements in FP performance and what I've heard about general purpose performance, I'm thinking there's a lot more than we've seen here today. Then there are the features that we were unable to test: Sandy Bridge's improved turbo and its alleged on-die video transcode engine. If the latter is as capable as I've heard, you may be able to have better transcoding performance on your notebook than you do on your desktop today. Update: Check out our Sandy Bridge Architecture article for full details on the CPU's architecture.

With Sandy Bridge next year you'll get higher clock speeds, more performance per clock and reasonable integrated graphics at presumably the same prices we're paying today. What's even more exciting is the fact that what we're looking at is just mainstream performance. The high end Sandy Bridge parts don't arrive until the second half of 2011 which add more cores and more memory bandwidth.

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  • foundchild1 - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    "For example, today the fastest LGA-1156 processor is the Core i7 880. When Sandy Bridge launches early next year, the fastest LGA-1155 processor will be the Core i7 2600."

    Shouldn't the second one also read LGA-1156? Are they changing the pin count/socket for this 'tock'?
  • foundchild1 - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    Well, that's me being an idiot and not reading the whole article first... New socket indeed.
  • medi01 - Saturday, August 28, 2010 - link

    So intel has locked multtipliers because of some other evil companies, eh? To protect the consumers, right?

    What a shame... :(
  • jfelano - Sunday, August 29, 2010 - link

    Did you even read the article???? Yes its s1155.
  • wazzap123 - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    The story of how caches are going to work in the 8+ core world is getting exciting. I like the overview at the daily circuit that summarizes how Niagara 3, Tilera Gx-100, and BlueGene/P processors weigh in on the issue too
  • dendysutrisna - Friday, August 12, 2011 - link

    The Apple iMac 21.5inch is a computer machine which uses the power of Intel Core i5-2400. Look at these page: Processors like that, thanks to its strength, could draw the attention of everyone, even computer vendors at the level Apple also has without a doubt to hook them.
  • Grooveriding - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    It's hard to wade through all this data so quickly. That said, as far as overclocking, the new 2011 socket will be the successor to 1366 ?

    I hope with all these new overclocking controls there will still be that mainstay $300 CPU that can overclock to some extreme performance. Meaning a successor to the i7 920/930 that can deliver the amazing performance those can overclocked.

    I hope this is not the death knell for such a CPU and Intel is expecting us to fork over $1000 for that performance level.
  • BSMonitor - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    Good question, but judging by the road map, the Extreme and Performance segments are still Gulftown Processors. I think the 1366 stays for Gulftown.
  • Casper42 - Saturday, August 28, 2010 - link

    On the 2P Server side of things, I have been told there will be a Westmere v2 coming in January 2011.
    This is probably the same family that will produce the i7 990 and the other 1366 chips on the chart that don't exist yet. The Xeon 5600 and 970/980 are damn near identical aside from QPI Links.

    Being those are being released in Jan, I wouldn't expect to see a socket 2011 desktop part until basically a year from now.

    They will once again be a close relative to the 2P Server family. The socket for the 2P Servers will be Socket R and will be Quad Channel memory as well as supposedly having PCIe 3.0.
  • bitzao - Friday, August 27, 2010 - link

    Yeah but.... will it run Starcraft II ? (on medium)

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