This week Intel will begin sharing some of the first details of its Ivy Bridge processor (2012 Core i-series CPU) at the annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. While the show officially starts on Tuesday, we have some early details about the chip.

Sandy Bridge was Intel's first high-end architecture to integrate a GPU on-die. The SNB GPU is available in two configurations: GT1 with 6 EUs (processors/execution units/cores) and GT2 with 12 EUs. All mobile versions ship with GT2 while most desktop parts ship with GT1. Intel calls GT2 its HD Graphics 3000 while GT1 chips come with HD Graphics 2000. There's a less featured version of GT1 that's simply called Intel HD Graphics as well and it's found in Sandy Bridge Pentium & Celeron CPUs.

Ivy Bridge's GT2 configuration has 16 EUs, no word on how many the GT1 configuration will have. As a result Intel is expecting a 60% increase in 3DMark Vantage scores (Performance Preset) and a 30% increase in 3DMark '06 scores. IVB GT1 on the other hand will only see performance increase by 10 - 20%. If we look at the 3DMark Vantage data from our Llano notebook review, a 60% increase in performance over SNB would put Ivy Bridge's GPU performance around that of AMD's A8. It remains to be seen how well this translates into actual gaming performance though.

The other information about Ivy Bridge's GPU has been known for a while: DX11, OpenCL 1.1 and OpenGL 3.1 will all be supported. The last tidbit we have is that Quick Sync performance is apparently much improved. Intel is privately claiming up to 2x better performance than Sandy Bridge in accelerated video transcoding or lesser gains but improved image quality. The performance improvements only apply to GT2 IVB configurations.


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  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link


    Hey, here's an idea! Instead of wasting 200 million transistors (or more now?) on worthless, redundant video, how about you put that towards MORE CACHE AND EXECUTION HARDWARE, eh Intel?

    Leave the GPUs to Nvidia and AMD.
  • Arnulf - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    So this would make Intel's IGP boerderline usable for low resolution gaming (assuming they can cobble together decent drivers) ? They too are going to run into bandwidth wall at some point and I dare to speculate AMD is going to be able to pull out better performance at that point for some time still before Intel catches up.
  • FaaR - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Intel's IGP is already useable for low resolution gaming, it runs stuff like Source engine stuff and WoW fast enough to be playable on my Macbook Pro's screen (1280*800), 60% faster would just be cake on top as far as I'm concerned. :)

    As for bandwidth, Ivy Bridge is supposed to bring official support for 2166MHz DDR3 is it not? That's a substantial bump above 1333MHz. Also we can likely expect improved use of L3 buffering for graphics use in IB.

    Llano beats Intel's offerings handily on the graphics side, while being pretty "meh" on the processor side. That graphics advantage is of course mainly because of AMDs current lead they bought in the form of ATI some years ago now.

    Without appearing as if I'm taking sides in some kind of adolescent graphics/CPU vendor flame war here, Intel's getting there. They've been saying they're getting there for years now without really making any real headway, but now they really are getting there.

    AMD better watch out, or in a few more generations they'll be as far behind on the GPU side as they are on the CPU. That would be bad. There is nothing better than competition in the marketplace to make companies excel in their work. My two first PCs were powered by AMD CPUs, a K6 and a K6-III respectively, because Intel was too expensive for me.
  • meek29 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    AMD will never fall behind in the IGP part, because they have ATI. It's the processor part they need to worry about and we'll be seeing some updates from them soon.
  • tuklap - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    it is because they have the technology that ati question about the apus being superior in graphics...if intel can acquire nvidia that will be a fair match ^_^
  • quiksilvr - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Pray to God that never happens. The last thing we need is a duopoly.
  • ZoZo - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Of course AMD can fall behind on the IGP. If Intel has a sufficiently better manufacturing process, they can cram more EUs in the die and overtake AMD both in absolute performance and performance per watt.
  • silverblue - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I will point out that Intel's IGPs are clocked significantly higher than AMD's. Remember - that's the only reason the original HD Graphics could compete with AMD's dated IGPs. Who's to say that they can maintain such clock speeds with more shaders on board as well as keep power usage in check, even with tri-gate transistors?

    Without a lot of extra memory bandwidth, medium quality details will still hurt it just like it hurts Llano. HD 3000 makes more sense with lower details and I can't see that changing any time soon, not without putting memory on die.
  • BSMonitor - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Welcome to the game noob.

    Intel's IGP is a completely different architecture than ATI. Which is completely different from nVidia's CUDA cores.

    Clock speed has little to do with comparing performance across any of these architectures.
  • Taft12 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    He's not talking about performance or architecture, he's talking about potential problems with Intel's high GPU clockspeed combined with increasing GPU complexity, and perhaps an impact to the TDP of the chip.


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