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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  • Germanicus - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    The Intel hype machine continues. Match the GPU of Llano, eh?

    I'll believe it when I see it.
  • aegisofrime - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    IMHO, Intel has usually managed to live up to its hype far more often than AMD can. I'm confident they will deliver again this round.
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link


    Centrino, Core, Core 2, SSDs, SNB, and now SNB-E. Despite Netburst (not THAT bad) and the singular motherboard flub, Intel has been on a roll. I really think they have matured as a company, publically and realistically embracing their mistakes and triumphs. They're still struggling with GPU performance, but they are learning quickly.
  • therealnickdanger - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I should add - will IB finally bring true 24Hz playback? This is the ONE thing preventing SNB from being the perfect home theater PC CPU.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    What I'd like is Intel IGP drivers that actually work as well as AMD/NVIDIA drivers. They're *better* than they were before, but still not up to the standards of the GPU companies.
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Intel has only managed to live up to it's hype with CPU's.

    GPU's are a little different.

    Remember when they first introduced the Intel x3100 IGP? Intel were lauding it as a gamers IGP.
    It didn't get released with TnL support, it didn't get released with Shader model 3. It took a good year for those to even be enabled in the drivers.

    End result was TnL was only half done as half the time it would default to a software rendered mode, vertex shader performance was poor.
    Basically new games ran like crap. Older games ran just like crap.

    Don't get me started on the craptastic GMA 3150 either.

    Sandy Bridges IGP was a good step in the right direction but drivers still aren't up to AMD or nVidia's level and it still has a feature set a generation or two behind. (Direct x 10 only I think.)

    An Intel IGP can be twice as fast as AMD's or nVidias. I would still not opt for it due to the really really crap drivers.
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    While it seems Intel is trying to come a long way in the GPU world, I still have my doubts. As ATI and nVidia have shown for a decade, good graphics drivers just don't fall from the sky. And while AMD and nVidia have a history of long-term support for graphics products, can the same be said of Intel? Intel goes to a new CPU socket every product launch, so they obviously have no problem abandoning things of the past. I just wonder how much Intel is really committed to making games work through driver fixes, as in the past their IGPs had features that they never got around to enabling in the drivers.

    Then there's the feature-stripping of different CPU models. Intel doesn't give the consumer what they want, instead they lay down a road of confusion as to what models have what features. In the grand scheme of things, it just amazes me that Intel takes away product advancements to have more SKUs. I'm not talking about mhz, cache, or GPU cores, but things like speedstep, 64bit, VT, and others.

    Any news on if AMD will have a cross-town demo of bulldozer this week?
  • Tanclearas - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I agree with you whole-heartedly regarding Intel's confusing SKU's. I was actually really looking forward to both Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer. I was disappointed by both. Bulldozer is MIA, while Sandy Bridge presented the following options (at launch, so yes I know Z68 resolved some of this):

    1) IOMMU (VT-d)
    2) Unlocked
    3) Better IGP

    If you wanted IOMMU, you had to give up both unlocked and better IGP options. If you wanted to actually use the better IGP, you had to go with a chipset that didn't support overclocking. If you wanted to take advantage of the unlocked models, you had to go with a chipset that didn't support the IGP. So, basically, for those three options, you could only choose one.

    I will admit that I could be wrong on this, but as far as I know, there still isn't a Sandy Bridge model that lets you choose all three options (or even just unlocked with IOMMU).
  • KaarlisK - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Unlocked and IOMMU is never gonna happen.
    Intel wants users using IOMMU to buy more CPUs, not overclock them.
  • maroon1 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    If you look at Intel history, the performance of IGP has been improving significantly since GMA 4500

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