Thursday, June 10th 2010

Intel Sandy Bridge Quad-Core Processor Tested

At this year's Computex event, some of the most unexpected exhibits were socket LGA1155 motherboards based on Intel 6-series chipsets, across the board, from virtually every major motherboard vendor. Unexpected, because it's been less than an year since released mainstream derivatives of the Nehalem/Westmere architectures that use the LGA1156 socket. LGA1155 will form the base for performance, mainstream, and value segments of processors based on the upcoming Sandy Bridge architecture, which is a generation successor of Nehalem. With so many motherboard vendors showing off their creations in release-grade conditions, it is obvious that engineering samples of processors to go with them are already on the loose and will land in some enthusiast's hands. It did, in the skillful hands of Coolaler, who wasted no time in putting it through a quick run through popular benchmarks.

Coolaler tested an LGA1155 quad-core processor operating at 2.5 GHz, which CPU-Z can't name but marks it as a Sandy Bridge engineering sample. Among the little that's known about this processor, is that it has a base clock speed of 100 MHz (Nehalem/Westmere processors use BClk of 133 MHz), which means that to achieve 2.5 GHz, it uses a multiplier value of 25. It has all the instruction sets of Westmere including SSE 4.2 and AES acceleration, but also features AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions), a successor to SSE 4.2 which expands the processor's number crunching abilities, and increases performance per MHz. The cache structure up to the second level is the same (32 KB L1I, 32 KB L1D, 256 KB /core L2), but uses a smaller L3 cache at 6 MB (compared to 8 MB on Lynnfield). HyperThreading technology provides the OS with 8 logical CPUs to deal with.

The setup was aided with 4 GB of DDR3 memory and ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics. The processor crunched Super Pi 1M in 16.349 s, it scored 371 points in CPU Mark. In the multi-threaded Cinebench R11.5 benchmark, the 2.5 GHz chip scored a little under Core i7 860 (reference score). In the Everest CPU Queen, it's about as fast a Core i5 750 from what we could say, but in the Photoworxx test, it outperformed the Core i7 965 XE. In a separate set of tests run on the same hardware albeit in Windows XP, the processor was eight times faster than any other processor in the AES test (because of its native AES extensions), and edged the Core i7 965 XE in memory bandwidth despite having a narrower dual-channel DDR3 IMC.
While the results don't show a revolutionary processor, it is intended to be one. Right now it's eligible for the benefit of doubt. The real benefits will be for those models which come with embedded graphics, since the IGP and memory controller will be present on the same die, instead of the present design where the package is an MCM for two dies: CPU and northbridge. When Sandy Bridge releases is a subject of immense speculation. Since motherboard makers unveiled such mature designs of LGA1155 motherboards as early as in June 2010, a market release of the platform may not be too far away.Source: Coolaler Forums
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72 Comments on Intel Sandy Bridge Quad-Core Processor Tested

#1
phanbuey
"whats special about this processor?"

"it has our IGP built right in!"

*pattering of feet* **DOOR SLAM**
Posted on Reply
#2
mlee49
Coolaler tested an LGA1155 quad-core processor operating at 2.5 GHz, which CPU-Z can't name but marks it as a Sandy Bridge engineering sample. Among the little that's known about this processor, is that it has a base clock speed of 100 MHz (Nehalem/Westmere processors use BClk of 133 MHz), which means that to achieve 2.5 GHz, it uses a multiplier value of 25. It has all the instruction sets of Westmere including SSE 4.2 and AES acceleration, but also features AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions), a successor to SSE 4.2 which expands the processor's number crunching abilities, and increases performance per MHz. The cache structure up to the second level is the same (32 KB L1I, 32 KB L1D, 256 KB /core L2), but uses a smaller L3 cache at 6 MB (compared to 8 MB on Lynnfield). HyperThreading technology provides the OS with 8 logical CPUs to deal with.
I like this!!!
Posted on Reply
#3
gumpty
My next computer will likely be based around this platform. Unless AMD can keep up with developments and remains competitive in the mid to high-end price/performance area.
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#4
monte84
by: mlee49
I like this!!!
Which part? :)
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#5
DarthCyclonis
I think intel is making a mistake moving from 1156 to 1155 so soon. I know the reason why but think its going to burn those who just moved to 1156
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#6
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: DarthCyclonis
I think intel is making a mistake moving from 1156 to 1155 so soon. I know the reason why but think its going to burn those who just moved to 1156
1156 will be two year old by the time SB comes out. That's quite old.
Posted on Reply
#7
erocker
1156 & 1366 processors are powerful enough to last quite a while yet. It is ridiculous that the socket needs to be changed already.
Posted on Reply
#8
Static~Charge
by: erocker
1156 & 1366 processors are powerful enough to last quite a while yet. It is ridiculous that the socket needs to be changed already.
Intel licenses the socket design to manufacturers. Changing the socket means more royalty money for Intel (and more pissed-off users, too). :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#9
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: Static~Charge
Intel licenses the socket design to manufacturers. Changing the socket means more royalty money for Intel (and more pissed-off users, too). :shadedshu
People pretend that they need to upgrade sockets when a new one comes out. The brutal truth is they don't they just like to bash companies because they're new toy isn't suddenly new. That's why they are angry. I won't be changing from socket 1366 for maybe 2 new generations.
Posted on Reply
#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: DrPepper
1156 will be two year old by the time SB comes out. That's quite old.
Socket 775 is 6 years and AM2/AM3 is 4 years old. There is no reason for a 2 year life span on a socket, that is way too short.

by: erocker
1156 & 1366 processors are powerful enough to last quite a while yet. It is ridiculous that the socket needs to be changed already.
I don't see a reason that the socket needs to be changed, other than to get people to buy new motherboards.

No skin off my back though, I'll take advantage of the great 1156 deals as it goes out, like the 875K.

by: DrPepper
People pretend that they need to upgrade sockets when a new one comes out. The brutal truth is they don't they just like to bash companies because they're new toy isn't suddenly new. That's why they are angry. I won't be changing from socket 1366 for maybe 2 new generations.
Yep, that is exactly why I'm still running 775, because it more than meets my needs, I'll be taking advantage of the deals on 1156 stuff though.
Posted on Reply
#11
a_ump
um....how's it going to burn current nehalem/westmere owners? judging from what we've seen it's not any better than current nehalem/westmere architecture. Sure it has better instructions, but the performance difference in applications between Core iX and sandy bridge isn't going to be like Core2duo/quad to Core iX. If there is a difference i'd bet money it's not going to be significant; about as significant as the difference between using a single GPU when playing games with a core2 or core iX cpu.....in otherwords hardly noticable.
Posted on Reply
#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
There are more, below that one and on the opposite side..
Posted on Reply
#15
DanishDevil
Here we go:



Red (1) was removed, and black (2) were moved.
Posted on Reply
#16
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: newtekie1
Socket 775 is 6 years and AM2/AM3 is 4 years old. There is no reason for a 2 year life span on a socket, that is way too short.
1156 hasn't really became a mainstream I've seen it mainly as an enthusiast overclocking system. The reason 1155 exists is because of the integrated graphics. I believe if intel could have they'd have kept 1156 and brought out a new chipset.
Posted on Reply
#17
filip007
Only 100Mhz bus speed?

AVX or should i say AltiVec that was only 128bit SSE.
Posted on Reply
#18
DanishDevil
I'm glad they're going to a nicer number for bclk. 133 is confusing. 200 was nice in 775 platforms.
Posted on Reply
#19
mlee49
by: mlee49
Coolaler tested an LGA1155 quad-core processor operating at 2.5 GHz, which CPU-Z can't name but marks it as a Sandy Bridge engineering sample. Among the little that's known about this processor, is that it has a base clock speed of 100 MHz (Nehalem/Westmere processors use BClk of 133 MHz), which means that to achieve 2.5 GHz, it uses a multiplier value of 25. It has all the instruction sets of Westmere including SSE 4.2 and AES acceleration, but also features AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions), a successor to SSE 4.2 which expands the processor's number crunching abilities, and increases performance per MHz. The cache structure up to the second level is the same (32 KB L1I, 32 KB L1D, 256 KB /core L2), but uses a smaller L3 cache at 6 MB (compared to 8 MB on Lynnfield). HyperThreading technology provides the OS with 8 logical CPUs to deal with.
I like this!!!
by: monte84
Which part? :)
The part about enhanced instruction set that increases performance per MHz. Thats great news!
Posted on Reply
#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: DrPepper
1156 hasn't really became a mainstream I've seen it mainly as an enthusiast overclocking system. The reason 1155 exists is because of the integrated graphics. I believe if intel could have they'd have kept 1156 and brought out a new chipset.
It hasn't gone mainstream because it hasn't had enough time to take over from 775. Lets face it, for anything to become mainstream, the pre-built manufacturers have to start using it in a large number of their models. And for the pre-built manufacturers to use it in a large number of their models, it has to support integrated graphics, which 1156 has only done since January, which is why 775 was the mainstream Intel socket up until then. Lets face it, 6 months is hardly enough time for anything to become mainstream.

Now that 1156 has integrated graphics, I don't see any good reason why 1155 is necessary.
Posted on Reply
#21
DanishDevil
It's become mainstream for our community, though :laugh:

I do welcome the integration of SATA 3, and hopefully all these boards have USB3 as well, but while I agree it is slightly upsetting that there is a new socket, I see their reasoning.

These processors operate on a completely different bclk. They wouldn't want anybody trying to put a 133bclk CPU into a 100bclk motherboard, or vice versa.
Posted on Reply
#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: DanishDevil
It's become mainstream for our community, though :laugh:

I do welcome the integration of SATA 3, and hopefully all these boards have USB3 as well, but while I agree it is slightly upsetting that there is a new socket, I see their reasoning.

These processors operate on a completely different bclk. They wouldn't want anybody trying to put a 133bclk CPU into a 100bclk motherboard, or vice versa.
That makes no sense, the motherboard should be able to detect and adjust the Bclk. Just like every other socket can. If I put a 333 in my 775 motherboard, it automatically uses 333, if I put a 200 in the same board it uses 200 automatically.
Posted on Reply
#23
DanishDevil
That's absolutely true. Maybe that doesn't work with the Core iX platform, since all bclks have been 133 across the board.

Or maybe they're just a big, money hungry company that wants us all to buy new boards. :)
Posted on Reply
#24
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: newtekie1
It hasn't gone mainstream because it hasn't had enough time to take over from 775. Lets face it, for anything to become mainstream, the pre-built manufacturers have to start using it in a large number of their models. And for the pre-built manufacturers to use it in a large number of their models, it has to support integrated graphics, which 1156 has only done since January, which is why 775 was the mainstream Intel socket up until then. Lets face it, 6 months is hardly enough time for anything to become mainstream.

Now that 1156 has integrated graphics, I don't see any good reason why 1155 is necessary.
That's my point the OEM's didn't invest their time on it so they aren't hurting anyone by changing the socket.
Posted on Reply
#25
Kantastic
by: newtekie1
It hasn't gone mainstream because it hasn't had enough time to take over from 775. Lets face it, for anything to become mainstream, the pre-built manufacturers have to start using it in a large number of their models. And for the pre-built manufacturers to use it in a large number of their models, it has to support integrated graphics, which 1156 has only done since January, which is why 775 was the mainstream Intel socket up until then. Lets face it, 6 months is hardly enough time for anything to become mainstream.

Now that 1156 has integrated graphics, I don't see any good reason why 1155 is necessary.
The rapid release of so many platforms as confused even you. 1155 has integrated graphics, 1156 doesn't. :D
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