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Old 12-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Inside the Intel Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture

There has been a new article posted.

Title: Inside the Intel Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...hitecture/1161

Here is a snippet:
"Sandy Bridge is the name of the new microarchitecture Intel CPUs will be using starting in 2011. It is an evolution of the Nehalem microarchitecture that was first introduced in the Core i7 and also u..."

Comments on this article are welcome.

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Old 12-31-2010, 02:28 AM   #2
Olle P
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I think the new Turbo design seems like a good idea implemented only half way.
The perceived problem is the somewhat arbitrary 25s limit. Why not just go all in and use thermal measurement to control the maximum boost value available at any one time?

The new AVX set, who or what will make use of it? You can't compile software for it without losing compatibility with all other CPUs...

The GPU, why not DX11 compatibility? And doesn't Windows Aero make use of 3D functions?

And finally: What's the compatibility between socket 1156 and socket 1155? Seems like Sandy Bridge will require socket 1155 and no current CPUs can use socket 1155.

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Old 12-31-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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Olle P,

These questions on "why" should be asked to Intel... We are mere spectactors...

As for the kind of programs that will use AVX, take a look at:
http://software.intel.com/en-us/avx/

And yes, socket 1155 motherboards are required for new CPUs based on Sandy Bridge, and these CPUs won't be compatible with socket 1156 motherboards, and socket 1156 CPUs can't be installed on socket 1155 motherboards.

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Old 01-15-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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My, oh, my... I didn't know there was a quake going on but the far-off rumble has become a major shock after reading your "Inside the Intel Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture" bomb, errr... article.
Money, or rather the temporary lack of fresh amounts of it, avoided my first self-build pc project. A socket 1366 mobo, very likely gigabyte X58A UD5, with the recently more reachable i7 950, maybe HD6870 maybe GTX460/GTX470, and on and on...
After the new SB cpu's and the first 1155 mobo's I have the funny "Last is best" syndrome (something like: I'll wait just for two more months because there are better things every other day of the week). The problem is one might end up waiting forever...
But, as Olle P pointed, what about DX11? In spite of the integrated graphics processor, do we need a consistent AMD/ATI-nVIDIA push for some games?
Quote: "The number of execution units (“processors”) will depend on the CPU (e.g. Core i5 CPUs will have more execution units than Core i3 parts). Sandy Bridge processors can have up to 12 graphics execution units." Just what does this mean in real gaming world? What's the actual resolution and performance of the EU's? Can I plan to build a PC and rely on the new CPU's as far as graphics are concerned (up to DX 10.1) or should they still be in my budget planning?
Sorry if the questions are rather low level, but I'm new in these affairs. And I would really appreciate the opinion of those who have been around longer than me.
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Antonio.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olle P View Post

The GPU, why not DX11 compatibility? And doesn't Windows Aero make use of 3D functions?

And finally: What's the compatibility between socket 1156 and socket 1155? Seems like Sandy Bridge will require socket 1155 and no current CPUs can use socket 1155.

Cheers
Olle

I would conjecture that Intel's driver team was probably sweating buckets just to get their IGP to work properly. From the benchmarks that I've seen, discrete video cards can use DX11, but you need high end graphics to allow DX11 to work properly- otherwise it just slows down the game. Thus, giving an IGP that's slower than the low end GPU boards DX11 would be useful in name only. However, I could be wrong.

I read that 1156 and 1155 are actually compatible if you can block the clock signal.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ield,2815.html

I suppose Intel could have made a board with a switch or something, but it seems Sandy Bridge is all about making things more complex (like the limitations with the H67 and P67 and OCing).
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.W. View Post
... From the benchmarks that I've seen, discrete video cards can use DX11, but you need high end graphics to allow DX11 to work properly- otherwise it just slows down the game.
You're correct, but the key word here is game.

From what I've understood about D3D11 (the 3D graphics part of DX11) it does the operations of previous versions in a leaner fashion. So for example Windows Aero, written for D3D9, would run much faster directly translated to D3D11.

The problem is that game developers have of course used the leaner programming and new features of D3D11 to push the graphics of their games into new realms, adding more content and need for graphics processing when running the game in DX11 mode.

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Old 01-17-2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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Hi,

Just take a look on the review we did on the Core i5-2500K:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...PU-Review/1163

The video performance really improved, but will allow you to run only very old DirectX 9 games lowering all video enhancements... Integrated video is a terrific idea of 2D, not for 3D. Why they spend time and energy trying to improve 3D video (the end result still being bad) is a mystery to me.

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