After salivating at other countries who managed to grab Intel’s second generation Core i series of processors code named Sandybridge earlier this year, we’re finally able to partake in Intel’s new offering of chips. Revealed yesterday at the White Space exhibition hall in Makati, the new generation of Core i processors feature a wide gamut of new enhancements, including Intel Quick Sync, Intel WiDi and Intel Wireless Display 2.0. The new processors are produced via Intel’s 32nm process and will require you to use Intel’s P67 express chipset (read: you need to buy a new motherboard).
The new processor is beyond leaps and bounds when compared to its predecessor – in one technical demo, a previous generation Core i5 processor with a reference NVIDIA GTS 460 was pitted against a next gen Core i5 without discrete graphics in a transcoding (file conversion) test. The next generation Sandybridge processor managed to finish in mere seconds and came out ahead, even after giving the previous generation Core i5 processor a generous headstart.
Another great new feature of the new chips is the Intel InTru9 3D. Basically, the new chips can now play 3D content without the aid of a discrete card. It used to be that you’d need an NVIDIA card to actually be able to play stereoscopic 3D on your machine or on a TV – with Sandybridge, all you need is a processor. I viewed a 3D trailer of A Christmas Carol in 3D, using nothing but a NEO notebook armed with a Core i3 processor.
But what really impressed me was how powerful Sandybridge really was when it came to 3D graphics. The Intel team had managed to wrangle a build of Valve’s upcoming sequel to the caketastic hit Portal, and they ran through a demo level with nothing but a Core i5 processor. The graphics wasn’t the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, I’ll give you that, but the mere fact it was running the game, in a decent resolution (1280 x 800 I think) without it turning to an unintentional ode to the Matrix’s bullet time scene is a feat in itself. We’ve managed to attach a video below of the game demo.
Sandybridge is indeed a game changer. And with its OEM partners releasing products armed with Sandybridge, it’s safe to say that the future is coming to a PC near you, soon.