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Today, Intel announced their next generation processor architecture known as "Sandy Bridge" (or 2nd Generation Core processor). The new processors are built on the 32nm process and integrate the processor, memory controller and graphics on the same die. In particular the new integrated graphics performance is significantly improved over previous Intel's previous chips.

TechReport summarizes the changes:
Sandy Bridge is, essentially, a next-generation replacement for Intel's primary CPUs for desktops and laptops .... At the heart of Sandy Bridge is an essentially new processor microarchitecture, the most sweeping architectural transition from Intel since the introduction of the star-crossed Pentium 4. Nearly everything has changed, from the branch predictors through the out-of-order execution engine and into the memory subsystem. The goal: to achieve higher performance and power efficiency, even on single-threaded tasks, where the integration of multiple CPU cores hasn't been much help.
Anandtech in particular notes that the new processor architecture is a major step forward for laptops, significantly closing the price/performance gap between desktops and laptops.

Also promising for Mac users is that they found the graphics performance generally exceeded that found in the NVIDIA 320M that is presently used in the MacBook and MacBook Airs:
Again, Sandy Bridge delivers playable performance in every single title at 768p and “Low” detail settings. What’s more, it actually surpasses the GeForce 320M in Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 in five out of six games (the exception being STALKER).
Intel's previously poor integrated graphics performance was seen as one of the reasons why Apple has stuck with pairing of previous generation Intel processors and NVIDIA 320M GPUs.

Overall, Anandtech is impressed with the performance and battery life of the new chips:
Not only do we get 50 to 100% better performance than the previous generation high-end Intel mobile chips, but we also get more than double the integrated graphics performance and battery life in most situations should be similar to Arrandale, if not better. And that’s looking at the quad-core offerings!
Meanwhile, dual core and low-power versions of Sandy Bridge processors are expected to arrive next month.

Article Link: Intel Announces 'Sandy Bridge' Core Processors
 

maclancer

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Jun 13, 2008
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This will make the next MacBook very sweet!!!
 

Yebubbleman

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May 20, 2010
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Also promising for Mac users is that they found the graphics performance generally exceeded that found in the NVIDIA 320M that is presently used in the MacBook and MacBook Airs:Intel's previously poor integrated graphics performance was seen as one of the reasons why Apple has stuck with pairing of previous generation Intel processors and NVIDIA 320M GPUs.

I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Red Comet

macrumors member
Mar 15, 2009
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13" Macbook Pro should get the Sandy Bridge treatment, it's tiring seeing it with Core 2 Duo.
 

Yebubbleman

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May 20, 2010
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Apple better not skip on the dedicated GPU in the 13 refresh!

They absolutely will. Unless they nix the hard drive bay in favor of the blade SSDs, don't expect dedicated GPUs in either 13" model. Furthermore, unless they nix the hard drive bay in favor of the blade SSDs in the 13" Pro (towards being able to finally have a discrete GPU in that model), that model is dead in the water.

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This will make the next MacBook very sweet!!!

...if the IGP doesn't suck.
 
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Yebubbleman

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May 20, 2010
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OpenCL support in the IGP? Color me skeptical...

It's in the GeForce 9400M and the GeForce 320M and both are IGPs, though it is Intel we're talking about here, so yeah, I share your skepticism there for sure.

17" mbps better get a quadcore ;)

I wouldn't hold my breath. The reason they don't already is their thinness.
 
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asdf542

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2010
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...if the IGP doesn't suck.

Did you read the article? Intel's IGP beats out the 320M in 5 of the 6 games they tested.

Fantastic work from Intel.


17" mbps better get a quadcore ;)
Apple would have to go from the 35W chips they are using now to a 45W chip to use a quadcore. I wouldn't expect any quad cores in the MBP's until Ivy Bridge is out but I may be proven wrong.
 

Aatos.1

macrumors 6502
Dec 31, 2010
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The grass always appears greener. I buy a new MBP at each processor change and have yet to be blown away by a huge performance increase. It will be an improvement, but nothing like it appears.
 

asdf542

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2010
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Have you ever used an Intel IGP? They all suck. Hence my appropriate skepticism, even at the article citing its tests with its 5 out of 6 games.

No reason to be skeptical when the benchmarks are already out and it's been proven not to suck. :rolleyes:
 
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