What is Sandy Bridge?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brachson, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. brachson macrumors member

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    #1
    Hello All,

    I am waiting for next iMac generation and not beacause I am playing waiting game - just can't afford one at the moment.

    I am browsing this and few others forums to find an answer what we will see in next generation iMacs and I can see that most probably it would be Sandy Bridge CPUs.

    Could someone exaplain me what is Sandy Bridge? What will be difference between it and current technology from normal end user perspective

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Sandy Bridge is a new micro-architecture from Intel. Current iMacs use Nehalem, the iMacs before that used Core and so on. What it provides is better performance. According to early benchmarks, it will be ~15% faster clock for clock than Nehalem is. That means 2GHz Sandy Bridge is as fast as 2.3GHz Nehalem.

    Normal end-user won't really notice the difference though. Today's CPUs are more than adequate for everyday tasks so unless you use apps that are very CPU intensive and thus benefit from a faster CPU, it's not going to be a big deal for you
     
  3. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

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    #3
    It's the code name for Intel's next gen CPU/GPU/Motherboard platform. If you don't know what it is you probably don't need to worry about it other than to know it will be out in early January from Intel for PC's and later on Apple will put it in the next rev of all the Macs.
     
  4. brachson thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    But if it is next generation platform, not only CPU but GPU and MB I can expect that new revision iMacs will have also GPUs in this architecture?

    And if so any significant performance improvements in this area to be expected?

    How about price baseline? I have read somewhere that together with Sandy Bridge prices could drop down a little - but in other hand its not what Apple have been doing during past years.
     
  5. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

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    #5
  6. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

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    #6
    CPU performance will be better, GPU will be slower because it's a Intel integrated GPU but theres nothing stopping someone from putting in a AMD or nVidia discreet graphics card. All Intel's next gen stuff is supposed to be cheaper but we are talking Mac's here and Steve will charge whatever he feels like Intel's prices don't matter in the Apple universe.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    Sandy Bridge is just a codename for the CPU micro-architecture. All consumer-grade CPUs will feature an integrated graphics processor (IGP) but it's unlikely that iMac will use that since it simply sucks.

    Sandy Bridge CPUs will use new Intel 6-series (codename Cougar Point) chipsets.

    Probably not significant but it's expected that Apple will use AMD's (same as ATI nowadays) 6000M GPUs. It's hard to say how much faster as those GPUs are not available yet and there is very little info about their specs. Most likely the normal 10-20% performance increase.

    Sandy Bridges will be priced similarly to the current CPUs so I would not expect price cuts
     
  8. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

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    #8
    the performance increase will not be mind-blowing. i think what sandy bridge does, from what i am getting, is tweak what is already under the hood of the current crop of icore chips to be more efficient, more optimized---so, even though the clock speed in the sandy bridge chips are not much faster than current chips, the architecture improvements from early benchmarks, shows a 10-20% improvement. but, i don't think the improvement is as significant as it was when jumping from core2duo to icore, though. as far as the cpu is concerned. but, i do think that the intel hd integrated gpu in sandy bridge will be more significant leap from the current one.

    but, what is interesting about sandy bridge, for me, is the multimedia encoding chips that they've managed to incorporate in the architecture, which significantly improves video encoding performance, as shown this year in one of their demos. i am not really sure though. is this feature enabled off the gate, sorta speak, so a sandy-bridge-equipped mbp will encode video using handbrake or mpeg streamclip twice as fast than current gen mbp? what about avx? is avx something apple will use?
     
  9. brachson thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    How about temperature management?

    It has not been confirmed but its still possible that yellow tint issue has something to do with iMac temperature and correct me if I am wrong but the hottest spot in iMac is CPU - do you think they will manage to solve this issue in next iMac generation?
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    It doesn't make sense that yellow tint would have something to do with heat because it's there since day one. iMacs run warm but not too hot, I don't think Apple will do anything about it
     
  11. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

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    #11
    i think power management is one of the improvements in sandy bridge, if i am correct.

    "Dynamic Turbo (Turbo 2.0) will allow the CPU power to exceed the TDP value when the rest of the platform is relatively cool. The frequency gain is expected to be up to 37 % for one minute and over 20 % in most cases." --wiki
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    That's just Turbo, it is more aggressive in Sandy Bridges. The TDPs are the same so I wouldn't expect power management to be much better. AnandTech's tests show that idle consumption is the same but load consumption is lower though that may be due to the lack of Turbo
     
  13. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

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    #13
    so... it sounds like sandy bridge is, indeed a bridge, sorta speak, from the cpu to the rest of the system, bringing resources close to the cpu. am i correct to assume this?
     

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