More Sandy Bridge details leak

Xeon models unveiled

intlogo More Sandy Bridge details leakJUDGING BY THE multitude of leaks pertaining Intel’s upcoming Sandy Bridge processors, we know we’re getting closer and closer to the January launch. A few more details about some of the unknown factors about the new CPUs and chipsets have made their way online, alongside detailed specifications of Intel’s LGA-1155 Xeon processors based on the Sandy Bridge core.

The unlikely source this time is a Japanese website called 4gamer, but from what we can tell, the information appears genuine. One of the major missing pieces of the puzzle that has now been unveiled is that Intel will indeed have two different IGPs and the naming appears to be Intel HD Graphics 100 and Intel HD Graphics 200. Among the desktop processors, only the Core i7 2600 and i5 2500 will get the Intel HD Graphics 200 IGP. This seems like an odd move by Intel, as usually those that buy higher-end processors tend to also invest in a dedicated graphics card. The Intel HD Graphics 200 will have 12 execution units, while the Intel HD Graphics 100 will have to make do with six.

The entire mobile chipset line-up has also been revealed, which consists of the UM67, HM65, HM67, QM67 and QS67 chipset. We were unaware of the UM67 and this is meant to be an ultra-low power version of the other mobile chipsets. This is suggesting that Intel is still sitting on a lot of additional mobile Sandy Bridge processors which should arrive at some stage during the latter half of next year. Feature wise the UM67 is identical to the HM65, but with the addition of two extra USB 2.0 ports for a total of 14. All of the new chipsets will support Intel’s Wireless Display technology if combined with the right Wi-Fi solution from Intel.

Another good piece of news is that Intel is recommending its mobile partners to use eDP or embedded DisplayPort as the main display connectivity technology for the notebook panels. This should hopefully see a transition away from older, clunkier internal display connectors such as LVDS which is common today. Another advantage of eDP is that it’s meant to make it easier to set up multi-display configurations, at least as long as the other displays are also connected via DisplayPort.

As far as Intel’s range of LGA-1155 Xeon processors, it appears that we have a lot of different models to look forward to and it’s all a little bit messy. Intel will offer models with 95, 80, 45 and even 20W TDP. Five of the 11 models will feature integrated graphics and in this case it’s Intel’s HD Graphics 200, with the exception of the E3-1260L which features the Intel HD Graphics 100 IGP. So let’s try to work out the various models starting with the low-power models. First up we have the E3-1220L which is a 2.2GHz dual core part with Hyper Threading, 3MB of L3 cache and a mere 20W TDP. Next we have the Xeon E3-1260L which is a quad core part with Hyper Threading, 8MB L3 cache, integrated graphics and a TDP of 45W.

Next we have the graphics-less models which all have 8MB of L3 cache with the rest of the features differing. First up we have the 3.1GHz quad core E3-1220 which lacks Hyper Threading, which is followed by the E3-1230 which is a smidgen faster at 3.2GHz, but it also gains Hyper Threading support, a feature which all the following models also carry. The E3-1240 bumps the speed up to 3.3GHz and the E3-1270 bumps this up further to 3.4GHz. All the models so far have a TDP of 80W. Finally we have the E3-1280 which is clocked at 3.5GHz and this model has a higher TDP at 95W.

This brings us to the models with integrated graphics which starts with the E3-1225 which is a 3.1GHz quad core model without Hyper Threading and it also sports a smaller 6MB L3 cache. Next we have the E3-1235 which gains Hyper Threading and a small speed bump up to 3.2GHz and it’s followed by the E3-1245 which is clocked at 3.3GHz and finally the E3-1275 which is clocked at 3.4GHz. Common features between the last three models is 8MB of L3 cache, while all four models with Intel HD Graphics 200 have a 95W TDP. All of the Xeon processors support Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, as well as all of the features you’ll find on the current range of X series Xeon processors.

The new E3 series of Xeon processors will replace the X series and some of the W series models over time, with an introduction in Q1 next year. We did manage to dig up a chipset name as well, although we don’t know the exact features of it, but the E3 series of Xeon processors will be paired up with the oddly named C206 chipset which will be part of the Bromolow platform. So, everything clear as mud then?S|A

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