Intel slowly padding out Sandy Bridge CPU range

Faster models not expected quite yet

THE CHIPSET RECALL caused a delay for Intel when it comes to getting Sandy Bridge processors into the market, although with most of that already behind us it’s time to look forward and see what’s coming. Judging by recent roadmaps that we’ve seen, Intel is keeping its options open in terms of launching faster models than the 2600K, although the company is already planning additional models elsewhere in its range.

So what we have to look forward to in the next quarter is the introduction of the Core i3 2105 as well as the Pentium G850, G840 and G620. On top of that Intel is also introducing a new S series processor in the shape of the Core i5 2405S intended for all-in-one type systems, alongside the entry level Pentium G620T which is another low power CPU.

What makes both the Core i3 2105 or and the Core i5 2405S special is that they’re the first non K desktop CPU models in the Sandy Bridge line-up to feature Intel HD Graphics 3000. Now Intel’s latest integrated graphics might still be a far cry from a discrete graphics card, but for many consumers it’s finally good enough and even more so when we’re talking about the 3000 version. The Core i3 2105 is otherwise identical to the Core i3 2100 in terms of spec, so we’re looking at a 3.1GHz core clock speed, two cores and 3MB L3 cache. Even the graphics clock speeds are the same with a base frequency of 850MHz and a Turbo mode of 1100MHz.

The same applies to the Core i5 2405S which shares its specs with the Core i5 2400S, so here we’re looking at 2.5GHz core clock, four cores and 6MB L3 cache. The graphics clock speeds are the same as for the Core i3 2105. As this is a Core i5 model it does of course support turbo boost up to 3.3GHz.

The Pentium models are surprisingly similar to the Core i3’s, but with lower clock speeds of course. The G620 starts at 2.6GHz with the G840 coming in at 2.8GHz and the G850 at 2.9GHz. The G620T is a 35W part which clocks in at a mere 2.2GHz and all four Pentium models are dual cores without Hyper Threading and 3MB L3 cache. The graphics clock speed on the first three models are 850/1100MHz whereas the T model starts at 650MHz but will Turbo all the way to 1100MHz. However, there’s one important thing to take note of here, Intel has removed support for its Clear Video technology on the Pentium models, although we’re not sure if this also means that other features such as Quick Sync Video is also missing.

This might not be the most exciting set of additions, but if nothing else we’ll see more affordable Sandy Bridge processors in the market within the next three or four months. Pricing in quantities of 1000 units for the Pentium models should be as follows, G620 $64, G840 $75, G850 $86 and G620T $70. As for the other two models we don’t know the pricing as yet. We have a feeling that Intel is sitting on some faster chips, but is waiting to see what’ll come out of AMD before the company is ready to make any kind of noise about it. Then there’s of course the LGA-2011 Sandy Bridge-E platform which is penned in for a Q4 launch if all goes according to plan, but we have a feeling that Intel has an option to pull it forward if AMD should prove to offer something unexpectedly competitive.S|A

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