Much like the initial Turbo mode introduced for Core i7, the new SB processors have Turbo mode as well. However, the Turbo Mode received an upgrade to 2.0, quite significant and the new revision is much more dynamic. It can now alter several stages and levels "per core" in clock frequencies. Depending on CPU load, one or more CPU cores will run above its advertised specification. It has changed as there are several steps in which the Turbo mode will be utilized. 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 a short time and say 20% in other scenarios. For overclockers it will be interesting to know that each CPU core can be overclocked independently. So if you learn that one CPU core is a little weaker... you could clock it lower and the rest higher, albeit it's a little far fetched.
But let's bullet up some of the primary features and we'll focus on the 2600K right now:
8-Way Multi-Task Processing: Runs 8 independent processing threads in one physical package.
Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0: Dynamically increases the processor frequency up to 3.80GHz when applications demand more performance. Speed when you need it, energy efficiency when you dont.
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology: Allows each core of the processor to work on two tasks at the same time providing unprecedented processing capability for better multi-tasking, and for threaded applications.
Intel Smart Cache: 8MB of shared cached allows faster access to your data by enabling dynamic and efficient allocation of the cache to match the needs of each core significantly reducing latency to frequently used data and improving performance.
CPU Overclocking Enabled (with Intel P67 Express Chipset), fully unlocked core multiplier, power, and DDR3 memory ratios enable ultimate flexibility for overclocking.
Graphics Overclocking Enabled (with Intel H67 Express Chipset), unlocked graphics multiplier allows for overclocking to boost the graphics clock speed.
Integrated Memory Controller: Supports 2 channels of DDR3-1333 memory with 2 DIMMs per channel. Support for memory based on the Intel Extreme Memory Profile (Intel XMP) specification2.
Chipset/Motherboard Compatibility: Compatible with all Intel 6 Series Chipsets
AES-NI: Provides 6 processor instructions that help to improve performance for AES encryption and decryption algorithms.
Built-in Visuals: New enhanced built-in visual features deliver a seamless visual PC experience for doing everything from simple e-mail to enjoying the latest 3D and HD entertainment.
The built-in visuals suite includes:
Intel Quick Sync Video Technology: Media processing for incredibly fast conversion of video files for portable media players or online sharing.
IntelInTru3D: Stereoscopic 3D Blu-ray* playback experience in full HD 1080p resolution over HDMI 1.4 with 3D.
Intel Clear Video HD Technology: Visual quality and color fidelity enhancements for spectacular HD playback and immersive web browsing.
Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX): Increased performance for demanding visual applications like professional video & image editing.
Intel HD Graphics 3000: Significant 3D performance for immersive mainstream gaming on a broad range of titles. The dynamic graphics frequency ranges up to 1350MHz.
An integrated GPU The IGP inside the processor is called the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD, and is derived from existing Intel graphics products, but with some nice new improvements. The embedded graphics core is an updated model from the Westmere/Clarkdale version, though completely overhauled, improved and more powerful with an advanced video en/decoder now as well.
Sandy Bridge marks a new era, the Intel integrated graphics core is now incorporated onto the same die as the CPU, and it also has access to Intel's automatic overclocking Turbo Boost features. Integrated graphics core running at 650 MHz to 850 MHz for the high end processor models. With Turbo Boost Technology enabled, it can achieve up to 1350 MHz clock speed on the graphics core.
In all fairness, Sandy Bridge has an appealing and capable GPU, gaming wise you can expect entry-level dedicated graphics performance but we like to see the unit more as a video processor. It is exceptionally good for stuff like Blu-ray playback and it even supports 3D playback thanks to HDMI 1.4a implementation. It supports Intel Wireless Display, will use the embedded DisplayPort standard to connect the GPU to the screen, and is capable of handling the task of transcoding video. Again, gaming wise performance went up quite a bit, however it remains entry level at best. More on that in our benchmarks later on of course.
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