They're here! That is, Intel's Sandy Bridge mobile and desktop processors herein known as the 2nd Generation Core processor family or more simply as Intel Core 2011 processors to us. After months of teasing and on-stage demos, Chipzilla is finally unleashing the details of its new Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, and considering there are 29 new CPUs in total as well as new integrated graphics options (now known as processor graphics) there's quite a bit to digest. Hit the break for our rundown of the new platform and a look at some of Intel's newest performance and graphics-focused features.
What's new here?
The processor details
- Intel Quick Sync Video - The title of this one isn't exactly the most self explanatory, but Intel's promising way faster video transcoding with it's new integrated Quick Sync feature, which does encoding in hardware -- it says it will be 17x faster than older generations of integrated graphics. Intel's partnered with media software companies like CyberLink, Corel, and ArcSoft to enable this hardware-accelerated H.264 and MPEG-2 video conversion.
- Intel InTru 3D / Clear Video HD - 3D Blu-ray playback over HDMI 1.4? Not a problem for Intel's Core 2011 platform. This doesn't mean Intel's providing the 3D technology for laptops or desktops, but it's promising that you can play stereoscopic 3D and HD content on your TV using HDMI.
- WiDi 2.0 - Our biggest complaints about the original WiDi was the lack of support for 1080p. Well, Intel's finally enabled streaming of full HD with its latest processors. There's still lag and you will need to pick up a new TV receiver, most likely a new one from Netgear, to take advantage of the new full HD abilities. We've got more details on this and Intel's new Insider video content service here.
What's next? A boatload of laptops and desktops powered by these new processors, that's what! Oh yes, Intel says that over 500 systems will be based on the new platform. We've already seen a few leak out, but you can bet on most of the major computer manufacturers announcing new systems at CES 2011 (Lenovo's taken the first step!), so stay tuned for tons of announcements. Until we flood you with those, enjoy studying up on all the new processors in the gallery above.