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Posted by Richard Fichera on January 3, 2011
Intel today officially announced the first products based on the much-discussed Sandy Bridge CPU architecture, and first impressions are highly favorable, with my take being that Sandy Bridge represents the first step in a very aggressive product road map for Intel in 2011.
Sandy Bridge is the next architectural spin after Intel’s Westmere shrink of the predecessor Nehalem architecture (the “tick” in Intel’s famous “tick-tock” progression of architectural changes followed by process shrink) and incorporates some major innovations compared to the previous architecture:
So what is the net in terms of performance? For servers, performance remains a work in progress, but third-party reviews of the performance of the first available product, the Core i7 2600K (I for one long for the good old days of simpler and more mnemonic product names) indicate significant performance gains on a per-core basis. My best guess for any early server chips, think “Sandy Bridge EP” is that a six core Sandy Bridge should offer 50%–100% better performance than the equivalent Westmere-based product.
Combine the prospects of a major performance boost with somewhat better power efficiency and we have the basis for a major cycle of new product innovation in the server space, along with increased heat on AMD. All in all, Sandy Bridge looks like great news for infrastructire and operations groups across all segments.
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