Tagged: sandy bridge

In a surprise announcement at Computex in Taiwan, AMD unveiled its plans to produce a Bulldozer-based APU, codenamed Trinity. The company also launched its Z series chips, aimed at Windows tablets, and announced the official branding for its Llano APUs. (“APU” is AMD-speak for a processor that combines CPU and GPU cores on a single die.)

Not much was revealed about the 32nm Trinity chip apart from the codename, the fact that it combines Bulldozer cores with a GPU, and the fact that the GPU supports DX11. This would definitely pose a big challenge to the Intel Sandy bridge which has a weaker GPU.

AMD also launched it’s Z series APUs targeting tablets. The Bobcat-based Z series parts will have a 6W TDP, which is much higher than Intel’s Moorestown (which is in the 1W range, depending on what you’re doing), and certainly not even close to being in the same league as the sub-1W ARM competition. With the higher power draw, the Z series would most likely see itself on netbooks rather than on a tablet.

AMD announced the official VISION branding for Llano today, dubbing it the A series of APUs. The three tiers in the Llano family are A4, A6, and A8, which means that the recently leaked slides showing these codenames were legit. As was shown in the leaked presentation, AMD will be aiming Llano squarely at Intel’s current Sandy Bridge lineup.

For a preview of the benchmark performance of the A series LIano against the Intel Sandy bridge, please click here.


Performance preview of AMD LIano vs Intel Sandy Bridge

In a few more weeks, the Intel Sandy bridge will face a new challenger, the AMD LIano. AMD LIano is the new processor series that is based on AMD Fusion, integrating the graphics processor into the same package of the processor. Also known as APU, it will compete head to head to Intel Sandy bridge which also power an embedded graphcis processor within.

While Intel H55 or Z68 can be paired up with the Core i3/i5 processors for it’s graphics capabilities, the AMD LIano processors have to be paired up with the A75 series motherboards with Socket FM-1.

So, how does the AMD LIano performs against the Intel Sandybridge? We take a look at two comparison running different processors on INTEL and AMD platform for 3DMark Vantage and PC Mark Vantage.

The scores are preliminary based on early beta drivers.

ASRock P67 Extreme4 Review – Introduction
Bluetooth 14 Dec 2010 (updated 18 Jan 2011)

ASRock, the innovative motherboard will be releasing a series of Intel p67 boards. This is a mid range board from ASRock that is geared for the LGA1155 processors. Being a mid range board, the price would be more affordable compared to the FATAL1TY board we reviewed some time ago. The fundamentals are the same as they are both using the same chipset. It is just some FATAL1TY features are removed from this vanilla board.

The motherboard is a full ATX form factor board with all solid caps design. It also uses an advanced V8 + 2 Power Phase Design. In terms of memory capacity, it can support up to Dual Channel DDR3-2133 (OC) of up to a total of 32GB.

On board, there are 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE4: single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode; PCIE5: x4 mode),  2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and  2 x PCI slots. The P67 Extreme4 supports either Quad CrossFireX / 3 way CrossFire / CrossFire or Quad SLI / 3 way SLI / SLI.

In terms of audio, it supports 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec),  Premium Blu-ray audio support and THX TruStudio PRO.

For connectivity, it has PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s based on Realtek RTL8111E. There are 6 USB 2.0 ports, 1 x eSATA3 Connector,  2 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports (using Etrontech) , 1394,  1 x Coaxial SPDIF Out Port,  1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port. There are also  4 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5 and Intel® Rapid Storage)NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug and 4 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors.

On top of all these, the board supports Dr. Debug, Smart Switch Design Dr. Debug, Smart Switch Design, Power/Reset/Clear CMOS Switch with LED. It also supports ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility (AXTU), Instant Boot, Instant Flash, Good Night LED, Multi-Fan Speed Control, AIWI, APP Charger, SmartView and a new UEFI GUI BIOS.

I personally feel that the  Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.) is one of the best feature on board as it allows you to reuse your old LGA775 heatsink on the new board. Theother nice add on is the Front USB 3.0 Panel which supports 2 x USB 3.0 ports and provides a 2.5” SSD/HDD rack.The package bundles in  Free Software : CyberLink DVD Suite – OEM and Trial,  Free Gift : 1 x ASRock SLI_Bridge_2S Card , 1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel, 1 x Rear USB 3.0 Bracket.

BIOSTAR TP67XE Intel P67 Express (Sandy Bridge) Mainboard Review
Bluetooth  9 Dec 2010 (updated 13 Jan 2011)

Biostar TP67XE mainboard. Based on the Intel P67 Express chipset. The board fits the LGA1155 Sandy Bridge processor. For maximum stability, BIOSTAR chose to use a 10 phase power design with 100% Japanese solid capacitors.

The board itself comes with 4 DIMM slots supporting up to DDR3-2133 (OC). It has 2 PCIe 2.0 x16  (x8 +x8) supporting SLI/CrossFire and 2 PCIe x1 and 2 PCI slots.

AS for audio, it comes with Realtek 8+2 ch audio with THX. The board also has PCIe GbE support. For storage expansion, it has 2 SATA 6Gbps and 3 SATA 3Gbps ports on board. There are 2 USB 3.0 and 2 x 1394a and 1 eSATA port.

One of the major addition to the BIOSTAR board is the BIO-Remote2 feature. Users who own an Android or iPhone are now able to use their handset to remotely control MP3, mouse pad and power point presentation. The requirement is that both devices are running on the same Wireless network. You can download the software from Android Market or Apple Appstore.

BIOSTAR also brings the charge booster to their mainboards. You can now charge up your iPhone and iPad at a faster rate of 42% faster than normal USB ports whether it is in sleep, standby or power off status.

ASRock H67M-GE/HT Intel H67 board review  – Introduction
Bluetooth 5 Dec 2010 (updated 7 Jan 2011)

Early next year, Intel will be releasing it’s new generation of Intel Sandy bridge processors. No doubt you would need a new motherboard to support the new processors with integrated graphics and memory within the processor. The new processor is somewhat going to change the perception of integrated graphics. HD decoding is nothing new. How about 3D and improved transcoding speed of the new processor.

The new Sandy Bridge processor improves on a number of areas and they include INTEL Quick Sync Video which allows fast conversion of video files for portable media players or online sharing.

It also brings Full BluRay 3D playback with HD 1080p over HDMI 1.4 with 3D with Intel InTru 3D technology. HD playback is also improved with it’s Clear Video technology.

The new processor embedded graphics is improved with Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000 with DX10.1, OpenGL 3.0. Last but not least, Intel AVX (Advanced Vector Experience) brings improved performance for video and image editing.

Today, we take a look at the ASRock H67M-GE/HT mATX mainboard which supports the LGA1155 processor. The ASRock H67M-GE/HT is a nicely laid out board using 100% all solid capacitors. It supports the new generation K series unlock processors and dual channel DDR3-1333.

Although the socket type doesn’t fit the old LGA1156, you do not need to change your existing heatsinks as it supports Combo Cooler Option. There are multiple holes for you to mount older generation of heatsinks on this new socket. So you can save some money to get more peripherals.

On the mainboard, there are 2 USB 3.0 ports at the rear, PCIe GbE, Multi vga output options including D-SUB, DVI-D, HDMI and Displayport. There is also front USB 3.0 support using the bundled USB 3.0 front panel.

ASRock on it’s new generation boards uses Etrontech USB 3.0 controller which is supposedly faster than the NEC USB 3.0 chipset. It claims that it is 3.7% faster than NEC in CyrstlaDiskMark 3.0 (Read Seq)  and 97.7% (8M Write) faster in ATTO Disk benchmark.

In addition, ASRock also bundled in a MCE remote controller & multi angle receiver allowing you to control your PC using the remote control thrown in for FREE. On top of that, ASrock also bundled a 3D Red/Cyan Anaglyph Glasses, allowing you to enjoy 3D with Intel INTRU 3D technology. You no longer need to buy special monitor to view 3D Bluray as it is able to decode Stereoscopic 3D Bluray playback in full HD 1080p resolution over HDMI 1.4a.

For those who prefer the old text based BIOS, be in for a treat as UEFI BIOS now gives you a graphical visual display of yoru system. You can now control different aspects of the BIOS using a mouse. UEFI also supports bootable HDD over 2TB.

For overclockers, ASRock includes AXTU. AXTU is a tuning program software utility that suppoerts overclocking and hardware tuning such as energy usage, hardware monitoring and speed control and OC DNA.

On the next few pages, we will take a look at the board layout and chipsets.

In Jan 2011, the new generation LGA1155 Sandy bridge processors will be released. With it, a new series of P67/H67 boards will be put to test the overclockability of the processors.

According to some early tests from online publications, the default bclk of the Socket 1155 processor is at 100MHz.

In the past for Intel processors, we would try two methods of overclocking, firstly by pushing the max BCLK with default multiplier. Secondly, we could fix the BCLK to default and push up the multiplier.

This will change with LGA1155 as BCLK overclock is very limited. In fact, in a demo we saw earlier, the auto overclocking engine of a certain board actually first increases the multiplier to it’s max before trying it’s luck on BCLK. The last BCLK I saw with a high multiplier didn’t even pass 105MHz. All these probleems arises because a single clock generator to control the speed of all electrical buses.

However, Intel will allow overclocking through modifying the unlocked clock multiplier of up to 57 times the speed of base clock, which will be available in K-edition processors.

There has been tests done by other publications, achiving 4.9GHz on AIR. That is quite impressive isn’t it.


We have just posted our part 1 of our review of the upcoming ASRock H67M-GE/HT Mainboard based on the next generation Intel chipset. The package has some interesting features. They include 3D glasses in the package, non NEC USB 3.0 controllers etc. A new graphical BIOS and a new set of tools for overclocking. Check out the details here


Intel’s Sandy Bridge Will Not Skyrocket Sales of Microprocessors – Analyst.
No Deferred Demand for Sandy Bridge-Based Systems Expected

Intel Corp. is extremely optimistic about its code-named Sandy Bridge central processing unit (CPU) and the company is eager to show that system builders are also very excited about the new chip, which brings a lot of tangible improvements compared to predecessors. However, an analyst believes that Intel is overestimating its Sandy Bridge product and there would be no uptick in sales of PCs because of the new chip launch.

“Although Intel seems to believe that its upcoming Sandy Bridge processor will drive demand, we cannot find evidence of delayed PC purchases for it. Sandy Bridge offers improved graphics [performance], but it appears to be evolutionary, not revolutionary. As a result, we expect normal seasonality for Intel in Q1 with revenue declining 9% [sequentially] from $11.1 billion in Q4 to $10.1 billion in Q1, below consensus of $10.7 billion,” wrote Christopher Danely, an analyst with J.P. Morgan analyst, in a note for customers.

Recently a number of analysts said, and Intel implied, that Sandy Bridge microprocessors will revitalize the market of personal computers in Q1 2011 because of improved performance of microprocessor and graphics engines. Some even believe that certain consumer are not buying new computers and wait for Sandy Bridge to show up, thus, creating deferred demand for PCs.

It should be noted that the first quarter of every year is traditionally weaker compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year. As a result, Sandy Bridge has to be very good in order to catalyze consumers to replace their PCs in Q1 2011 after exhausting purchases in late 2010. Meanwhile, even though Sandy Bridge will considerably improve performance of x86 processing cores and integrated graphics core, the chip will lack DirectX 11 functionality, something that even low-end code-named Zacate chip from AMD will support.

On the other hand, thanks to much improved performance of built-in graphics core of Sandy Bridge, system makers will be able to drop low-end integrated graphics from ATI or Nvidia, which will reduce their costs and will boost profitability, or will allow them to make PCs more affordable.

The first Intel Sandy Bridge chips will feature two or four cores with Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technology as well as new graphics processor. There will be a lot of different desktop models with 35W, 65W (dual-core, quad-core) or 95W (quad-core) thermal design power. The new processors will use LGA1155 form-factor and will only be compatible with platforms based on the Intel 6-series chipsets.

The two key improvements of Sandy Bridge are a new integrated graphics core with much increased performance as well as Intel AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) technology which, when used by software programmers, will increase performance in floating point, media, and processor intensive software, according to the Intel.

In the coming month, Intel will announce it’s new generation chipset. Today we take a look at a few new upcoming boards from Gigabyte that will support this new chipset and new series of processors.

The first is


1.      Onboard SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps to deliver impeccable data transfer speeds.
2.      New Matte Black color PCB offering a stylish new outlook that lends itself to decoration and case mods.
3.      GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 3 design with 2x Copper PCB to provide the stability, reliability and longevity essential to meet the power needs of high-end processors and other components running today’s most demanding applications and games.
4.      Unique GIGABYTE 3x USB Power design with On/Off Charge USB ports to offer faster battery charging for iPhone, iPad and iPod devices.
5.      CrossFireX™ support for ultimate graphics performance.
6.      GIGABYTE patented DualBIOS™ technology delivering the highest level of failure protection.
Brief Specifications:
CPU Support: LGA 1155 Intel® 2nd Generation Core Processors
Chipset: Intel® 6-series Chipset
Memory:  4 DIMMs
Dual Channel DDR3 2200 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 / 800
Expansion slots: 2* PCI-e x16 ( 1×16 + 1×4)
    3* PCI-e x1
    2* PCI
Storage:  4* SATA 3Gbps , 2* SATA 6Gbps
         2* USB 3.0, 14* USB 2.0 Audio: 8-Channel Audio
Form Factor: ATX
Others: DualBIOS™, Dual CPU Power, Ultra Durable™ 3, On/Off Charge, 3x USB Power,