Shootout at the Sandy Bridge

Tilce | 16 February 2011 | 16 Comments

CPU Review and Roundup:
A closer look at Intel and AMD
by Macca28

The first Intel i3, i5 and i7 CPU’s were released on September 2009 , these were the replacements for the previous generation of Core 2 Duo and the Core 2 Quad processors. Sandy Bridge is Intel’s latest platform and CPU lineup and were only released January 2011,

Below is a quick chart with some basic info on these CPU’s ranging from the entry level i3 through to the higher end i7 processors.

Intel Core i3 i5 i7 Comparison - Besides being multicore, what makes the i3, i5, i7 Sandy Bridge processors to be computing power houses, is their hyper-threading technology, combined with the Turbo Boost feature. An integrated GPU ( graphics processor) and an enhanced L3 cache makes graphic processing super fast.

The core i5 line, that can handle multitasking even better than the i3 line. With hyper-threading enabled and Intel’s range of innovative technologies fully operational, the core i5 line is ideal for the business user , average home users or those who are into intensive gaming.

The i7 line puts phenomenal computing power at your fingertips for the high end applications like 3D rendering , Autocad this power was only once available to users of expensive servers or supercomputers but now with a i7 CPU it is available to all users. Budget wise, they may be the costliest out of the whole lot, but they offer true value for your money.

The AMD Phenom X4 CPU was released in 2008:

If we have a look at the quad core CPU’s as that is what we should be concentrating on because if you are considering upgrading you really want to go quad core with either Intel or AMD. The end result when you upgrade will always be governed buy how much you are willing to spend and this in turn will determine what level of hardware you can purchase at that time.

I just bought a AMD X4 965 quad core processor and AMD based mainboard with 4gb of DDR3 all for a cost of around $420.00, I am very happy with the upgrade as my 3D Mark 2006 score doubled without a graphics card update , this shows how important the main part of a system can be to the overall setup.

Below are a couple of charts to compare games and office apps at work using the new CPU’s.

The Intel CPU’s still pack a bigger punch then the current AMD lineup as their results show us. However if you’re restrained by budget when upgrading a AMD quad core CPU would not disappoint you with its performance.

Now with the new breed of Intel’s Sandy Bridge the only down side as shown in the chart is that most of the CPU’s are not unlocked so modders will not be happy with that fact. But as Sandy Bridge processors are up to 17% faster clock-for-clock compared to original i3 i5 i7’s that should more then make up for it…

With the price and current recall i don’t consider a good time to buy and I would hold off and the current Intel CPU’s for a little as they may just drop in price once the Sandy Bridge CPU’s come back into the market.

On some new news AMD is set to release its new processor Bulldozer some time this year so stay tuned, to sum it up it comes down to much much money you want to spend and get some bang for buck.

More info here on the upcoming Bulldozer , Bobcat AMD series of CPU’s
AMD Unveils Bulldozer & Bobcat: 2011 Microachitectures - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News

The various CPU charts and benchmarks used in this review were sourced from the following tech review sites.. (Sandy Bridge desktop cpu comparison) (Everest , Unreal tournament 3 , Microsoft Excel 2007 charts) (Far Cry 2 chart)

16 Comments so far | Post a comment

Well that was a heart stopping moment!

I read the headline as ‘Shootout at Sandy Bridge’ and freaked as that is where I grew up as a kid!!

I’m so glad that your informative article had nothing to do with the world turning upside down. :)

Nice write up Macca looking good .... Sorry to Smokeyjobe I gave that title to this article and never thought their would be a place called Sandy Bridge ...

LOL. That’s funny!
Good Job Macca :D

Nice work Macca. Ive been waiting for Sandy for a while now, but as with upgrades you are only top of the tree for a short while.
More intel chips are due mid 2011 so i may see what these may offer.
Thanks again.
Much appreciated

Good write up Macca.  I am now in the know and it is good to see that my Phenom 965 is not yet a complete embarrassment!

I just read about all the issues with SATA so guess it’s wait a while longer for an upgrade. They think it will be April before the new fixed motherboards are available in better quantities. March will be for replaced the affected ones.

Got all the info from Anandtech and saw from the charts that looks like i5 @2500 is the best value for a performance boost. Cried when i saw my Q6600 being half of the new cpus in benchmarks. No wonder games are started to struggle.

Nice write up.

Now is a good time to purchase.  Sandy BRidge i5 or i7 get the ‘k’ model and it has the multiplier unlocked.

4.5gig stable on air cooling is as easy as a few changes in bios.

$300 chip running @ 4.5gigs is sexy!

Bit premature to buy a Sandy Bridge when AMD’s Fusion APU’s will be arriving soon, also a bit premature to be doing a writeup comparing Intel to AMD as a result.

There is always a new chip and this is highlighting what is currently out there.

I have changed my mine and am waiting for bf3 to tell me what I need, another 2 versions of cpu by then.

Good to see my Phenom 965 isn’t lagging too far behind (still a sweet spot value/buck in my books).

LOL, just saw Geordies’ remarks (great minds think alike :))

Keep ‘em coming Macca!

Great write up!

“With the price and current recall i don’t consider a good time to buy and I would hold off and the current Intel CPU’s for a little as they may just drop in price once the Sandy Bridge CPU’s come back into the market. ”

So 5 weeks have passsed - what is your current view on the state of the recall and any potential pricing changes?

I ask because I am about to do a parts order to build a new gaming rig. Stability is more important to me than overclocking so I am looking at an I7-9600.


Hi Tangram ,

Pricing seems fine , havent gone up much , what cpu are you looking at exactly ?
I7 ?

Intel Core i7 960 Processor -LGA 1366, 3.2GHz 8MB Cache CPU ?

Tangram go here and there are a few benchmarks to compare cpus , if the above cpu is what your thinking about it will be a grea cpu to get.,2418.html

This post is a big help for me as I can use it as my reference for my computer subject that tackles the same topic. I hope that my professor will give me an A+ grade for my custom essays.

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