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What causes Ivy Bridge's high temperatures? It could be that Intel used TIM instead of solder for the IHS
Nearly every review of Ivy Bridge, including those that were done with engineering samples, has noted that Ivy Bridge runs up to 20*C hotter when overclocked than Sandy Bridge did. People were quick to jump to conclusions on why this was the case, and often these people had nothing to base the conclusions on.
No, these conclusions that people were parroting across the web were wrong. The true answer resides in the fact that, apparently, Intel did not use fluxless solder to attach the IHS (that metal cover over the silicon die) to the Ivy Bridge die. Instead, they have gone back to an older way of doing things and used regular thermal interface material (TIM).
TIM has some major disadvantages to fluxless solder. The biggest, and root cause of this issue is the fact that it doesn't transfer heat nearly as well as fluxless solder. However, it does come with some advantages. You are able to remove the IHS without much risk of damaging the die itself. Could it be that Intel kept extreme overclockers in mind when making this decision? The issue is discussed in more detail at the source below.
ASUS is known for making some incredible products including motherboards. Their internal overclocking team has used an ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE motherboard along with an Intel i7-3770K to smash 5 world records. This required extreme cooling which came in the way of liquid nitrogen. The records are for benchmark scores and additionally managed 7Ghz on the new Ivy Bridge chip.
The records, as follows, attest to the quality components and engineering that go into ASUS products.
- AquaMark 3: 536638 marks using a Radeon HD 7970 graphics card clocked at 1600MHz core and 1900MHz GDDR5
- PiFast: 10.3 seconds with Intel Core i7-3770K set to 6930MHz
- 3DMark 2001 SE: 164589 marks using a GeForce GTX 580 clocked at 1553MHz core and 1250MHz GDDR5
- SuperPi: 5 seconds 187ms with Intel Core i7-3770K set to 6961MHz
- SuperPi 32M: 4 minutes 52 seconds and 953ms with Intel Core i7 set to 6735MHz
NVIDIA have finally started discussing Tegra 4 or "Wayne" in more detail, as well as covering Tegra 3+ at HTC's Freqs event in Seattle on Thursday. NVIDIA didn't give much info on it, but we should expect a clock speed increase or other minor updates to the chip.
Another device 'Grey' should also launch side-by-side with Tegra 4, and will be the first Tegra-based device to sport LTE support. It would also be the first device from NVIDIA to benefit from the company's acquisition of Icera. Original roadmaps pegged NVIDIA to hit up to 2GHz for the Tegra 3+, but the newer roadmaps point to it hitting mid-range smartphones rather than high-end devices.
Tegra 3+ devices should be made available by the end of this year, but Wayne and Grey are not expected until next year. Android- and Windows 8-based devices should sport the ability to have Tegra 4, but Grey is most likely going to be limited to Android. It will be good to see what NVIDIA can do for Windows devices, I'm getting more excited by the day for smart devices with news like this.
Naming things can be difficult. Think about how hard it was to name your kids. If you don't have kids, think about how hard it was for your parents to name you! A similar crisis plays out when the Intel engineers are trying to come up with the codename for upcoming Intel CPU architectures.
I have to take a moment and apologize for the corny Shakespearean title. It's just that from Intel's perspective, it's true. It doesn't really matter what they call the chip as the name has no influence on the design. The codename just has to be something "nice name that could pass the legal test."
Usually Intel codenames are based on locations in North America, so Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge actually break this mold for, what I can tell, the first time ever. To understand how Intel came up with Ivy Bridge, we actually have to look at Sandy Bridge first. Arie Harsat is the Intel engineer who came up with Sandy Bridge.
Now, Sandy Bridge wasn't always Sandy Bridge. First it was "Gesher," the Hebrew word for "bridge," because Harsat saw the new architecture as "a bridge into the future." However, this name didn't pass the legal test because Gesher is also a former political party in Israel. The name was changed to its English meaning and the word "Sandy" was tacked on. Harsat doesn't remember where the word Sandy came from. It could be a reference to beach sand, which is one of the main ingredients in silicon.
Intel, as is tradition, is saying out with the old and in with the new as it ushers in Ivy Bridge, the next generation CPU architecture based upon its 22nm tri-gate transistors. What's interesting this time is that Intel is phasing out low end CPUs while the upcoming launch will be the high end CPUs.
The parts on the chopping block come from the i3, Pentium, and Celeron line of products--not exactly blistering performance stuff. But every product has its place, such as these are useful in low-cost PCs. Intel has advised its partners that it will end shipments of the following processors as of April 16th, 2013:
- Celeron P4600 (2.0 GHz)
- Core i3-370M (2.4 GHz0
- Core i3-390M (2.6 GHz)
- Pentium P6100 (2.0 GHz)
- Pentium P6200 (2.13 GHz)
- Pentium P6300 (2.2 GHz)
Orders will continue to be accepted with the ability to cancel until October 16, 2012. Past that date, no more cancellations can be made. Intel's justification for killing these low end processors is that a "shift of market demand" has occurred. If you want to grab one of these processors, you best do it within a year.
hWhile the upcoming Ivy Bridge chips (think 3770K, etc) may suck on air, with a little bit of love and some extreme cooling solutions, it looks like these chips could prove to be pretty darn good overclockers. Chinese overclocker x-powerx800pro has managed, with the help of liquid nitrogen (LN2), to achieve a massive overclock of 6.616Ghz!!!! DAMN!
That blows the socks off of my previous record of 5.5Ghz on my old 655K (note: I used a chilled water setup). Using a 63x multiplier and a base clock of 105.03MHz, he was able to achieve the massive overclock of 6.616GHz. Thank you 22nm goodness. However, pay no attention to the reported 'Core Voltage' in the following CPU screenshot.
The core voltage reported is actually a bug. The real core voltage is much higher and comes in at a large, but not ridiculous, 1.85v. This chip is also showing up as an 'ES' which means engineering sample. This means that the retail version could clock much differently. And contrary to the rumor posted previously today, the screenshot does say 77W for the TDP.
It could disprove the rumor, or the TDP could be reported wrong due to it being an engineering sample or CPU-z may not have been updated to include updated numbers from Intel yet. I wouldn't count the rumor out just yet, but I would start scrounging for more exotic cooling solutions if you plan to overclock.
With the launch of Intel's Ivy Bridge getting extremely close, it's impossible to keep these retail chips out of the hands of people who haven't signed NDAs. More and more people are getting a hold of the chips and overclocking them. Someone has finally managed to snag a boxed retail version of the chip and found something interesting.
As you can see in the picture above, the rated TDP is 95W. Intel has been telling us along the way that the quad-core Ivy Bridge parts were to be rated at 77W TDP, so this is quite the discrepancy. The only possible reason for this, other than it being the true TDP, is if there was a misprint on a large batch of processors, because sources are saying all of the boxes are marked this way.
Additionally, people overclocking the new part have found it to be a worse overclocker than Sandy Bridge. The main issue with overclocking is that because of Intel's new Tri-gate transistors, they are packed so tightly together that the die size is tiny and doesn't allow adequate heat removal. As such, overclockers are reporting that Ivy Bridge looks to be 200 - 300 Mhz worse than Sandy Bridge.
Somewhere between 4.6 - 4.7 Ghz the temperature gets so high the processor throttles. Of course, once we finally get a chip in to review, we will either be able to confirm this rumor or bust it. As for right now, take it with a grain of salt, however true it may appear to be.
Wanted to know when Intel's Chief River Ivy Bridge chipsets would be made available, well thanks to a product roadmap from Lenovo, we should expect them on June 5. Lenovo lists the date as the official on-sale date for its upcoming, yet unannounced slew of laptops sporting the new silicon.
Intel isn't offering anywhere near that level of information, but it would be nice of Intel to make this stuff official, instead of keeping their customers guessing. But, guessing customers, are customers who aren't fully aware of what's just around the corner, and you've got to move that inventory somehow, right?
The full document can be found here, but we're looking at June 5 as the day to keep our eyes peeled.
It looks like we could be in for a treat. Industry sources are saying that Intel will launch the die shrink of Sandy Bridge, dubbed Ivy Bridge, this coming Monday, April 23, 2012. Previously, it had been rumored that Intel was launching the new Ivy Bridge April 29, so it will be coming just under a week early.
This has to be one of the worst launches in recent Intel history. Leaked chips and performance "previews" have been running rampant. Even we have managed to get a hold of one of these chips and put it through its paces. Rumors have been running around that a new, thinner MacBook Pro will be launching with the new Ivy Bridge chips.
The launch will be similar to other Intel launches where the high performance quad-core parts come out first. Then they will be followed by the more power-efficient processors destined for the MacBook Air and Ultrabooks. Intel has said some of these power-efficient chips may launch a few weeks later than originally planned.
If you are planning on buying a new CPU from Intel's upcoming line of Ivy Bridge processors, you will be happy to hear the news that's come out today. Intel has dropped channel pricing on the chips by an average of $7-8. Channel pricing isn't directly related to retail pricing, but usually if the channel price falls, the retail price falls as well.
There is no promise that the retail price will drop by as much as the channel price has, but it certainly should drop some. Whatever you do, don't go pre-ordering these chips because they are charging quite the premium right now. The top CPU, the i7-3770K, sees a $19 decrease from the expected price of $332.
The price drops are less as you move down the list, but savings are savings, are they not? I've never really seen a company drop prices before a launch quite like this, especially when they have a pretty big dominance in the market. Hopefully Intel will finally make up its mind regarding Ivy Bridge and just get the launch over.