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Whether You Upgrade to Latest Ivy Bridge Processor or not, It’s a Win!

There are many great reasons to upgrade to Intel’s Ivy Bridge, or third generation core processors, which will be released on a staggered basis later this month. CTL plans to have laptops, notebooks, and desktops with the new processors in stock by late spring. The Ivy Bridge upgrade is particularly exciting for mobile workers who need longer battery life, gamers and media production professionals interested in high-end graphics with multimedia processing power, and enthusiasts who demand the best technology has to offer, including brand new ultra-fast USB 3.0 file transfer capabilities.

With the new processors, Intel has increased performance while reducing power consumption by shrinking their manufacturing process from 32 nanometers to 22 and switching from 2D to 3D transistors. At the same switching speed, Intel’s 22nm 3D Tri-Gate transistors can run at 75 – 80% of the operating voltage of their 32nm transistors.  Intel claims that the reduction in active power can be more than 50% compared to its 32nm process. Bottom line, computers with the Ivy Bridge Processor can do more using less power.

Of course, Ivy Bridge is the in-house codename used by Intel. When the chips become available, they will be sold under the same Intel Core i7, Intel Core i5, and (eventually) Intel Core i3 names being used for Intel processors today, however these will now be called the “third-generation” Intel Core processors. Watch CTL’s website (www.ctl.net) for the announcement of which products will feature Ivy Bridge.

Within the third generation processor family, there will be different sets for mobile and desktop computers. Basically, the mobile versions will have lower power requirements to boost battery life, but run slightly slower. The desktop processors will use more power, but be faster, larger, and offer more features.  All the new Ivy Bridge processors will feature Turbo Boost technology, which speeds up the processor when an application or operating system requests increased performance. Where the mobile processors lack speed in day-to-day functions, they make up for when Turbo Boost kicks in, sometimes temporarily pushing more than 1GHz faster than base speed. In addition, the Core i5 and i7 processors will feature dual core processing ideal for high-performance games, high-end web applications and Flash, media processing tasks like video or audio editing, and batch editing photographs.

So, should you upgrade to the a new computer featuring an Ivy Bridge processor? Well, if you need long battery life, absolutely. Mobile Ivy Bridge will have unprecedented performance to power consumption. Gamers, digital artists, and multimedia users will feel a definite improvement in performance and visuals. If you’re happy with the current power and performance offered by the Intel Sandy Bridge family of processors, the good news is that these systems will become more affordable, as retailers work to clear their inventory. The Ivy Bridge series is what Intel classifies as a “tick,” or more mild upgrade in between major upgrades that they classify as “tocks.” Whether you cash in on the benefits of Ivy Bridge now, or save money on Sandy Bridge computers in anticipation of Intel’s next “tock,” the Haswell CPU expected mid-2012, it’s a win-win situation.