Today we can see a preview of Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge at Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-core-i7-3770k
Once again, Intel has pulled off the seemingly impossible: they increased the IPC of the Core i7 series. They have also made the turbo more aggressive for even better single-threaded performance (more on that in an upcoming post). The short story is this: you get more performance at lower power consumption, for the same price.
But I am more interested in the graphics side of things. And Intel has something nice in store on the graphics front as well: DirectX 11. Granted, they are rather late in the game, especially since AMD has already released the first DirectX 11.1 GPUs, but for Intel it’s a nice update nonetheless.
The performance is also a nice step up from the IGP in Sandy Bridge (which in itself was a major upgrade). In games it is 20%-50% faster than Sandy Bridge, making it a viable option for low-end gaming. It is still not enough to catch up to AMD’s Llano in graphics performance, but the gap has closed considerably. Since Intel has not dedicated as much silicon to the IGP as AMD has in Llano, it is not at all bad. If Haswell can make another step like Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge before it, the gap with AMD may be closed altogether.
But what is most amazing is the DirectCompute performance:
Intel actually manages to outperform AMD’s Llano here. Which is quite a feat for Intel’s first-ever DX11 architecture. It seems that GPGPU is a thing that Intel pulls off quite well. I’m still waiting for the day that Intel decides to build discrete GPUs. They’ve come a long way in recent years, and combined with their manufacturing process, Intel has the potential to offer quite competitive GPUs.