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Intel Upgrades Hardware

Core i5 and i3 CPUs With On-Chip GPUs Launched 235

Posted by timothy
from the two-links-is-plenty dept.
MojoKid writes "Intel has officially launched their new Core i5 and Core i3 lineup of Arrandale and Clarkdale processors today, for mobile and desktop platforms respectively. Like Intel's recent release of the Pinetrail platform for netbooks, new Arrandale and Clarkdale processors combine both an integrated memory controller (DDR3) and GPU (graphics processor) on the same package as the main processor. Though it's not a monolithic device, but is built upon multi-chip module packaging, it does allow these primary functional blocks to coexist in a single chip footprint or socket. In addition, Intel beefed up their graphics core and it appears that the new Intel GMA HD integrated graphics engine offers solid HD video performance and even a bit of light gaming capability."
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Core i5 and i3 CPUs With On-Chip GPUs Launched

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  • by wisty (1335733) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:50AM (#30638822)

    Grrr ... I wish Intel would go back to their system of giving new names to new chips then adding a MHz (and if that's not enough, maybe a cache size and number of cores) to distinguish them, rather than using a weird combination new names (for their top-tier chips) and old names (for their low-end gear).

    I only just realized that Pentium no longer means "crappy NetBurst", but now means "low end C2D". And later this month, there will be "Pentiums" and even "Celerons" built on the same architecture as the i5. How do you let your friends know that the "Pentium" is either a worthless, power-hungry dinosaur; or a cheap version of the i5? Should people memorize the chip serial numbers? Because that seems to be the only way of figuring out what the chip is these days.

    • by NoNickNameForMe (884862) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:04AM (#30638880)
      That is not the only problem nowadays, even processors within a given family may or may not have specific features (VT, for example) disabled. You'd think that there is a conspiracy going on...
    • by dingen (958134)

      I fully agree with this, it's absolutely impossible to fully understand Intel's CPU product line up. And why make all those different models anyway? I understand you have a branch of products focussing on power consumption and another on speed, but the current amount of different processors, brand names, code names, series, serial numbers is completely insane. Especially, as you point out, because the meaning of these names keep changing all the time!

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:31AM (#30638988) Journal

        That is one of the reasons I ended up switching to AMD. With Intel it was getting to be a PITA to figure out which were the "good" chips, which were the "okay" chips and which were the cheapos. Especially since some of their chips have VT and some don't. I like how AMD only has three lines-Phenom = (best) Athlon = (good) and Sempron = (cheapo). Plus I remember what it was like when Intel was a monopoly and do NOT want to go back!

        And lets be honest, once we hit dual cores for the average Joe the PC ha passed good enough a few miles back. Checking the logs on my customer's PCs on followup even the duals are spending a good amount of their time twiddling their thumbs, because the average user just doesn't come up with enough work to keep them fed. And with the economy in the crapper my customers like how cheap the new AMDs are. Hell you can get a quad for $99!

        And as far as these new chips go, does Intel want to get a monopoly charge dropped on it? I mean here they are, being investigated left and right, and the come out with a whole new line of chips with onboard GPUs which looks like it is just another shot at locking out Nvidia. It sure as hell smells to me like trying to lock up the chipset market for themselves. I predict if Intel doesn't get a serious smack down from the EU or Justice Dept that it is gonna end up just them and AMD unless Nvidia buys Via and tries to get in the game that way. Does ATI even make chipsets for Intel boards since being bought by AMD? I know they locked Nvidia into the dead end LGA775 and basically give up. So is there anyone besides Intel making chips for the new socket?

        • Not that different (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:24AM (#30639436)

          Intel also has three lines that more or less directly correspond to AMDs: Core/Phenom (good), Pentium/Athlon (ok) and Celeron/Sempron (cheap), plus the server Xeon/Opteron. The real pain is the amount of different model numbers and numbering schemes. The secret decoder ring for Intel models is:

          A) old three number codes
          E.g. Pentium 965, Celeron 450, ...
          First digit is the model, second digit corresponds to the speed
          These are usually old crap and should be avoided. Celeron 743 and Celeron 900 fairly recent low-end chips that you can still buy.

          B) Letter plus four numbers codes, e.g. SU7300:
          * S = small form factor
          * U = ultra-low voltage (5-10W), L = low-voltage (17W), P = medium voltage (25W), T = desktop replacement (35W), E = Desktop (65W), Q = quad-core (65-130W), X = extreme edition
          * 7 = model line, tells you about amount of cache, VT capability etc. Scale goes from 1 (crap) to 9 (can't afford).
          * 3 = clock frequency, relative performance within the line. Scale from 0 to 9.
          * 00 = random features disabled or enabled, have to look up for specific details.

          C) New Core i3-XYZa
          Similar to scheme B, with the added dash and more confusing
          * i3 = Line within Core brand, can be i3 (cheap, but better than Celeron or Pentium), i5 (decent) or i7 (high-end)
          * X = the actual model, tells you the amount of cache and number of cores, but only together with the processor line (i3-5xx is very different from i5-5xx)
          * Y = corresponds to clock speed, higher is better
          * Z = modifier, currently 0, 1 or 5 for specific features
          * a = type of processor: X = extreme, M = mobile, QM = quad-core mobile, LM = low-voltage mobile, UM = ultra-low-voltage mobile

          • This secret decoder ring is exactly where Intel has got it all wrong. Who needs to charge them with antitrust violations when the marketing and product departments will run them into the ground anyway

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by kestasjk (933987) *
            My laptop sticker says "Centrino 2", and I just happen to know that that's a Penryn (and what "Penryn" means). I think it's safe to say Intel's naming scheme sucks.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kjella (173770)

          And as far as these new chips go, does Intel want to get a monopoly charge dropped on it?

          The writing has been on the wall for a while, it will all be integrated into one chip at least on the low end. Oh sure Intel might get slapped one way or the other but by the time the dust settles it'll all be on a <30nm chip and no court will manage to force them to create discrete chips again.

          The other part is games but the chips are running ahead of eyes and displays and developer time, if you looked at the latest reviews they only test at 2560x1600 with full AA/AF. I'm sure Fermi will be impressive b

          • by TheKidWho (705796)

            Last I checked, 1080p displays where becoming the norm for PCs...

            • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:36AM (#30639892)
              1080p is quite a bit less than the 2560x1600 that the poster was talking about. In consumer terms, its comparing 2 megapixels vs 4 megapixels.

              Also, last I checked, the largest PC gaming segment still runs at 1280x1024 (presumably on commodity 5:4 aspect LCD's which stormed the market several years ago.) Only 12% run at 1080p or higher resolution. (source [steampowered.com])

              The 512MB NVIDIA 8800GT is probably still the best bang-for-your-buck card on the market given the resolutions people are gaming at. The 8800GT handles every game you can throw at it just fine at 1280x1024.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Hadlock (143607)

                The largest segment is technically 1280x1024 @ 21.2%, typically the highest resolution available on consumer CRTs. The next largest is 1680x1050 @ 19.98%, which is most definitely an LCD display. Technically it's not 1080p, but it's damn close for most applications. If you include all the resolutions from 1680x1050 all the way up to 1900x1200, HD, or "damn close HD" makes up a full third (36.69%) of the displays being used. The 8800 is no doubt a stellar card (I wish I'd bought one two years ago, instead

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:41AM (#30639934) Homepage

          Monopolies are only illegal when you abuse them.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          And lets be honest, once we hit dual cores for the average Joe the PC ha passed good enough a few miles back.

          When has that not been the case with PCs?

          They've always been way past good enough for the average user.

          • by KarmaMB84 (743001)
            That is until developers decide they have uses for the spare CPU cycles and memory. Don't worry, we'll be bogging down 8-core CPUs with 12 GB of RAM like pros within a couple years.
        • I tried to make 2 alternatives for my imaginary new PC (as I am getting sick of Apple), one AMD Athlon 2 Quad based, other i5 or i7 based.

          If you go with a trusted brand like Asus, the mainboard may cost more than the CPU itself! AMD mainboards are way cheaper and has an integrated but a REAL gpu, ATI 4000 something which really supports up to directx 10.1 and has several 2d acceleration features.

          I couldn't see usual suspects offering i5/i7 supporting chipsets, VIA etc... Or they are a bit late...

      • I finally understand, i5 is lighter version of i7 with less cache. OK, it is what Intel did for years with Pentium/Celeron.

        What is the basis of not enabling "HT" on lower end while it is on higher end which is already in use by high end Workstations and apps actually using the cores and doesn't need some fake virtual CPU to fill threads?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think the CPU lineup goes like this:
      8088, 8086, 80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium, Athlon, umm not sure if there is anything faster than that.

    • The average consumer has little chance of realizing an i7 may need a 1156 or a 1366 socket depending on what the model number is. Those should really have been named differently.
      • Re:Sockets and mobos (Score:4, Informative)

        by beelsebob (529313) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:38AM (#30639006)

        The average consumer doesn't give a shit what socket their CPU is in either, so it's all okay.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      What? With Pentium it was easy - there was a year or so long break between using this brand for Netburst and for Core architecture. For around 2 years already anything new & under Pentium brand gives you nice, cheap, C2D CPU...perfect in typical laptops. Yes, it's slightly slower, but together with Intel GFX and slow HDDs it doesn't matter.

      Intel of course wasn't really promoting those CPUs, wishing from you to overpaid for full C2D, but they weren't secretive about them either.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Yup. And for a while, Pentium meant "Core Duo, not Core 2 though".

      It's why I've been VERY wary of anything but "Core whatever" branded CPUs, to Intel's detriment - I've held off on an HTPC purchase for a while because the cost was more than I was willing to justify, and Adobe Flash is iffy unless you have a LOT of CPU horsepower...

  • Solid huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Betonschaar (178617) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:25AM (#30638966)

    In addition, Intel beefed up their graphics core and it appears that the new Intel GMA HD integrated graphics engine offers solid HD video performance

    Solid HD video performance? I see 35% CPU load in the Casion Royale 1080p trailer screenshot, on a fast Quad-core CPU. My puny single-core Atom 1.6Ghz with NVidia graphics does 6-10% max on any 1080p content I throw at it in XBMC.

    It's better than what Intel offered before: nothing, but I still wouldn't recommend Intel graphics for any HD video player.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)
      You shouldn't be recommend Intel graphics for pretty much anything. Unless I missed the memo, Intel is really the worst choice for graphics cards, sure it's available on whatever platform you like, but AMD's been releasing documentation on its cards and the Intel graphics chips haven't been good. You're really far better off going with either nVidia or AMD for graphics chips at this point.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

        You shouldn't be recommend Intel graphics for pretty much anything.

        I disagree. I've had a few laptops that were primarily used for programming. On those, the basic, build-in Intel graphics (GMA950 and X3100, iirc) were just fine.

        In fact, they were even better than ATI or nVidia graphics for me: those computers were running Linux, and I could always count on the Intel drivers being available for the most up-to-date Linux kernels, whereas I couldn't make that assumption for the closed-source nVidia or ATI

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Randle_Revar (229304)

        No, Intel is great. They have the best drivers right now (AMD OSS drivers are caching up, though), and as long as you don't play a lot of Wine Crysis they are plenty powerful.

    • Actually what you see os the entire cpu load including the gpu part, what you see in the second case is the pure cpu load and offloaded gpu, the end result is pretty much the same if you sum both up...

      • You're wrong. What you're seeing is that apparently the Casino Royale video is not fully accelerated by the GPU. The GPU load is never factored in the Windows performance monitor, you need CPU-z or something like that.

  • by IYagami (136831) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:25AM (#30638968)

    DESKTOP PROCESSORS
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/18216/1 [techreport.com]
    "As a CPU technology, Clarkdale is excellent. I can't get over how the Core i5-661 kept nearly matching the Core 2 Quad Q9400 in things like video encoding and rendering with just two cores. We've known for a while how potent the Nehalem microarchitecture can be, but seeing a dual-core processor take on a quad-core from the immediately preceding generation is, as I said, pretty mind-blowing. Clarkdale's power consumption is admirably low at peak
    (...)
    The integrated graphics processor on Clarkdale has, to some extent, managed to exceed my rather low expectations."

    http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3704 [anandtech.com]
    "For a HTPC there's simply none better than these new Clarkies. The on-package GPU keeps power consumption nice and low, enabling some pretty cool mini-ITX designs that we'll see this year. Then there's the feature holy-grail: Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA bitstreaming over HDMI. If you're serious about building an HTPC in 2010, you'll want one of Intel's new Core i3s or i5s."

    NOTEBOOK PROCESSORS
    http://anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=3705 [anandtech.com]
    "From the balanced notebook perspective, Arrandale is awesome. Battery life doesn't improve, but performance goes up tremendously. The end result is better performance for hopefully the same power consumption. If you're stuck with an aging laptop it's worth the wait. If you can wait even longer we expect to see a second rev of Arrandale silicon towards the middle of the year with better power characteristics. Let's look at some other mobile markets, though.
    (...)
    If what you're after is raw, unadulterated performance, there are still faster options.
    (...)
    We are also missing something to replace the ultra-long battery life offered by the Core 2 Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) parts. "

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Wow, you're cherry-picking in favor of Intel, how about some quotes like:

      When I first started testing Clarkdale I actually had to call Intel and ask them to explain why this wasn't a worthless product. The Core i5 661 is priced entirely too high for what it is, and it's not even the most expensive Clarkdale Intel is selling!

  • Do Not Want! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by A12m0v (1315511) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:26AM (#30638976) Journal

    Anyone else suspicious of this? Intel trying to use its CPU monopoly to gain a GPU monopoly?

    • by kramulous (977841)

      We breath oxygen. What do you breath there?

    • It will further cement thier already near monopoly in the integrated graphics for intel based systems segment. Whether it will have much impact on the gamer graphics segment depends on how well it performs. It seems that they have more or less caught up with AMD integrated graphics but I don't think that in itself is enough to seriously impact on sales of discrete graphics cards.

      Unfortunately TFA jumps straight from integrated graphics to a £130 card and uses completely different settings for the two

    • by rpp3po (641313) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:58AM (#30639310)

      While you might have missed that Intel already is the largest GPU vendor in the world for years (gaming is small compared to B2B sales), you are right, anyway. When offering intel CPUs implies having to buy their GPU, the air will become thin for excellent integrated chipset offerings as Nvidia's. Instead of pushing customers through secret, anti-competitive contracts, they have just changed their product lineup. Want a CPU? Fine, but you can't have it without a GPU.

      It will be interesting to see, wether Apple will get special treatment. The have already semi-officially let a word slip out, that they are not interested in the Arrandale GPU and won't use it. It's just not powerful enough for their GPU-laden OS and application lineup compared to Nvidia's chipset offerings.

      • And remember the last time they did this? Before the 486, there were a few x87 manufactures (including AMD). The 486 came with an integrated 487, so there was no need to buy one from a third party (they later split the line into 486sx and dx, where the sx was a 486 with the broken 487 disabled).

        AMD survived by ramping up investment in their x86 clones and shifted to selling x86+x87 cores, rather than just x87 cores, as their primary market. ATi is doing the same thing by being purchased by AMD. nVidia

    • Re:Do Not Want! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MemoryDragon (544441) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:31AM (#30639480)

      Jepp they already said they want to bankrupt nvidia, every move in the last year was in this direction, first shutting out the ION chipset by illegal pricing now trying to push the gpus into the core so that the cheap enough solution ends wherever nvidia (and ATI but they are less bothered since they can do the same) got its core money from, third fighting a patent war on them to shoot them out of the chipset market.

      The entire thing started when NVidia was blabbering about you dont need CPU upgrades anymore just use the GPU for everything, that woke Intel up, and as usual with cheapass solutions which are worse but cheaper they kill off the competition!
      Worked in the past works again.
      I wonder if we will see NVidia in 5 years at all in the PC market they might end up being a second PowerVR still healthy in the embedded sector but not at all present on the PC side of things.

  • What the hell... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NervousNerd (1190935) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:48AM (#30639044) Journal
    What the hell is up with their model numbers? Quick, is that i5 you have a dual core or a quad core!? At least Intel's older Core 2 processors differentiated with "Duo" or "Quad", and AMD's simply uses "X2","X3" or "X4".
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tim C (15259)

      I bought an i7 as part of a general upgrade a few months ago; it wasn't until I had it installed and happened to check Task Manager that I realised it was a quad core chip.

  • Article is terrible (Score:5, Informative)

    by sammydee (930754) <seivadmas+slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:27AM (#30639448) Homepage

    The article is awful. There is only one game benchmark and that compared to an integrated AMD GPU that hardly anybody has heard of. There is also no way of telling from the article whether the integrated intel graphics actually has HD video decode acceleration or not. The modern core i5 chips are pretty capable of decoding 1080p content by themselves without any gpu assistance.

    I think the article writer misunderstands how hardware video decode assist actually works. It isn't magically engaged when you play any HD movie in any media player (usually it has to be turned on in an option somewhere with a media player app that supports it) and it isn't a sliding scale of cpu usage. Modern decoding chips either decode EVERYTHING on the card, reducing cpu usage to 1% or 2%, or the app decodes EVERYTHING in software, resulting in fairly high cpu usage.

    I still have no idea if the new intel graphics chip actually offers any HD video acceleration at all. If it did, it would make it a nice choice for low power and HTPC solutions. If it doesn't, it's just another crappy integrated graphics card.

    • by nxtw (866177) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:27AM (#30641106)

      I think the article writer misunderstands how hardware video decode assist actually works. It isn't magically engaged when you play any HD movie in any media player (usually it has to be turned on in an option somewhere with a media player app that supports it)

      DXVA acceleration works automatically with Windows 7 and any application using the proper built-in decoder and EVR renderer. It should also work with Media Player Classic Home Cinema, if the default renderer is compatible.

      I still have no idea if the new intel graphics chip actually offers any HD video acceleration at all.

      It does. The G45/GM45 chipsets released in 2008 also have full decoding.

  • a wsj analyst has to be looking at this, and concluding that the gpu business is doomed.

    • It is, and has been for a long time. It's now in the same place that the discrete math coprocessor market was in 1989. That's not necessarily a problem for nVidia for two reasons.

      First, Intel is licensing the Atom microarchitecture to SoC manufacturers. They can also license a GPU core design from nVidia, and maybe a DSP design from someone else, and build their own integrated SoC with an nVidia GPU and an Atom CPU. This is Intel's attempt to compete with ARM. When you buy an ARM chip, you almost alwa

      • Intel claimed the video acceleration market was doomed years ago with their first AGP cards that accessed system memory and were about as useful for gaming as a Gameboy that's been through the laundry.

        Integrated video has been available for a long time, and it keeps getting better, but the gap between that and truly good gaming hardware is still very wide. The difference is that video card makers simply need to refocus and won't have the low-end market to supply anymore for those easy profits.

        • Did you used to work for SGI? Your post sounds exactly like the arguments that SGI management was making in the '90s.

          Discrete graphics chips are luxury items. For most users, integrated graphics are more than enough; there's a reason why Intel has more than 50% of the GPU market. I rarely come close to stretching my three-year-old laptop's GPU. Integrated graphics keep improving. The gap between integrated and discrete isn't the important thing, it's where on the line 'good enough' sits. For a lot of

    • ...or, being a journalist, he uses a Mac and he has purchased the i950/945 based scandals from Apple.

      Trust me on that, Apple figured they made the biggest mistake by trusting to Intel's "graphics". There are games who has to carry "Intel graphics based Macs aren't supported".

      Imagine, you fix the endian issue, claim to have "best opengl" and you base your OS to GPU acceleration features. Some CPU monopoly who you stupidly relied on as a single vendor offers you a graphics solution and your "living room compu

    • a wsj analyst has to be looking at this, and concluding that the gpu business is doomed.

      Intel is going to have to come out with a GPU that's better than a 4 year old nvidia gpu first.

  • I have no idea of what intel are calling their cips and which is the best etc

    Can someone answer these 'simple' questions - In terms of regular geek activities, movie playing/encoding, gaming, compiling, rendering, desktop use, all the regular things

    1. Which processor is the all out fastest, best (money no object)

    2. Which processor is the best bang for buck (money and object)

    3. how do intel chips compare to amd on the bang per buck level.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by W2k (540424)

      Of course. Every PC hardware site worth a penny does regular articles on which CPU is currently the fastest and which will give you the most for your money. As well as comparisons between Intel/AMD. My favorite site for such things is Tom's Hardware, though Google will likely find you many more.

      Which CPU is actually fastest heavily depends on what you will be using it for. Your list of "regular geek activities" does not narrow it down enough. Also, many applications contain optimizations that target a parti

  • only having 1 x16 + DMI IS bad as boards with usb 3.0 / sata 600 have to cut pci-e lanes or use pcie switches to have the bandwidth to run them.

  • Apple better not use this gpu as it is slower then the 9400m and much slower then the newer 9400m gen 2.

    apple has to much in to the gpu / cuda to go back to Intel GMA POS.

    and if they do intel is just asking for people to user mac os x86. Come on a $1200 aio with this? $1500 - $1700 laptops with this and 13" / 15" screens? a $800 desktop with this. When you get a core i7 (920) 5770 ati video 6gb ram 1TB HD and more for $1000 - $1200. Apple better not even think of this at $800+.

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