Intel has officially unveiled its “Sandy Bridge” processors. chips will in actuality carry the same Core i3/i5/i7 naming as the 2010 generation of Intel processors.

According to Intel, highlights of the Sandy Bridge processors, built around a new 32nm microarchitecture, include more energy efficient performance and improved 3D and graphics performance. The latest version of Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, called Turbo Boost 2.0, lets each core boost performance past its base clock speed as needed for dynamic workloads, while balancing the thermal headroom to avoid overheating. Intel claims that with this new generation of CPUs, “content creation is up to 42% faster and gaming up to 50% faster,” than previous generations.

You’ll definitely see Sandy Bridge processors in Macs this year. Intel sahs its next-generation laptop chips based on the Sandy Bridge architecture will be able to play Blu-ray 3D movies while preserving battery life. Could this mean Blu-ray playback might finally arrive on the Mac? Probably, not but I’ll keep hoping.

However, the Core 2011-powered laptops or desktops will purportedly be able to purchase or rent the latest movies in full HD. And, according to “engadget” (, Intel plans to launch an Insider movie service with 1080p content and WiDi 2.0 that will let you stream it to your TV.

What’s more, you won’t need to buy a separate graphics processor to specifically view 3D content. Sandy Bridge chips are slated to go into production later this year, and computers with ’em could arrive in the first half of next year.

Intel’s current laptop chips are capable of 1080p video, and improvements in Sandy Bridge chips could bring a noticeable graphics improvement to computers, according to “PC World” (

Sandy Bridge will be the first mainstream Intel chip to integrate the graphics processing unit (GPU) onto the same piece of silicon as the main processor, or CPU. This is possible thanks to Intel’s 32-nanometer manufacturing technology.

“Probably the most interesting new feature is the completely revamped Intel HD graphics system,” says “CNET” ( “Previously, the integrated graphics found in most laptops and desktops weren’t able to play even basic 3D games at reasonable performance levels. For playing high-end games at higher resolutions, we’re not sure the era of the dedicated video card is behind us, but in some anecdotal use with a generic Sandy Bridge test laptop, the integrated Intel HD graphics were usable, running Street Fighter IV at 1,600×900 at about 27 frames per second. Keep in mind, however, that this was with a high-end quad-core i7-2820QM CPU. Still, for playing World of Warcraft on your basic integrated graphics laptop, it should more than do the job.”

— Dennis Sellers