Background and Internals
A little over two weeks back, Intel briefed me on their new SSD 910 Series PCIe SSD. Since that day I've been patiently awaiting its arrival, which happened just a few short hours ago. I've burned the midnight oil for the sake of getting some greater details out there. Before we get into the goods, here's a quick recap of the specs for the 800 (or 400) GB model:
- PCIe 2.0 x8 LSI Falcon 2008 SAS HBA driving 4 (or 2) Hitachi Ultrastar SAS controllers, each in turn driving 200GB of IMFT 25nm High Endurance Technology flash memory, all on a triple stacked half-height PCB.
- 400GB model yields (r/w) 1GB/s / 750MB/s sequential and 90,000 / 38,000 4k IOPS.
- 800GB model yields (r/w) 2GB/s / 1GB/s sequential and 180,000 / 75,000 4k IOPS.
- 800GB 'performance mode' (r/w) 2GB/s / 1.5GB/s sequential and 180,000 / 75,000 4k IOPS.
"Performance Mode" is a feature that can be enabled through the Intel Data Center Tool Software. This feature is only possible on the 800GB model, but not for the reason you might think. The 400GB model is *always* in Performance Mode, since it can go full speed without drawing greater than the standard PCIe 25W power specification. The 800GB model has twice the components to drive yet it stays below the 25W limit so long as it is in its Default Mode. Switching the 800GB model to Performance Mode increases that draw to 38W (the initial press briefing stated 28W, which appears to have been a typo). Note that this increased draw is only seen during writes.
Ok, now into the goodies:
Podcast #199 - Ivy Bridge Desktop and Mobile reviews, Intel and AMD Earnings, and a Gold Motherboard
Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2012 - 04:59 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z77, podcast, nvidia, Ivy Bridge, Intel, earnings, amd, 3770k
PC Perspective Podcast #199 - 04/26/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Ivy Bridge Desktop and Mobile reviews, Intel and AMD Earnings, and a Gold Motherboard
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge LGA1155 Processor Review
- Intel Core i7-3720QM - Ivy Bridge For Mobile Review: Monster Kill!
- NVIDIA continues to tease, sends us a crowbar
- ASUS Demonstrates Z77 Motherboard Features at PC Perspective
- ASUS Overclocks Ivy Bridge To 7 GHz, Breaks World Records
- Intel Announces Q1 2012 Earnings: Not a Record, but Close
- AMD Q1 2012 Earnings Analysis: Looking Back and Looking Forward
- New mLink PCI-E to Thunderbolt Enclosure Shown Off at NAB 2012
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: ECS GOLDEN BOARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Jeremy: 25GB free on Microsoft SkyDrive
- Josh: I like this case. Not exactly affordable, but still really nice.
- Allyn: Is it a pen or is it a pencil?
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Mobile | April 26, 2012 - 12:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mobile processor, mobile cpu, Ivy Bridge, intel hd 4000, Intel, i7-3720QM
Matt was not the only one who had a chance to play with a notebook based on the new i7-3720QM, Hardware Canucks received an engineering sample of the ASUS G75VW-3D which contains the Core i7-3720QM and an impressive 16GB of DDR3-1600. Their testing agreed with Matt's as they saw improvements across the board when comparing this system to a similar SandyBridge based machine on general GPU computing and an even larger increase when testing the HD4000 graphics engine on the chip. Catch their full review here.
"With such a big deal being made about the introduction of Intel's Ivy Bridge lineup on the desktop side, their new mobile chips deserve a chance in the spotlight as well. In this review, we take a closer look at the new i7-3720QM notebook processor which promises to be a significant step forward for the mobile product space."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Dell Latitude XT3 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Asus N56VM Review @ TechReviewSource
- Toshiba Excite 10 LE Review @ TechReviewSource
- MSI GT683DXR Gaming Laptop Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7170 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Waterfield IPad2 Suede Jacket Sleeve Case Review @ PCSTATS
- ASUS Transformer Pad 300 @ AnandTech
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Tablet @ TechSpot
- Otterbox Samsung Galaxy S II Commuter Series Case Review @ Madshrimps
- Lava Xolo X900 Review - The First Intel Medfield Phone @ AnandTech
Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2012 - 11:48 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hyperthreading, Intel, overclocking, fud
In the past there have been two arguments against using Intel's HyperThreading to create two threads per core. The first is specific to overclockers who found that previous generations of Pentium and Core architecture chips could remain stable when pushed to higher frequencies when they disabled HyperThreading. There is still a lot of testing to be done on Ivy Bridge overclocking before a definitive answer is found for this generation of chips, which may fall victim to power issues before HyperThreading becomes a major limiter.
The second issue is more serious and deals with the fact that in some cases enabling HyperThreading reduces the total performance of the chip on certain, usually single threaded, applications and by disabling it you will see performance improvements from your processor. SemiAccurate felt that this needed to be revisited in light of the release of Ivy Bridge and so took an i7-3770K through a battery of 7 tests once with HyperThreading enabled and once without, including a run through CineBench with multithreaded processing disabled. Drop by to see if there is any noticeable benefit to disabling HyperThreading on this generation of Intel processor.
Yes, that was 11 years ago
"We decided to explore the effects of Hyper-Threading on the performance of the Ivy Bridge based Core i7-3770K by running our CPU benchmarking suite on it twice. Once with Hyper-Threading enabled, and once with Hyper-Threading disabled. As such we set-up our results table to look for applications that perform better with Hyper-Threading disabled, rather than enabled."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Quantum cruncher beats today's computers by 10^80 @ The Register
- SSH firm aims to untangle crypto key hairball @ The Register
- TSMC profits fall by 8.4 per cent to $1.1bn @ The Inquirer
- Ivy Bridge overclocking performance is limited by current leakage @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | April 25, 2012 - 01:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: purchase, interconnect, Intel, cray, aries
Anyone who follows the supercomputer business has had quite a bit of excitement recently, with major shifts in the market becoming quite frequent. Intel started it off by purchasing QLogic's Infiniband networking technology which allows the connection of separate high performance computers over an extremely low latency and high bandwidth path, utilizing PCIe. This will give Intel a big edge when clustering multiple HPCs on a network.
Next it was AMD's turn as they snagged SeaMicro out from underneath Intel's nose and purchased the rights to their 3D torus interconnect technology. This is a processor agnostic interconnect for within an HPC which is targeted at low power processors and is specifically designed to get the most efficient use of every watt that the system consumes. This could lead to some ironic HPCs which use AMD's interconnect technology to link together large amounts of Intel Atom processors.
Today a bigger change was announced, to the tune of $140 million, as Intel purchased Cray's interconnect technology. This architecture is the polar opposite of SeaMicro's and focuses on creating the most massively powerful HPCs possible on current technology and requires an immense amount of electricity to power. For quite a while Cray utilized AMD's HyperTransport technology and favoured large amounts of Opteron processors to power its supercomputers but that relationship soured thanks AMD's supply problems and delayed technology refreshes. Cray abandoned AMD and never even looked at Intel's QPI, instead they designed an interconnect technology of their own, one which could use any processor. Now that technology belongs to Intel. You can see what The Register thinks this move signifies in their full article.
"Intel really is taking networking and system interconnects very seriously, and is buying the interconnect hardware business from massively parallel supercomputer maker Cray for $140m."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Skytap control freaks dev/test cloud @ The Register
- Windows 8 on the desktop—an awkward hybrid @ Ars Technica
- Backdoor In RuggedOS Systems: Infrastructure, Military Systems Vulnerable @ Slashdot
- PiP-Boy 2000 build goes for function over form @ Hack a Day
- ASUS Ivy Bridge/7-Series Chipset Video & Giveaway @ AnandTech
Subject: Editorial | April 23, 2012 - 05:12 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: trinity, Q1, Ivy Bridge, Intel, earnings, atom, arm, amd, 2012
Guess what? Intel made money. A lot of money. This is not surprising. The results were not record breaking, but they did beat expectations. Intel had a gross revenue of $12.9 billion for the quarter, with a net income of $2.7 billion. Gross margins decreased (slightly) to 64%, but the reasons for this are pretty logical as we discover down below. Compared to Q4 2011, results are still significantly down, but this is again expected due to seasonal downturns. In Q4 they had $13.9 billion in gross revenue and $3.4 billion in net income with a gross margin of 64.5%.
An update to a great architecture
This article will focus on the new Ivy Bridge, 3rd Generation Core Processor from a desktop perspective. If you are curious as the performance and features of the Ivy Bridge mobile processors, be sure to check out our Core i7-3720QM ASUS N56VM review here!!
One of the great things about the way Intel works as a company is that we get very few surprises on an annual basis in terms of the technology they release. With the success of shows like the Intel Developer Forum permitting the release of architectural details months and often years ahead of the actual product, developers, OEMs and the press are able to learn about them over a longer period of time. As you might imagine, that results in both a much better understanding of the new processor in question and also a much less hurried one. If only GPU cycles would follow the same path...
Because of this long-tail release of a CPU, we already know quite a bit about Ivy Bridge, the new 22nm processor architecture from Intel to be rebranded as the 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor Family. Ivy Bridge is the "tick" that brings a completely new process technology node as we have seen over the last several years but this CPU does more than take the CPU from 32nm to 22nm. Both the x86 and the processor graphics portions of the die have some changes though the majority fall with the GPU.
Ivy Bridge Architecture
In previous tick-tock scenarios the "tick" results in a jump in process technology (45nm to 32nm, etc) with very little else being done. This isn't just to keep things organized in slides above but it also keeps Intel's engineers focused on one job at a time - either a new microprocessor architecture OR a new process node; but not both.
For the x86 portion of Ivy Bridge this plan stays in tract. The architecture is mostly unchanged from the currently available Sandy Bridge processors including the continuation of a 2-chip platform solution and integrated graphics, memory controller, display engine, PCI Express and LLC along with the IA cores.
Introduction, Overview, What is New With Ivy Bridge
This article will focus on the new Ivy Bridge, 3rd Generation Core Processor from a mobile perspective. If you are curious as the performance and features of the Ivy Bridge desktop processors, be sure to check out our desktop Core i7-3770K review here.
It would be an understatement to say that Intel’s had a good streak as of, say, the last five years. If life was commented on by the announcer from Unreal Tournament, Intel’s product releases would now be followed by the scream of “M-M-M-MONSTER KILLLLLLLL!” This is particularly true in the mobile market. Atom aside, Intel’s processors have repeatedly defeated AMD and its own preceding products.
Many companies in this position might feel it’s time to take a breather, but Intel has reached this point precisely because it doesn’t. The “tick-tock” strategy of constant improvement has made the company and its products stronger than ever before. Even the Pentium-powered Intel of the mid-90s seems weak compared to today’s juggernaut.
And so we come to the launch of Ivy Bridge. This is not a new architecture but instead an update of Sandy Bridge – however, that does not mean the under-the-hood revisions aren’t substantial. There’s a lot to talk about.
The reference system provided for our review is an ASUS N56VM, but this is not a full review of the laptop. That will be published later, after we’ve had more time to look at the laptop itself. Our focus today is on the new Intel hardware inside.
Let’s get to it.
Subject: Processors | April 23, 2012 - 12:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z77, Ivy Bridge, Intel, i7-3770k, i5-3570, 3770k, 3570, 22nm
Intel's latest die shrink and architecture refinement, aka their "Tick", has arrived in the form of Ivy Bridge. This CPU is actually only one third CPU, a third devoted to Intel's HD4000 graphics core, and the final third comprised of a shared L3 cache, memory controller and other IO devices. [H]ard|OCP did an almost direct comparison between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, with the 2600K having the same amount of cores as the 3770K and only lags behind by 100MHz in raw speed. The overall performance increases and new features that this new architecture were targeted more at the mainstream user than the enthusiast in [H]'s opinion but if you are building a new machine and aren't going for overclocking records then they wholeheartedly recommend Ivy Bridge.
You can catch Ryan's full review right here though you cannot yet buy it.
"The new Ivy Bridge processor has already been well covered across the Internet due to leaks of Intel parts into review sites' hands. So at this point there is little to tell in all honesty. But today we work to tell you what you most likely already know; Ivy Bridge looks to be a very solid product but offers little in the way of an upgrade from Sandy Bridge."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge Linux Performance @ Phoronix
- Intel's Core i7-3770K 'Ivy Bridge' @ The Tech Report
- Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU Review @ Neoseeker
- Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
- Intel Core i7 3770k @ Tweaktown
- Intel Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge Review @ HCW
- Intel i7 3770k - Ivy Bridge @ Overclockers.com
- Intel Core i7 3770K (Ivy Bridge) @ Bjorn3D
- Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K @ LostCircuits
- Intel Core i7-3770K - Ivy Bridge @ Ivy Bridge
- Asus ROG Maximus V Gene Z77 w/ Intel i7 3770K @ Kitguru
- Intel DZ77GA-70K and Core i7-3770K @ OC3D
- Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU and DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Review @MissingRemote
- Core i7-3770K vs. AMD FX-8150 and Core i7-2600K CPU Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Intel i7 3770K Ivy Bridge CPU Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Testing Ivy Bridge: Intel Core i7-3770K @ TechSpot
- Intel i7-3770K Ivy Bridge @ LanOC Reviews
- Core i7 3770K & 3750 & review with Z77 DZ77GA-70K mobo @ Guru 3D
- Intel Core i7 3770K / Core i5 3570K / Core i5 3550 Ivy Bridge review @ Hardware.Info
- AMD's FX-8150 Bulldozer Benefits From New Compilers, Tuning @ Phoronix
Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | April 23, 2012 - 12:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z77, Ivy Bridge, Intel, asus, 3770k
Last week our good friends at ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to bring along their entire new lineup of Z77 motherboards and show off the changes and new features being offered. At the time, there we were something we couldn't show you including our overclocking demonstration as it was using the brand new Intel Ivy Bridge processor. Not only can we now show you that but we have broken up the demo portion of the video in quicker, bite-sized segments.
JJ Guerrero shows us the basics of overclocking Ivy Bridge both from the updated UEFI and the AI Suite II software.
WiDi on the Desktop
Did you know that desktop PCs using the correct Intel wireless controllers will be able to support Wireless Display technology?