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Intel Releases ULV 17-watt Sandy Bridge CPUs

By - Source: Cnet | B 47 comments

Low power for the speed.

Intel has released a few new ultra-low voltage processors that will likely find their way into this year's gang of Ultrabooks for the 2011 holiday season.

The new processors listed by Intel are as follows:

  • Core i7-2677M: 2 cores, 1.8 GHz (turbos to 2.9GHz), 4MB cache, 17 watts, $317
  • Core i7-2637M: 2 cores, 1.7GHz (turbos to 2.8GHz), 4MB cache, 17 watts, $289
  • Core i5-2557M: 2 cores, 1.7GHz (turbos to 2.7GHz), 3MB cache, 17 watts, $250

The Core i5-2557M has already found a home in the Asus UX21 that was modeled as an Ultrabook at Computex earlier this month.

Apple is also expected to refresh its line of MacBook Air laptops with this new family of chips. Apple's current MacBook Air still use Core 2 Duo CPUs paired with Nvidia chipsets, as license agreements prevent the pairing of Nvidia technology with Intel's current generation of processors. The integrated graphics of Intel's Sandy Bridge chips, however, will likely be enough to satisfy Apple's performance targets for the MacBook Air.

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  • 1 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , June 22, 2011 11:18 AM
    This Low V CPU is a big step for laptops etc, will increase battery life, extend cpu life, Go Intel, and go ASUS!!!
  • 4 Hide
    lunyone , June 22, 2011 11:19 AM
    Can anyone say "here I come Macbook Air"?? These CPU's would seem to fit that bill for Apple, but nice to see other manufacturer's getting in on the low power CPU's. Just think that you can get a netbook for about the cost of just one of these CPU's!!!
  • 9 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 22, 2011 11:52 AM
    This is pretty good... would love to have a high-end netbook powered by one of those (so sick of stupid Atom!)
  • -7 Hide
    S J W , June 22, 2011 12:28 PM
    Aah this is pointless. For the price you paying for a "Ultra book" (worst gimmick ever) it is still a ridiculously expensive laptop to be walking around with that suffers the same problems as anything other laptop.

    For one its fragile; just because its light and thin, it won't give that screen anymore protection.

    Number 2, its horribly flashy. For the criminal, the slimmest notebook you see is the most expensive. And these puppies look like they're worth every penny of the 2 grand your gonna be shelling out for these.

    Number 3, is its over powered and over priced. A laptop is always a secondary computer needing a safe backup storage device. If your going to be using all of this i7's processing powers, then you'd probably be better off buying a $1000 PC and a $300 laptop, as the work you do is far to valuable to be lying around.

    This is just the latest move towards fashion tech. I wouldn't be suprised if this i7's performance pales in comparison to its full powered bigger brothers, so Apple will love the fact they can sell there gullable customers the i7 brand.
  • -7 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 22, 2011 12:35 PM
    ^^ No, don't agree. Stuff that new ULV Sandy bridge in a netbook: say, $250 for the most basic one (1.7 GHz with Turbo to 2.7, 3MB cache), $100 for the mobo (approximate, no idea of netbook mobo prices), $150 for the screen, $100 for HDD/SSD, $100 for the rest. So it's a $600 powerful netbook - exactly what I need, since I already have a desktop and hate my old laptops with a passion, since for the mobility they offer they can't get anything done on the move with these crappy Atoms/Celerons. This is perfect, now just wait for Asus to release something based on it... it will be another best bang-for-buck like G73 or N53SV.
  • -1 Hide
    hoof_hearted , June 22, 2011 12:49 PM
    This looks like it would make more sense in tablets. Maybe this is the leadin to their ARM killer????
  • 1 Hide
    reggieray , June 22, 2011 1:04 PM
    "The integrated graphics of Intel's Sandy Bridge chips, however, will likely be enough to satisfy Apple's performance targets for the MacBook Air."
    True because OS X does not rely on the resource hog Direct X to do visual desktop effects.
  • 1 Hide
    fir_ser , June 22, 2011 1:20 PM
    At last! Apple will refresh it MacBook Air from the outdated Core2Duo to an i-series processor.
    But when will the MacBook have a similar refresh?
  • 2 Hide
    fenx , June 22, 2011 1:41 PM
    s j w: I disagree on all 3 accounts.

    1. I think its pretty rare to break a screen, but with that said most ultra portables I have come across use a lot more metal in their construction over plastic; so a stronger frame and less weight means less likely to be damaged. Plus to get the small size they are moving to more solid state components, such as SSD's, not having an optical drive, etc... So you have less components to be damaged and the ones you do have tend to be more durable.

    2. MacBook Air come as low as $999 a dicent build is still under $1500. A good full sized laptop is just as expensive.

    3. I will break this down into sub groups

    a: I completely disagree about Laptop's being secondary computers. They are powerful enough for most users to use them as their primary, having 2 computers cost more in the long run (from a business perspective) as then you have twice as many software licenses, twice as much hardware to maintain, etc... We have many people at my company (myself included) where a laptop is our only computer.

    b: I will agree about needing a safe storage device, but with SSD's the likelihood of failure is minimized, and you couple that with a online or network biased backup (such as CrashPlan) and the need for a desktop is gone.

    c: Because of the two above reasons I disagree about being overpowered, and to some extent over priced. If you are using these as your primary computers (as I am sure many are) you don't want an anemic CPU such as an Atom. And they are not as overpowered as the the i5 or i7 name implies.
    i. They are only dual core
    ii. Their base speed is much lower, they can boost up to higher speeds but they don't stay there.
    iii. They have smaller cache memory
    iv. Their cost to performance ratio is not as good as a desktop, but battery life is worth a lot for a road warrior, and although many might not need an 8 hour battery, it is nice to be able to have one.

    As an I.T. person for a medium sized business I can say these facts about laptops:
    1. If its heavy, the won't take it on the road, and that decreases productivity and higher turn over.
    2. If its slow (not as fast as "their computer" at home) They will whine until someone gets them a laptop that meets their expectations. I can handle whining, but it seems upper management cannot so you will end up getting one anyway.
    3. If it has a poor battery life, you basically have to buy them two power adapters. One for their office and One for their laptop bag. At about $100 for a laptop power supply; that instantly takes a big chuck of your savings on a cheaper CPU away. BECAUSE THEY WILL FORGET THEIR POWER ADAPTOR AT HOME.

    I can seriously make it an entire work day on my MacBook Air's battery. I haven't needed to, but sometimes its nice to just plop your laptop open and start working.
  • 5 Hide
    irish_adam , June 22, 2011 2:12 PM
    amk-aka-phantom^^ No, don't agree. Stuff that new ULV Sandy bridge in a netbook: say, $250 for the most basic one (1.7 GHz with Turbo to 2.7, 3MB cache), $100 for the mobo (approximate, no idea of netbook mobo prices), $150 for the screen, $100 for HDD/SSD, $100 for the rest. So it's a $600 powerful netbook - exactly what I need, since I already have a desktop and hate my old laptops with a passion, since for the mobility they offer they can't get anything done on the move with these crappy Atoms/Celerons. This is perfect, now just wait for Asus to release something based on it... it will be another best bang-for-buck like G73 or N53SV.


    add on the profit margin and your looking at $1500-2000

    well unless u have the ability to make one of these yourself?
  • 3 Hide
    farleytron , June 22, 2011 2:21 PM
    AMK is clueless... he thinks ultra-thin notebooks are something people build at home, apparently. There is no way that the new Sandy Bridge laptops will sell for less than $1500... and will probably be closer to $2000 for the base model.
  • 2 Hide
    intelatifan , June 22, 2011 2:42 PM
    Low wattage means low resources ..... less performance ;(
  • 1 Hide
    hmp_goose , June 22, 2011 2:56 PM
    [thinks of HTPC these could build]
  • -1 Hide
    fenx , June 22, 2011 2:59 PM
    irish_adamadd on the profit margin and your looking at $1500-2000well unless u have the ability to make one of these yourself?


    That is true to some extent; they dont have 200% profit; there are a lot of other manufacturing costs such as labor, R&D (Keep in mind there is no ATX equivalent form factor for laptops each board is custom designed) Same with the chassis, etc... I think we could see these in the low $1000 range ($1000-1250).
  • 2 Hide
    DavidC1 , June 22, 2011 3:37 PM
    fenxThat is true to some extent; they dont have 200% profit; there are a lot of other manufacturing costs such as labor, R&D (Keep in mind there is no ATX equivalent form factor for laptops each board is custom designed) Same with the chassis, etc... I think we could see these in the low $1000 range ($1000-1250).


    Did you guys not hear about the pricing for Ultrabooks? It's coming near end of this year. The one being made by Asus is said to cost under $1000, which suggest mid to upper $900 pricing. That's with the i5-2557M and SSD, which is more than enough.

    Performance of the i7-2677M should be comparable with the average standard voltage 35W chips, while using half the power, hence the price premium.
  • 0 Hide
    masterasia , June 22, 2011 3:46 PM
    I want.
  • 1 Hide
    f-14 , June 22, 2011 4:43 PM
    Quote:
    The new processors listed by Intel are as follows:

    Core i7-2677M: 2 cores, 1.8 GHz (turbos to 2.9GHz), 4MB cache, 17 watts, $317
    Core i7-2637M: 2 cores, 1.7GHz (turbos to 2.8GHz), 4MB cache, 17 watts, $289
    Core i5-2557M: 2 cores, 1.7GHz (turbos to 2.7GHz), 3MB cache, 17 watts, $250


    so these all consume only 17 watts on turbo?
  • 3 Hide
    Khimera2000 , June 22, 2011 5:28 PM
    Thats nice, but the video card still royaly blows. Whats the point of making an ultra portable if your still going to hate the performance?

    The thing might be power efficint, and have a dexcent CPU, but all that efficiancy is lost when you need a seperate video card to become a strong contender.

    I have systems that run on both intergrated and dedicated video cards, and I have to say that its not CPU power that is the bottleneck any more. its the Video card.

    and when you take into account the power requirements of a discreet card the advantages of this chip are all but lost.
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , June 22, 2011 5:39 PM
    Quote:
    Thats nice, but the video card still royaly blows. Whats the point of making an ultra portable if your still going to hate the performance?


    Because the vast majority of the people that buy this type of ultra portable laptops aren't going to use it for more then just typical workload computing and want the most battery life as possible which is why they have been big sellers.
  • -1 Hide
    fenx , June 22, 2011 5:42 PM
    Khimera2000Thats nice, but the video card still royaly blows. Whats the point of making an ultra portable if your still going to hate the performance?The thing might be power efficint, and have a dexcent CPU, but all that efficiancy is lost when you need a seperate video card to become a strong contender.I have systems that run on both intergrated and dedicated video cards, and I have to say that its not CPU power that is the bottleneck any more. its the Video card.and when you take into account the power requirements of a discreet card the advantages of this chip are all but lost.


    True, but I think ultra portable are targeted at business people who travel a lot; not necessarily gamers or CAD people. And to be honest the graphics built into SandyBridge CPUs is fairly impressive. I can't speak for these but I can tell you the GPU built into a Core I5-2400 (Desktop CPU) can beat a Geforce G210 in most applications.
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