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Intel's Update To vPro For 2012

Intel vPro In 2012, Small Business Advantage, And Anti-Theft Tech.

Intel's vPro technology is composed of several features that the company says protects businesses in four ways: threat management, identity and access, data and asset protection, and monitoring and remediation. Although a number of vPro's capabilities are accessed through software, specific hardware hooks are required to enable things like out-of-band management and high-res remote access. 

Satisfying the hardware requirements to enable vPro can be tricky; your processor, chipset, firmware, and network controller all need to be compatible. This is made more challenging by Intel's nomenclature, which doesn't make it particularly clear whether a given CPU supports vPro or not. For example, the flagship enthusiast Core i7-3770K is not vPro-enabled. It's missing Trusted Execution Technology and VT-d, too. 

Beyond limiting compatibility at the high-end, Intel also clips support from its lower-end chips, likely in a move to sell more expensive CPUs into businesses requiring vPro's feature set. The Core i5-3450 we used in our Small Business Advantage-capable machine isn't even on the company's list. Rather, you need at least a Core i5-3470 to get vPro support from Ivy Bridge-based hardware. What follows is a current list of vPro-enabled CPUs from the third-gen Core family:

Intel Third-Gen Desktop Core Processor
Cores / ThreadsClock RateMax. Turbo FrequencyL3 CacheTDPMSRP
Core i7-3770S4/83.1 GHz3.9 GHz8 MB65 W$294
Core i7-3770T4/82.5 GHz3.7 GHz8 MB45 W$294
Core i7-37704/83.4 GHz3.9 GHz8 MB77 W$294
Core i5-3475S4/42.9 GHz3.6 GHz6 MB65 W$201
Core i5-3570S4/43.1 GHz3.8 GHz6 MB65 W$205
Core i5-35704/43.4 GHz3.8 GHz6 MB77 W$213
Core i5-3470T2/42.9 GHz3.6 GHz3 MB35 W$184
Core i5-3470S4/42.9 GHz3.6 GHz6 MB65 W$184
Core i5-34704/43.2 GHz3.6 GHz6 MB77 W$184
Core i5-35504/43.3 GHz3.7 GHz6 MB77 W$205
Core i5-3550S4/43 GHz3.7 GHz6 MB65 W$205
Core i5-3570T4/42.3 GHz3.3 GHz6 MB45 W$205

Intel's standard-voltage processors are 77 W parts. The -S and -T suffixes indicate low-power options, which, remember, include the thermal ceiling for processing and graphics resources (they share the die's TDP). 

Increasingly, mobile platforms are a big focus for vPro, and an additional 13 Ivy Bridge-based mobile CPUs include vPro support, too.

Intel Third-Gen Mobile Core Processor
ModelCores / Threads
Clock RateMax. Turbo FrequencyL3 CacheTDPMSRP
Core i7-3920XM4/82.9 GHz3.8 GHz8 MB55 W$1096
Core i7-3555LE2/42.5 GHz3.2 GHz4 MB25 W$360
Core i7-3517UE2/41.7 GHz2.8 GHz4 MB17 W$330
Core i7-3520M2/42.9 GHz3.6 GHz4 MB35 W$346
Core i7-3667U2/42 GHz3.2 GHz4 MB17 W$346
Core i7-3820QM4/82.7 GHz3.7 GHz8 MB45 W$568
Core i7-3615QE4/82.3 GHz3.3 GHz6 MB45 W$393
Core i7-3612QE4/82.1 GHz3.1 GHz6 MB35 W$426
Core i7-3610QE4/82.3 GHz3.3 GHz6 MB45 W$393
Core i5-3610ME2/42.7 GHz3.3 GHz3 MB35 W$276
Core i5-3360M2/42.8 GHz3.5 GHz3 MB35 W$266
Core i5-3320M2/42.6 GHz3.3 GHz3 MB35 W$225
Core i5-3427U2/41.8 GHz2.8 GHz3 MB17 W$225

Intel also enables vPro on some of its Xeon processors, though many of those chips don't include integrated graphics, which is necessary for Remote KVM support.

If you have a vPro-enabled workstation with Intel's C216 chipset and a Xeon E3-12x5 V2 CPU, you can use a number of the technology suite's features, in addition to more enterprise-oriented hardware like ECC-capable DDR3 DIMMs.

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