Intel vPro: Three Generations Of Remote Management

Intel Core i5-2500 And DQ67SW: The Sandy Bridge Generation

Our third and final example platform is based on the most current iteration of Intel's vPro technology, based on its Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and Cougar Point chipset. The DQ67SW is a microATX motherboard with pretty much every subsystem a business user might want built-in.

Probably the biggest upgrade introduced by the Sandy Bridge design relates to processor and graphics performance. In the Wolfdale-based Core 2 Duo, you had a couple of execution cores at your disposal, augmented by chipset graphics that relied on a chipset-based memory controller for precious bandwidth. Eventually, that topology was succeeded by Clarkdale's two Hyper-Threading-enhanced cores and an on-package graphics engine. While it still wasn't considered ideal, since it still wasn't integrated onto the processor itself, performance rose noticeably over the prior generation. Sandy Bridge tied those two die together, enabling quad-core CPUs with HD Graphics 2000 built right onto the same piece of silicon (notably sharing lots of last-level cache and a much more responsive memory controller).

Although most business users care very little about the 3D performance of their workstation, HD Graphics 2000 is significantly faster than the two preceding platforms. More notably, it's a necessary part of enabling the highest resolutions and color depths while using KVM Remote Control.

The DQ67SW adds a second-gen PCIe x4 slot, replacing the PCIe x1 slots found on previous-generation boards. If we were going to make a suggestion to Intel's motherboard team here, it'd be to make that x4 slot open-ended. Doing so would free up room for an eight-lane peripheral, like a higher-end storage controller. PCIe x4 is not the most widely-used connection, after all.

Overall, Intel's Core i5-2500 and DQ67SW show the heritage of the DQ45CB and DQ57TM combinations, but add a lot of performance. The DQ67SW natively supports AMT 7.0, allowing for KVM resolutions of up to 1920x1200 using RealVNC Viewer Plus.

  • cngledad
    Can I suggest an article comparing different remote access tools we can use? From the freeware TeamViewer, VNC Viewer to such things like WebEx? I think that would be a very good topic.
  • ^^Don't forget Logmein Rescue which has vPro support.
  • pro-gamer
    intel man please give me a job.
    Intels rock
  • NirXY
    Glad to see you made it to publish day, was waiting for this piece.
    Looking great !
  • One correction: DQ57TM *does* contain a v1.2 TPM, the same as found on DQ67SW and DQ67EP. It's required to be vPro compliant (necessary for Intel TXT).
  • jhansonxi
    Nifty but I don't like the single-vendor lock-in. I can see real improvements in IT efficiency if this was combined with AoE. Would like to see SSH support, however.
  • extremepcs
    Hopefully they have improved the activation mechanism. Kind of a PITA if you don't buy a certificate from a trusted CA. I used an internal cert and had to activate each machine by booting from a flash drive.
  • chovav
    If my hard drive is encrypted using TrueCrypt pre-boot authentication, would I be able to fill in the password using Intels vPro?
  • jowunger
    The voice of the guy in the video is bad. The guy talks like he is speedreading a book...
  • cangelini
    cdw-vproOne correction: DQ57TM *does* contain a v1.2 TPM, the same as found on DQ67SW and DQ67EP. It's required to be vPro compliant (necessary for Intel TXT).
    Fixed, thanks!