Intel launches Ivy Bridge processors

After months of speculation, delay and waiting, Intel has finally launches its third-generation Core processor dubbed Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge processors are the first to make use of new 22nm process technology, with a promise of greater efficiency and performance boost with the integrated graphics processor. Based on initial benchmarks, consumers can generally expect between 10%-20% increase of performance compared with second-generation Sandy Bridge processors.

One highlight of Ivy Bridge processors are the improved efficiency, you get more processing power per watt compared with Sandy Bridge processors. With Ivy Bridge, Intel is making a greater leap forwards with its integrated HD2500/HD4000 graphics processor, making them powerful enough without the need for discreet GPUs in games and some applications.

Intel is launching Ivy Bridge with a set of quad-core processors suitable for desktop PCs. Ivy Bridge mobile processors with lower thermal design power (TDP) are expected within weeks. With this Ivy Bridge launch, we can expect Apple to announce its new Mac refreshes shortly. There is no Mac refreshes so far in 2012, mainly due to the delayed launches of Ivy Bridge processors.

Apple is expected to refresh its MacBook Pro with a more MacBook Air like thinness and without the optical drive. The big brother Mac Pro might finally get its refresh, the last Mac Pro refresh is in August 2010. iMac and Mac mini might get a refresh too, as Ivy Bridge processors are suitable for the whole Mac lineups. What is unknown is if Apple will resurrect the MacBook line.

With Ivy Bridge, Intel specifically categorize processors that target the new ‘ultrabook’ notebook segment, which is essentially the term used by Apple’s competitors for MacBook Air lookalike. PC manufacturers are expected to flood the market with Ivy Bridge ultrabooks. This might prompt Apple to upgrade MacBook Air in order to compete. 

If you’re in the market to purchase a new Mac, it is worthwhile to wait for the new refreshes.

BBC News – Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips launch using 3D transistors