You've likely heard the name Ivy Bridge tossed around over the past six months or more, and might even know that it represents the next generation of Intel CPUs and chipsets. But what do these new parts mean if you're currently shopping for a laptop or desktop PC?
This basic FAQ should answer some of your most immediate shopping questions (with more background on Ivy Bridge and its new 22nm transistors here). For a more in-depth look at Ivy Bridge performance results on laptops and desktops, check out our system reviews, benchmark scores, and analysis at the related links below.
Should I look for an Ivy Bridge sticker at the store? Post-launch, you'll likely rarely hear that name again. It's an internal code name (like Sandy Bridge before it), that we use as a quick shorthand. In reality, this is Intel's third-generation Core series processor family, which will use the same Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 names as the previous two generations.
If the names are the same, how can I tell which PCs have the newest parts? On the mobile side, it's easier. The 2012 Ivy Bridge (or third-generation) CPUs have a part number that begins with the number 3. For example, one of our test systems has an Intel i7-3720QM CPU. Our Sandy Bridge test system from last year had an Intel Core i7-2820QM. The new mobile CPUs are: i7-3920XM, i7-3820QM, i7-3720QM, i7-3612QM, and 3610QM. The desktop CPUs are: i7-3770K, i7-3770, i7-3770T, i7-3770S, i5-3570K, i5-3550, i5-3450, i5-3550S, and i5-3450S. … Read more