We’ve seen that the new desktop processors are about 10 per cent faster than their predecessors. It's a nice improvement, but it doesn't give you the feeling that Ivy Bridge is significantly faster than Sandy Bridge. The GPU part of the processors, that's where it gets interesting. Not only does Intel support DirectX 11, but the performance of the integrated GPU has been seriously improved. Intel has not quite reached the level of AMD’s A8 chips, but is getting closer. AMD will have to work hard to stay ahead in terms of graphics. Our measurements of their power consumption proved that Ivy Bridge typically is more efficient than Sandy Bridge. It's not a huge difference, but the 10 per cent performance improvement and better energy efficiency means that the performance-per-watt receives a nice boost. In this regard Intel keeps putting more distance between itself and AMD. For the mobile segment the improved performance-per-watt means that laptops and Ultrabooks can become faster and even thinner with Ivy Bridge. For overclockers we were disappointed in the potential for air and water cooled systems, at least with the samples we tested. Sandy Bridge processors are still better for overclocking and remain cooler. But for overclockers with access to extreme cooling methods, then Ivy Bridge reportedly can provide some spectacular results surpassing the 6GHz mark.
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