The Tech News Blog

September 3, 2013

Intel Unleashes Ivy Bridge-E Extreme Desktop Chips

Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E

If you've already transitioned to a post-PC world, just know that you'll be missing out on the most powerful, blazing fast, crank-it-up-to-11 desktop processor Intel has ever released.

The chip giant unveiled its first lineup of "Ivy Bridge-E" products on Tuesday, including the Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition processor, a six-core, 12-threaded monster with 15MB of L3 cache, four channels of DDR3-1866 memory support with an integrated memory controller, 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0 allowing for up to four discrete graphics cards, and a 3.6GHz base clock which revs up to 4.0GHz in Turbo mode.

The star of Intel's new Core i7 LGA-2011 HEDT processor family will be priced at $999, with two more unlocked, 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge-E chips joining it for a Sept. 10 release date. The other two processors being rolled out next Tuesday are the six-core Core i7 4930K (3.4GHz base clock/3.9Ghz Turbo, 12MB cache, $555) and quad-core Core i7 4820K (3.7GHz/3.9GHz, 10MB cache, $310).

Both of those CPUs also support four DIMMs of DDR3-1866 memory and feature Intel's Hyper-Threading and Smart Cache technologies.

Meanwhile, the power bill you'll rack up with any of Intel's latest, greatest Core i7 parts isn't small potatoes—the TDP for all three new processors is 130 watts. To keep those CPUs running smoothly, there are plenty of performance desktop cooling solutions on the market—Intel is naturally shilling its own sub-$100 Liquid Cooling TS13X system with both fan-circulated air and pump-circulated propylene glycol for the job.

June 4, 2012

Sony Unveils Vaio Laptops, Desktops

Sony VAIO Laptops 2012 With the launch of Intel's third-generation processors, Sony is outfitting its updated Vaio laptops with new features and fresh designs to match the upgraded processing and graphics capabilities. Across the board, the new Vaio models will be equipped with HD webcams featuring Sony's Exmor sensor, boosting audio with X-Loud and ClearPhase Audio, larger trackpads with multiple finger gesture controls, backlit keyboards across all Vaio model lines, and a host of software goodies, like a full creative suite and webcam-based gesture controls.

Vaio T-Series and Z-Series
Topping the list of eagerly awaited systems are the Vaio T-Series and Z-Series, two 13-inch systems with plenty to love. The Vaio T13 is Sony's first ultrabook, with Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors available, as well as a selection of ports and hard drive options.

The T13 is available with either a 500GB hard drive, bolstered with a 32GB solid state cache for instant on and speedy performance ($899 with an Intel Core i5 processor), or you can go whole hog ($1,299 with Core i7) with a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), which is smaller in capacity, but offers blazing fast performance. The 0.7-inch thick ultrabook has plastic and aluminum construction, with a brushed aluminum lid and a drop hinge design that offers a more comfortable typing experience by raising the back end of the system during use.

The Vaio Z13 may not be as slim as the T13, but with carbon-fiber construction keeping things light while packing a 1920-by-1080 resolution, 13-inch display, and Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge quad-core processor, you'll hardly notice the extra bulk. The Vaio T13 starts at $1,999 and is available in either black or gold color schemes.

May 31, 2012

Intel Announces 14 New Ivy Bridge CPUs

5 Things You Need to Know About Ivy Bridge Intel's third-generation Core (aka "Ivy Bridge") processing platform has brought with it a number of new technologies to desktop and laptop computers. But many of the changes, which stress security and power usage, have made ultrabooks a prime target for its innovations. Intel reinforces its commitment to that market today with the announcement of 14 new Ivy Bridge processors, of which four (dubbed "Mobile Ultra") are intended specifically for the rapidly expanding ultrabook market.

These CPUs join the 14 laptop and desktop chips Intel introduced when it unveiled Ivy Bridge in April.

The new "Mobile Ultra" processors expand on the ultrabook concept Intel established last year with its second-generation Core ("Sandy Bridge") releases.  Whereas ultrabooks had to have security readiness, last longer than five hours on battery, resume from sleep in less than seven seconds, and be designed in sleek and stylish ways, Intel is now also recommending built-in security and eight hours or more of battery life.

Security technologies included as part of Ivy Bridge include Anti-Theft (which renders the ultrabook unusable if it's stolen) and Identity Protection (a special two-factor authentication system).  Intel Smart Connect, another Ivy Bridge recommendation, makes it possible for content to be continuously updated on a laptop even while it's asleep.

Mobile Ultra CPUs are divided between the two higher-performing categories of Intel's Core processing family: Core i5 and Core i7, though they all share some qualities.  All have two physical cores that can become four processing threads thanks to Hyper-Threading, all support 1,600MHz DDR3 and DDR3L memory and PCI Express (PCIe) version 3.0, all use Intel HD Graphics 4000 (the more powerful of the two Sandy Bridge integrated video systems) running at a base frequency of 350MHz, and all can take advantage of Intel Secure Key, OS Guard, and Virtualization technologies.

May 6, 2012

Dell and Origin PC Give Free Ivy Bridge Upgrades to Shoppers With Poor Timing

Dell Alienware M18x Ivy Bridge

One of the unmentioned joys of purchasing tech hardware is that you really have to be a news hound – or at least have a basic understanding of what's going on the tech market – lest you plunk down for a system or component that's about to become obsolete.

While it hasn't happened to us in recent memory, there are surely people out there who purchase an iPad 2 just prior to the announcement of the iPad 3; an older graphics card right before Nvidia unveils the GeForce GTX 680; a Sandy Bridge laptop before the release of Intel's Ivy Bridge lineup.

Stinks, huh?

However, one big-time manufacturer and one well-known boutique vendor are giving their customers a bit of a break for not keeping up with the latest tech news. Both Dell and Origin PC have announced that they're going to voluntarily upgrade certain laptop or desktop orders to Intel's latest chip – for customers that plunked down for a Sandy Bridge system just prior to Ivy Bridge hitting the market.

Even better, the upgrades are absolutely free.

May 2, 2012

Dell Unveils Ivy Bridge Desktops, Laptops

Dell Vostro 470

Dell today unveiled a slew of new systems sporting the latest Intel third-generation Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors, announcing two new desktops and two new laptops that, taken together, aim to provide power and performance to nearly every demographic imaginable.

So families, multimedia professionals, and businesses, pay attention: if you need a new system that can handle complex tasks or immersive entertainment activities, Dell should have you covered, at least for the foreseeable future.

In addition to its new Dell XPS 8500 gaming desktop (starting at $749), Dell bolstered its portfolio of performance systems by releasing a business-oriented counterpart, the Vostro 470, a mini-tower desktop also equipped with Intel "Ivy Bridge" processing power and formidable discrete graphics options from Nvidia and AMD.

April 30, 2012

Dell Unveils Ivy Bridge-Powered Alienware Gaming Laptops

Dell Alienware M18x Ivy Bridge

Dell on Monday released three new high-performance Alienware gaming laptops powered by Intel's third-generation Core processors, also known as Ivy Bridge. The new lineup includes 14-, 17.3-, and 18.4-inch notebooks featuring the latest mobile graphics from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices.

Along with the introduction of the new Alienware M14x, M17x, and M18x laptops, Dell announced a collaboration with Electronic Arts to implement Dell's AlienFX software and lighting control system in Battlefield 3, the computer maker said in a statement. Gamers playing Battlefield 3 on an Alienware rig will also have access to an exclusive Alienware Arena dog tag in the first-person shooter.

"Our customers want the most immersive gaming experience possible, and we've taken the all-powerful M14x, M17x, and M18x laptops and made them even better, delivering the latest technologies for almost every need," Alienware general manager Frank Azor said. "We've always offered the latest technology for the best gaming experience possible, and our enhanced lineup will let you 'pwn' any competitor and provide the sensory experience that we know you crave."

The Alienware M14x starts at $1,099, the M17x is priced at $1,499, and the M18x carries a price tag of $1,999. All three laptops are currently available for order on and

April 23, 2012

Intel Ships Third-Generation Core (Ivy Bridge) Processors

NDA Review: Intel Core i7 3770K

Today is the launch date for Intel's new "Ivy Bridge" CPUs, officially known as the company's "third-generation Core" processors. Essentially a die shrink of the current "Sandy Bridge," 32-nm second-generation Core chips, Ivy Bridge represents the first implementation of Intel's 22nm manufacturing process. This means that the newer processors will perform as well or better than today's models, with lower power requirements and better cooling.

Within Intel's marketing jargon, Ivy Bridge is the latest "tick," or die shrink, on its "tick-tock" release schedule. (The previous "tock," a new microarchitecture, occurred last year with the release of Sandy Bridge.) What this shows is that Intel is continuing to move forward, making PC processors that are both more capable and more efficient.

The new processors come in both full- and low-power desktop models, as well as mobile models. All told, Intel is releasing at least 20 different Core i7 and i5 models with TDP (Thermal Design Power) ratings from 35 watts up to 77 watts. If you remember that the previous-generation processors had TDP ratings from 35 to 95 watts (not counting 130 watts for the Extreme Edition parts), you can see that the Intel Core processor line is becoming more efficient and easier to cool.

April 12, 2012

Report: Intel Bumps Up Ivy Bridge Launch to April 23

The rumor mill can't seem to make up its mind about when Intel's new Ivy Bridge chips are going to make their official debut. In the past few weeks, we've heard about delays, a staggered roll out of new product, and most recently, a rumor that Intel is pulling in the Ivy Bridge curtain-raiser by a week to help its OEM partners get their new Ultrabooks on the market as soon as possible.

The last, most credible report we heard about the debut of the next-generation, 22-nanometer processors sporting Tri-Gate goodness was that Intel was planning to release a whole bunch of them on April 29. That juicy bit of information came from some leaked Intel slides rounded up by CPU World that also included basic speeds-and-feeds data for a dozen new Core i7 and Core i5 parts ranging in price from $184 to $1,096.

But on Thursday, DigiTimes, citing its usual anonymous supply chain sources, reported that while an April 29 Ivy Bridge launch was in fact the original plan, Intel has moved up that date to April 23 to accommodate partners like Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and Hewlett-Packard who are raring to go with snazzy new Ultrabooks using Ivy Bridge chips.

Intel hasn't officially announced when its third-generation Core processors will be made available.

The stage is certainly set for the introduction of Ivy Bridge and for a big marketing push for the second generation of thin-and-light Ultrabooks.

April 11, 2012

Report: New Apple iMacs with Ivy Bridge Chips Coming in June

Apple's next update to its iMac lineup could arrive in June and the new desktop computers could sport Intel's next-generation processors code named Ivy Bridge, if the rumor mill is to be believed.

The Economic Daily News of China reported earlier this week that unnamed supply chain sources are pointing to the June arrival of new iMacs with "minimal changes in the design" from last year's iMac offering and using new Intel Core i5 and Core i7 chips, according to media reports.

The new iMacs are reportedly being assembled by Foxconn and Quanta Computer, the Asian manufacturers which built last year's models for Apple.

Apple and Intel teamed up previously on last year's iMac Thunderbolt products, which gave Apple a head start on integrating the chip giant's "Light Peak" interconnect technology. Those computers are powered by Intel's Sandy Bridge chips, due to be succeeded this year by the company's Ivy Bridge generation of processors.

Intel hasn't announced an official release date for its next-gen, 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge chips, but signs point to a staggered release that will begin with the launch of several desktop and notebook chips at the end of this month, followed by another wave of Ivy Bridge parts being made available to computer makers in May or June.

March 27, 2012

Report: Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks Are a Go for Computex

Computer makers will showcase plenty of ultrabooks sporting Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge mobile processor platform at June's Computex electronics show in Taiwan, DigiTimes reported late last week.

The Taiwan-based tech journal noted that the very first ultrabooks with Ivy Bridge will likely turn up when the chip giant launches the platform a month or so earlier, but that "major product lines ... [with] mainstream Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 processors" from the likes of Acer and Asus will hit the market around the same time as Computex, being held from June 5-9 in Taipei.

Microsoft is also tipped to discuss more details about its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at Computex 2012, DigiTimes reported. The company "is expected to cooperate with its PC partners to showcase products that are running Windows 8 and may reveal more details about Windows on ARM," the site said.

Computex 2012 will host 1,800 exhibitors showing their wares at 5,400 booths, including 50 booth spaces rented each by Intel, Acer, and Asus, DigiTimes reported, citing sources affiliated with the show.