New processor gives computers speed boost
Intel's new range of Ivy Bridge central processing units is delivering unheard of speeds in personal computers.
When installed in the right kind of motherboard and using the latest solid state hard disk drives and memory it's not uncommon to see a 60 per cent increase in performance - the Windows personal computer operating system starts in just one second.
And it's all down to what Intel is calling "3-D transistors" at the heart of the CPU.
Graham Tucker, technical manager for Intel in Australia and New Zealand, said the new 22 nanometre transistors were smaller than the 2-D predecessors, which were like a piece of paper.
The innovation, Mr Tucker said, delivered more computational power while using less energy.
The new Ivy Bridge chips, Mr Tucker said, also removed the need for dedicated graphic processing units (GPUs) in the case of most personal computers.
"The need for having one is more nice now. You would need to have a good reason like if you were an architect doing 3-D modelling."
The new processors are not just limited to the traditionally more powerful desktop computers with their roomy towers but have also been engineered for more compact, in fact cramped, laptop computers.
In fact, it's not a stretch to say that Intel's new wave of ultrabooks, thin and light laptops with high internal specifications, are based on this new technology.
"There's an expectation that we have a similar level of performance around mobile and desktop computers."
Mobile also includes a new range of tablets that will inevitably launch when Microsoft's new version of the Windows operating system, Windows 8, starts coming pre-installed on computers from October 26. It will also be available for download, and no doubt on disk, as an upgrade for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines.
Windows 8 slates will likely be available from original equipment manufacturers like Hewlett Packard and Samsung on the operating system's release.
But New Zealanders will have to wait for Microsoft's Surface slates.
The most powerful model, with a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, is scheduled for a January release and will run any programs compatible with Windows.
The cheaper RT model, which will only run applications from the Windows 8 online store, will be released on October 26 but not in New Zealand.
- © Fairfax NZ News