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Intel chip tests surface ahead of Apple, Windows laptops

Quad-core Ivy Bridge Apple and Windows laptops will likely appear first. New benchmarks offer a preview of Intel graphics performance in these systems.

HP Envy 17 uses Intel quad-core mobile processors.
HP Envy 17 uses Intel quad-core mobile processors.

New benchmarks point to decent performance jumps for upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge mobile processors. That should translate pretty directly to faster Apple and Windows laptops.

To date, we've seen plenty of Ivy Bridge desktop benchmarks but few hard numbers for mobile. Ivy Bridge is Intel's next-gen processor packing 3D transistors, improved graphics, and USB 3.0 via the accompanying chipset.

So, let's get right to the nub of the matter. Benchmark tests were conducted with a quad-core Core i7-3820QM Ivy Bridge chip and a current-generation Sandy Bridge Core i7-2960XM.

Testing based on 3DMark Vantage (entry, overall) yielded a score of 19,097 for the Ivy Bridge HD4000 graphics processing unit (GPU). By comparison, the Sandy Bridge HD3000 GPU posted a score of 11,583, according to Computer Base. That's a 65 percent performance boost for Ivy Bridge.

On 3DMark Vantage (overall, performance), the Ivy Bridge HD4000 racked up a score of 4,431 against Sandy Bridge's 2,179. That's a gain of 103 percent.

Both chips had a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and a Turbo Boost speed of 3.7GHz, according to CPU World.

As has been demonstrated in the past, performance gains for Ivy Bridge's central processing unit (CPU) were much more modest.

The first Ivy Bridge mobile processors are due to be announced later this month. Typically, Intel announces quad-core mobile chips first. MacBook Pros and high-end Windows gaming laptops use mobile quad-core processors.

Needless to say, quad-core Ivy Bridge laptops will almost invariably come with "discrete" standalone graphics from Nvidia or Advanced Micro Devices. But today many systems are designed to use both Intel and discrete graphics -- so Intel GPU performance is not irrelevant, even in these brawny laptops. And Intel GPUs will be very relevant with thin laptop designs that use only Intel graphics.

Power-efficient dual-core Ivy Bridge chips that are expected to land in the MacBook Air and ultrabooks should appear later in the spring.

See discrete GPU benchmarks here.

Via CPU World.