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More reasons to wait for 'Ivy Bridge' MacBook, Windows laptops

Decisions, decisions. Should I wait for that Ivy Bridge-based laptop? Yeah, if you want a faster system with better battery life.

The upcoming Dell XPS 13 ultrabook will likely use Ivy Bridge processors later in the year.
The upcoming Dell XPS 13 ultrabook will likely use Ivy Bridge processors later in the year.

Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge chip will be a big step up in graphics performance for Intel. And benchmark numbers suggest that you may want to wait for that new Ivy Bridge-based MacBook or Windows lappy before upgrading your system.

A Chinese-language Web site has posted benchmark numbers (reposted by CPU World) that show a jump in graphics processing unit (GPU) performance of up to 122 percent over the current Sandy Bridge processor.

"In 3DMark Vantage synthetic benchmarks Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge) achieved 88.9% higher GPU score when using Entry preset, and 122.1% better score with Performance preset than [the] Intel i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)," said CPU World.

And a faster GPU is important not only for games but for a host of multimedia-related operations such as transcoding and image manipulation.

Other chip Web sites have weighed in about Ivy Bridge performance recently. "[Ivy Bridge's] underlying architecture is completely new. Between architectural changes, clock speed increases, and other changes, Intel is claiming about 2x the graphics performance...We don't think these claims are out of line for the general case," said chip-centric site Semiaccurate.

Below are gaming benchmarks showing the increase in performance numbers when comparing the Ivy Bridge i5-3570K with HD 4000 graphics to a Sandy Bridge i5-2500K with HD 3000 (via CPU World):

  • Left 4 Dead 2: up 71.6 percent
  • Street Fighter IV: up 43 percent
  • Starcraft II: up 30.2 percent
  • DiRT 3: up 51.8 percent
  • Farcry 2: up 84.5 percent

Of course, no article about Intel graphics performance would be complete without mentioning that a system with a separate graphics card from Nvidia or Advanced Micro Devices is going to deliver better performance.

However, many of the super-skinny ultrabooks due in the coming months (and already out) either don't have room for a standalone "discrete" graphics chip or the designers simply decided they don't need it. Not to mention the fact that PC makers essentially get the graphics for free because the Intel GPU is built into the Ivy Bridge chip, right next the CPU (central processing unit).

Via EXP Review