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Intel Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K review

The second generation Core Processor has a new architecture design which features a shared L3 cache. This new design also means that lighter, thinner form factors can be used with lower levels of power consumption. The dedicated media processing is also certain to enhance overall system performance.

The new chip design delivers more performance and higher levels of energy efficiency. Adaptable performance with the second edition of Intel Turbo Boost Technology with Hyper Threading ensures that the new design will deliver superior performance.

Additionally Intel HD Graphics with dynamic frequency delivers graphics performance boosts to graphics intensive applications. The Front End Thread Dispatch Management has support for mixed kernels, thread spawn threads and a Scoreboard controls thread execution order. The Media Optimised Execution Units are a zero overhead thread switching design with Native media ISA. They specialise in Vector/Matric oriented calculations and have 2D and RF addressing with a large register file of 4kb per thread. Media Accelerators deal with Video and colour processing and video encoding. The Multi Format Codec is a high performance parallel engine design with HW Video decode and encode.

The Video decoder can decode two real time high definition streams and it supports multi stream with frame based context switching. The low bandwidth architecture uses an inline loop filter to reduce memory transaction and has tiled memory to improve bandwidth efficiency, utilising the processor LLC to save row store bandwidth.

When we look at Sandybridge and compare it directly against the Clarksale/Arrandale platform, the most obvious improvement is that preprocessing and encoding is now performed in hardware, rather than in a software environment. Intel InTru 3D allows Stereoscopic 3D via BluRay playback at 1080p over HDMI 1.4. Intel are also keen to point out that with Intel HD graphics, titles such as World Of Warcraft are perfectly playable at 720p with high levels of IQ. We plan on having a look at this in a later article.

The second generation of Intel Core processors used in conjunction with the Intel 6 Series Chipset deliver new Video Hardware Acceleration capabilities for H.264 and MPEG2 Encoding.

Post Processing is expanded with support for Total Colour Control, Auto Contrast Enhancement and Skin Tone Detection and Correction. Skin tone pixels are enhanced across a 3 plane axis which basically improves the saturation and hue of skin related pixel content.

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