Coolaler have revealed preliminary performance benchmarks of an engineering sample of a quad core Sandy Bridge. The sample tested is a quad core, eight thread CPU, running at 2.5 GHz. In essence, it is the evolution of Lynnfield, with an integrated GPU on the same die. As expected, L3 cache is down to 6MB.

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Coolaler have revealed preliminary performance benchmarks of an
engineering sample of a quad core Sandy Bridge. The sample tested is a
quad core, eight thread CPU, running at 2.5 GHz. In essence, it is the
evolution of Lynnfield, with an integrated GPU on the same die. As
expected, L3 cache is down to 6MB.

The benchmarks are based on rather crude tests, such as Everest benchmarks, CPUMark 99 and SuperPi. The result is that performance hovers around in the Core i5 750 to Core i7 860 range. In one benchmark, it ties the much higher clocked Core i7 965 XE, but overall, the performance is only slightly higher, clock-for-clock over the Nehalem generation.

However, the focus for Sandy Bridge was always in efficiency. Also, the final products will ship at much higher clocks than 2.5 GHz – perhaps higher than Lynnfield. 3.4 GHz is possible for the top product and it is clear there will be a decent increase in performance/watt. It will also introduce the AVX set.

Overall, however, as expected, Sandy Bridge is more of an evolution, rather than the revolution the Nehalem generation was. It builds upon Lynnfield and Clarkdale, with some enhancements. The major addition is the on-die IGP. Sandy Bridge remains on schedule for a January 2011 release, though it is possible we will see products sold as early as December 2010 – particularly in South East Asia.

Of course, the sample tested is the mainstream Sandy Bridge. The enthusiast 6-core and 8-core products, designed for LGA 2011, will only release later in 2011. AMD’s much anticipated Bulldozer is also set to release right after the Sandy Bridge enthusiast products. As for the mainstream Sandy Bridge, the competition will clearly be AMD’s Llano. It will be interesting to see what improvements the 32nm version of Phenom II brings, but it is unlikely to compete with Sandy Bridge on pure CPU performance. However, Llano does have a quite stellar GPU on board. Overall, 2011 is set to be the most exciting year for the CPU industry in years.

Reference: Coolaler