Intel Preparing IGP-less Sandy Bridge Processors

Intel is planning to launch three new quad-core CPUs based on its Sandy Bridge design. These are the Core i5-2380P, i5-2450P, and the i5-2550K. The i5-2380P is clocked the same as the existing i5-2400, at 3.1Ghz with a Turbo Boost frequency of up to 3.4Ghz. The i5-2450P, on the other hand, runs 100Mhz slower than the i5-2500, at 3.2Ghz with Turbo Boost up to 3.5Ghz. Finally, the i5-2550K is a modest upgrade to the i5-2500K, running at 3.4Ghz with a 3.8Ghz top Turbo Boost speed.

The most interesting things about these new chips, however, are their missing features.

According to the source, none of these chips will have Intel HD graphics cores, features that have been part of Sandy Bridge since it was first released. This means you will need to run a discrete videocard, and you miss out on Intel Quick Sync acceleration as well. A little bit less importantly, VT-d (Virtualization) and TXT (Trusted Execution Technology) support are also missing.

The reason for the lack of IGP could be that Intel is simply selling chips that came out of the fab with broken graphics cores, but otherwise working perfectly. AMD is currently doing something similar with its Llano APUs, selling IGP-less processors as Athlon II X4s. The VT-d and TXT support may simply have been turned off to further lower the prices.

For most people, these missing features won't matter too much, but we'll have to wait on official pricing. The new chips will likely hit the market sometime in the first quarter of next year.

UPDATE:  The Core i5-2380P, i5-2450P, and the i5-2550K are now available at places like Amazon and other retailers.

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