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back to article Intel touts 'Sandy Bridge' video chops

Intel unveiled its new line of processors this morning at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The focus of the presentation wasn't raw performance or "power per watt", as was true in other processor intros. The focus was "eye candy". "The built-in visual capabilities enabled by these new processors are stunning," said …

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You missed one

You missed one or Intel missed one on purpose for similar reasons to Adobe editing the "web runs on flash" rant to remove the more entertaining part of it.

There is one more feature listed for Sandy bridge. According to this article

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODk2OA

on Windows you also have "Skin Tone Enhancements"...

Cough, cough... I love the smell of VHS early in the morning... Cough, Cough... If you cannot beat them on technical grounds, beat them on "skin tone"...

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Linux support?

Wonder if they will do proper linux support?

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Who

gives a damn?

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Intel Insider?

So the processor will run a service to allow streaming of video content without the OS being involved? Because this is what the article appears to say!

I think that this is more likely to be media encryption keys locked in the processor, so those nasty Open Source people can't hack them to allow the content to be 'stolen' while it passes through the OS layers. This would enable the media to be encrypted all the way from the server on the Internet to the graphics hardware, and thence on to the display device. Sounds like Intel and the content providers got tired of waiting for the TCG to deliver bare-metal-to-application system trust, so have bypassed the whole OS stack, and large parts of the system hardware.

This does pose the question what if you want to use better graphics hardware than Intel provide? Still, I'm just speculating here.

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Boffin

RE: Intel Insider?

"....what if you want to use better graphics hardware than Intel provide?...." Whilst you might with a desktop PC, if you're aiming at the set-top-box market then it's all appliances and no add-in graphics anyway (why else do you think it has built-in 1080p?). And the set-top-box market looks to be a big pond Intel will want to dominate, and if it can do it with a laptop CPU then they will. After all, as an example, when you buy a Sky contract do you ask about the chip in the Sky box, what wattage it draws or what OS it runs? Nope, you just take it 'cos it's the only choice Sky gives you. So if Intel sows up the content providers early enough they could get the new pond all to themselves, which will be a nice little earner alongside laptop sales.

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@Matt

I know that you wouldn't necessarily put one of these in every system, I was wondering if the encryption keys are in the Sandy Bridge processor, and the keys were mandated by the content provider's encryption, how would you use another processor/graphics card combo.

It's probably not actually going to happen, I was seeing whether anybody would bite to start a discussion.

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Boffin

RE: @Matt

"....It's probably not actually going to happen....." Why not? After all, the content makers have been trying to find a new format to lock-up their product, reduce piracy and therebye ensure they can go back to charging rediculous amounts for their product. At the moment, DVD hire businesses like Blockbuster are dying if not dead, the cinemas are on their last legs, and the majority of people watch the majority of the films they see at home on a TV or PC via Internet delivery, DVD or set-top boxes. If the distributors can tie you to DRM-like mechanism that ensures you only get your feeds from a proper source (i.e., one that has paid the old media companies their dues) then they will throw money at both chip vendors and distribution channels to ensure it happens.

The switch to 3d films, which add nothing to the viewing experience for the majority of films, is a perfect example. The only real benefit is that the great unwashed, if they swallow the idea that 3d = better, have to go to the over-priced cinemas to see them, ensuring the old-media producers' (movie makers) and providers' (distribution companies and cinema chains) profits. The 3d bonanza seems to be running out of steam (it hasn't taken off on TVs), and seems just as vulnerable to digital piracy if 3d TVs do take off, so what are the old media companies to do? These people are smart, motivated and couldn't give two hoots about ethics, they will seek a lock-in mechanism by any legal means. And if Intel can get a market advantage over AMD/ATi and nVidia they'll probably take it too.

The only good news is that history has shown us that hardware encryptions have been broken before. ;)

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Oh right..

Worth waiting for it's release then. So I'll just go ahead and order the i7 today.

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FAIL

Core i7

If you're not thinking it's worth waiting until the release, you haven't checked the price points. Go ahead and buy your Core i7 and get ripped off. A $310 (US$) 2600K Sandy Bridge part runs (stock) 10% or better than the i7-960. Likely the "old gen" Core i parts are going to get slashed shortly.....

/consumer purchasing fail

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I read about it on the tube today

...In the city AM paper (usually quite good). Some dubious claims being made without any sources:

http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/intel-launches-high-speed-chip-home-moviemakers

"Its Second Generation Intel Core, which features an inbuilt graphics chip, can outperform the fastest microprocessor in the world by a staggering 60 per cent and will run basic tasks more than 800 times faster than most current chips."

That's mental reporting right there.

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Boffin

Boasts

800 times faster might be alluding to their encrypt/decrypt stuff, which has significant gains, and is only available in the most recent batches of CPUs from Intel, therefore qualifying for the "most."

As for the 60% faster, it does happen, if the chip is OCed to 4.6GHz (yes, very easily possible) and pitched against a stock-speed i7-980X or the like, in /some/ benches. As for GPU, you're only getting a Radeon 5450 built-in, so no needing to buy a $40 discrete gfx card to stuff into that mobo you love that didn't come with an IGP solution...

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Hardware Crypto was available from Via for ages

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Via has had AES on-chip for nearly 10 years now and an early vintage 2003 C3 Nehemia core at 1GHz would still run circles around anything up to i7 Core on encryption/decryption tasks. So 800 times - on crypto... Well some other time. 800 times compared to "Intel inside" - maybe. 800 times compared to _COMPARABLE_ chips with hardware crypto - not really.

As far as GPU tasks the jury is still out on that one too.

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WTF?

2nd Generation?

Surely Sandy Bridge is more like the fourth generation Core processor - after Core (Yonah), Core 2 and Core i[357] (Nehalem). Intel marketing obviously keeping up their tradition of maximum confusion...

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