back to article Intel 'Sandy Bridge' mobile platform

Sandy Bridge is the codename for Intel's second generation of Core processors that covers Core i3, i5 and i7 for both side of the desktop-mobile divide. If you've been following the news lately, you'll know that Dell has discovered flaws in the Cougar Point chipset that, while not revealing a fault in the actual Sandy Bridge CPU …

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SATA issue shouldn't affect it

it's only the 4 slower SATA ports that are affected, and only after sustained heavy use. In a laptop, things should be plugged into the primary 2 SATA ports.

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Go and find out what UEFI is.

It may look just like the standard BIOS configuration interface, but the point isn't how it looks, it's what it does. Anyway, my HP laptop runs graphical management/diagnostic tools through EFI.

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Battery Drain

Flash isn't necessarily less overall power if you don't account for the amount of work done. If you ran the system full tilt, you would spend less time waiting for disk. This implies more time the CPU spends in an active rather than a sleep state, and therefore at a higher power drain.

To test, you would need an application that has a fixed transaction rate versus time so that the SSD based machine would spend additional time in a low power state.

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RE: Battery Drain

Exactly! The test was done with using the benchmark in a loop. I.e. each time the benchmark completes it's started again. Now on the Core2 Duo I bet the benchmark was only done about 10% of the times that it ran on the Sandy Bridge (if that). And from the results it seems that the HDD would thus only have been used about 50% of the times, compared to the SSD.

Therefore the read/writes to the SSD would be so much more, while the CPU also has a lot less time spending idle while the disc is performing its function. While on the dog-slow Core2 Duo, the disc was actually waiting more on the CPU - thus you see the opposite happen.

I'd say a better form of battery life testing would be playing a video, opening and closing programs (which could be scripted), running a CPU and / or graphics intensive app, and leaving on idle - then deriving an average from that. That way you'd have comprehensive tests for the widest range of border-line applications, and probably a good average as well.

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^ series chipset, UEFI and battery life

Frymaster - you're quite correct that the 6 series chipset/SATA300 issue should have nowt to do with battery life on HDD and SSD but it isn't impossible so we thought it best to make mention.

Robert Carnegie - I was focussing on the benefits (or otherwise) to the end user. In that context the UEFI implementation in this laptop is pretty damn similar to a BIOS. As for what it does - for instance support for hard drives larger than 2.2TB - well that's a tick in the box and make me pleased however it is invisible to the end user, at least for the time being. It's a bit like reviewing a motherboard and referring to whether the graphics slots are PCI Express 1.0 or 2.0. The standard and data bandwidth are all well and good but do they make your game play better or not? In this case the set-up screen is effectively a BIOS that you can control with the touchpad.

Enki and Irneb

You're both quite possibly correct. The fact is that I came across some strange test results and felt it better to put them on the page instead of sweeping them under the digital carpet. I discussed exactly this theory with Intel using a car analogy about how many miles you travel on a tank of fuel (work done) and how long you take to get there (battery life). If their tech people had come back and said 'yup, that's how it rolls with SSD, more work and less battery' I would have understood. Instead there has been a resounding silence.

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SandyBridge or "An study in trifle"

Whatever happened to Intel as we knew it over the years.

First they mess up their ticks from their tocks.

Then they go about releasing the weaklings and pushing the battleships further back in the queue.

Enthusiast Sandy Bridge (i.e. LGA 2011) has been on the cards for ages and yet months before its (intended) release there's nothing in terms of information out there.

Nehalem/Westmere have stayed at the top spot for longer than any other Intel CPU.

And don't start on Intel's Wireless Display or Toshiba's et al. Display Link. Neither do full-HD, their range is pitiful and the delay from compression/decompression means they're useless for anything other than media players. For gaming or other general work, there's (frustratingly) still no beating an HDMI cable on the back of a GPU :(

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