Variations on a theme
There are no new chipsets launched with these CPUs, so the 7-series mobile chipsets announced at the time of the original Ivy Bridge CPU launch will be the companion chipset with the ULV processors. The UM77, with its TDP of 3W and average power consumption of 0.84W, is the most likely chipset to find its way into Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks. However, what enables the UM77 to achieve its TDP is a lack of support for VGA or LVDS outputs, and only 4 PCI-E 2.0 lanes in the chipset itself.
Intel Ivy Bridge UM77 mobile chipset
Also launched at the same time as the ULV processors were four standard voltage (35W) dual-core/four thread chips. Yet only recently arrived on the scene, and aimed at low end Ultrabook, is the ULV Core i3-3217U, a dual-cored chip with a clock speed of 1.8GHz and no Turbo Boost. It has a 17W TDP with the HD4000 graphics running with a base clock of 350MHz and a dynamic maximum speed of 1.05GHz.
Bringing Ivy Bridge to the Ultrabook party also means that these systems will be DX11 capable due to the HD4000 graphics core. The company mantra remains: ultra responsive, ultra sleek and long lasting – as highlighted in the original specifications. There are only a few changes, for instance the new generation Ultrabook’s must provide either USB 3.0 (integrated in the 7-series chipsets) or Thunderbolt support.
Yet, as before, the target response time – from very deep sleep state (S4) to full use from the keyboard – is set at less than 7secs, with wake from sleep mode faster still. The battery life of at least 5hrs remains and the thickness must be 18mm or less for models with a display under 14in, and 21mm for units with a screen over 14in. Yet whether a product with a screen larger than 14in can still be called an Ultrabook, is a moot point.
So here I am with a 13.3in Core i5-3427U Ivy Bridge Ultrabook backed by 4GB of DDR3-1600 memory – some of these Intel systems have been seen with 8GB – and a 240GB Intel 520 SSD drive and a 1600 x 900 display. An impressive specification which, if available over the counter, would make this particular Ultrabook pretty high end, with a price tag to match.
PCMark 7 Benchmark Results
Intel Ivy Bridge Ultrabook and Sandy Bridge models compared
Longer bars are better
This combination in such a slim-line unit delivers a performance that puts every other Ultrabook I’ve tested into the shade by quite some margin. Tests with PCMark 07 notched up an overall score of 5422, which even beats some standard form Core i7 notebooks. Indeed, this model certainly feels zippier than earlier Ultrabooks especially when opening and closing applications.
Next page: Game on
Re: screen resolution
Bah. How about a 16x10 aspect like 1440x900, or 1680x1050?
Intel should make the 1600x900 a minimum requirement for 13" models.
So many better choices
Ultrabooks don't sell because they are a poor choice for most people unless all you want is bling. I don't see more than 4 GB. RAM being an issue for most folks these days as consumers tend to replace laptops every few years because they are so slow compared to a desktop. 4 GB. of RAM is sufficient for most desktop and laptop users though there are exceptions. If your use requires or benefits from more RAM then buy a laptop with that option. Objective testing shows only minute gains for most apps when going from 4 GB. to 8GB. so don't expect to really get much performance for the additional costs.
Ultrabook with unusual utility
The usual Ultrabook recipe we see is an Ivy Bridge ULV processor, 4GB RAM (often non-upgradeable), and a mystery SSD at 128 or 256 GB. A few connectors and then anything between a crappy, dark screen or a really nice IPS screen.
I found only one Ultrabook with a concept that really differs from this. Gigabyte's U2442V and U2442N. They sport an SSD AND a conventional hard drive. (not talking about a hybrid here, its really 2 drives). And if you find the ULV processor too weak for your taste, you can go to the U2442N and get a regular Ivy Bridge quad core processor and a Kepler based Nvidia GT 640M GPU to go with it. This isn't quite as thin as Asus' MacBook Air alike Zenbooks, but it hardly weights anymore (1.4 KG vs 1.6 KG). The screen is 1600x900, though its only a TN screen and not quite bright enough for outdoor use.
Personally, I don't care in which direction size and weight gets reduced. "Thin" isn't the hot feature for me, if they shave off size and weight in other directions, I'm quite happy with that. Like making less wide display bezels.
Re: Obviously pretty damn quick
I'd just moved on from Wordperfect 5.2 in a DOS box around then, skipping up to Word 6 at around 95... always remembered the "Help for Wordperfect Users" option in that. Embrace indeed.
Numbers needed - nice graph or chart - the benchmarks move on apace - today's PCMark on it's own needs more RAM and disk space than the old system ever had in total...