The Intel Core i7-2820QM Sandy Bridge processor is by far the most impressive mobile processor that we have ever seen and the performance shown is even more impressive when you take into consideration that this is on an early Intel reference system! Sandy Bridge will surely take performance to the next level for mobile users. If you have a notebook that is more than a couple years old and are getting tired of waiting on your notebook to do a CPU intensive task then you might want to take a look at one of these processors.
The best experience we had with this notebook had to be when we ran Cyberlink MediaEspresso and saw such a dramatic drop in conversion times. We weren’t expecting to see a performance increase like that and it goes to show that when the Intel engineers went to the drawing table years ago for Intel Quick Sync Video that their market research was spot on and that consumers want and need more hardware based video processing. We were also amazed to see CPU usage during Blu-ray playback being so low. Back in 2004-2005 when HD media was starting to get attention it didn’t look good for notebook users as batteries and CPUs weren’t able to playback full 1080P content with ease. The Intel Sandy Bridge processor with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 architecture has shown how far we have come in a few short years. We should also mention that this notebook can easily play game titles like Resident Evil 5, H.A.W.X. 2 and even StarCraft II at resolutions of 1024×768 or 1280×720!
When it comes to pricing we were told that a platform like this would cost around $1999. This notebook chassis was made by Compal and we discovered some Packard Bell labeling on the chassis when we were using it. It is likely that some companies will bring this exact notebook to market, but we are fairly certain that it will not be identical to this one since this is an early production sample.
For now it looks like Intel Sandy Bridge based mobile platforms are going to dominate the mainstream and high-end notebook market for well into 2011. AMD has a very competitive solution for the entry level mobile market with Brazos, but we all know that Intel will attack that price range as well. That doesn’t really matter to consumers as the end result is notebooks on store shelves that are going to do amazing things. Sandy Bridge is an insane processor and is going to change the way many people look at discrete graphics. Some consumers avoided notebooks that didn’t have discrete graphics and with Sandy Bridge now out in the wild does that even matter any longer? For most people we’d have to guess the answer is no.
Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core i7-2820QM processor is fast in CPU and GPU benchmarks and might just prove that discrete GPUs are no longer a must-have feature in notebooks!