All of the new Sandy Bridge mobile processors feature Intel HD Graphics 3000. If you take a look at the slide above you’ll notice that most of the CPU die is made up of the graphics processor. It should be noted that the 8MB of L3 cache is directly connected to the graphics processor for improved performance.
The new Sandy Bridge processors all have 12 graphics back end execution units, which is something that not all desktop parts have. The clock frequency of the Intel HD Graphics 3000 depends on what processor you are looking at. Some start at with 350MHz to 650MHz base clocks with tip speed reaching 900-1300MHz. The Intel Core i7-2820QM that we are looking at today starts out at 650MHz on the back clock and has a max dynamic frequency of 1300MHz, so it’s as fast as you can get without overclocking. Gaming performance is going to really depend on what the GPU is clocked at, so if you are buying a notebook with a Sandy Bridge processor and want to game be sure to keep a close eye on these clock speeds!
Sandy Bridge processors also have a cool new feature called Quick Sync Video Implementation. We found numerous companies calling this Intel QSV and it means that video processing is now done on the hardware and not with software! We were told that we could expect huge performance increases due to this, so it will be interesting in testing QSV out on applications that support the new hardware video processing.
Intel QSV Supporting Software: