The first consumer samples from Intel’s new processor family Ivy Bridge is as we uncovered earlier being shipped with a TDP value of 95W. This is a well thought out strategy according to the processor giant, despite that the models which is being launched has a TDP value that never exceeds 77W.
Intel’s new Tri-Gate technology using 22 nanometer transistors should have made it possible for the manufacturer to lower the power consumption on their new Ivy Bridge processors, despite that they at the same time has increased the calculation power compared to todays Sandy Bridge processors.
When Intel launches their third generation Core architecture at the end of April, neither of them will get a TDP value that exceed 77W, which also includes the most powerful models that’s equipped with four cores and Hyper-threading like their flag ship Core i7-3770K. Most ironic is that the processors, at least the models at the top will be sold with a TDP at 95W.
The reason for this according to Intel is that they’ve chosen to keep the product segments maximum TDP value [Read: The LGA1155 platform]. This despite that the processor curcuits in the packages will work with a maximum TDP value at 77W and many times, even lower.
Sandy bridge and maybe even the upcoming Ivy bridge processors consumes up to 95W
Intel leaves the door open to Ivy Bridge processors with six cores?
The reason for Intel’s confusing and odd behaviour, which is mildly put, is supposed to be many. First of all Intel means that through keeping a specification of 95W on the new Ivy Bridge processors they leave the door open for product launches within the family in the future. This is something that we find a little extra interesting since this would make it possible to not just turn up the clock frequencies quite a bit, but mabye even keep the door open for completely new models equipped with, lets say six cores instead of four. Although this is pure speculations, since we haven’t got any concrete information that any Ivy Bridge models with six cores should be under development, but there is certainly room for expansion within the Ivy Bridge architecture.
Intel is concerned about greedy motherboard manufacturers
The second and most relevant reason to keep their TDP value at 95W though, is the compatibility between the different processor familys within the LGA1155 platform. Intel is concerned that motherboard manufacturers will see oppurtunities to develop products with VRM and power supply sections that will only be able to handle LGA1155 processors with a maximum TDP at 77W, which is something that would make the motherboards incompatible with several processor models from the LGA1155 platform, maybe even future models from Intel. By setting what they call it a “segment TDP” at 95W Intel gives the signal to their motherboard partners that all the motherboards should be built with VRM sections that is capable of running processors with a 95W TDP.
The bottom line is that on the day of the launch Intel will sell Ivy Bridge processors with a 95W TDP that really is manufactured and developed to a maximum TDP value of 77W. That means that Ivy Bridge will NOT consume more that 77W at the standard performance. It also looks as this is something that Intel plans to continue with in the foreseeable future.
Although we can understand the company’s concern with regards to incompatibilities in the LGA1155 platform, this feels like a process that’s not only likely to decieve it’s consumers, but it’s also a way for Intel to undervalue their own products. When we publish our comprehensive analysis of the new Ivy Bridge architecture our readers will in any case get the true picture on the new processor circuits performance and actual power consumption, which is NOT, we reapeat, NOT to exceed 77W no matter what Intel writes on the box.