The first Intel Core series chips to get the Ivy Bridge treatment in April were the higher end processors, which is natural; premiums are paid for new cutting edge tech stuff and companies appreciate that kind of buyer. Since April the budget conscious and tight-of-wallet folk have waited and now it’s the turn of the budget i3 range to get some attention. Intel have revealed in a tiny Chip Shot press release that third generation i3 desktop processors are now available. Also the new September price list shows succinctly what you will be able to buy.
In the table above you can see the three new Core i3 processors based upon the 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture. The new desktop i3s are at the top of that category list evidenced by the 22nm architecture specification and the lack of a July 2012 price. The prices for the newly introduced CPUs are quite keen; they still all fall below US$138. The Core i3,i5 and i7 desktop chip ranges still have a large proportion of Sandy Bridge based models within them. It seems like the upper echelons of each range are catered for by the more modern and fuller featured Ivy Bridge architecture with Sandy Bridge core models covering cheaper options.
Intel highlighted buyer incentives for the new Core i3s based upon Ivy Bridge are; Intel HD Graphics, Intel Quick Sync Video, Intel Smart Connect networking and Intel Wireless Display. The new top of the range Core i3; the i3-3240 offers up a spec of 3M cache, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 3.40 GHz, 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture and costs $138. The previous top i3, the i3-2130 with the identical listed spec of 3M cache, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 3.40 GHz but at 32nm (and minus the 3rd Gen extras listed above) has been reduced from $138 to $117. Interestingly other models lower down the list haven’t had their prices adjusted. However a lot of folk still like their Sandy Bridge CPUs and have no need for the mainly graphical add ons/enhancements the third gen processors provide. Looking at the lower end, where integrated graphics are more of a match with quiet low power systems and perhaps media centre boxes, these new Ivy Bridge i3 chips may fare well.