The desktop versions of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors have most of their details outlined in full through a roadmap discovered this week. The X-Bit Labs copy shows all the chips falling under the 3000 series in the same Core i3, i5, and i7 tiers, with four cores still the maximum for non-Extreme chips. Clock speeds would have a higher baseline, starting with a 2.7GHz Core i5 (3.2GHz after Turbo Boost) and peaking at a 3.5GHz Core i7 (3.9GHz).
Three low-power models would come to fit into slim desktops, starting with a dual-core 2.9GHz Core i5 (up to 3.6GHz boosted) with a 35W power draw and moving to quad 2.3GHz Core i5 (3.3GHz) and 2.5GHz Core i7 (3.7GHz) versions. As a rule, however, the typical peak power will be about 19 percent lower than with the current-generation Sandy Bridge processors even on full-power chips.
With the exception of two chips, most Core i5 chips will use a new entry-level Intel integrated graphics core, the HD 2500, while those exceptions and the Core i7 will use a more advanced HD 4000 core that will likely be the common choice in notebooks as well.
The scoop and extra benchmarks from Computer Base have shown that the known improved graphics may have more of an impact than thought. Officially, they should net about a 30 percent performance boost, but Intel points to 3DMark Vantage synthetic 3D tests that show as much as a threefold boost in the tests that lean most on video performance.
Intel was already understood to be introducing DirectX 11-level (OpenGL 3.2/4) visual effects support and OpenCL general-purpose computing, the latter of which may be partly at Apple's request given its strong support.
Despite the detail, Intel isn't poised to ship the Ivy Bridge desktop line until sometime in the spring, months later than its usual releases at the start of the year. Five budget Core i3 chips wouldn't arrive until late spring.