We’ve already seen Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture offer compelling performance gains on the desktop. But can the fastest second-gen Core i7 beat Intel’s 130 W desktop-oriented six-core Core i7-980X in games? We set up a couple systems to find out.
Industry analysts have predicted the demise of the desktop PC almost every year since notebooks first started shipping with color screens. But extra room for power and cooling continues to push desktop performance at least two steps ahead of notebook counterparts. That performance disparity keeps a slowly-shrinking enthusiast PC market alive, even as improved notebooks all but consume other segments.
Enthusiasts alone can’t sustain the large manufacturing infrastructure left over from the desktop’s heyday, and we watch in despair as component firms either die or change targets. As we continue pushing new blood into the desktop market’s veins, Intel is driving nails into its coffin with an architecture that delivers very compelling speed on a power budget.