Sandy Bridge vs. Ivy Bridge

Apple normally releases incremental updates to their MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineups by updating the models with a minor processor bump a few times a year. For example, a MacBook Pro may be released with a 2.2GHz CPU early in the year. From there, the next MacBook Pro release would be the same identical MacBook Pro, with a 2.4GHz CPU; just a slight clock speed increase.

However, Apple does occasionally debut a completely new series of CPUs, in order to stay up to date. An example of this would be Apple’s jump from Intel Core 2 and Quad to Intel iSeries. In today’s post we will review some differences between Sandy Bridge Processors (the current MacBook Pro/Air CPUs) and Ivy Bridge Processors (the next MacBook Pro/Air CPUs).

MacBook Pro Lineup

Most of the Apple news and rumor websites have been reporting on the details of Ivy Bridge processors, as of recently. Created and developed by Intel, these processors are marketed as a step up from the older Sandy Bridge processors. But, how much of a speed boost does Ivy Bridge produce over Sandy Bridge, and will it be worth it to upgrade once these new CPUs reach the MacBook lineups. Let’s start with some details, that come directly from Intel:


Ivy Bridge processors are estimated up to a 20% increase in CPU performance from Sandy Bridge.

Ivy Bridge processors are estimated up to a 30% increase in integrated GPU,  or graphics, performance from Sandy Bridge.


Ivy Bridge processors are 22nm and utilize 3-D transistors. With the integration of 3-D transistors, Intel claims less energy consumption, lower voltages, with even more processing power.

Overclocking Potential

Although over clocking isn’t Mac related, Ivy Bridge processors do have more over clocking potential.


Ivy Bridge will have improved engineering than previous Sandy Bridge processors. This is mainly due to the new 22nm technology, and also the redesign and layout of the chip.


Image Credit: X-bit Labs – Sandy Bridge vs Ivy Bridge

Intel Ivy Bridge benchmark R X 317229 3

Intel Ivy Bridge benchmark R Y 317230 3

Overall, the Ivy Bridge processors seem to have promising improvements over Sandy Bridge. Most notably though, better graphics performance, lower voltage, and greater processing power. Let’s hope Apple implements these upcoming processors smartly, to add performance to their MacBook Pro/Air lineup. Apple fans know what’s coming next…

The 2012 MacBook Pro/Air – Now with double the graphics performance and double the CPU performance, up to 200x faster! – as marketed by Apple. Let’s hope the next MacBook Pros/Airs also bring a completely new physical case design too.

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