updated 11:20 am EST, Mon December 20, 2010
Intel jumps gun with Sandy Bridge in Malaysia
Intel's launch for Sandy Bridge Core processors has been preempted this week with discoveries that at least one Malaysian retailer, Compuzone, was selling the desktop chips early. Four Core i5 chips, ranging from the 2.8GHz 2300 model to the 3.3GHz 2500, are on sale alongside the 3.4GHz Core i7 2600 variants. ASUS' matching P8P67 mainboards and equivalent Gigabyte boards were on sale at the same time, Lowyat found.
All of the chips confirm spec upgrades and add about 2MB of extra cache on the i5 models, although the i7 isn't changed. Most of the improvements should come both from the optimizations to Sandy Bridge as well as the newer clock speed. Prices vary from the equivalent of $188 for the lowest end Core i5 through to $301 for the Core i7, although it's not clear whether similar pricing would hold in the US.
While Intel had previously confirmed that its new processor design would debut at CES in early January, it has left many of the details to unofficial slips. The early sales may be an intentional way of satisfying early demand outside of main markets.
On the desktop, processors should get use almost immediately from major manufacturers such as Dell. Notebook versions of Sandy Bridge are due at the same time and have been confirmed by Lenovo and widely expected from Acer, Dell, Gateway, HP and most other top tier builders.
Apple is known to be testing Sandy Bridge for Macs, but its release schedule may see it only ship with the upgrade sometime later since some of its systems were either introduced or updated late in 2010. [via Engadget]