Sandy Bridge chipset: Ivy bridge compatibility?

Posted: March 8, 2012 in PC
Tags: , , , ,

(late) Happy holidays, new year, lunar year and valentine’s day. And congrats to all ladies today. No, I’m not dead.

It’s a new year, and we’re still looking at some interesting news on the tech world. We had the MWC 2012 in Barcelona, with the new smartphones, new mobile technologies and more questions from Google about Ice Cream Sandwich. CES 2012 during January, showing the upcoming gadgets, fancy slim LED TVs and HUGE TVs.

In the computer world, we saw AMD launching the next generation of Radeon GPU cards, the 7000 family, Intel releasing the replacement for the X58 platform, the X79 chipset and socket LGA2011, featuring the newest 2nd generation Core i7 CPUs, Quad-channel memory slots, and ridiculous prices. NVIDIA releasing more “teasers” of their new Kepler chipset (supposed to be a 22nm die) running (in my honest opinion) one of the best tech demos ever: Samaritan, with a single card. Do note that the Samaritan tech demo is not a new thing, since it was “teased” during last year running on not one, but THREE GeForce GTX 580 in 3-Way SLI. Even though it’s a tech demo based on the Unreal Engine 3, it looks like that could be the next Unreal Engine.

Back to Intel, they have released more information about the 3rd generation of Core i processors, Ivy Bridge, from CPU names to frequecies and new technologies (yes, technology is a key word on this post).

One thing that comes to my mind is the fact that both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge will be on the market at the same time, which could lead to confusion when it’s about choosing a new system. People could make a mistake getting a SB motherboard with an Ivy Bridge CPU.

At least for me, there has been some confusion between both chipsets. True, both of them use the same LGA1155 socket, but are they backward compatible?

Yes and we still don’t know.

Ivy Bridge motherboards are actually backward compatible with Sandy Bridge processors, so if you want to upgrade your “cheap” H61 or H67 motherboard with the new Z77 ones, you’re good to go. The opposite is still a “mistery”.

As far as I’m concerned, there are some “G3” motherboards out there that are, according to their manufacturer, Ivy Bridge compatible, which means those motherboards will get a special BIOS update to support the new CPUs.

I’m kinda specific with the “G3 stepping”, since those have the new PCI-Express 3.0 ports, supporting up to TWICE the bandwith from the previous generation. What about the regular boards? There are no news about them getting a BIOS update.

What about you? Planning to buy a new Intel system? Upgrading from a previous generation chipset? Moving from AMD? Or changing your old Sandy Bridge rig for a new Ivy Bridge rig?

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