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  • Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge – What’s the Difference?
Technology Articles > Hardware > Processors > Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge – What’s the Difference?

If it seems like there are just too many bridges floating around these days, rest assured that you are not alone. News of Intel’s latest processor, Ivy not Sandy, has been floating around the web for quite a few weeks now. But few tech writers have stopped to pause and explain what exactly the difference between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge is. When you look closely at the two processors, the differences are minimal but still important enough to note (also, most devices will have the new processor now and in the future). In order to clear up the confusion, both bridges are broken down (not falling down like the London Bridge, thankfully) below.

Sandy Bridge: Intel’s 2011 Processor

Intel came out with Sandy Bridge at the start of 2011. At that time, Sandy Bridge was the fastest and most sophisticated processor available. Sandy Bridge was not interchangeable with Intel’s 2010 processor. Sandy Bridge was the first “Core” brand processor. Even though Ivy Bridge is this year’s biggest processor news, Ivy Bridge isn’t that far off form its Sandy Bridge predecessor.

Ivy Bridge: The Latest and Greatest Processor

This year, Intel introduced Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge is slightly faster than Sandy Bridge, takes slightly less power, and has more advanced graphics (not graphics that will please avid and dedicated gamers, but better graphics all the same). Essentially, Ivy Bridge is Sandy Bridge all cleaned up and perfected ever so slightly. So, what’s all the fuss about?

Intel: A New Processor Every Year

In some ways, the fact that Intel creates a new processor every year means that this company keeps innovating and innovation is a good thing. On the other hand, a new processor from Intel usually means that those who are using that last generation processor will have to upgrade. More often than not, new processors just don’t gel with older processors, and this means that many have to purchase new motherboards in order to keep up (and playing chase can get costly). This year, Intel has actually created a processor that is compatible with the older processor.

If you have an Ivy Bridge motherboard, Sandy Bridge will work just fine. Happen to have an Ivy Bridge processor? No problem; a Sandy Bridge processor will work seamlessly. Intel has made it possible for users to effectively use both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge interchangeably, which is one of the main reasons why many are loving Intel’s newest creation (aside from the fact that Ivy Bridge is slightly better all around). In case you’re wondering where the “bridge” name comes from or why Intel is obsessed with bridges, here’s quick and fun fact: Intel’s Bridge processors were largely created by the Intel team in Israel, and this team dubbed the Sandy Bridge processor “Gesher,” which means “bridge” in Hebrew. Later, the name was changed to “bridge.” So, there you have it: Ivy Bridge it this year’s Sandy Bridge, and soon most devices that use these processors will be updated – but you can go on using whatever motherboard you currently have.