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Intel admits Ivy Bridge chips run hotter

Overclockers beware
Mon Apr 30 2012, 11:50

CHIPMAKER Intel has admitted that its latest Ivy Bridge processors run hotter than its previous generation Sandy Bridge chips.

Intel launched its Ivy Bridge line last week with the firm touting its 22nm process node as its biggest achievement. Intel's smaller process node along with changes in the interface material between the die and the heat spreader have led to reports of higher temperatures.

Overlockers lifted the lid on its Ivy Bridge sample to find that the chip's die had thermal paste on it to interface with the heat spreader, whereas Sandy Bridge processors used solder. Now Intel has confirmed that it is using "a different package thermal technology" on its Ivy Bridge processors.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Intel said the shrink to the 22nm process node leads to higher temperatures due to increased thermal density, adding that "users may observe higher operating temperatures when overclocking". The firm added, "This is as designed and meets quality and reliability expectations for parts operating under specified conditions."

Intel's process node shrink has concentrated heat generation, meaning it needs improved heat dissipation, which judging by reports and our own tests, it doesn't have. Although our tests were conducted on the statistically irrelevant sample size of one, put simply the same heatsink and fan that worked on our Sandy Bridge Core i7 2700K could not cut it on the Ivy Bridge Core i7 3770K.

Intel will claim that Ivy Bridge thermal design power is the same as Sandy Bridge and in this case it is true that temperature isn't linked to power usage. Nevertheless, going by Intel's own admissions overclockers might want to steer away from Ivy Bridge. µ


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