Intel Talks ‘New Toys’ With Konas Korner At PAX East
I had the chance to sit down with a couple folks from Intel at PAX East and discuss some of their latest and greatest tech ready to hit the streets soon. From motherboards to processors and back, there was something for everyone to get a little excited about. Whether you’re simply into movies and media or a hard core gamer, Intel’s upcoming line is set to impress.
First up, they showed off their newest desktop motherboards, the DZ77GA-70K and the DZ77RE-75K also known as the “K” series. You’re probably thinking “big deal, just another motherboard”. Not exactly … In fact, these additions have something incredibly cool to claim bragging rights about. Two words, VISUAL BIOS! Yes, you read that right. Senior Product Marketing Engineer for Intel, Fred Birang, gave me the hands on demo and showed off all the cool features that Visual BIOS has to offer. With these new tools, you can now manage runtime, customize processor speeds, prioritize boot order, and set fan speed all with visual ease.
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“Intel Visual BiOS operates by your choice of touch screen, keys, or mouse. Everything is literally at your fingertips in a format that you can visualize. You are now able to customize your setting on the fly with animated transitions, sliders, and other easy to use elements” says Birang.
Next up (and probably the most impressive) was an introduction to their upcoming 3rd Generation Core Chipset, code named “Ivy Bridge”. Not only was PAX East the perfect platform to show it off, but this CPU I was getting the 411 on was the ONLY one that exists in the US! So why all the fuss? What makes this one so special?
We all know that these days, the line between content creation and content consumption is very thin. The number of people taking to YouTube has grown exponentially in recent years. And let’s not forget about the increased popularity of live streaming (concerts, gaming, etc.). Add to that the demand from consumers to have everything presented in full 1080p and you end up with a recipe that is nothing short of being resource intensive.
With the increased demand from users, especially in the gaming community, having access to hardware that can handle this load is crucial. I had an extensive conversation with Desktop Marketing Manager for Intel, Mark Chang, who discussed how the “Ivy Bridge” addresses this. In his demonstration, we gathered around what seemed like the typical tower setup with two guys battling head to head on the latest StreetFighter title. At first, we all thought this was a result of some magical configuration / optimization of the graphics card as gameplay was very smooth and the visuals couldn’t have been more stunning. Then he opened the side panel of the tower and our mouths hit the floor!
The fact that this 22 nanometer technology was housed in a smaller package was remarkable enough. But they had one last surprise for us … NO GRAPHICS CARD! Everything that we were seeing was running solely off the CPU. Mark explained to me that not only is Intel trying to reduce the footprint and energy efficiency of desktops, but they are also out to reduce if not eliminate the need for additional components. Let’s face it, things like graphics cards can cost a pretty penny, not to mention take up a lot of space and consume energy / system resources.
At this time, there are no specs or benchmark tests to report as Intel is keeping quiet. Additionally, no “official” date was given on their release but I was told that they will most likely be on the market “by the end of this quarter” ( which runs through June of this year ). We will certainly bring you more information as it becomes available to us.