The big debut for Intel’s forthcoming “Sandy Bridge” CPUs isn’t scheduled to happen until this January’s CES show in Las Vegas, but it’s no secret that Intel has been shipping the processors to manufacturers for a while now so OEMs will be ready to go. And Hewlett-Packard is barely containing that it has Sandy Bridge-loaded notebooks on the way: some units have been caught quietly on sale already in markets like Singapore, and now HP has let slip specs for its pending U.S. models in support pages of its Web site…although HP is currently trying to put a curtain back over some of the details.
According to the documents posted to HP’s support pages, the company plans Pavilion DV7 5000-series notebook computers with Intel Sandy Bridge processors. The systems will be aimed at gamers and digital entertainment enthusiasts: one model will offer an Intel Core i7-2820QM with a base clock speed of 2.3 GHz with an “SC Turbo” clock speed of 3.4 GHz, achievable in compute-intensive situations when the chip focuses processing on a single core. Another model will feature a Core i7-2630QM 2GHz processor with a base speed of 2 GHz, with SC Turbo capable of taking it to 2.9 GHz. HP lists the units as bearing AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5650 and 5470 graphics, and some Pavilion dv7 models will feature a USB 3.0 port for high-speed storage and other peripherals (as well as everyday USB 2.0 ports).
Intel is taking the unusual step of rolling out quad-core versions of its new Sandy Bridge processors first, then going back to offer lower-power dual- and single core models. Notebooks featuring dual-core versions of the chips are expected to land in early 2011, although Intel’s format debut of the technology at CES will focus on high-end notebooks with quad-core chips. The initial quad-core products consumer remarkably little power for a quad-core design, but seem likely to put off more heat than current high-end notebook computers. The processors feature Turbo Boost and HyperThreading technology currently present in Intel’s high-end Core i7 line, as well as integrated graphics that may enable some computer makers to forego third-party graphics systems from the likes of Nvidia or AMD.
HP will not be the only system maker with Sandy Bridge-equipped notebooks at CES: except Intel to get as many OEMs as possible on the stage with shipping products when the chips make their formal debut. Some details of Asus models are already leaking, and it’s more than reasonable to assume the likes of Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Acer will be in the mix as well.