You might recall that Intel
toyed with the idea of "Upgrade Cards" for its Pentium G6951 processor around this time last year. For fifty bucks, you could buy one of these cards containing a software code that you would download from Intel's site, and just like that, your Pentium chip would suddenly have an additional 1MB of L3 cache to play with, along with Hyper-Threading enabled. Some scoffed at the idea of paying additional money for features already baked into their CPU, while others saw it as a cost-effective way to improve performance. Get ready to debate the concept all over again.
Intel is bringing back its Upgrade Cards, this time for a trio of a Sandy Bridge processors. Here's how it breaks down:
- Core i3 2312M (2.1GHz, 3MB cache) ---> Core i3 2393M (increased processor frequency and cache)
- Core i3 2102 (3.1GHz, 3MB cache) ---> Core i3 2153 (increased processor frequency)
- Pentium G622 (2.6GHz, 3MB cache) ---> Pentium G693 (increased processor frequency)
It isn't clear exactly how much additional clockspeed (and cache, where applicable) these upgrade codes will provide, though according to Intel's internal benchmarks, you can expect the Core i3 2312M to run 10-19 percent faster, the Core i3 2102 to run 12-15 percent faster, and the Pentium G622 to run 15-23 percent faster. In other words, double digit performance gains across the board.
Intel also didn't reveal any pricing information, though as mentioned previous Upgrade Cards ran $50. Alternately, you could learn to overclock...