Intel’s new Sandy Bridge series Core i3s, i5s, and i7s not only represent a big improvement in gaming performance over their predecessors, but by moving the GPU onto the same die as the CPU, the shorter trip to much higher performance memory shoots data out like a railgun. Intel is claiming a 17-fold increase in h.264 transcoding speed, crunching a 5-minute video to iPod native format in 18 seconds.
Now we get to the good stuff. The new Wi-Di(splay) 2.0 spec allows any Sandy Bridge device to beam 1080p video direct to the TV, making taking your media with you that much easier. Intel’s new Insider secure platform is already positioned with the proper security to be on the front lines for Warner Bros.’s new premium VOD program, which brings movies home from the theater in as little as 30 days. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if these new chips are powering Microsoft’s suspected new Windows Media Boxes. As more and more of the population moves their computing habits away from the desktops and to more portable devices like tablets and smartphones, having one device that can wirelessly plug into multiple devices for FullHD playback sounds really attractive. We can only hope that the potential proves out in the final products.