The 10 Coolest CPUs, GPUs Of 2012 (So Far)

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Intel Ivy Bridge

Intel last year shook the world with news of its breakthrough Tri-Gate transistor technology and 22-nm process, which has given rise to a new breed of more powerful and energy-efficient computers than has ever been possible before.

Intel this year has been regularly releasing Intel Core processors, which can be found in dozens of servers, desktops and laptops. Performance results by the CRN Test Center show significantly faster speeds than prior generations of Intel Core processors, and Ivy Bridge parts fit into Sandy Bridge sockets or can be soldered onto the motherboard, a capability that could benefit Microsoft's Surface for Windows 8, an Ivy Bridge-based tablet that's expected early next year.

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