Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge platform has been touted and celebrated for months, and the thing hasn't so much as been touched by nary a consumer. But now, the anticipated CPU has made it into devices and a couple of lucky bastards have gotten their hands on it early. How does it perform? It's powerful. Real powerful. Like faster-than-a-laptop-with-discrete-graphics powerful.
To illustrate just how impressive Ivy Bridge is, let's use Laptop Reviews' benchmarking as an example. They played around with an HP Elitebook 8470p—descended from a line of computers known more for their practicality than performance—and put it up against a wide variety of Sandy Bridge-baced laptops big and small. It bested most computers in most categories, including topping the HP Envy 17 in a PC Mark overall system benchmark (4520 to 2703). Also consider that its Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics scored a 6.4 score graphics category of the Windows Experience Index, which is considerably higher than the 4.7 the previous generation's Intel HD 3000 scored in the same test.
Long story short, Ivy Bridge may just be worth the cost of upgrading on its own, or at the very least, worthy of consideration. [Laptop Reviews]