We got to see a handful of Sandy Bridge-ready motherboards at Computex last week, so it was only a matter of time before actual Sandy Bridge processor samples started surfacing, albeit less officially. Coolaler has posted images, screenshots, and benchmarks of a purported Sandy Bridge sample, providing a glimpse of Intel's next architecture.
Coolaler's CPU-Z screenshots suggest this engineering sample runs at 2.5GHz with four cores, eight threads, 256KB of L2 cache per core, and 6MB of L3 cache shared across the chip. Performance in Cinebench and SuperPI apparently isn't that great, however. The CPU seems to do well in some synthetic Lavalyst Everest benchmarks, but the screenshots obscure the nature and name of those tests.
The Coolaler post also show a couple of high-res shots of the sample, whose resistor layout looks different from that of existing LGA1156 offerings. At least, we can't immediately tell where the four CPU cores and integrated graphics logic go. On Clarkdale, by contrast, the integrated GPU has a separate die with its own resistor layout at the back.
Based on what we heard last week on the Computex show floor, Sandy Bridge should come out early next year, perhaps not too far from the one-year anniversary of the Clarkdale launch.