Time to rebuild my HTPC (at 4 years, its getting a bit long in the tooth). As I'm not that up to date on the latest and greatest in technology, I started with Assassins excellent guide (well worth the $25 for full access to everything IMO).
In the free hardware guide, he makes the statement:
These LGA1155 motherboards are also backwards compatible meaning that you could use a Sandy Bridge CPU with an Ivy Bridge era Motherboard — the main drawback to this approach is you would be limited to the Sandy Bridge’s chipset and wouldn’t get to use all the new features offered by Ivy Bridge.
So then I read this comparison:
And I only really found this:
3. Ivy Bridge uses some newer technologies. In order to achieve the reduction in Ivy Bridge die size, Intel developed a new kind of three-dimensional "Tri-Gate" transistor. But there are some additional advancements in Ivy Bridge, as well, including support for PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 and DDR3L (low-voltage) memory, buffed-up security features, and better integrated graphics (see below).
4. Ivy Bridge is faster—but just a little. Performance generally improves more between "ticks" and "tocks" than between "tocks" and "ticks," and you can see this in the relationship between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. In our testing, for example, an Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge processor earned in our CineBench R11.5 multicore rendering test a score of 1.65, compared with a Core i7-2700K (the fastest Sandy Bridge chip) in the same system earning 1.58. The chips' scores in PCMark 7 (3,679 versus 3,867) and times in Adobe Photoshop CS5 (2 minutes 47 seconds versus 2:50) and Handbrake 0.9.6 (32 seconds versus 31 seconds) also bear this out. So you will see speed bumps, but they'll be small this time around. Chances are, however, that next year's "tock" will boost the speeds of new processors considerably more.
Doesn't seem like 3 will be much of an issue as the only card I'll be adding is my InfiniTV and the faster part seems largely irrelevant.
It does go on to say it uses less power, but from the guide it seems that power consumption for an HTPC won't be much different between the two.
then there is this:
6. Ivy Bridge has better graphics... Sandy Bridge processors sported a redesigned video system (available in two flavors: Intel HD Graphics 2000 or 3000, with the latter being more powerful), but one that was limited in a few key ways. Ivy Bridge chips removed one of the chief limitations by replacing Sandy Bridge's dusty DirectX 10.1 (DX10.1) support with DX11 capabilities, and generally improving their speed and functionality. We didn't see enormous frame rate leaps between HD Graphics 3000 (in the Core i7-2700K) and 4000 (in the Core i7-3770K) in our testing with currently popular 3D titles, but we definitely saw some.
Ok, I don't have a 3D display and likely won't get one during the life of this HTPC.
So is there any real compelling advantage to getting an Ivy Bridge over a Sandy Bridge? My rig is going to be a pure HTPC, no gaming, no office functions, etc.