Are 3rd Generation Intel Processors actually faster than the 2nd Generation?

For those of you thinking about buying a computer but are not convinced of the benefits of the newer and more expensive Ivy Bridge processors, then a recent Consumer Report may help you decide.  A recent post on the site tested the two processors on various computers and found that the newer processors increased performance by as much as 20%.  Specifically, it found that processor intensive tasks such as CD ripping, video file conversion and photo uploads were much faster with new CPU’s.  Productivity applications such as Word and Excel were not affected since they are not usually hardware limited.  So if this wets your appetite for the latest silicon from Intel, then head to your favourite electronic box store or web site and check the specs for a processor model that begins with a 3 to indicate a 3rd generation processor.  The more expensive versions of the new processor actually has 4 cores, these usually end in QM; whereas the less expensive, more power efficient models used in some laptops that will come out soon have only 2 cores and usually end in U.
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