The general consensus from Ivy Bridge reviews is that the processor is indeed faster than Sandy Bridge by a small margin, but seems to struggle quite significantly with higher temperatures, something which seems counter-intuitive if you consider it has marginally lower power consumption and a smaller 22nm HKMG process. Overclockers seem to think they have discovered why this is the case. Most processors come with an integrated heat sink or casing that makes them all look uniform and neat whilst protecting internal parts of the processor from damage. When removing this outer case for Ivy Bridge, the process is simple and it shouldn’t be. The reason for this is the IHS (Integrated heat sink) has an additional layer of thermal paste underneath it, unlike on Sandy Bridge where the IHS was soldered onto the actual processor component. The resulting heat transfer is the following:
Ivy Bridge: CPU Die -> Thermal Paste -> IHS -> Thermal Paste -> Liquid or Air Cooler
Sandy Bridge: CPU Die -> Thermal Paste -> Liquid or Air Cooler
Sandy Bridge has more efficient heat transfer as there are less stages for the heat to pass through meaning it can be dissipated quicker. We are not sure whether this rather old fashioned thermal paste under the IHS solution is just for Ivy Bridge engineering samples or whether every single Ivy Bridge processor will come like this. If every processor will come like this, it means that for the novice user your overclocking limit will be slightly less than Sandy Bridge due to the higher temperatures Ivy Bridge produces, for the “extreme overclockers” or enthusiast it will mean that the only way you will be able to break records or achieve higher overclocks is by removing the IHS and getting your CPU cooler to make direct contact with the CPU die in a similar way it did before on Sandy Bridge.