I have been waiting on Ubuntu to run Sandybridge and wanted to give a try again after a while. I have the latest SandyBridge Rev 3.1 MOB (GigaByte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3) Intel i7 2600K, 16 G RAM. Installs on 500 G 7200 RPM SATA 3 drive.
On the same system using a different hard disk I installed Windows 7 SP1 64-bit. It is really fast system. Windwos Benchmark shows 7.6/7.7 for RAM&CPU performance.
I tried first 64-bit Ubuntu 11.1. Installation takes too long. But the real issue is the system keep loosing wired LAN connection. Graphics is OK. I have a decent nVidia based graphics card but installation of the graphics driver was challange. I had to re-boot many times to things tp work OK with softwarte patches (303 patches had to be applied that took hours).
I was not happy with the performacne and the stability of 64-bit. This time I re-installed 32-bit Ubuntu 11.10. After the install, the restart button came up. Upon pressing, I had kernel crash. I powercycled. nVidia native driver install failed, unlike 64-bit. But the grahics are fine. But the anoying Wired LAN connectivity issue is still there. After re-boot everthing appears to be working but somehow network connectivity fails unexpectadly. It is so frustrating.
Also, both versions perform fine but as compare to Windows 7 x64 the graphics, responsiveness of the system is very poor. I always thought Linux would be much faster than Windows. But this is completey the reverse. Please let me know if you wish me to try other combinations or run some utilities to provide you feedback. As it stands, I will leave the installation as it is and go back to Windows. As of now it is really not usable. I really like to use this system as pure Ubuntu but unfortunately I cannot do this at this stage.