Gabe Newell, Valve's co-founder and managing director, took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 and called Intel's Sandy Bridge processors "a game changer." Since the Sandy Bridge family puts a bigger emphasis on visual performance, thanks to an integrated 32nm GPU, higher-end graphics performance on laptop devices could potentially help Valve's scalable Source engine.

"Sandy Bridge is awesome," Newell said on stage. "We've been using it for a couple of months. Sandy Bridge really does give us the great features and performance that we need to develop great customer experiences for gamers. Sandy Bridge cannot only run today's games, but even the next generation of games. It's a real game changer for us. This allows for a console like experience on the PC."

It's not clear what he meant by the last part about Sandy Bridge being more console-like. We would speculate that he was referring to a more universal baseline standard that helps developers optimize their games. Newell's team at Valve has been working with the technology to optimize performance in one of the company's upcoming games, Portal 2, which is slated for release in April 2011 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Mac.