Intel's new mobile processors: biggest leap in mobile performance in years

Intel is ready for the February PC update cycle and you can expect to see a flood of Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 laptops at CES 2010. With 11 processor in its new mobile line-up, Intel covers pretty much every segment of price and performance in the notebook and laptop category. When compared to previous architectures, there are a number of improvements. First, the physical chip package is smaller and that could mean smaller (and cheaper) computers. Secondly, single-threaded (mono-task) applications should benefit from a Turbo mode that overclocks the processor by 30% or more. This series of processors also has Hyper-Threading (HT), a technology that basically doubles the number of tasks that can be executed simultaneously. Between Turbo and HT, the performance boost is anywhere between 20% and 45% compared to Intel’s older processors.

This is enormous because the processors use the same power envelope, there is little improvement in power consumption so battery life is similar to current laptops. Note that the amount of work that these processors can do “per Watt” is higher. If you are looking for absolute performance or ultimate battery life, there are older Core Quad or Core 2 models that will either run faster or longer, but Intel has nailed it when it comes to the “all purpose” laptop CPUs. Now if only the integrated graphics could be better…

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