Intel Core i7-2720QM
The Intel Core i7-2720QM is a fast high-end quad core processor for laptops. It is based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and offers Hyperthreading to handle 8 threads at once (for a better usage of the pipeline). Compared to the previous Clarksdale quad-cores, the i7-2720QM is now manufactured in 32nm and offers an integrated graphics card and AES functions. Compared to the faster clocked 2820QM, the 2720QM offers less level 3 cache (6 vs. 8MB).
Sandy Bridge is the evolutionary successor of the Arrandale architecture. The most noteable improvements are the new 256Bit AVX instructions, the improved Turbo Boost and the integration of the graphics card into the 32nm CPU core. Furthermore, the integrated memory controller was improved and supports up to 8 GB DDR3-1333.
The i7-2720QM offers an integrated graphics card (Intel HD Graphics 3000) which proved to be clearly faster than the old Intel HD Graphics in the Arrandale CPUs and on a level with entry level dedicated graphics cards like the GeForce 310M. The HD Graphics 3000 also supports Turbo Boost and clocks between 650 MHz and 1300 MHz. As the graphics card shares the fast last level cache, the processor is a bit slower with activated GPU.
The performance of the Core i7-2720QM is noticeable better than the old i7-720QM and even a bit faster than the fastest Clarksfield CPU the Core i7-940XM quad core. Therefore, the performance should be sufficient for modern 3D games and demanding applications. Thanks to the fast Turbo Boost 2.0 even single threaded applications run very fast. The detailed benchmark results of the 2720QM can be found in the lower section of this page, or in our detailed review of the new Sandy Bridge quad core processors.
The relative high TDP rating of the 2720QM of 45 Watt enables the usage of the quad core only in 15" laptops and up. However, compared to the previous generation of quad-cores, the TDP improved, as the integrated GPU is now included.
|Series||Intel Core i7|
|Clock Rate||2200 - 3300 MHz|
|Level 1 Cache||256 KB|
|Level 2 Cache||1024 KB|
|Level 3 Cache||6144 KB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||4 / 8|
|Max. Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||45 Watt|
|Transistor Count||995 Million|
|Manufacturing Technology||32 nm|
|Die Size||216 mm2|
|Max. Temperature||100 °C|
|Features||HD Graphics 3000 (650-1300MHz), DDR-1600 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Hardware Virtualization||VT-x, VT-d|
|Starting Price||$378 U.S.|
|Product Link (external)||Intel Core i7 2720QM|