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Intel Core i7-2960XM

Intel 2960XM

The Intel Core i7-2960XM is the fastest quad-core processor for laptops in Q3-2011 and successor to the Core i7-2920XM. Due to the Extreme Edition branding, the CPU should be easy to overclock (unlocked multiplicator). 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 i7-2960XM is now manufactured in 32nm, offers an integrated graphics card and AES functions. Compared to the slower clocked 2860QM, the 2960XM is specified with a higher TDP.

Sandy Bridge is the evolutionary successor of the Arrandale architecture. The most noteable improvements are the new 265Bit 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 Core i7-2960XM 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 in the i7-2920XM (therefore it should be similar or faster in the 2960XM). As the graphics card shares the fast last level cache, the processor is a bit slower with activated GPU.

Due to the high Turbo Boost, large L3 Cache, and Hyperthreading, the performance of the Core i7-2960XM is only slightly lower than the desktop Core i7-2600K. In 2011 it is the fastest mobile processors for laptops. Therefore, the performance should be sufficient for even the most demanding tasks like HD video editing or demanding 3D games.

The high TDP rating of the 2960XM enables the usage of the quad core only in large and heavy laptops (usually 15" and up). Compared to the previous generation (Clarkdale, e.g. Core i7-940XM) of quad-cores, however, the TDP improved, as the integrated GPU is now included.

SeriesIntel Core i7
CodenameSandy Bridge
Clock Rate2700 - 3700 MHz
Level 1 Cache256 KB
Level 2 Cache1024 KB
Level 3 Cache8192 KB
Number of Cores / Threads4 / 8
Max. Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)55 Watt
Transistor Count995 Million
Manufacturing Technology32 nm
Die Size216 mm2
Max. Temperature100 °C
SocketFCPGA988
FeaturesHD Graphics 3000, DDR-1333 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization
GPUIntel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)
64 Bit64 Bit support
Hardware VirtualizationVT-x, VT-d
Starting Price $1096 U.S.
Announcement Date09/03/2011
Product Link (external)Intel Core i7 2960XM

CPU Benchmarks

3DMark 11: Performance Physics 1280x720
0% 100%
min: 8098     avg: 8098 (61.26%)     max: 8098 points
3DMark Vantage: P CPU no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 23249     avg: 23249 (62.86%)     max: 23249 Points
3DMark 06 - CPU:
0% 100%
min: 6820     avg: 6820 (76.58%)     max: 6820 Points
Cinebench R11.5: CPU Multi 64Bit
0% 100%
min: 6.33     avg: 6.3 (35.16%)     max: 6.33 Points
Cinebench R10: Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
0% 100%
min: 6184     avg: 6184 (72.51%)     max: 6184 Points
Cinebench R10: Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
0% 100%
min: 22311     avg: 22311 (62.81%)     max: 22311 Points
Cinebench R10: Rendering Single 32Bit
0% 100%
min: 4928     avg: 4928 (73.4%)     max: 4928 Points
Cinebench R10: Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
0% 100%
min: 18300     avg: 18300 (52.62%)     max: 18300 Points
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 1M:
0% 100%
min: 10     avg: 10 (99.65%)     max: 10 Seconds*
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 2M:
0% 100%
min: 22     avg: 22 (99.87%)     max: 22 Seconds*
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M:
0% 100%
min: 568     avg: 568 (99.51%)     max: 568 Seconds*
SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS):
0% 100%
min: 120900     avg: 120900 (57.38%)     max: 120900 MIPS
SiSoft Sandra Whetstone (MFLOPS):
0% 100%
min: 80500     avg: 80500 (61.76%)     max: 80500 MFLOPS
Windows 7 Experience Index: Processor
0% 100%
min: 7.6     avg: 7.6 (96.83%)     max: 7.6 points
- Range of benchmarks for this CPU
- Average benchmark score

Reviews for the Intel Core i7 2960XM processor

Alienware M18x, i7-2960XM, GTX 580M SLI (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M SLI, 18.4")
» Alienware M18x, i7-2960XM, GTX 580M SLI - External Review

Eurocom Leopard 2.0 (AMD Radeon HD 6990M, 18.4")
» Eurocom Leopard 2.0 - External Review

One M56-2N (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M, 15.6")
» One M56-2N - External Review

» Mobile CPU Comparison
Comparison of all mobile CPU series

» Mobile Processors - Benchmarklist
Benchmarklist of all known CPUs that are used in laptops (desktop and laptop CPUs)

Other CPUs of the series Intel Core i7

» Intel Core i7 4940MX
   3.1 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4930MX
   3 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4980HQ
   2.8 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4910MQ
   2.9 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 3940XM
   3 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4900MQ
   2.8 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4960HQ
   2.6 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4810MQ
   2.8 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4870HQ
   2.5 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3920XM
   2.9 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4800MQ
   2.7 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4950HQ
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4860HQ
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3840QM
   2.8 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4850HQ
   2.3 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4710HQ
   2.5 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4710MQ
   2.5 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4770HQ
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3820QM
   2.7 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 3740QM
   2.7 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3720QM
   2.6 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4700HQ
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4700MQ
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4760HQ
   2.1 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2960XM
   2.7 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4712HQ
   2.3 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4712MQ
   2.3 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4750HQ
   2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3635QM
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3630QM
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4702HQ
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4702MQ
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2860QM
   2.5 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 2920XM
   2.5 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 3615QM
   2.3 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3610QM
   2.3 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3632QM
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2760QM
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2820QM
   2.3 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 3612QM
   2.1 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2720QM
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2675QM
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2670QM
   2.2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2635QM
   2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2630QM
   2 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 4610M
   3 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 940XM
   2.13 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 4600M
   2.9 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 5557U
   3.1 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4578U
   3 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 920XM
   2 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 3540M
   3 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4558U
   2.8 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 3520M
   2.9 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 5600U
   2.6 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 5650U
   2.2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 2640M
   2.8 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 5500U
   2.4 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 5550U
   2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 840QM
   1.86 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 2620M
   2.7 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4600U
   2.1 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4650U
   1.7 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 3687U
   2.1 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4510U
   2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 640M
   2.8 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 820QM
   1.73 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
» Intel Core i7 3667U
   2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4500U
   1.8 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4550U
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 740QM
   1.73 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 3537U
   2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 3517U
   1.9 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 620M
   2.66 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 720QM
   1.6 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2649M
   2.3 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 4610Y
   1.7 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 2629M
   2.1 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 2677M
   1.8 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 660LM
   2.27 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 2637M
   1.7 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 2657M
   1.6 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 3689Y
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 2617M
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 640LM
   2.13 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 620LM
   2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 680UM
   1.47 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 660UM
   1.33 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 640UM
   1.2 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB
» Intel Core i7 620UM
   1.06 GHz / 0.5 MB + 4 MB

Surrounding CPUs

- Intel Xeon (Desktop) X5670
   2.93 GHz / 1.5 MB + 12 MB
- Intel Core i7 3720QM
   2.6 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
- Intel Core i7 4700HQ
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
- Intel Core i7 4700MQ
   2.4 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
- Intel Core i7 4760HQ
   2.1 GHz / 1 MB + 6 MB
» Intel Core i7 2960XM
   2.7 GHz / 1 MB + 8 MB
+ Intel Core i5 (Desktop) 3570K
   3.4 GHz / 1024 KB + 6144 KB
+ Intel Core i7 4712HQ
   2.3 GHz / 1024 KB + 6144 KB
+ Intel Core i7 4712MQ
   2.3 GHz / 1024 KB + 6144 KB
+ Intel Core i7 4750HQ
   2 GHz / 1024 KB + 6144 KB
+ Intel Core i7 3635QM
   2.4 GHz / 1024 KB + 6144 KB
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > FAQ / Tips / Technics > Notebook Processors > Intel Core i7 > Intel Core i7 2960XM Notebook Processor
Author: Klaus Hinum, 2011-08-15 (Update: 2012-05-26)