Intel Core i7-2620M vs Intel Core i7-2720QM vs Intel Core i7-2960XM

Intel Core i7-2620M

► remove Intel 2620M

The Intel Core i7-2620M is the fastest dual core processor at the time of introduction in Q1 2011. It is based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and offers Hyperthreading to handle 4 threads at once (for a better usage of the pipeline). Compared to the slower Core i5, the i7 offers a larger last level cache of 4MB. The base clock speed is 2.7 GHz but due to Turbo Boost it can reach 3.2 GHz (2 cores active) and 3.4 GHz (1 core active).

Sandy Bridge is the evolutionary successor of the Arrandale architecture. The most noteable improvements are the new 256Bit AVX instructions, the improved Turbo 2.0 and the integration of the graphics card into the 32nm CPU core. 

Der i7-2620M offers an integrated graphics card ( Intel HD Graphics 3000) which is clearly faster then the older Intel HD Graphics in the Arrandale CPUs. As the new GPU is included in the CPU, it is also manufactured in 32nm and shares the fast level 3 cache with the CPU cores (using a new ring bus). In the 2620M it is clocked from 650-1300MHz (Turbo Boost).

Furthermore, an improved dual-channel DDR3 memory controller is included on the CPU die that is used by the CPU and GPU part.

Due to the improved architecture and the new Turbo Boost 2.0, the average performance of the Core i7-2620M is higher than a similar clocked Arrandale Core i7. In synthetic benchmarks the performance ranges from the old Core i7-620M to the Core i7-820QM quad core processor. On average it should be on a level of the fast Core i7-640M.

The 35W TDP rating includes the integrated GPU and memory controller.

Intel Core i7-2720QM

► remove Intel 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.

Intel Core i7-2960XM

► remove 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.

Intel Core i7-2620MIntel Core i7-2720QMIntel Core i7-2960XM
Intel Core i7Intel Core i7Intel Core i7
Sandy BridgeSandy BridgeSandy Bridge
: Core i7 Sandy Bridge
Intel Core i7-2960XM2700 - 3700 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2860QM2500 - 3600 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2920XM2500 - 3500 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2760QM2400 - 3500 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2820QM2300 - 3400 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2720QM2200 - 3300 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2675QM2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2670QM2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2635QM2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2630QM2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2640M2800 - 3500 MHz2 / 44 MB
» Intel Core i7-2620M2700 - 3400 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2649M2300 - 3200 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2629M2100 - 3000 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2677M1800 - 2900 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2637M1700 - 2800 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2657M1600 - 2700 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2617M1500 - 2600 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2960XM2700 - 3700 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2860QM2500 - 3600 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2920XM2500 - 3500 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2760QM2400 - 3500 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2820QM2300 - 3400 MHz4 / 88 MB
» Intel Core i7-2720QM2200 - 3300 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2675QM2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2670QM2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2635QM2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2630QM2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2640M2800 - 3500 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2620M2700 - 3400 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2649M2300 - 3200 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2629M2100 - 3000 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2677M1800 - 2900 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2637M1700 - 2800 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2657M1600 - 2700 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2617M1500 - 2600 MHz2 / 44 MB
» Intel Core i7-2960XM2700 - 3700 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2860QM2500 - 3600 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2920XM2500 - 3500 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2760QM2400 - 3500 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2820QM2300 - 3400 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2720QM2200 - 3300 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2675QM2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2670QM2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2635QM2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2630QM2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2640M2800 - 3500 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2620M2700 - 3400 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2649M2300 - 3200 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2629M2100 - 3000 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2677M1800 - 2900 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2637M1700 - 2800 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2657M1600 - 2700 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2617M1500 - 2600 MHz2 / 44 MB
2700 - 3400 MHz2200 - 3300 MHz2700 - 3700 MHz
128 KB256 KB256 KB
512 KB1 MB1 MB
4 MB6 MB8 MB
2 / 44 / 84 / 8
35 45 55
624 995 995
32 32 32
149 mm2216 mm2216 mm2
100 °C100 °C100 °C
rPGA988B, BGA1023FCBGA1224, FCPGA988FCPGA988
HD Graphics 3000 (650-1300MHz), DDR3-1066/1333 Memory Controller (max 8GB), HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, VirtualizationHD Graphics 3000 (650-1300MHz), DDR-1600 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, VirtualizationHD Graphics 3000, DDR-1333 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization
iGPUIntel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)
$346 U.S.$378 U.S.$1096 U.S.
Intel Core i7 2620MIntel Core i7 2720QMIntel Core i7 2960XM

Cinebench R11.5 - Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64 Bit
min: 2.6     avg: 3     median: 3.1 (7%)     max: 3.11 Points
min: 5.12     avg: 5.3     median: 5.3 (12%)     max: 5.64 Points
6.3 Points (14%)
Cinebench R10 - Cinebench R10 Rend. Single (32bit)
min: 3532     avg: 4200     median: 4333 (45%)     max: 4384
min: 4114     avg: 4168     median: 4167 (43%)     max: 4219
4928 (51%)
Cinebench R10 - Cinebench R10 Rend. Multi (32bit)
min: 7650     avg: 9124     median: 9433 (16%)     max: 9632
min: 13961     avg: 14649     median: 14852 (25%)     max: 15301
18300 (31%)
Cinebench R10 - Cinebench R10 Rend. Multi (64bit)
min: 9634     avg: 11273     median: 11444 (13%)     max: 11711 Points
min: 15819     avg: 17946     median: 18193 (21%)     max: 19061 Points
22311 Points (26%)
Cinebench R10 - Cinebench R10 Rend. Single (64bit)
min: 4462     avg: 5325     median: 5412 (47%)     max: 5479 Points
min: 4204     avg: 5084     median: 5236 (46%)     max: 5299 Points
6184 Points (54%)
wPrime 2.10 - wPrime 2.0 1024m *
min: 494     avg: 525     median: 505 (6%)     max: 593.5 s
min: 410.2     avg: 423     median: 423.5 (5%)     max: 435.633 s
min: 494     avg: 525.1     median: 505 (6%)     max: 593.5 s
wPrime 2.10 - wPrime 2.0 32m *
min: 11.565     avg: 16.3     median: 16.2 (3%)     max: 19.4 s
min: 12.13     avg: 13     median: 13.1 (3%)     max: 13.729 s
min: 11.565     avg: 16.3     median: 16.2 (3%)     max: 19.4 s
3DMark 06 - CPU - 3DMark 06 - CPU
min: 3039     avg: 3753     median: 3827 (26%)     max: 3884 Points
min: 5133     avg: 5529     median: 5616 (38%)     max: 5772 Points
6820 Points (46%)
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 1M - Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 1M *
min: 11     avg: 11.4     median: 11 (2%)     max: 14.3 s
min: 11     avg: 11.4     median: 11 (2%)     max: 12.3 s
10 s (2%)
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 2M - Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 2M *
min: 26     avg: 27.3     median: 27 (1%)     max: 32.9 s
min: 26     avg: 27     median: 27 (1%)     max: 28.2 s
22 s (1%)
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 32M *
min: 620     avg: 685     median: 640.1 (3%)     max: 1098.43 s
min: 635     avg: 650     median: 647 (3%)     max: 671 s
568 s (3%)
SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS) - SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS)
min: 53030     avg: 55805     median: 53870 (26%)     max: 62450 MIPS
109640 MIPS (52%)
120900 MIPS (57%)
SiSoft Sandra Whetstone (MFLOPS) - SiSoft Sandra Whetstone (MFLOPS)
min: 37790     avg: 37923     median: 37950 (29%)     max: 38000 MFLOPS
66400 MFLOPS (51%)
80500 MFLOPS (62%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Win7 CPU
min: 6.9     avg: 7.1     median: 7.1 (91%)     max: 7.1 Points
7.5 Points (96%)
7.6 Points (97%)
3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. CPU no Physx
min: 8605     avg: 11161     median: 10271 (14%)     max: 21984 Points
min: 11457     avg: 17984     median: 18725 (26%)     max: 19716 Points
23249 Points (32%)
3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance Physics
min: 3296     avg: 3947     median: 4060 (18%)     max: 4362 Points
min: 5473     avg: 6495     median: 6627 (30%)     max: 7334 Points
8098 Points (37%)

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2620M → 100% n=16

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2720QM → 135% n=16

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2960XM → 155% n=16

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* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance
1 This benchmark is not used for the average calculation

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Redaktion, 2017-09- 8 (Update: 2017-09-11)