Intel Core i7-2640M vs Intel Core i7-2617M vs Intel Core i7-2960XM

Intel Core i7-2640M

► remove Intel 2640M

The Intel Core i7-2640M is the fastest dual core processor at the time of introduction in Q3 2011 and successor of the slower clocked i7-2620M. 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 2.8 GHz but due to Turbo Boost it can reach 3.3 GHz (2 cores active) and 3.5 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 i7-2640M 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), and in the 2640M it should be similar.

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 i7-2640M is higher than a similar clocked Arrandale Core i7 dual core. The performance should even excel the old high-end quad core models like the Core i7-820QM.

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

Intel Core i7-2617M

► remove Intel 2617M

The Intel Core i7-2617M is power efficient ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) processor for thin and light laptops. The base frequency of 1.5 GHz is relatively low, but due to Turbo Boost 2.0, the CPU may clock up to 2.6 GHz (on core loaded, 2.3 GHz with both cores loaded). However, this is depending on the cooling and power consumption of the laptop. Due to HyperThreading, the i7-2617M is able to handle 4 threads in parallel. Compared to the slower i5-2537M, the 2617M offers a higher clock speed (processor core and turbo, graphics turbo) and more last level cache.

Sandy Bridge is the evolutionary successor of the Arrandale architecture. The most noteable improvements is the improved Turbo 2.0 and the integration of the graphics card into the 32nm CPU core. 

The integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 clocked at 350 or 950MHz (Turbo Boost). Due to the slower clock rate, compared to HD Graphics 3000 in 35W and 45W processors (usually clocked at 650-1100/1300MHz in non LV processors), the performance should be noticeable lower.

The performance of the CPU should be a bit higher than a similar clocked Arrandale Core i5. Therefore, the performance should be similar to a Core i3-350M if the Turbo can be used often.

The TDP of 17W (includes the integrated GPU and memory controller) allows the use of the 2617M CPU in small subnotebooks.

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 i7-2640MIntel Core i7-2617MIntel 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
2800 - 3500 MHz1500 - 2600 MHz2700 - 3700 MHz
128 KB128 KB256 KB
512 KB512 KB1 MB
4 MB4 MB8 MB
2 / 42 / 44 / 8
35 17 55
624 624 995
32 32 32
149 mm2149 mm2216 mm2
100 °C100 °C100 °C
HD Graphics 3000, DDR3-1066/1333 Memory Controller (max 8GB), 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 (350 - 950 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)
$346 U.S.$100 U.S.$1096 U.S.
BGA1023FCPGA988
Intel Core i7 2617MIntel Core i7 2960XM

Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
min: 3.07     avg: 3.1     median: 3.2 (12%)     max: 3.2 Points
2.1 Points (8%)
6.3 Points (23%)
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit
1.4 Points (56%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Single 32Bit
min: 4009     avg: 4382.9     median: 4443 (49%)     max: 4506 Points
3315 Points (36%)
4928 Points (54%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
min: 9691     avg: 9765.9     median: 9778 (20%)     max: 9833 Points
6690 Points (13%)
18300 Points (37%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
min: 11067     avg: 11766.9     median: 11874 (16%)     max: 12037 Points
8113 Points (11%)
22311 Points (29%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
min: 5445     avg: 5549.1     median: 5534 (54%)     max: 5665 Points
4143 Points (40%)
6184 Points (60%)
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m *
min: 478.5     avg: 493.5     median: 489 (6%)     max: 523.632 seconds
782.7 seconds (9%)
wPrime 2.0x - 32m *
min: 15     avg: 15.5     median: 15.1 (3%)     max: 16.614 seconds
24.1 seconds (5%)
WinRAR - Result
min: 2555     avg: 2632     median: 2620 (31%)     max: 2733 KB/s
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0 - Pass 2
min: 16.38     avg: 16.9     median: 17 (0%)     max: 17.21 fps
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0 - Pass 1
min: 88.74     avg: 91     median: 89.4 (33%)     max: 95 fps
TrueCrypt - Serpent Mean 100MB
min: 0.124     avg: 0.1     median: 0.1 (8%)     max: 0.152 GB/s
TrueCrypt - Twofish Mean 100MB
min: 0.198     avg: 0.2     median: 0.3 (9%)     max: 0.27 GB/s
TrueCrypt - AES Mean 100MB
1.6 GB/s (8%)
3DMark 06 - CPU
min: 3882     avg: 3933.5     median: 3927 (27%)     max: 3978 Points
2762 Points (19%)
6820 Points (47%)
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 1M *
min: 11     avg: 11.2     median: 11 (2%)     max: 11.66 Seconds
15.3 Seconds (3%)
10 Seconds (2%)
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 2M *
min: 25     avg: 26     median: 26 (1%)     max: 27.04 Seconds
34.8 Seconds (1%)
22 Seconds (1%)
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M *
min: 604     avg: 626.2     median: 634 (3%)     max: 639 Seconds
816.9 Seconds (4%)
568 Seconds (3%)
SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS)
min: 64300     avg: 64522.5     median: 64545 (31%)     max: 64700 MIPS
120900 MIPS (57%)
SiSoft Sandra Whetstone (MFLOPS)
min: 39000     avg: 39255     median: 39135 (30%)     max: 39750 MFLOPS
80500 MFLOPS (62%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Processor
min: 7     avg: 7.2     median: 7.1 (91%)     max: 7.6 points
7.6 points (97%)
3DMark Vantage - P CPU no PhysX 1280x1024
min: 10127     avg: 10509.3     median: 10559 (18%)     max: 10838 Points
7233 Points (12%)
23249 Points (39%)
3DMark 11 - Performance Physics 1280x720
min: 3902     avg: 4140.4     median: 4172 (22%)     max: 4320 points
8098 points (44%)
3DMark - Ice Storm Standard Physics 1280x720
26569 Points (17%)
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Physics 1280x720
2876 Points (7%)
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Stream
7873 Points (64%)
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Memory
6847 Points (62%)
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Floating Point
7293 Points (21%)
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Integer
6298 Points (19%)
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score
6913 Points (26%)

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2640M → 100%

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2617M → 82%

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2960XM → 156%

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

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Benchmarks / Tech > Processor Comparison - Head 2 Head
Redaktion, 2017-09- 8 (Update: 2017-09-11)