Intel Core i7-2657M vs Intel Core i7-2960XM

Intel Core i7-2657M

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The Intel Core i7-2657M is power efficient ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) processor for thin and light laptops. The base frequency of 1.6 GHz is relatively low, but due to Turbo Boost 2.0, the CPU may clock up to 2.7 GHz (on core loaded, 2.4 GHz with both cores loaded). However, this depends on the cooling and power consumption of the laptop. Due to HyperThreading, the i7-2657M is able to handle 4 threads in parallel. Compared to the slower i7-2617M, the 2657M offers a higher clock speed (processor core and turbo, graphics turbo).

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 1000MHz (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. In our benchmarks (see below), the ULV processor was as fast as a Core i3-2310M due to the high Turbo Boost frequencies. However, the laptop cooling system has to keep the processor relatively cool for the Turbo Boost to work often.

The TDP of 17W (includes the integrated GPU and memory controller) allows the use of the 2657M 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 i7-2657MIntel Core i7-2960XM
Intel Core i7Intel Core i7
Sandy BridgeSandy Bridge
: Core i7 Sandy Bridge
Intel Core i7-2960XM2700 - 3700 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2860QM (compare)2500 - 3600 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2920XM (compare)2500 - 3500 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2760QM (compare)2400 - 3500 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2820QM (compare)2300 - 3400 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2720QM (compare)2200 - 3300 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2675QM (compare)2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2670QM (compare)2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2635QM (compare)2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2630QM (compare)2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2640M (compare)2800 - 3500 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2620M (compare)2700 - 3400 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2649M (compare)2300 - 3200 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2629M (compare)2100 - 3000 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2677M (compare)1800 - 2900 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2637M (compare)1700 - 2800 MHz2 / 44 MB
» Intel Core i7-2657M1600 - 2700 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2617M (compare)1500 - 2600 MHz2 / 44 MB
» Intel Core i7-2960XM2700 - 3700 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2860QM (compare)2500 - 3600 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2920XM (compare)2500 - 3500 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2760QM (compare)2400 - 3500 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2820QM (compare)2300 - 3400 MHz4 / 88 MB
Intel Core i7-2720QM (compare)2200 - 3300 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2675QM (compare)2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2670QM (compare)2200 - 3100 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2635QM (compare)2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2630QM (compare)2000 - 2900 MHz4 / 86 MB
Intel Core i7-2640M (compare)2800 - 3500 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2620M (compare)2700 - 3400 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2649M (compare)2300 - 3200 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2629M (compare)2100 - 3000 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2677M (compare)1800 - 2900 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2637M (compare)1700 - 2800 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2657M1600 - 2700 MHz2 / 44 MB
Intel Core i7-2617M (compare)1500 - 2600 MHz2 / 44 MB
1600 - 2700 MHz2700 - 3700 MHz
128 KB256 KB
512 KB1 MB
4 MB8 MB
2 / 44 / 8
17 55
624 995
32 32
149 mm2216 mm2
100 °C100 °C
BGA1023FCPGA988
Turbo Boost 2.0, Hyper-Threading, Virtualization VT-x, Virtualization for Directed I/O (VT-d), Trusted Execution, AES, Intel 64, Anti-Theft, My WiFi, Idle States, Enhanced SpeedStep, Thermal Monitorin, Execute Disable BitHD Graphics 3000, DDR-1333 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization
iGPUIntel HD Graphics 3000 (350 - 1000 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)
$317 U.S.$1096 U.S.
Intel Core i7 2657MIntel Core i7 2960XM

Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
1.9 Points (4%)
6.3 Points (14%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Single 32Bit
3491 Points (36%)
4928 Points (51%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
6229 Points (10%)
18300 Points (28%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
7715 Points (10%)
22311 Points (29%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4376 Points (42%)
6184 Points (60%)
3DMark 06 - CPU
2546 Points (17%)
6820 Points (46%)
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 1M *
14 Seconds (3%)
10 Seconds (2%)
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 2M *
32 Seconds (1%)
22 Seconds (1%)
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M *
751 Seconds (3%)
568 Seconds (3%)
SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS)
40570 MIPS (19%)
120900 MIPS (57%)
SiSoft Sandra Whetstone (MFLOPS)
26000 MFLOPS (20%)
80500 MFLOPS (62%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Processor
6.6 points (94%)
7.6 points (109%)
3DMark Vantage - P CPU no PhysX 1280x1024
7732 Points (11%)
23249 Points (32%)
3DMark 11 - Performance Physics 1280x720
3102 points (16%)
8098 points (42%)

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2657M → 100%

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2960XM → 237%

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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)