Intel Core i7-2720QM vs Intel Core i7-2657M vs Intel Core i7-2630QM
Intel Core i7-2720QM► remove from comparison
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 i7-2657M► remove from comparison
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 i7-2630QM► remove from comparison
The Intel Core i7-2630QM is a fast 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 i7-2630QM is now manufactured in 32nm and offers an integrated graphics card and AES functions. The difference to the similar 2635QM is the slower Turbo Boost clock rate for the integrated GPU (1100MHz versus 1300MHz) and the different package (rPGA versus BGA). Compared to the faster Core i7, the 2630QM does not feature the Trusted Execution and the VT-d functions.
Sandy Bridge is the evolutionary successor of the Arrandale architecture. The most noteable improvements are the new 265Bit AVX instructions, the improved Turbo 2.0 and the integration of the graphics card into the 32nm CPU core.
Der i7-2630QM 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 2630QM it is clocked from 650-1100MHz (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.
The performance of the Core i7-2630QM should be about 10-15% faster than a similar clocked Clarksfield Core i7 (see first tests by Anandtech). Therefore, the 2630QM should be on a level (or even faster) than a Core i7-920XM Quad-Core.
The quad core CPU is still rated at 45 Watt TDP but now the integrated graphics card is also included (compared to the old Clarksfield Quad Core processors).
|Model||Intel Core i7-2720QM||Intel Core i7-2657M||Intel Core i7-2630QM|
|Series||Intel Core i7||Intel Core i7||Intel Core i7|
|Codename||Sandy Bridge||Sandy Bridge||Sandy Bridge|
|Series: Core i7 Sandy Bridge|
|Clock||2200 - 3300 MHz||1600 - 2700 MHz||2000 - 2900 MHz|
|L1 Cache||256 KB||128 KB||256 KB|
|L2 Cache||1 MB||512 KB||1 MB|
|L3 Cache||6 MB||4 MB||6 MB|
|Cores / Threads||4 / 8||2 / 4||4 / 8|
|TDP||45 Watt||17 Watt||45 Watt|
|Transistors||995 Million||624 Million||995 Million|
|Technology||32 nm||32 nm||32 nm|
|Die Size||216 mm2||149 mm2||216 mm2|
|max. Temp.||100 °C||100 °C||100 °C|
|Features||HD Graphics 3000 (650-1300MHz), DDR-1600 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization||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 Bit||HD Graphics 3000 (650-1100MHz), DDR-1333 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization (VT-x)|
|iGPU||Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)||Intel HD Graphics 3000 (350 - 1000 MHz)||Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1100 MHz)|
|$378 U.S.||$317 U.S.|
|Manufacturer||Intel Core i7 2720QM||Intel Core i7 2657M||Intel Core i7 2630QM|