Intel Core i7-2960XM vs Intel Core i7-2670QM vs Intel Core i7-2720QM

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 i7-2670QM

► remove Intel 2670QM

The Intel Core i7-2670QM is a fast quad core processor for laptops and successor to the popular i7-2630QM. 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 2630QM, the 2670QM offers higher base and turbo frequencies by 200MHz. Compared to the faster Core i7, the 2670QM 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 2670QM it is clocked from  650-1100MHz (Turbo Boost). The Core i7-2675QM in comparison offers a higher Turbo Boost frequency of 1200MHz for the GPU part.

Furthermore, an improved (compared to Clarkdale) 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 i7-2670QM should be only slightly slower than the old Core i7-2720QM that offers only a slightly higher Turbo Boost frequencies. Therefore, even demanding applications and games should run without performance problems.

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).

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 i7-2960XMIntel Core i7-2670QMIntel Core i7-2720QM
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 - 3700 MHz2200 - 3100 MHz2200 - 3300 MHz
256 KB256 KB256 KB
1 MB1 MB1 MB
8 MB6 MB6 MB
4 / 84 / 84 / 8
55 45 45
995 995 995
32 32 32
216 mm2216 mm2216 mm2
100 °C100 °C
FCPGA988FCBGA1224, FCPGA988
HD Graphics 3000, DDR-1333 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, VirtualizationHD Graphics 3000, DDR-1333 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization (VT-x)HD Graphics 3000 (650-1300MHz), DDR-1600 Memory Controller, HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization
iGPUIntel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1100 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 3000 (650 - 1300 MHz)
$1096 U.S.$378 U.S.
Intel Core i7 2960XMIntel Core i7 2720QM

Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
6.3 Points (14%)
min: 4     avg: 5.2     median: 5 (11%)     max: 5 Points
5.3 Points (12%)
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Single 32Bit
4928 Points (51%)
min: 3685     avg: 3879.2     median: 3899 (40%)     max: 3998 Points
min: 4114     avg: 4167.8     median: 4167 (43%)     max: 4219 Points
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
18300 Points (28%)
min: 14121     avg: 14804.4     median: 14842 (23%)     max: 15164 Points
min: 13961     avg: 14649.4     median: 14852 (23%)     max: 15301 Points
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
22311 Points (29%)
min: 17228     avg: 17966.8     median: 18076 (24%)     max: 18345 Points
min: 15819     avg: 17946.3     median: 18193 (24%)     max: 19061 Points
Cinebench R10 - Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6184 Points (60%)
min: 4628     avg: 4823.3     median: 4848 (47%)     max: 4960 Points
min: 4204     avg: 5084     median: 5236 (51%)     max: 5299 Points
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m *
min: 303     avg: 321.9     median: 328 (4%)     max: 334 seconds
min: 410     avg: 423.1     median: 423 (5%)     max: 435 seconds
wPrime 2.0x - 32m *
min: 9     avg: 10.4     median: 10 (2%)     max: 10 seconds
min: 12     avg: 13     median: 13 (3%)     max: 13 seconds
WinRAR - Result
min: 4037     avg: 4149     median: 4140 (49%)     max: 4270 KB/s
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0 - Pass 2
26.6 fps (15%)
X264 HD Benchmark 4.0 - Pass 1
min: 71     avg: 100.8     median: 115 (43%)     max: 115 fps
TrueCrypt - Serpent Mean 100MB
0.3 GB/s (13%)
TrueCrypt - Twofish Mean 100MB
0.5 GB/s (15%)
TrueCrypt - AES Mean 100MB
2.6 GB/s (13%)
3DMark 06 - CPU
6820 Points (46%)
min: 4617     avg: 5333.2     median: 5400 (36%)     max: 5464 Points
min: 5133     avg: 5529.1     median: 5616 (38%)     max: 5772 Points
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 1M *
10 Seconds (2%)
12 Seconds (3%)
min: 11     avg: 11.4     median: 11 (2%)     max: 12 Seconds
Super Pi mod 1.5 XS 2M *
22 Seconds (1%)
min: 27     avg: 28.1     median: 28 (1%)     max: 29 Seconds
min: 26     avg: 27     median: 27 (1%)     max: 28 Seconds
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M *
568 Seconds (3%)
min: 665     avg: 677.3     median: 675 (3%)     max: 693 Seconds
min: 635     avg: 649.5     median: 647 (3%)     max: 671 Seconds
SiSoft Sandra Dhrystone (MIPS)
120900 MIPS (57%)
min: 89820     avg: 99008     median: 100470 (48%)     max: 103490 MIPS
109640 MIPS (52%)
SiSoft Sandra Whetstone (MFLOPS)
80500 MFLOPS (62%)
min: 65680     avg: 66132     median: 66000 (51%)     max: 66630 MFLOPS
66400 MFLOPS (51%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Processor
7.6 points (109%)
7.5 points (107%)
7.5 points (107%)
3DMark Vantage - P CPU no PhysX 1280x1024
23249 Points (32%)
min: 16224     avg: 18128.6     median: 18363 (26%)     max: 18863 Points
min: 11457     avg: 17983.6     median: 18725 (26%)     max: 19716 Points
3DMark 11 - Performance Physics 1280x720
8098 points (42%)
min: 6064     avg: 6437.4     median: 6490 (33%)     max: 6712 points
min: 5473     avg: 6494.9     median: 6627 (34%)     max: 7334 points
3DMark - Ice Storm Standard Physics 1280x720
36234 Points (23%)
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Physics 1280x720
5494 Points (14%)
3DMark - Fire Strike Physics 1920x1080
7558 Points (23%)

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2960XM → 100%

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2670QM → 90%

Average Benchmarks Intel Core i7-2720QM → 91%

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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)