Intel Core i5-540M
The Intel Core i5-540M is a mid-range dual core CPU for laptops and clocks (due to the Turbo Mode) from 2.53 to 3.06 GHz. Each core is based on the Nehalem (Westmere) micro-architecture. Hyperthreading enables the Dual Core CPU to handle 4 threads at once (for a better usage of the pipeline). Compared to the faster Core i7-620M, the 540M only has 3 MB Level 3 Cache and a lower clock speed.
A feature of the new Core i5-540M is the integrated graphics card called GMA HD and memory controller. Both are on a separate die that is still manufactured in 45nm whereas the CPU die is already manufactured in the new 32nm process.
The performance of the Core i5-540M is on average faster than a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo T9800 and in some benchmarks even faster than the fastest Core 2 Duo T9900 (e.g. 3DMark 06 CPU Score). Therefore, the Core i5-540M is a high end dual core cpu which should handle all daily work and gaming tasks. Only the quad core i7 CPUs can be noticeably faster at tasks that require four or more threads (e.g. rendering).
The 32nm cpu cores of the Westmere generation can also process some new instructions to accelerate AES encryptions.
The integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD (GMA HD) graphics card is known to be clocked up to 500-766 MHz and should be clearly faster than the old GMA 4500MHD. A GeForce 9400M (ION) should still be a faster (especially as Nvidia and ATI cards have a better driver support than Intel up to now). According to rumors, the GMA core will also use the Turbo Mode regulate the clock speed.
The power consumption of 35 Watt TDP (max.) counts for the whole package and therefore it is clearly better than the 35 Watt TDP of the Core 2 Duo T-series (CPU alone). Due to the Turbo Boost, the Core i5 is likely to use the whole TDP of 35 Watt under load and therefore can use more power than a similar specified Core 2 Duo. In Idle mode, the i5 uses clearly less power than the Core 2 Duo CPUs.
|Series||Intel Core i5|
|Clock Rate||2530 - 3066 MHz|
|Front Side Bus||2500 MHz|
|Level 1 Cache||128 KB|
|Level 2 Cache||512 KB|
|Level 3 Cache||3072 KB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||2 / 4|
|Max. Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||35 Watt|
|Transistor Count||382+177 Million|
|Manufacturing Technology||32 nm|
|Die Size||81+114 mm2|
|Max. Temperature||105 °C|
|Features||Turbo Boost, Hyper Threading, Enhanced Speedstep, integrierte GMA HD 733MHz,|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|
|Starting Price||$257 U.S.|
|Product Link (external)||Intel Core i5 540M|