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Intel Core i5-750S: Since When Does The S Mean Slow?

Intel Core i5-750S: Since When Does The S Mean Slow?
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Update (3/9): Shortly after this story went live we got on the phone to discuss this SKU with Intel representatives, who claim it was conceptualized as a complement to the company’s recently-released Clarkdale-based Core i5s and Core i3s.

As you know, those are dual-core models with TDPs of 73W and 87W. The Core i5-750S and its 82W TDP is, according to Intel, the only quad-core Nehalem-based processor able to fit within the same thermal constraints and employ the same thermal solutions as the Clarkdale-based CPUs.

While we don’t have any examples of smaller form factor designs enabled by the 13W savings, Intel is adamant that the Core i5-750S is intended for the channel and its unique needs, rather than the do-it-yourself enthusiast market. This is perhaps most evident in the fact that Core i5-750S processors are fairly rare at etail.

Nevertheless, we maintain that it’s important for enthusiasts to be educated regarding the differences between the -750 and -750S, especially since the ‘S’-class model is notably more expensive and quantifiably-slower, as you'll see in the following benchmarks.

Introduction

The Core i5-750S is a low-power version of a CPU we often recommend as a solid value for the gamer on a budget: the popular Core i5-750 quad-core, based on Intel's Lynnfield design and widely regarded as a potent overclocker. The S-suffix that represented low-power models is now being used on a processor that, as expected, drops power from the i5's standard 95W TDP. However, it only does so at decreased performance. Is Intel starting to taper off performance in order to hit its lower power consumption figures?

The Intel S Processors

We reviewed the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S and Q9550S processors almost a year ago, and they delivered expected levels of performance at decreased idle power and, more importantly, at clearly decreased peak power. What had previously required a 95W thermal envelope fit into a 65W frame with the S-series. The only disadvantage was monetary. For most users, the S might as well have stood for "Soooo expensive!"

A New Kind of S?

While the Core 2 Quad S-models had identical clock speeds and performance as their mainstream siblings, only differing in voltage settings and power consumption, Intel has released an S-model processor that reaches its power savings through performance reduction.

The Core i5-750S does not run at the same 2.66 GHz nominal clock speed as the regular Core i5-750. Instead, the chip is limited to 2.4 GHz. Moreover, there's another drawback with Turbo Boost technology, a key advantage of the Core i5/i7 processors over their predecessors. The i5-750S will not increase the core clock speed for all four cores at all, limiting performance in well-threaded applications, although it still switches to as much as 3.2 GHz for one or two cores.

We compared the Core i5-750 and i5-750S, analyzing their performance, power consumption, and efficiency. This time, the results are less impressive that usual.

Display 60 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    Bluescreendeath , March 3, 2010 5:15 AM
    Basically, the i5-750S is an overpriced and totally useless product.
  • 25 Hide
    requiemsallure , March 3, 2010 5:14 AM
    i dont quite understand who would buy this with it being so worse than the normal i5-750 and close in price to the i7-920...
  • 18 Hide
    noob2222 , March 3, 2010 5:16 AM
    The S stands for $, its a little more suttle to use an S instead. Just buy a 750 and undervolt it like the last SBM builds. All just another way for Intel to price gouge when they feel like it.
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    requiemsallure , March 3, 2010 5:14 AM
    i dont quite understand who would buy this with it being so worse than the normal i5-750 and close in price to the i7-920...
  • 27 Hide
    Bluescreendeath , March 3, 2010 5:15 AM
    Basically, the i5-750S is an overpriced and totally useless product.
  • 18 Hide
    noob2222 , March 3, 2010 5:16 AM
    The S stands for $, its a little more suttle to use an S instead. Just buy a 750 and undervolt it like the last SBM builds. All just another way for Intel to price gouge when they feel like it.
  • 6 Hide
    nonxcarbonx , March 3, 2010 5:17 AM
    That's absolutely ridiculous that Intel would expect consumers to pay upwards of $70 more for a lesser product. Especially because generally, the people that buy these individual models aren't stupid. I'm just looking forward to AMD 6 cores...
  • 4 Hide
    anamaniac , March 3, 2010 5:18 AM
    BluescreendeathBasically, the i5-750S is an overpriced and totally useless product.

    Yeap...

    Atleast the C2Q S models were cherry binned models.
    Houw abut some cherry binned i5 750's? I'm sure they could do a lot better than 82W...
    (Such as some of the LGA 1366 Xeon models being only 80W, while having pimp performance still, assuming you can ignore a price tag that rivals the i7-975).

    How about a refresh of all your current lines for 32nm? Or are you still having issues with yields or something on 32nm?

    DO NOT WANT!
  • 2 Hide
    quantumrand , March 3, 2010 5:51 AM
    I would hope it's a lot cheaper than the i5-750. It really just looks like the 750S is made up of the reject chips that couldn't hold their temperatures well enough.
  • 8 Hide
    digitalrazoe , March 3, 2010 5:54 AM
    I will stick to my AMD CPUs .. thank you ..
  • 12 Hide
    digitalrazoe , March 3, 2010 5:56 AM
    The "S" means .. wait .. kids may be reading this...
  • -5 Hide
    jsowoc , March 3, 2010 6:32 AM
    There is only one case where someone would use a 750S, and they mentioned it in the article. If you have a small power supply, or for other reasons cannot ever go above 83W for your CPU, this processor is for you. Otherwise, don't buy it.
  • 0 Hide
    evolve60 , March 3, 2010 6:54 AM
    the S stands for Shitty this time, not Savings like it did on the C2Qs.
  • 11 Hide
    shubham1401 , March 3, 2010 8:10 AM
    Totally useless CPU for totally useless price...
  • 1 Hide
    shuffman37 , March 3, 2010 8:33 AM
    Phenom II x6 please =)
    I'm sure this CPU would have some potential if it was the same price as the stock i5-750.
  • -1 Hide
    mfarrukh , March 3, 2010 9:36 AM
    I don't see the point as its price is too close to original one.
    It'd been good if it was around $140
  • -1 Hide
    Sihastru , March 3, 2010 9:47 AM
    Question regarding this CPU vs. anything AMD has to offer. Is the 750S still overall faster then anything AMD has to offer in an 90W - 140W power envelope?
  • 3 Hide
    JPForums , March 3, 2010 11:15 AM
    The "S" is for Sucks. (See Strong Bad E-Mails)
  • 8 Hide
    JPForums , March 3, 2010 11:33 AM
    Quote:
    Question regarding this CPU vs. anything AMD has to offer. Is the 750S still overall faster then anything AMD has to offer in an 90W - 140W power envelope?


    Doesn't matter. Being better than AMD's competition still wouldn't make it a viable product. The regular 750 still outperforms it for less money and at better efficiencies. So again, it doesn't matter. Unless, of course, your motive was to rub it in the face of AMD Fanbois by saying even this failure of a product is better than theirs. Regardless, I doubt many people in the know will see value in this product while the regular 750 remains.

    Quote:
    There is only one case where someone would use a 750S, and they mentioned it in the article. If you have a small power supply, or for other reasons cannot ever go above 83W for your CPU, this processor is for you.


    Or you can get out of the habit of cutting cost on the PSU. If 12W is the difference between stable and not stable, your selection of PSUs was inappropriate in the first place.
  • -1 Hide
    nukemaster , March 3, 2010 11:37 AM
    i7/i5 under volt very well, so get a good board that supports that feature(without turning off speed step) and your good to go.
  • 3 Hide
    babybeluga , March 3, 2010 12:03 PM
    notty22Where were all the brain dead comments yesterday when AMD released a 150 dollar m/b with worse performance than its predecessor. And with the news you suckers will need it to run the hexacore you kiddies can't afford anyways. Its why you SETTLE for AMD to begin with ? Catch22 lol


    Meh...first round bios.

    I don't "settle" for AMD. I don't do anything taxing enough on a processor to warrant spending over $200. I picked up an MSI G55 mobo and a Phenom II x4 925 from fry's for $165. If you want to show me a better intel deal than that, be my guest. Have fun paying 50% more for the similarly spec'd intel components.
  • 0 Hide
    Ciuy , March 3, 2010 12:18 PM
    intel frucked up? :o 
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