Dual Core Notebook CPUs Explored

Intel Core Duo, Core 2 Duo Models Compared

Core Model Model Number Bus Speed Clock Speed L2 Cache Voltage TDP Pricing
Core Duo T2050/2060 FSB533 1.60 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W
Core Duo T2250 FSB533 1.73 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W
Core Duo T2300 FSB667 1.66 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W $ 241
Core Duo T2350 FSB533 1.86 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W
Core Duo T2400 FSB667 1.83 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W $ 241
Core Duo T2450 FSB533 2.00 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W
Core Duo T2500 FSB667 2.00 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W $ 294
Core Duo T2600 FSB667 2.13 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W $ 423
Core Duo T2700 FSB667 2.33 GHz 2 MB 1.1625 - 1.4 V 31 W $ 637
Core 2 Duo T5200 FSB533 1.60 GHz 2 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W
Core 2 Duo T5300 FSB633 1.73 GHz 2 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W
Core 2 Duo T5500 FSB667 1.67 GHz 2 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W $ 209
Core 2 Duo T5600 FSB667 1.83 GHz 2 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W $ 241
Core 2 Duo T7200 FSB667 2.00 GHz 4 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W $ 294
Core 2 Duo T7400 FSB667 2.16 GHz 4 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W $ 423
Core 2 Duo T7600 FSB667 2.33 GHz 4 MB 1.0375 V - 1.3 V 34 W $ 637

Benchmarking Difficulties

It is relatively easy to compare desktop processors, due to the plethora of platforms available for AMD and Intel solutions. All you need is a consistent system setup for the AMD and for the Intel processor portfolio, both using the same graphics solution, hard drive, RAM size and appropriate timings, and the latest drivers. Then pick the fastest components available to create ideal environments for both parties. If you intend to measure power requirements as well you should also pick the same power supply for both systems - because efficiency varies from one product to the next - and that's basically it. With the system set up, all you need to do is define your benchmarks and benchmark settings, and get the processors you want to compare. In our case, creating Interactive CPU Charts for desktop processors takes approximately four weeks.

Many people have emailed us, asking that we add mobile processors to the Interactive Charts. It's a great idea and we've been thinking about it for quite some time, but not as easy as it might seem. On the one hand, we cannot use the existing desktop platforms, because mobile processors use different sockets. AMD's desktop Athlons utilize socket AM2 (940 pins), but the mobile Turion is based on Socket S1 (638 pins). Intel's desktop processors rely on Socket 775, while the mobile versions use Socket 479.

There are two reasons for the difference. First, mobile processors need to be as small as possible, which is why they come in a smaller package and even without a heat spreader (that's the metal cover on top of the processor die). Second, they require less power, which means that the processors will work properly with a smaller pin count (since most pins are used for power).

All of this means that a comparison between desktop and mobile CPUs is impossible with the existing platforms. The alternative is to think of a new set of test systems, which turns out to be difficult as well. While there are a few desktop motherboards that work with Intel mobile processors - a technique called Mobile on Desktop - we haven't found any standard or pseudo-standard motherboards that would run Turion 64 X2 processors. Our only option was getting a Turion 64 X2 powered notebook that would allow us to work with our standard components as much as possible.

As you will see on the following pages, we've assembled a Mobile on Desktop solution based on a Gigabyte board, to compare Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors. We've obtained a decent notebook platform to benchmark AMD Turion 64 X2 processors. This platform is a notebook, which we equipped with a high-performance Western Digital WD1500 Raptor drive to make results comparable to the Intel system.

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