Intel’s Mobile Core i5 And Core i3: Arrandale Is For The Rest Of Us

The Arrandale Lineup: Something For (Almost) Everyone

If you’ve already read my Clarkdale coverage, then you know the nuts and bolts of Arrandale. It’s the same dual-die package with a 32nm CPU and 45nm graphics/memory/PCIe controller. The main differences between Arrandale and Clarkdale are: frequencies (of the CPU and GPU), DDR3 memory support, power consumption, packaging, and pricing.

Alright—perhaps there are a few things to talk about here.

There are a total of 11 new mobile processors being launched (as opposed to just six desktop chips). Five are Core i7-600-series CPUs, four are Core i5s, and two are Core i3s. If you’ve read my mini-rant about Intel’s naming in the Clarkdale piece, the same applies in this piece—you’ll truly need a reference chart in order to make any sense of how model names relate to specifications.

The new Core i7s are dual-core chips with Hyper-Threading enabled, sporting 4MB of shared L3 cache, and available in power profiles ranging from 18W to 35W. Forget what you thought determined a Core i7 on the desktop—that’s out the window here, as you'll find Mobile Core i5 and Core i3 processors that run faster than the entry-level Core i7s. Why is this? Only the Core i7-620M is a standard voltage 35W part. The i7-640LM and i7-620LM are medium-voltage components with 25W TDPs. Intel’s i7-640UM and i7-620UM feature 18W TDPs, dropping dual-channel DDR3 memory support from 1,066 MT/s to 800 MT/s. And although their names all differ by just a single letter or number, the five i7s run at base clock rates of 1.06-2.66 GHz and Turbo up to 2.13 GHz to 3.33 GHz.

Intel Mobile Core i3/5/7 Lineup For 2010

Base Clock
Max. Turbo Clock
Cores / Threads
DDR3 Memory
TDP
Package
Pricing
Base Graphics Freq.
Core i7-920XM
2 GHz
3.2 GHz
4/8
1,333 MT/s
55W
rPGA BGA
$1,054
-
Core i7-820QM
1.73 GHz
3.06 GHz
4/8
1,333 MT/s45W
rPGA BGA$546
-
Core i7-720QM
1.6 GHz
2.8 GHz
4/8
1,333 MT/s45W
rPGA BGA$364
-
Core i7-620M
2.66 GHz
3.33 GHz
2/4
1,066 MT/s
35W
rPGA BGA$332
533 MHz
Core i7-640LM
2.13 GHz
2.93 GHz
2/41,066 MT/s25W
BGA
$332
266 MHz
Core i7-620LM
2 GHz
2.8 GHz
2/41,066 MT/s25W
BGA
$300
266 MHz
Core i7-640UM
1.2 GHz
2.26 GHz
2/4800 MT/s18W
BGA
$305
166 MHz
Core i7-620UM
1.06 GHz
2.13 GHz
2/4800 MT/s18W
BGA
$278
166 MHz
Core i5-540M
2.53 GHz
3.06 GHz
2/41,066 MT/s35W
rPGA BGA$257
533 MHz
Core i5-520M
2.4 GHz
2.93 GHz
2/41,066 MT/s35W
rPGA BGA$225
533 MHz
Core i5-520UM
1.06 GHz
1.86 GHz
2/4800 MT/s
18W
BGA
$241
166 MHz
Core i5-430M
2.26 GHz
2.53 GHz
2/41,066 MT/s35W
rPGA BGA-
533 MHz
Core i3-350M
2.26 GHz
-
2/41,066 MT/s35W
rPGA BGA-
533 MHz
Core i3-330M
2.13 GHz
-
2/41,066 MT/s35W
rPGA BGA-
533 MHz


The four Core i5s hardly fare better. They, too, are dual-core models with Hyper-Threading enabled. But instead of 4MB shared L3 cache, they’re armed with 3MB. Three models are 35W TDP parts, but they span the i5-500M- and i5-400M-series. Why the drop to -400? The only explanation we can see is a less-aggressive Turbo Boost implementation on the entry-level model, highlighted in the chart above. There’s a single 18W low-voltage part in the Core i5 lineup, which drops to DDR3-800 memory support and a 1.06 GHz base clock rate. With thermal headroom to spare, though, the chip can Turbo up to 1.86 GHz.

The two Core i3s are, again, dual-core, Hyper-Threading-equipped CPUs with 3MB shared L3 cache and DDR3-1066-compatible. They’re both 35W chips, which makes sense because neither supports Turbo Boost, so Intel isn’t able to set a low base clock and rely on Turbo to bring performance up when thermal headroom allows.

Core 2 Duo P8700...Core 2 Duo P8700......Core i5-540M...Core i5-540M

Pricing across the lineup is aggressive, ranging from $225 to $332 (three of the lowest-end models aren’t being listed at launch).

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20 comments
    Your comment
  • burnley14
    Well played, Intel. You've been knocking it out of the park lately, keep up the good work.
    3
  • Anonymous
    I'm looking forward to getting an HP laptop with the Arrandale Core i5 processor in the near future.
    4
  • Anonymous
    It's going to be interesting to see the performance/battery time of the LM and UM processors as I'm in the market for a thin-and-light myself.

    Performance is good but I'm hoping for a viable update to the CULV offerings of yesterday.
    2
  • Computer_Lots
    Looks like there are finally some replacements for the Atom, at least in efficiency anyway. Too bad the price is currently too high for the UM versions of these processors to make their way into netbooks. I would guess that even the i5-520UM would destroy the Atom in every benchmark, except maybe power consumption.
    1
  • HansVonOhain
    C2D was one of the longest living platforms. But newer tech will replace slower processors.

    Keep it up intel. I do hope that AMD will release some new chips that will be able to compete with intel offerings.
    2
  • jasperjones
    ^^^ true that. arrandale will further diminish AMD's role in the mobile processor market. and there's nothing coming up before may.
    0
  • Luscious
    Chris, the dv4 series from HP has a 12-cell extended battery available as well rated for 94Wh 2.2A. Once HP makes the transition to Arrandale, all else being same, you can expect the dv4 to hit 8-10 hours easy.
    0
  • cangelini
    Thanks for the tip Lucious. I didn't have the higher-capacity battery available to test, but I'd absolutely love to see 8-10 hrs. real-world from an Arrandale-based machine.
    0
  • Reynod
    Good bye NVidia ...

    That chops them completely out of the mobile graphics market for the masses ... Intel will pay the RIGHT OEM's some "adjustment" just to make sure their "Strategy" is right to ensure AMD's mobile market is thin and restricted to the backwaters of Bejjing.
    1
  • spydercanopus
    Wish you would have compared it to Intel Extreme Graphics 2 or something.
    -1
  • spydercanopus
    These comparisons aren't very useful. Was really curious how it stacks up against other competing integrated graphics.
    -2
  • spydercanopus
    Like... what is the Vista / 7 Aero and Gaming graphics score?
    0
  • cangelini
    spydercanopusThese comparisons aren't very useful. Was really curious how it stacks up against other competing integrated graphics.


    Have a look at Page 8, where HD Graphics is compared to the previous-generation GMA in Vantage and WoW. You're not going to get much else out of this, to be honest...
    1
  • Anonymous
    Ok so we get 20% improvement over a 2.53GHz C2D but what about the fact that C2D goes to 3.06 GHz and 3.33GHz in extreme edition, but the best arrandale is only 2.66Ghz?

    Also the integrated graphics can barely match the 9400m that is 1-2 years old.

    The battery life is the same or worse...

    What is so great about this chip?

    Personally I'm not at all impressed and find it a step side ways or even backwards.
    1
  • xanxaz
    ASUS EFI? can it load the apple one?
    0
  • Anonymous
    Just because the older C2D's have higher clocks doesn't necessarily mean they are better. Advances in the micro-architecture sometimes leave clock freqs irrelevant. An i7 920 @ 2.66 will beat a Core 2 Extreme QX9770 @ 3.2. But to be sure I guess we will have to see the highest end Arrendale vs highest end C2D.

    The integrated graphics do suck, but at least now we have a choice in some laptops where we can switch from the integrated to dedicated, saving battery life when needed and boosting performance where needed. It adds flexibility basically, I'm sure Intel was aiming more for that rather than performance in 3D games.

    What I really want to see is the ULV versions of this chip. I'm hoping whenever they start coming out, it'll push down the prices of older Ultra-Portable laptops around the 12-14" sizes. Certain ones with the C2D SU7300 and 4GB of RAM can be found for around $550 today. If these prices go down far enough, netbookks will be obsolete in my mind.
    2
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    0
  • Anonymous
    Interesting that no mention was made of how Apple has been building Core 2 Duo notebooks that will play 4 movies on a single battery charge, while the i5's and i7's are great, I don't think Intel's Duos can be blamed for your notebook's barely being able to play a single movie. (note Apple is now making notebooks with the i5 and i7 processors which also can run all major operating systems)
    -1
  • Anonymous
    Hey, Did you know these Arrandale CPUs are starting to pop-up already? I've noticed this review for the Core i5-520UM today, google says it's new: http://www.netbooklive.net/intel-core-i5-520um-benchmarked-on-asus-ul30jt-3493/ . Hopefully It's ok to post links in here, as they are related and help the readers of this post.
    0
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