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Core i7-2820QM: Sandy Bridge Shines In Notebooks

Test Setup

Test Hardware: Desktop Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) 3.4 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge) 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge) 3.1 GHz (31 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i3-2100 (Sandy Bridge) 3.1 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 3 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i5-655K (Clarkdale) 3.2 GHz (24 * 133 MHz), LGA 1156, 4 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardGigabyte P67A-UD7 (LGA 1155) Intel P67 Express, BIOS F6a
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2 (LGA 1155) Intel H67 Express, BIOS F6a
Gigabyte P55A-UD7 (LGA 1156) Intel P55 Express, BIOS F8b
Asus P7H57D-V EVO (LGA 1156) Intel H57 Express, BIOS 1606
MemoryKingston 8 GB (4 x 2 GB) DDR3-2133, KHX2133C9AD3W1K2/4GX x 2 @ DDR3-1333, 7-7-7-20 and 1.65 V
Crucial 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333, MT16JTF51264AZ-1G4D1 @ DDR3-1333, 7-7-7-20 and 1.65 V
Hard DriveOCZ RevoDrive X2 240 GB PCI Express x4 (Main Test Bed)
Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s (Graphics/Quick Sync Test Bed)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 5550 1GB
AMD Radeon HD 4550 512 MB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverIntel GFX_Vista64_Win7_64_8.15.10.2266_PV (For Sandy Bridge and Clarkdale)
AMD Catalyst 10.12 (For Radeon HD 6870 1 GB)

We are pulling the desktop numbers from our launch coverage for comparison (except for the PCMark Vantage benchmarks, because all of our non-gaming benchmarks) run from a RAM drive. Our initial benchmark results are still valid.

PCMark Vantage is the only benchmark that you can't run directly off the RAM drive, nor is the RevoDrive X2 compatible with mobile systems. As a result, we retested the Core i7-2500K in 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage with the Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC. For graphics, we have chosen to fall back to 3DMark Vantage, as the Intel HD Graphics 3000 is not DirectX 11-compatible and won't even fire up the app.

Test Hardware: Mobile Systems
ProcessorsAMD Turion II K625 (Dual-Core, 1.5 GHz)Intel Core i5-540M (Dual-Core, 2.53 GHz)Intel Core i7-2820QM (Quad-Core, 2.3 GHz)
Memory4 GB DDR3-10664 GB DDR3-10664 GB DDR3-1333
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 4225Intel HD GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 3000
NotebookToshiba Satellite T235Asus K52FUnknown Clevo model
Hard DriveIntel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
DirectXDirectX 11
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bitWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bitWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Graphics Driver8.723.3.40008.15.10.22668.15.10.2266
  • cmartin011
    Second!!! really a thousand dollars for a mobile cpu
    Reply
  • one-shot
    What are the numbers for battery life for idle, surfing the web, and watching HD video? Several reputable sites have posted up numbers and I'm not seeing a chart that states these numbers, just lots of performance numbers to reiterate the obvious that it's more powerful and more efficient than Arrandale CPUs.
    Reply
  • acku
    This isn't a production notebook so battery life pertaining to this specific notebook is rather pointless in relation to other models. There are other factors at play: LCD panel, battery density, etc... However, platform power consumption numbers are posted on the second to last and last page.

    Andrew
    TomsHardware
    Reply
  • one-shot
    ackuThis isn't a production notebook so battery life pertaining to this specific notebook is rather pointless in relation to other models. There are other factors at play: LCD panel, battery density, etc... However, platform power consumption numbers are posted on the second to last and last page.AndrewTomsHardware
    That isn't what I was looking for. On Anandtech and Tech Report, a Compal notebook with a Core i7 2820QM achieved between six and seven hours of battery life when web browsing. I was looking for a comparison to help me make a more informed decision.

    Something like these is what I was referring to.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/intels-sandy-bridge-upheaval-in-the-mobile-landscape/9

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/20294/8

    Battery life is not pointless in any way. A pre-production model or not, it's relevant. If helps give us, the consumers, a better perspective to how laptops with these CPUs will perform with regards to battery life.

    I'm surprised it wasn't included.
    Reply
  • acku
    Fair point and I completely agree that battery life is not pointless. But on our point, we did go over power as far as browsing and Flash video if you read our conclusion.

    On an platform level, you can expect a new Sandy Bridge Core i7 to achieve roughly double the battery life of a notebook with an Arrandale Core i5.

    What I disliked about the previous benchmarks (including the ones you referenced) was that they automatically handicapped the benchmark against the Sandy Bridge mobile platform. Forget the whole DTR argument. A 17.3" panel will generally consume more power than a 15.6" (Look at the notebooks it was compared against.) When you isolate it down to the platform level then you can say all-else-being-equal (LCD, hard drive, wireless card, etc...), a notebook based on a Sandy Bridge mobile processor will ~ double battery life. Those other sites showed a roughly 33% improvement because of the other variables at play.

    Remember though that when you are talking about H.264 playback, this is all run through the hardware decoder. You are getting very little battery burn no matter what hardware you are running. What really matters then is the total platforms power consumption and the density of your battery (2.6AH vs 2.9AH cells).

    But back to your main point, if that is what you want to see on a DTR, then we will include it next time. Frankly, I'm more interested in the battery life of non-DTR mobile CPUs. "Normally" people don't care about battery life on a 17.3" mobile workstation.
    Reply
  • bearclaw99
    Damnnnnn...those are some amazing benches for a laptop CPU. Beats some of the desktop i7s and probably all of AMDs desktop chips
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    If AMD is paying attention, it needs to get its act in order. Brazos is one step up from being a pawn in the AMD Fusion chess set.

    AMD's Brazos platform is very impressive especially the E-350 series that's paired with an Radeon HD 6310 in gaming performance. Soo impressive in fact that the gaming performance rivals that of Core i5 661 in a lot of games and even goes toe to toe with the Core i5 2500k in some games like Call OF Duty Black Ops! As show here....

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4134/the-brazos-review-amds-e350-supplants-ion-for-miniitx/5
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    amd is losing ground.. they are taking too long releasing new products.. Intel is expensive.. damm!
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    I think bulldozer will be able to compete in terms of TDP because of the two integer units / core
    Reply
  • Vadim_79
    I just bought myself an Asus N53SV a couple of days ago, so far it's been great, it can handle any game i throw at it due to the combined intel 3000 and gf540m. Whenever i use the notebook for things like surfing the web it uses the intel 3000, so i get better battery life. I game with the notebook plugged in and set to maximum performance on a 42 inch plasma through hdmi. And it beats my desktop as far as framerates are concerned
    Reply