New Intel dual-core beats AMD quad


Intel tomorrow will officially unveil a pair of dual-core mobile processors with its Hyper threading technology, adding to its x86 line a low cost chip with performance akin to that of the company's i7, Pentium 4 and Xeon parts. The Core i3 and Core i5 processors, demonstrated by Hewlett-Packard and others at CES 2010 in Las Vegas through Sunday, also incorporate graphics functions on board, saving power and cost by eliminating the need for a separate graphics package.

In a benchmark report published yesterday, the two-core i5 661 processor outperformed a quad-core Athlon II 640 running at 3GHz.With on-board graphics turned off, the i5 can overclock "well beyond 4GHz," according to the report. A six-core version is expected in the next few months. Formerly code-named Clarkdale for desktops and Arrandale for laptops, the Core i3 and Core i5 are the first processors available using Intel's 32nm process.

Only the i5, which is equipped with a feature called Turbo Boost, can automatically overclock to 2.26GHz based on processing and power efficiency requirements. The integrated GPU still uses a portly 45nm die, and will only work when used in a system that's also equipped with Intel's new H55 or H57 chips. The new chips also include a DDR3 memory controller. Loaded laptops built around the a Core i5 chip are expected to initially sell for around US$900, while i3-based machines will go for about $700.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].