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Intel Core i7-620M review

Intel's CPU-GPU fusion chip comes to laptops near you

core i7 620m

If that video decoding performance wasn't impressive enough, our early testing indicates that Intel has manged to deliver this massive increase in performance for pretty much the same power consumption.

On the one hand, that means you can go with one of these high performance Arrandale chips as reviewed here and enjoy quad-core class performance for the same sort of battery life you get with today's high performance Core 2 laptops.

Or you can plump for one of the new low-voltage Arrandale processors and enjoy performance similar to a high-end Core 2 laptop but with much improved battery life. You can find a full listing of all the new Arrandale-based CPU models here http://www.intel.com/products/processor/index.htm.

Gaming-friendly graphics?

As for the integrated graphics core, it's a big improvement over previous efforts.

Typically it delivers a doubling of frames rates in most games. Problem is, double of something awful is still pretty mediocre. This new core still struggles to cope with even older games such as Call of Duty 4, for example. It' simply not viable for gaming.

There's better news, however, on the 2D video decode front. On paper, Intel has raised its game to near level pegging with AMD and Nvidia, thanks to full hardware support for the full gambit of modern HD codecs, including VC-1, AVC and MPEG2.

Our early testing suggests Intel has done a decent job with its 2D video acceleration of locally stored content.

For now, however, there's one key question that remains unanswered - will it get the job done for streaming online Flash video?

In theory, it should do. Moreover, Adobe recently released a beta version of the Flash player with GPU acceleration support. But currently it's only optimised for Nvidia graphics. Until the final version is released, we'll have to wait and see just how good a job Intel has done.

Weaknesses

All of which means Intel's new mobile monster has just one major weakness - branding.

Hard to believe, but with the release of these new mobile processors, Intel's new branding scheme has become even more catastrophically confusing than before.

The labels Core i3, i5 and i7 have literally ceased to bear any relationship to the actual hardware you are buying.

For the record, we've therefore officially given up trying to understand what any of it means or attempting to explain the logic of it. Because there is none.

We can only assume Intel is hoping for a similar effect on its customers. The better to confuse the crap out of them to the point of blind panic buying, presumably. We jest, of course, but only just.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Thermal Design Power35 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i7
L3 Cache4 MB
Clock Speed2.67 GHz
Processor SocketSocket PGA-988
Brand NameIntel
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification105°C
QuickPath Interconnect4.80 GT/s
L2 Cache1 MB
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product ModelI7-620M
Product NameCore i7 I7-620M Dual-core Mobile Processor
Product LineCore i7
Manufacturer Part NumberCP80617003981AH
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.intel.co.uk
Marketing Information

Intel's leading-edge PC processor breaks free of the desktop with the new Intel Core i7 processor for laptops, delivering unmatched mobile technology for intelligent performance on the most demanding tasks, such as creating digital video and playing intense games.

Process Technology32 nm