P r i n t e d w i t h
Intel’s Sandy Bridge Family o Chips Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 , What’s theDiference ?
which have only two cores. Currently, all Core i3sare dual-core processors.Currently all Core i5 processors, except for the i5-661, are quad cores in Australia. The Core i5-661is only a dual-core processor with a clockspeed of
3.33 GHz. Remember that all Core i3s are also dual
cores. Furthermore, the i3-560 is also 3.33GHz, yeta lot cheaper. Sounds like it might be a better buythan the i5. What gives?At this point, I’d like to grab the opportunity to il-lustrate how a number of factors affect the overall
processing power of a CPU and determine whether
it should be considered an i3, an i5, or an i7.
Even if the i5-661 normally runs at the same clocks-
peed as Core i3-560, and even if they all have the
same number of cores, the i5-661 benets from a
technology known as Turbo Boost.
Intel Turbo Boost
The Intel Turbo Boost Technology allows a processorto dynamically increase its clockspeed whenever theneed arises. The maximum amount that Turbo Boost
can raise clockspeed at any given time is dependenton the number of active cores, the estimated current
consumption, the estimated power consumption,and the processor temperature.
For the Core i5-661, its maximum allowable proces-
sor frequency is 3.6 GHz. Because none of the Corei3 CPUs have Turbo Boost, the i5-661 can outrunthem when it needs to. Because all Core i5 proces-sors are equipped with the latest version of thistechnology— Turbo Boost 2.0 — all of them canoutrun any Core i3.
Whenever the CPU nds that it keeps on using the
same data over and over, it stores that data in its
cache. Cache is just like RAM, only faster — because
it’s built into the CPU itself. Both RAM and cache
serve as holding areas for frequently used data.Without them, the CPU would have to keep on rea-ding from the hard disk drive, which would take alot more time.
Basically, RAM minimises interaction with the hard
disk, while cache minimises interaction with the
RAM. Obviously, with a larger cache, more data can
be accessed quickly. All Core i3 processors have 3MB
of cache. All Core i5s, except again for the 661 (only
4MB), have 6MB of cache. Finally, all Core i7 CPUshave 8MB of cache. This is clearly one reason why
an i7 outperforms an i5 — and why an i5 outper-forms an i3.
Strictly speaking, onlyone thread can be ser-ved by one core at a
time. So if a CPU is a dual
core, then supposedly
only two threads can be
However, Intel has in-troduced a technologycalled Hyper-Threa-ding. This enables a single core to serve multiplethreads.
October 18, 2011