Intel Core Processors – Pre Haslel

Intel what?!

I wills be stealing content from wikipedia, oh yeah.

2005 – 2007 Yonah Core Duo – T2xxx U2xxx – [DDR2 & 32bit only] – Z61, T60, X60, D620 Original MacBook – I call this 1st gen
2006 – 2008 Merom Core 2 Duo – T5xxx T7xxx U7xxx SL7xxx, T8xxx X7xxx (extreme) – [DDR2] T61, D630, X300 – I call this second gen
2008 – 2010 Penryn Core 2 Duo – P7xxx P8xxx P9xxx T9xxx SU9xxx X9xxx (extreme) – [DDR2 & DDR3] T400 W700 E6400 – I call this third gen

Intel decided to make things less complicated. They went to change up the names on their processors. These are still using the same ‘Core’ Architecture, but instead of the previous T, U, X, P, naming scheme, they used i3, i5 and i7. There was still celeron and pentium, but I’m ignoring them as you should too.

2010 – 2011 1st Gen Arrandale – These are the only ones w/ 3 numbers after i3/i5/i7, e.g. i3-380m, i5-580m, i7-720m, i7-840qm, i7-940xm
2011 – 2013 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge – Now begins the numbering system after the iX, e.g. i3-3220m, i5-2620m, i7-2720qm
2012 – 2014 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge – Ultrabook come into effect, with a ‘u’ at the end (think undervoltage) i5-3320m, i5-3380m, i7-3610qm, i5-3337u
2013 – 2014 4th Gen Haswell (haslel) – End of the upgrade era, soldiered CPUs, unless quadcore. Hated by many for poorer performance
2015 – 2017 5th Gen Broadwell – Spending $500+ and want something to last awhile? Broadwell is for you. Intel inroduced Core-M processors which are like fanless machines.
2016 – ???? 6th Gen Skylake – Ultrabooks everywhere, Xeon is now in a mobile format which can use ECC RAM.
2017 – ???? 7th Gen Kabylake – I literally cant say anything about these because they are fuckton expensive and I’ve yet to get one.
2018 – ???? 8th Gen Coffeelake – Unknown yet, but intel is getting buttblasted by AMD’s ThreadRipper & Ryzen that they are releasing this sooner than expected.

Core Duo

1st Gen Core Duo Dothan are a bit long in the teeth now, due to most having the Intel 945GM chipset in the motherboard, that limts max RAM to 3GB. So even if you had a T7xxx CPU which is 64bit capable, had 2x 4GB modules and installed 64bit system, it would only be able to use 3GB RAM. Also Intel began the whole tick tock development for their processors. Basically tock is new architecture and better performance than the predeccessor and tick is when they do better energy efficiency of the previous chip.

Powerhouses at the time

  • ThinkPad T60p 15″ 4:3 IPS UXGA, ATI FireGL 5250 w/ 256MB RAM & Ultrabay battery
  • ThinkPad Z61p 15.4″ 16:10 WUXGA, ATI FireGL 5200 w/ 256MB RAM,
  • Precision M90 15.4″ 16:10 WUXGA, nVidia Quadro FX 3500m w/ 512MB RAM
  • Apple MacBook Pro 17″ 16:10 WSXGA, ATI Radeon X1600 w/ 256MB RAM, & glossy LCD was an option
  • Alienware M9750 17″ 16:10 WUXGA glossy, nVidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX SLI w/ BluRay

Past loves

  • Thinkpad T60p 14″ 4:3 SXGA+ 2GHz T2500, 3GB RAM, Win 7 ult 32 bit, ATI FireGL 5200

I really recommend these laptops as a second laptop, these are long in the tooth when it comes to hardware.

Common CPUs – T2400, T2500, T2600, T7200, T7400, T7600

2nd gen Core 2 Duo Merom are a bit better. About all of these can use a max of 8GB RAM, but due to the cost of 4GB modules, you’re better off with 4GB. An 8GB RAM kit will set you back $100. It will be hard to find a system that is mint, though there are quite a few, as companies forget about spares they have. If you do find one or want to do a project, there are quite a bit of these I think are good to use.

Recommended laptops

  • Thinkpad T61 4:3 – Intel graphics or post 08/08 nVidia motherboard – Keep it or find a 15″ T60p to IPS upgrade
  • ThinkPad Reserve Edition – best of luck getting an Italian leather wrapped X61s that doesn’t overheat

3rd Gen Core 2 Duos Penryn are OFC better, but not all manufacturers released them a bit early, DDR2 was being phased out but not all companies jumped towards DDR3. The biggest drawback means that some laptops won’t have an cheap upgrade to 8GB RAM. You could get an 8GB DDR3 RAM kit from $20 to $50, but DDR2 will set you back twice that. With that said, its good to look out for laptops that have 8GB DDR2 RAM, you could part out and resell easily. For example, the Lenovo T400 supports DDR3 RAM, but the Dell E6400 supports DDR2… The Lenovo ThinkPad X300 uses DDR2 yet the X301 uses DDR3

Extreme & Core 2 Quad Processor

Ok, so it might not be right to put it here, but there were a few Core 2 Extreme processors built before the third gen core 2 duo. However, I just found that out and I don’t feel like going back and erasing crap… despite how easy it sounds, I think it would be best to put it all here. 😀

Finally, Intel had designed mobile quadcore processors for the mobile market. We are not counting laptops that housed desktop CPUs, otherwise the Xtreme 917V would of taken the cake in 2007, which was just a year after the first dual core laptop…

Something about Core 2 Quad just sounds cool, I am a big fan of ThinkPads and 2 years after getting my first ThinkPad, the X61t, I got the laptop /tpg/ said I’ll never have, a W700ds.

X or extreme CPUs hit the mobile market, these processors run HOT. X9100 is currently a decently priced buy, compared to the T9900. Dunno really why it is like that, has to do with TDP and cache i guess or just availability. It is cheaper to upgrade to an X-CPU than to buy a laptop that has an X-CPU. However consider T9550 and T9600

  • T9300 2.5Ghz 6MB 800FSB – $15 – $25
  • T9500 2.6GHz 6MB 800FSB – $$30 – $50
  • X7900 2.8GHz 4MB 800FSB – $30 – $42
  • X9000 2.8GHz 6MB 800FSB – $38 – $50
  • X9100 3.06GHz 6MB 1066FSB – $10 – $25
  • Q9000 2Ghz 6MB 1066FSB – $16 – $35
  • Q9100 2.26Ghz 12MB 1066FSB – $14 – $50
  • QX9300 2.53GHz 12MB 1066FSB – $60 – $120

Laptop Models:

  • Lenovo – T400, X301, X200, W500, T500, R500
  • Dell – E6400, E6500, E5500, E4300
  • HP – 6930p, 8530p, 8530w, 8730w, 2530p, 2730p
  • Apple – MacBook 09, late 09, late 2010; MBP Unibody, Mid 09, Mid 2010; MBA nvidia, mid 09, mid 2010

Sadly no MacBook got an Core 2 Extreme or Core 2 Quad… In addition if you are thinking of getting a W700ds, you wont be able to upgrade past an FX3700m, and at that, it needs to be a Lenovo one. Dell M6400 and HP 8730W have better upgrade paths, in addition, they also have 4 RAM slots instead of the W700’s 2 slots :O

1st Gen Core – Arrandale

  • i5-540m 2.53GHz – $8 – $12
  • i5-580m 2.66GHz – $20 – 40
  • i7-620m 2.66GHz 6MB  – $33 – $50
  • i7-840qm 1.84GHz 8MB – $34 – $70 – Best QM
  • i7-940xm 2.13GHz 8MB – $80 – $120 – Best XM

Laptop Models:

  • ThinkPad – X201, T410, T510, W510
  • Dell – E6410, E6510, E5510, E4310
  • HP – 8440p, 8540p, 8540w, 8740p
  • Apple – MBP 15/17 mid 2010

Have fun with this. Although i3, i5 and i7 processors all sound different, they are still part of the core series. This processor wasn’t called 1st gen at first, but simply Arrandale. In the desktop it gets more confusing, as there are Westmere and Nehalem C variants, in addition to that they also had different sized LGA sockets too, but for the laptop market it is not batshit insane, these use Westmere architecure and just one socket.

What do I think of 1st gen Arrandale machines? Not too much sadly, thanks to the price dropping, there is no point in really getting one of these laptops when a Sandy Bridge is really good for the money if you wait for it. In addition, 1st gen core have terrible gaming performance on the Intel chip, and lastly, I didn’t care for the changes Lenovo decided to do on the ThinkPads. With the exception of the X201, peformance/price of these ThinkPads aren’t appealing.

BUT there are some decent machines here, I just don’t like them. This time Lenovo let the W701 use 4 RAM slots instead of two, but the HP 8740W had a DreamColor IPS panel, and the Dell M6500 was a strong contender too, yet Lenovo whitelisted GPUs in the bios for the W700… so if you really really want that digitizer, I tell you to pick otherwise.

Intel graphic performance was coming along but not great, around this time dGPUs made a difference in the 14″ class.

2nd Gen Core – Sandy Bridge

  • i5-2540m 2.6GHz 3MB – $21 – $34
  • i7-2620m 2.7GHz 4MB – $26 – $45
  • i7-2720qm 2.2GHz 6MB – $40 – $64
  • i7-2860qm 2.5GHz 8MB – $55 – $130

Sandy bridge is the last tock that is noteworthy. The laptop and desktop market started to slump at this time; due to the popularity of tablets and smartphones to the consumer market. If you want good performance on a budget, a sandy bridge laptop is the way to go, even the i7 quadcore laptops are fairly cheap now too.

3rd Gen Core – Ivy Bridge (best ridge)

Ivy bridge brought the demise. There was a turning point in this time, Intel had brought out their requirements for Ultrabook laptops and gave funding to companies who’d wanted to meet the requirements. For this, a lot laptops are modeled after the macbook air and maybe the macbook pro. Intel wanted to take away the ‘m’ mobile processor and started to bring the ‘u’ ultrabook or undervolted CPU. Though for a lot of tasks, a U processor can handle it, however when they are pushed, they may not. In addition to this, manufacturers started to limit their machines, having soldiered ram slots, and either none or only one upgradable ram slot bay. Dangerous times ahead, in addition to this, the desktop market took a hit too, as Ivy Bridge processors didn’t overclock as well as their Sandy bridge predecessors. However for the average user and gamer, this wasn’t an issue, as they had quite enough power for most tasks, and if they needed an upgrade, it wasn’t necessarily bottle necked by the CPU. For me as a personal preference, I recommend Ivy Bridge laptops, however, you can find a better spec’d Sandy Bridge machine for a great discount. At the time of this writing, people are looking at the 7th gen Intel Core processors, but most of these damn machines only offer better graphical performance, battery life, and faster boot speeds thanks to NVMe technology. But if you want a robust machine, you may as well be happy here for a daily and Sandy Bridge as a workstation…

The worst part about Ivy Bridge is that consumer upgrades have started to deteriorate away, some laptops had socketed CPUs, but not all, even workstations started to get the ultrabook CPU.

  • i5-3320m 2.6GHz 4MB – $20 – $32
  • i7-3640qm 2.4GHz 6MB – $45 – $85
  • i7-3740qm 2.7GHz 6MB – $70 – $100



To be continued