[kwlug-disc] OT: New Intel desktop/laptop CPUs

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Fri Mar 5 23:57:54 EST 2010

On Fri, 2010-03-05 at 18:55 -0500, John Van Ostrand wrote:
> ----- "Khalid Baheyeldin" <kb at 2bits.com> wrote:
> > Any idea what architectural benefits do these CPUs provide? Or is it
> > just the usual "rebrand and raise the price" marketing strategy?
> They are brands and not technologies so the specs and features will
>  change over time. It seems that i3 has an integrated GPU, and the i5
>  and i7 have "Turbo Boost" which allows on-demand over-clocking of the
>  CPU.

If you're an Ubuntu user, the integrated GPU is not supported in 9.10.
It should have decent support in 10.04 from what I've heard, but I
couldn't give you specifics as I don't have the hardware to test. I
don't currently track graphics releases in other distros. The Core i*
series has an on-die memory controller, which should speed memory access
if you need that sort of thing. The GPU being on-die also gives it the
same speedy access to the memory assigned to it, which should help out.
Maybe take a pre-release livecd just for testing.

Other than frequency, I'm curious what the differentiating factor
between the i5 and the i7 is for laptops. On the desktop the i7 series
can do triple-channel memory, but I can't imagine laptops having three
so-dimm slots. And the thermals related to a higher-speed CPU are always
a consideration.

I found that once I got 64-bit dual-core, I was set as far as laptops
and workstations go. The biggest sellers for me are now power
utilization/battery life, and screen resolution/quality.

Chris Irwin
e:  chris at chrisirwin.ca
w: http://chrisirwin.ca
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