Nehalem goes mobile with new Core i7 processors

Mobile users, rejoice. Intel has officially introduced Core i7 quad-core processors geared specifically for notebooks. The three new chips are based on Clarksfield silicon, the mobile variant of the Lynnfield design that powers desktop-bound Core i5 and i7-800 CPUs.

Without further ado, here's a run-down of the Clarksfield launch lineup:

Model Base speed Top Turbo speed L3 cache TDP Price
Core i7-920XM 2.00 GHz 3.20 GHz 8MB 55W $1,054
Core i7-820QM 1.73 GHz 3.06 GHz 8MB 45W $546
Core i7-720QM 1.60 GHz 2.80 GHz 6MB 45W $364

Like Lynnfield, the new mobile Core i7s support dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory and have 16 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity right on the CPU die. They're also accompanied by a single-chip chipset, in this case the PM55 Express.

Another similarity between Lynnfield and Clarksfield is the presence of Turbo Boost, which can dramatically ramp up the speed of an individual core if its brethren are sitting idle. Here, Turbo Boost can propel the Core i7-920XM's cores all the way from 2GHz to a blistering 3.2GHz. That's the same top Turbo speed as the desktop Core i5-750. Unlike the i5, though, all three mobile Core i7s have Hyper-Threading enabled.

You can expect to see Core i7-powered laptops from Asus, Dell, HP, and Toshiba; Intel says all of those firms have designs shipping today. And more are to come. Smaller companies like Eurocom have already announced Clarksfield notebooks, too.  We also have a Clevo unit in-house for testing.  Expect a review of that system soon.

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