Examining The Intel Core I5 Processor Information Technology Essay

Intel’s Core i5 processors are an advanced line of Intel processors supporting some of the latest Intel processor technologies. Introduced in July of 2009 they are a very capable and a more affordable option than Intel’s core i7 processors. There are also many variations of the i5 leading to a range of applications from the i5 760 code name Lynfield. This is a quad core desktop processor with a clock speed of 2.8 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 3.33 GHz that would most likely spark an interest in the gaming community. To the 18 watt ultra low-voltage i5 540UM utilized in laptop computers and best suited for the business and daily user application that will not only perform awesomely but so using less power than most other laptop processors. This can be very helpful when running a laptop on battery that can last longer and do more due to processor technologies. To be exact there are seventeen different versions of the i5 most of them are dual core with the exception of three quad core models the i5 750, 750s, and 760. The i5 also supports some of Intel’s latest technologies such as Intel Virtualization technologies, Intel Turbo Boost technologies, Intel HD graphics technologies and Intel trusted execution technologies. The i5 is an excellent processors with many capabilities of the i7 at a lower price, the socket type is an LGA 1156 used on many Intel motherboards allowing the i5 to be a practical option for those wanting to upgrade from the i3 or to select versions of the i7 that use the same socket type. With so many practical uses and features at a decent price the i5 is definitely a processor to look at when building or upgrading an Intel powered system.

There are many versions of the i5 processor each sharing characteristics for the particular model. Like many Intel processors the i5 is based on a numbering system ranging from the i5 430 to the i5 760 usually the higher the number the more features the processors will have, although some merely have different features depending on the intent of use for the system being built. There are eight different laptop models currently available all of which are dual core 4 thread processors meaning each core can processes two threads at a time. These models are the i5-430M, 430UM, 450M, 520M, 520E, 520M, 520UM, 540M, and 540UM each having features specific to the number. The M after each number represents the mobile design for laptop applications, those with a U before the M all share Intel’s ultra low-voltage technologies making them more efficient for battery powered laptops that can surely benefit from the lower power consumption with less draw in the battery. Each model utilizing low-voltage technology is rated at an amazingly low 18 watts when compared to the regular laptop models that double that load. The E in the i5 520E model means this processor has the option to be embedded along with the i5 520M. Embedded processors are used in applications where the machine executes a specific task on a regular basis and can have specific instructions embedded in them to execute specific tasks. An example of an embedded system would be a traffic light or air traffic control center, basically anything performing common tasks. There are nine desktop models of the i5 processor three of which are quad core processors the rest dual core. The i5 650, 655K, 660, 661, 670, 680, 750, 750S, and 760 and just like the laptop versions each model has specific features allowing for a variety of applications. In a review from guru3d.com Hagedoorn reports “The 32nm Intel Core i5-655K processor has the very same specifications as the Core i5 650; it will operate at 3.2 GHz, will feature two cores with Hyper-Threading technology, sport 4MB of L3 cache and will be made using 32nm process technology. The difference between the 650 and 655K is the unlocked multiplier only.” explaining the K series as an unlocked processor for those interested in overclocking abilities. The i5 750, 750S, and 760 are a part of Intel’s Lynfield structure which is merely the codename used for their quad core processors. These are at the higher end of the i5 line great for gamers and enthusiasts needing the extra cores to support many processes at once. They also have 8MB cache as compared to the 4MB of the dual core models. The S in the i5 750S model indicates its power saving capabilities in a quad core package. While all other quad core models run at at least 95w rating the 750S operates at only 82w creating a more efficient quad core processor.

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One of the great advantages of the i5 line of processors are the capabilities they posses from the built in Intel technologies. All i5 mobile processors have Intel Virtualization technologies, integrated graphics and Intel’s Turbo Boost technology among others. Intel Virtualization technology according to Intel “Increasing manageability, security, and flexibility in IT environments, virtualization technologies like hardware-assisted Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT)¹ combined with software-based virtualization solutions provide maximum system utilization by consolidating multiple environments into a single server or PC.” The integrated graphics technology provides users the ability to view an awesome HD picture supporting Blue ray in windows Vista and 7 operating systems. One of the more interesting technologies that Intel processors have is the Turbo Boost Technology which takes advantage of the individual core speeds allowing “processor cores to run faster than the base operating frequency if it’s operating below power, current, and temperature specification limits.” (http://www.intel.com/technology/turboboost/). Allowing the processor to control the speed of each core depending on the load applied, while keeping the system speed consistent. Many of the desktop processors support the same or similar technologies. Intel’s Enhanced speed step technology is another power conserving feature that switched voltage and frequency ratings in tandem in relation to the processors load. Intel Trusted Execution Technology “provides hardware-based mechanisms that help protect against software-based attacks and protects the confidentiality and integrity of data stored or created on the client PC. It does this by enabling an environment where applications can run within their own space, protected from all other software on the system.” (http://www.intel.com/technology/security/). These are only a few of many technologies Intel offers with the i5 processor that are designed to enhance the abilities and qualities of each model to be best suited for each processors individual uses.

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The Intel core i5 processors are a highly capable line of processors at the higher end of Intel’s processor line. There are countless options as to what application they are best suited for and the price is better than the higher end more expensive i7. The LGA1156 socket type in the desktop models allow for i3 based systems to be upgraded to the i5 and compatibility with the new LGA1156 i7 processor. Recently released and supporting Intel’s most advanced technologies make them a top choice for anyone in the market for a versatile system whether it be a laptop, notebook, business desktop or gaming system.

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