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Core i5-660 processor Dual Core 3.33 MHz

November 20th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The core i5-660 is two core processor from Intel, clocked at nominal core frequency of 3.33 GHz.  The core i5-660 bumps up the core frequency of i5-650 ( a 3.2 GHz processor ) by 133 MHz   at a price increase of $20.  ( While the core i5-650 is priced at $176, core i5-660 is priced at $196 – both prices are at the time of writing and expected to fall in future, especially with the launch of the Sandy Bridge processor).

The table below summarizes the salient features of the core i5-660 processor.

Table : Intel Core i5-660 processor quick facts

SL No.
Item Value
1 Clock Frequency 3.33 GHz
2 Turbo Frequency 3.60 GHz
3 Number of Cores 2
4 Cache 4 MB
5 Memory Controller Dual Channel DDR3
6 Chipset communication DMI 2.5 GT/s
7 TDP Rating 73 Watts
8 Price $196

The turbo boost frequency of the core i5-660 is 3.6 GHz, improving the performance of the processors requiring increased processing power for a short duration of time. There is one catch though. The 3.60 GHz turbo frequency is the max turbo frequency when only one core is active. When both the cores are active, the maximum turbo frequency is only 3.46 GHz. Which means that this is only nominally above ( 4%) the normal clock frequency of 3.33 MHz. This is the time when you pay attention to the core i3 processors which do not have the turbo boost frequency. These are not as bad, when you consider the price advantage.

Core i5-660 has 4 MB of cache memory, that intel calls smart cache – an arrangement where the cache can be shared by the two cores. This arrangement leads to better performance in scenario where a single process needs more cache.

The core i5-660 processor has DDR3-1333 integrated memory controller. The communication with the chipset is using DMI bus which gives a throughput of 2.5 GT/s.

The core i5-660 has integrated graphics controller which should give decent graphics performance in normal circumstances. You should not expect very good performance for high end gaming. The nominal clock frequency of the GPU unit is 700 MHz. Intel realized that the GPU unit does need improvement and therefore came up with another part core i5-661. The core i5-661 has the same nominal clock and turbo boost frequency as the core i5-660. However, its graphics unit has a clock frequency of 900 MHz as against 700 MHz for core i5-660. If you are looking for better integrated graphics performance, you may like to prefer core i5-661 in place of core i5-661. You may like to notice that the TDP rating of the core i5-661 increases to 87W as against 73 Watts in case of core i5-660. The intel website lists both processes at $196, which essentially means the core i5-661 is a better choice, as you get better graphics performance. The price you pay is the increased power consumption and the increased heating.

Core i5-660 Benchmark Results

The Chart Below presents some of the benchmark results and the prices of the processors.

Table : Intel Core i5-660 processor  Benchmark Results and Comparisons

SL No.
Item Price
7-zip Benchmark
Sysmark 2007
Win RAR Archive creation(Time – Lower is better)
XL Timing
1 Core i5-660 $196 9544 222 114.9 27.8
2 Athlon ii X4 630 (2.8 GHz) $90 10238 157 134 35.9
3 Core i3-540 $117 8577 204 123 30.3
4 Phenom ii X4 965 $169 12762 205 105.7 23.8

Notes :

1. Intel prices are according to its website.

2. AMD prices are street prices according to amazon – at the time of writing.

3. All prices at the time of writing and expected to fall in future.

4. Sysmark 2007 is the overall score and is according to anandtech.

More detailed specifications can be found at the manufacturer’s site at http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43550

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