More numbers means faster
Intel is about to launch its next generation, Sandy Bridge based Ultra low voltage CPUs and the top one is called Core i7 2657M. This rather non attractive name hides a lot of performance.
This CPU replaces the Core i7 680UM clocked at 1.46GHz and ability to Turbo all the way to 2.53 GHz. The 680 UM is a part of a dying breed of Calpella processors that only launched in Q3 2010. The new Sandy Bridge based 2657M now has 1.6GHz clock and single core Turbo all the way to 2.7GHz. Of course this is a Sandy Bridge part.
The Core i7 2657M is still a 17W maximal TDP, has two cores and four threads as well as 4MB of cache memory. It continues with Intel HD 3000 graphics and FSB 1333 tradition. Once it launches it will sell for $317 for a mobile version, as long as you buy at least a 1000 of them, and the launch schedule is Q2 2011.
It promises a nice performance gain from Calpella and many will consider going after the Sandy Bridge-based Core i7 2657M as a viable high end option for the 17W TDP envelope. The days of underpowered ultraportables seem numbered, this is trully impressive performance given the conservative TDP envelope.