Intel Core i5 540M review

Intel's CPU-GPU fusion chip goes mobile

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intel core i7 620m

We're happy to report that with the arrival of this new mobile processor, Intel's CPU-GPU fusion architecture has really found its niche.

On the desktop, fusion processors offer few advantages and several disadvantages. But in notebooks, putting the CPU and graphics into a single package is a winner.

Given that laptops are increasingly the most popular sort of PCs, that puts a very different complexion on the whole fusion project.

We liked:

Quad-core performance from a dual-core architecture and power profile is quite a target. But Intel has nailed it with its new mobile processor.

In fact, it's so good we doubt any but then most demanding power users need consider a quad-core laptop. It's a huge step forward in usbable laptop performance, possibly the biggest ever.

We disliked:

Nothing to do with the product, which is frankly superb. However, Intel's baffling branding scheme won't help buyers make the right choice.

This particular model goes by the Core i5 moniker. Meanwhile, you can also buy largely identical versions of this processor under the Core i3 and Core i7 brands. But those chips in turn bear no direct relation to existing Core i7 Mobile and Core i3, i5 and i7 desktop processors.

Put another way, the brands Core i3, i5 and i7 do not align in any meaningful way with the underlying hardware. It's potty.


A wide range of laptops based on this and other members of Intel's new range of Core i3, i5 and i7 Mobile chips are already available from the usual suspects including Dell, Toshiba, Sony and the rest. Countless more will appear in the coming months.

If you're in the market for a new portable, be it big, small or anywhere in between, Intel's new mobile processors should be right at the top of your list.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Thermal Design Power35 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i5 i5-500
L3 Cache3 MB
Clock Speed2.53 GHz
Processor SocketSocket PGA-988
Brand NameIntel
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification105°C
L2 Cache512 KB
Product Seriesi5-500
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli5-540M
Product NameCore i5 Dual-core i5-540M 2.53GHz Mobile Processor
Product LineCore i5
Manufacturer Part NumberBX80617I5540M
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

An integral part of Intel's new family of processors, the new Intel Core i5 mobile processor, puts smart performance well within your reach. Delivering solid performance for everyday applications, PCs powered by Intel Core i5 processors have the ability to boost speed as needed for demanding tasks, while extending battery life so you can remain unwired longer.

Packaged Quantity1
Process Technology32 nm
Limited Warranty3 Year