Intel Core i7-620M review

Intel's CPU-GPU fusion chip comes to laptops near you

Intel Core i7-620M
Intel's CPU-GPU fusion processors finally find their feet

TechRadar Verdict

Pros

  • +

    Quad-core performance

  • +

    Dual-core power consumption

  • +

    The CPU-GPU design makes sense here!

Cons

  • -

    Pricey

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Combining CPU and graphics functionality in a single so-called 'fusion' chip is the shape of things to come. So say both Intel and AMD, its main rival in the computer chip business.

That doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing, however, as our first taste of a fusion processor in desktop trim recently proved.

But could the laptop version of Intel's new fusion processor, reviewed here in Core i7-620M form, have the makings of a mobile masterpiece?

Certainly, this chip cranks out some eye-popping raw performance numbers given their modest dual-core configuration.

The problem on the desktop is that the inclusion of a relatively weedy integrated graphics processor does little but compromise the thermal footprint of what would otherwise be a stunning little dual-core processor.

Make it mobile

However, for a mobile PC, the idea of reducing the chip count and thereby system complexity makes much more sense. Smaller, simpler motherboards and fewer power-hungry chips is always a good idea for a laptop.

Likewise, graphics performance tends to be less critical, particularly when running on battery power. So there's real value in stuffing a graphics core in with the CPU if it delivers physical and power consumption efficiencies.

All of which means the whole idea of CPU-GPU fusion processors is much more of a goer for mobile.

Contributor

Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.