New Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors | Reviews 
Specs  Efficiency  Capacity

Produced From 2008
Common manufacturer(s)
  • Intel
Max. CPU clock rate 1.6 GHz to 3.40 GHz
QPI speeds 4.8 GT/s to 6.4 GT/s
Min. feature size 32 nm to 45 nm
Instruction set x86, x86-64, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AES-NI (Gulftown only)
Microarchitecture Nehalem, Sandy Bridge
Cores 2-6
  • LGA 1366
    LGA 1156
    LGA 1155
Core name(s)
  • Bloomfield
    Clarksfield XM
    Sandy Bridge

New Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

The new Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors boost performance up to 50 percent over the previous generation. Based on Intel’s latest 32-nanometer process technology, these are the fastest dual-core processors available and they set an all-new benchmark for Mac notebooks.1

Turbo Boost.

Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors also feature Turbo Boost. If you’re using processor-intensive applications like Aperture 3 or Final Cut Pro that would benefit from an extra performance kick, Turbo Boost dynamically increases the speed of one or both cores, taking a 2.66GHz MacBook Pro all the way up to 3.33GHz.


Built-in Hyper-Threading allows two threads to run simultaneously on each core, so Mac OS X recognizes four virtual cores instead of just two. When you’re running multiple applications at once, the Core i5 and Core i7 processors spread tasks more evenly across a greater number of cores — so you can get more done, faster.

Integrated memory controller.

Unlike systems that connect memory to the processor through a separate controller, the new MacBook Pro uses an integrated memory controller to connect memory directly to the processor. In a sense, this cuts out the middleman. With faster access to memory, each core gets right to work on your data, rather than waiting for it to arrive. Together with up to 4MB of shared L3 cache, the integrated memory controller ensures MacBook Pro can keep up with you.

Next-generation graphics.

Inside the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models is the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics processor — the fastest graphics ever in a Mac notebook. With 48 processing cores and up to 512MB of dedicated video memory, this graphics processor delivers even more horsepower than the previous generation. And you don’t have to sacrifice efficiency for speed: The NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M is up to 30 percent more energy efficient than its predecessor. For even greater power savings, MacBook Pro also includes integrated Intel HD Graphics.

Outstanding Performance

Intel Core i7 is an Intel brand name for several families of desktop and laptop 64-bit x86-64 processors using the Nehalem, Westmere, and Sandy Bridge microarchitectures and manufactured in Costa Rica and Malaysia. The Core i7 brand is targeted at the business and high-end consumer markets for both desktop and laptop computers, and is distinguished from the Core i3 (entry-level consumer), Core i5 (mainstream consumer) and Xeon (server) brands.

In each of the first three microarchitecture generations of the brand, Core i7 has family members using two distinct system-level architectures, and therefore two distinct sockets. In each generation, the highest-performing Core i7 processors use the same socket and QPI-based architecture as the low-end Xeon processors of that generation, while lower-performing Core i7 processors use the same socket and PCIe/DMI/FDI architecture as the Core i5.

"Core i7" is a successor to the Intel Core 2 brand. The Core i7 identifier was first applied to the initial family of processors[5][6] codenamed Bloomfield introduced in 2008. In 2009 the name was applied to Lynnfield and Clarksfield models.[7] Prior to 2010, all models were quad-core processors. In 2010, the name was applied to dual-core Arrandale models, and the Gulftown Core i7-980X Extreme processor which has six hyperthreaded cores. In January 2011, Intel released a line of Sandy Bridge based chips under the Core i7 brand.

Intel representatives state that the moniker Core i7 is meant to help consumers decide which processor to purchase as the newer Nehalem-based products are released in the future.[8] The name continues the use of the Intel Core brand.[9] Core i7, first assembled in Costa Rica,[10] was officially launched on November 17, 2008[11] and is manufactured in Arizona, New Mexico and Oregon, though the Oregon (PTD, Fab D1D) plant has moved to the next generation 32 nm process.