Intel Clarkdale is taking shape – as we read on German’s e-tail store there will be two lines of products based on Clarkdale core: Core i3-500 series and Core i5-600 series. The only visible differences between the two is lack of Turbo function, and we suspect that Core i3 won’t be seeing Hyper-Threading either, just like the difference between Core i5-700 and Core i5-800 series.
Joint feature on all of the models is a single-die 32nm Clarkdale core with 64KB of L1 cache and 4MB of L2 cache memory. This silicon die is paired with the 45nm iGFX core on the same organic substrate. Yes, the very same Intel graphics core that’s been criticized for years for its inept performance and doubtful compatibility. But with Intel clocking the core to as high as 900 MHz it will be interesting to see can a clock-upping strategy work and make a semi-decent performer or not.
As you can see in the table above, Core i3 line-up is consisted out of two products, Core i3-530 and Core i3-540. The i3-530 ticks at 2.93 GHz, both coming with integrated graphics core working at 733 MHz. The price for i3-530 is set at ?84/$126 without Sales tax, while i3-540 goes for around ?98/$147.
Coming to the i5 family of products, these processors support Hyper-Threading and you should see four threads in Task Manager. Depending on a model, Turbo will accelerate one core between 3.46 and 3.73 GHz, with the only odd model being i5-661. 661 carries almost identical specs if it wasn’t for the clock – integrated graphics works at 900 MHz and we would expect Intel to push this unit hard, proving that 900MHz clock is sufficient for acceptable 3D performance.
This model also gives us an opportunity to calculate the influence of integrated graphics on the thermals themselves. It turns out that 733MHz clock is the sweet-spot for power consumption, given that additional 166MHz clock boost took 15 Watts on TDP. With Core i3 and i5 going in the same motherboards as the 45nm Lynnfield processors [i5-700, i7-800] there is no doubt in our minds that overclocking results should be quite interesting.
We will pay special attention to graphics scaling and power consumption increases needed to achieve decent performance.