So it appears pretty likely that the new base MacBook Pro will have a Intel Core i5 processor called the Intel Core i5 2410M which appears in red, above.  The 2410M is a speedy Sandy Bridge-class processor that runs at 2.3GHz with Turbo Boost pushing it up to 2.6 GHz (2 cores active) and 2.9 GHz (1 core active).  It offers Hyperthreading to handle 4 threads at once (for a better usage of the pipeline). Compared to the faster Core i7, the i5 offers a smaller L3 cache of 3MB.

Sony’s Vaio S, announced yesterday, also uses this processor.

Sandy Bridge is the evolutionary successor of the Arrandale architecture. The most noteable improvements are the new 265Bit AVX instructions, the improved Turbo 2.0 and the integration of the graphics card into the 32nm CPU core.

The i5-2410M offers an integrated graphics card ( Intel HD Graphics 3000) which is clearly faster then the older Intel HD Graphics in the Arrandale CPUs. As the new GPU is included in the CPU, it is also manufactured in 32nm and shares the fast level 3 cache with the CPU cores (using a new ring bus). In the 2410M it is clocked from  650-1200MHz (with Turbo Boost). The faster Sandy Bridge CPUs are clocked up to 1300 MHz (like the i5-2520M).

Furthermore, an improved dual-channel DDR3 memory controller is included on the CPU die that is used by the CPU and GPU part.

Due to the improved architecture and the new Turbo Boost 2.0, the average performance of the Core i7-2410M is higher than a similar clocked Arrandale Core i5. In synthetic benchmarks the performance should be on a level to the old Core i5-520M and therefore suited for even demanding tasks.

The 35W TDP rating includes the integrated CPU and memory controller.

Series Intel Core i5
Codename Sandy Bridge
Clock Rate 2300 – 2900 MHz
Level 1 Cache 128 KB
Level 2 Cache 512 KB
Level 3 Cache 3072 KB
Number of Cores / Threads 2 / 4
Max. Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power) 35 Watt
Transistor Count 624 Million
Manufacturing Technology 32 nm
Die Size 149 mm2
Socket rPGA988B / BGA1023
Features HD Graphics 3000 (650-1200MHz), DDR3-1066/1333 Memory Controller (max 8GB), HyperThreading, AVX, Quick Sync, Virtualization
64 Bit 64 Bit support
Hardware Virtualization VT-x
Announcement Date 02/20/2011

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