Intel punts eight new mobile CPUs

Intel has introduced eight new top-ranking mobile processors to its Core i7, Core i5 and Celeron lines.

The higher-power Core i7-640M is an Arrandale-based dual-core, dual-threaded 35W processor. Intel lists this as having 4MB of L2 cache*. The processor is binned as a 2.8GHz part and is peddled at $346 in 1K trays, sans magical Intel discounts and all.

There's also a Core i7-660LM, a low-voltage dual-core dual-threaded processor Arrandale with 4MB of L2 cache*. The CPU clocks in at 2.26GHz. It draws a bit less than your standard processor, at just 25W. Cost: $346 per 1K tray.

Finally, in the Core i7 range there's still a 680UM, which despite the high numbering is effectively the lowest-power lowest-clocked CPU of the bunch.The dual-core, dual-threaded, 18W processor is just about as low and awesome as you can go. It has a 1.46GHz clock and 4MB L2 cache*. It will cost dearly to squeeze all that performance out of such a low-power CPU. Cost: $317 for each on a 1K tray.

Core i5 saw two new standard-voltage models, the 580M and 560M. These replace the 540M and 520M respectively, come both with 3MB L2 cache* and speed grades of 2.66GHz. Both CPUs come rated identically and as far as we can see there are no differences in the info provided. Things in the mobile marketing department stopped making sense at Intel a long time ago. Both CPUs are rated 35W. The 580M is priced $266 and the 560M $225.

There is also a new lightweight ultra-low power 560UM rated at 18W and clocking in at 1.33GHz. It is otherwise a regular mobile i5 in terms of cache and threading. Pricey, though, at $250 a pop, in 1K trays.

Arrandale also gives the Celeron range a boost. At just $86 (in the same 1K trays), basically a 133MHz speed bump for the same price as its predecessor, the Celeron P4500. It comes with 2MB L2 cache*

Intel is giving Celeron its last mobile hurrah too. You can get a Celeron T3500 based on the Penryn-3M derivative for $80 a pop on 1K trays. This is a 35W part with just 1MB L2 cache, so don't expect miracles. If you can pay the minor difference and get an Arrandale.

An important note: almost all of these processors were introduced as the top speed bin (except that funny 580M/560M situation, which could just be a typo) in their family, yet in most cases they are the same price as the speed grade below them. When Intel intros new top speed grades, these are generally priced higher than the preceding top binner. So you're basically getting a "free" upgrade.

* We are talking to Intel about the L2 cache claims. There seems to be something fishy about labelling L3 as L2, so we'll give them an opportunity to reply.