The Intel Core i7-3720QM is a powerful quad-core Third Generation processor for laptop PCs. It is based on the new Ivy Bridge architecture which further improves the efficiency of the processor thereby prolonging the battery life.
The Ivy Bridge processors, like this Intel Core i7-3720QM are fabricated using 22 nanometer technology this is much smaller in size compared to 32 nanometer used in Sandy Bridge processor. The 22 nanometer is the approximate size of transistor (electronic switches that’s on and off when processing data) etched in a silicon wafer, yes 22 nanometer (nm)! How big is 22 nm? The average diameter of hair is about 100 000 nanometers, this only means that the size of the transistors found in Ivy Bridge processors is 4600 times much smaller than the diameter of a hair. Therefore a 3.75cm x 3.75cm chip can hold several hundreds of millions 3D transistors, the smaller the size of the transistor the more power efficient it is.
The Intel Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor supports Hyper-Threading technology, the four cores of this processor has the ability of handling up to eight threads in parallel which makes it utilized well the CPU. Hyper-Threading can be best explained using the analogy the WORKER and MACHINE. Let say, the Processor is the WORKER, in the Solo Core processor without Hyper-Threading Support the WORKER does tasks with a MACHINE but sometimes the machine works slowly and the WORKER needs to wait some time in order to do next task. Hyper-Threading technology is like adding another machine, but still there is only one WORKER however this time the WORKER does not need to wait longer to do another task because there’s another machine to work with and thereby increasing the performance of the WORKER. Hyper-Threading technology does not mean doubling the performance of the processor because just like the WORKER it has limitations. With Hyper-Threading the processor improves performance by up to 30%. So, what processors support Hyper-Threading Technology? All Core i-Series processors Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 support this technology.
Moreover, this Intel Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor supports Turbo Boost technology. Turbo Boost technology is the ability of the processor to provide extra processing power when needed. The processor can provide extra processing power when Thermal and electrical aspects were met. This means that the processor can provide extra power as long as it can withstand the heat to protect it from damage and when your computer is not connected to main power source. When not connected to the mains, the processor will try to slow down to save battery juice. Processors under Core i5 and Core i7 categories supports Turbo Boost technology.
The Intel Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor has a base clock speed of 2.6GHz but because of Turbo Boost it can speed up automatically to about 3.4GHz when 3 or four core are active, 3.5 GHz when only 2 of the cores are active, and 3.6GHz when only one of the cores is active.
This Intel Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor has an integrated GPU dubbed Intel HD Graphics 4000 that offers 16 Execution Units (EUs) which is clocked at 650 MHz up to 1250 MHz because of Turbo Boost in the GPU side, which makes it one of the quicker variations.
Furthermore, this Intel Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor has a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 45 Watts which makes it suitable for laptop PCs with sizes between 15 inches and up.