Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz
Intel Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz
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6
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Gaming Performance Comparison

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz is noticeably better than the Intel Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

Both the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz and the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz were released at the same time, so are likely to be quite similar.

The Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz and the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz and the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz and the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz are from the same family of CPUs, and thus their clock speeds are directly comparable. With this in mind, it is safe to say that with a 0.8 GHz faster base clock rate, the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz manages to provide significantly better performance than the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz and the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz have the same L2 cache size, and the same L3 cache size, so in terms of cache-related gaming performance, we have to look back to the clock rate, where the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz wins out.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz has a 18 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz (though they were created with the same size 22 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz will consume slightly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill slightly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy BridgeIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketBGA 1023BGA 1023
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date20 Jan 201320 Jan 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
Clock Speed2.6 GHzvs1.8 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP35 Wvs17 W
Lithography22 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width-vs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L2 Cache Speed-vs-
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Max Memory Bandwidth-vs-
Memory Channels-vs-
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000 Mobileno
Base GPU Frequency650 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX11vs-
Displays Supported3vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5 X 37.5vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision3vs-
PCIe Configurations3vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Far Cry 3vs
Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i5-3230M 2.6GHz is a middle-class mobile processor based on the 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture with almost all of the Ivy Bridge features activated.
It features 2 Cores (4 Threads), clocked at 2.7GHz which will go up to 3.2GHz in Turbo Mode and integrated graphics called Intel HD 4000 which run at 650MHz (1100 MHz in Turbo mode). The CPU supports DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory types. Expect a TDP of up to 35 Watts.
This CPU's rank is predicted and will be updated once benchmarks become available.
Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz is an ULV processor based on the 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture with many important features activated such as Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, which is optimized for low power consumption.
It features 2 Cores, clocked at 1.8GHz which will go up to 2.7GHz in Turbo Mode and integrated graphics called Intel HD 4000 which run at 350MHz (1100 MHz in Turbo mode). The CPU supports DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory types.
This CPU's rank is predicted and will be updated once benchmarks become available.

Vendor-Specific Features

Intel Quick Sync VideoIntel Quick Sync Video
Intel InTru 3DIntel InTru 3D
Intel InsiderIntel Insider
Intel Wireless DisplayIntel Wireless Display
Intel Flexible DisplayIntel Flexible Display
Intel Clear Video HDIntel Clear Video HD
Intel vProIntel vPro
Intel Hyper-ThreadingIntel Hyper-Threading
Intel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/OIntel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/O
Intel Trusted ExecutionIntel Trusted Execution
AES New InstructionsAES New Instructions
Intel Anti-TheftIntel Anti-Theft
Idle StatesIdle States
Intel SpeedStepIntel SpeedStep
Thermal MonitoringThermal Monitoring
Execute Disable BitExecute Disable Bit
Intel VT-x with EPTIntel VT-x with EPT
Embedded OptionsEmbedded Options