Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz Core i7-3612QM 4-Core 2.1GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 278% 10%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 408% 47%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 266% 6%
FIFA 21 253% 2%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 328% 24%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 487% 70%
Watch Dogs Legion 408% 47%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 328% 24%
Grand Theft Auto VI 521% 80%
Genshin Impact 186% 17%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-3612QM 4-Core 2.1GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz 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.

The Core i7-3612QM 4-Core was released less than a year after the Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Core i7-3612QM 4-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz. With 4 cores, the Core i7-3612QM 4-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

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 i3-2310E 2.1GHz and Core i7-3612QM 4-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz and the Core i7-3612QM 4-Core both have the same clock frequency, this is by no means an indicator that the two CPUs will provide the same level of performance. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

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 i7-3612QM 4-Core has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz, which means that it, at worst, wins out in this area, and at best, will provide superior gaming performance and will work much better with high-end graphics cards.

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.

Both the Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz and the Core i7-3612QM 4-Core have the same TDP of 35 Watts, but the Core i7-3612QM 4-Core has a lower lithography size, and so will affect your yearly electricity bills less adversely.

The Core i3-2310E 2.1GHz and the Core i7-3612QM 4-Core both have an on-board GPU, which means that they will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card.

For an in-depth GPU comparison, click on the GPU comparison icon that you can find throughout Game-Debate:

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.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameSandy BridgeIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketBGA 1023BGA 1224
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date20 Feb 201129 Apr 2012
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads-vs8
Clock Speed2.1 GHzvs2.1 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs3.1 GHz
Max TDP35 Wvs35 W
Lithography32 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width-vs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs105°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size3 MBvs6 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 3000 MobileIntel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile
Base GPU Frequency350 MHzvs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1350 MHz
DirectX10.1vs11
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewSandy Bridge is the codename for a microarchitecture developed by Intel beginning in 2005 for central processing units in computers to replace the Nehalem microarchitecture. Intel demonstrated a Sandy Bridge processor in 2009, and released first products based on the architecture in January 2011 under the Core brand.Originally, implementations targeted a 32 nanometer manufacturing process based on planar double-gate transistors. Subsequent products, codenamed Ivy Bridge, use a 22 nanometer process. The Ivy Bridge die shrink, known in the Intel Tick-Tock model as the "tick", is based on 3D tri-gate transistors. Intel demonstrated Ivy Bridge processors in 2011.Core i7-3612QM 4-Core 2.1GHz is an energy efficient mobile processor based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 2.1GHz, which may go up to 3.1GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates mildly powerful Integrated Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 4000, with 16 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1100MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 35W.

Its performance is very good and sufficient for any of today's games.