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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Pentium Dual Core B980 2.4GHz Core i7-3612QM 4-Core 2.1GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 291% 10%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 426% 47%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 278% 6%
Watch Dogs Legion 426% 47%
FIFA 21 265% 2%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 342% 24%
Godfall 654% 112%
Grand Theft Auto VI 542% 80%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 507% 70%
Genshin Impact 196% 17%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-3612QM 4-Core 2.1GHz is massively better than the Intel Pentium Dual Core B980 2.4GHz 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 Pentium Dual Core was released less than a year after the Core i7-3612QM 4-Core, 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 Pentium Dual Core. 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 Pentium Dual Core 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 Pentium Dual Core has a 0.3 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. 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 Pentium Dual Core, 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 Pentium Dual Core 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 i7-3612QM 4-Core 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 Pentium Dual Core, 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.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameSandy BridgeIvy Bridge
MoBo SocketrPGA 988A / B / Socket G1 / G2BGA 1224
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date01 Sep 201229 Apr 2012
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads-vs8
Clock Speed2.4 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 Size2 MBvs6 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsnoIntel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile
Base GPU Frequency-vs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1350 MHz
DirectX-vs11
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.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.