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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz Core i7-2655LE 2-Core 2.2GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 93% 105%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 160% 175%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 87% 98%
Watch Dogs Legion 160% 175%
FIFA 21 81% 91%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 119% 132%
Godfall 273% 295%
Grand Theft Auto VI 218% 236%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 200% 218%
Genshin Impact 46% 55%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz is very slightly better than the Intel Core i7-2655LE 2-Core 2.2GHz 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 i7-4550U 2-Core was released over a year more recently than the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core, and so the Core i7-4550U 2-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Core i7-4550U 2-Core and the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core 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 i7-4550U 2-Core and the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

Both the Intel Core i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz and the Intel Core i7-2655LE 2-Core 2.2GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i7-4550U 2-Core and the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i7-4550U 2-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

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 i7-4550U 2-Core and Core i7-2655LE 2-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 i7-2655LE 2-Core has a 0.7 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. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the is superior.

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 i7-4550U 2-Core and the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core 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 i7-2655LE 2-Core 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 i7-4550U 2-Core has a 10 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i7-2655LE 2-Core, and was created with a 10 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i7-4550U 2-Core 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 i7-4550U 2-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 Core i7-2655LE 2-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 5000 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 CodenameHaswellSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketBGA 1168BGA 1023
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date02 Jun 201320 Feb 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs4
Clock Speed1.5 GHzvs2.2 GHz
Turbo Frequency3 GHzvs2.9 GHz
Max TDP15 Wvs25 W
Lithography22 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs512 KB
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs4 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 5000 Mobile
Base GPU Frequency200 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1100 MHzvs-
DirectX11.1vs-
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 ReviewCore i7-4550U 2-Core 1.5GHz is a super energy efficient mobile processor based on the 22nm, Haswell microarchitecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 1.5GHz, which may go up to 3.0GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates quite powerful Graphics called Intel HD Graphics 5000, with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 200MHz 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 15W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core i7-2655LE 4-Core 2.2GHz is an energy efficient mobile CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), initially clocked at 2.2GHz, which may go up to 2.9GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates relatively weak Graphics called Intel HD i7 2655LE, with 12 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1000MHz, 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 25W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.