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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-2720QM 4-Core 2.2GHz Core i7-2630QM 4-Core 2.0GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 13% 25%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 52% 68%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 10% 21%
Hitman 3 52% 68%
Grand Theft Auto VI 86% 105%
FIFA 21 6% 17%
Far Cry 6 79% 97%
Genshin Impact 14% 5%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 76% 94%
Watch Dogs Legion 52% 68%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-2720QM 4-Core 2.2GHz is noticeably better than the Intel Core i7-2630QM 4-Core 2.0GHz 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 i7-2720QM 4-Core was released less than a year after the Core i7-2630QM 4-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i7-2720QM 4-Core and the Core i7-2630QM 4-Core both have 4 cores, which is not likely to be a limiting factor for gaming.

Both the Intel Core i7-2720QM 4-Core 2.2GHz and the Intel Core i7-2630QM 4-Core 2.0GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i7-2720QM 4-Core and the Core i7-2630QM 4-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i7-2720QM 4-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-2630QM 4-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 i7-2720QM 4-Core and the Core i7-2630QM 4-Core 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 0.2 GHz faster base clock rate, the Core i7-2720QM 4-Core manages to provide slightly better performance than the Core i7-2630QM 4-Core. What is more, the Core i7-2720QM 4-Core also manages to eke 0.4 GHz higher frequency when being stressed by CPU-intensive applications.

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 i7-2720QM 4-Core and the Core i7-2630QM 4-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 i7-2720QM 4-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.

Both the Core i7-2720QM 4-Core and the Core i7-2630QM 4-Core have the same TDP of 45 Watts, and were created with the same manufacturing size of 32 nm, which means they will affect your yearly electricity bill about equally.

The Core i7-2720QM 4-Core and the Core i7-2630QM 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 BridgeSandy Bridge
MoBo SocketrPGA 988A / B / Socket G1 / G2rPGA 988A / B / Socket G1 / G2
Notebook CPUyesyes
Release Date12 Nov 201109 Jan 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs4
CPU Threads8vs8
Clock Speed2.2 GHzvs2 GHz
Turbo Frequency3.3 GHzvs2.9 GHz
Max TDP45 Wvs45 W
Lithography32 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size6 MBvs6 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i7 2720QMHD i7 2630QM
Base GPU Frequency650 MHzvs650 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX10.1vs10.1
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

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

Gaming Performance Value

The Elder Scrolls Vvs
Battlefield 3vs
Crysis 2vs
Modern Warfare 3vs
Grand Theft Auto IVvs
Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i7-2720QM 4-Core 2.2GHz is a high-end mobile CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 2.2GHz, which may go up to 3.3GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates relatively weak Graphics called Intel HD i7 2720QM, with 12 Execution Units, initially clocked at 650MHz and that go up to 1300MHz, 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 45W.

Its performance is very good and sufficient for any of today's games.
Core i7-2630QM 4-Core 2.0GHz is a high-end mobile CPU based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 2.0GHz, which may go up to 2.9GHz and 6MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor integrates relatively weak Graphics called Intel HD i7 2630QM, with 12 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 45W.

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