When it came to power consumption of the entire notebook at idle and under load the results were actually shocking. Still using the Dell XPS M1710 notebook we noted that the Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7600 idled around 41-42W, which was roughly 2W better than it’s predecessor. To figure out the load power consumption levels we ran Prime 95 and 3DMark06 and recorded the highest Watt reading that flashed up on the Seasonic Power Angel meter. Here we found the T7600 consumed more power, but only 3W more!
Nathan Kirsch’s Thoughts:
For the short period of time that we have had Core 2 Duo processors on the test bench they have been a welcome addition to the Intel mobile processor family. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7600 without a doubt performed better than our Core Duo processor T2600, but you have to keep in mind that it has a higher clock speed also. While the 166MHz difference in core frequency might not seem like much it is something that needs to be noted. It would have been nice to have the Core Duo processor T2700 to compare it to since it too runs at 2.33GHz , but unfortunately we don’t have an unlimited budget and Intel didn’t send us one to try out.
For gamers the Core 2 Duo processor family is a step in the right direction, but we only advise upgrading to a Merom processor if you have at least an NVIDIA GeForce 7900 Go or an ATI X1800 graphics solution in your laptop. As you can see from our performance data at high resolutions the GPU is bottlenecking performance so playing WoW or Oblivion at 1920×1200 will put you at roughly the same frame per second count as before.
For part time gamers and those who do general multimedia things like encoding then Core 2 Duo makes the most sense for you. As seen in POV-Ray, Cinebench, and Super Pi the Core 2 Dup performs better than Core 2 across the board and will be able to crunch data faster, which means you can play more games after your work is done!
Overall Merom is just a speed bump in the mobile lineup for Intel, but does at 64 bit support and offers double the cache of the pervious generation. I can’t wait for the move to 45nm and the Santa Rosa platform that is coming up down the road. Intel has always had a strong mobile processor and Merom does not dissapoint!
Legit Bottom Line: Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom) processors improve performance across the board and does so with nearly the same power consumption of their previous mobile processor.