Intel Core I7 Laptops – Know The Difference

Laptops which are powered by an Intel Core i7 CPU are some of the best laptops available today on the market. Top laptop brands have already started to take advantage of the Intel i7 CPU power and they have released some of the most powerful notebooks, suitable for those who require a lot of computing power for high demanding applications and need portability on their side.

Intel is currently at the 3rd generation of Intel Core i7 mobile and desktop processors, also known as Ivy Bridge CPUs. So before rushing into buying an Intel core i7 laptop, it is good to make yourself familiar with all the i7 CPU series to avoid any confusion you may have.

The first generation of Intel Core i7 mobile CPUs, aka “Clarksfield” and “Arrandale”, have been introduced to the public back in September 2009, a year later after the first desktop CPU based on the same microarchitecture, Nehalem.

“Clarksfield” Quad Core i7 mobile CPUs:

  • Core i7-9xxXM Extreme Edition
  • Core i7-8xxQM
  • Core i7-7xxQM

“Arrandale” Dual Core i7 mobile CPUs:

  • Core i7-6xxM
  • Core i7-6xxLM
  • Core i7-6xxUM

The second generation of Intel Core i7 mobile CPUs, aka “Sandy Bridge” have been introduced in early 2011. These processors have been some of the best CPUs at the time, with great success to the public.

Sandy Bridge Quad Core i7 mobile CPUs:

  • Core i7-2xxxXM
  • Core i7-2xxxQM
  • Core i7-2xxxQE

Sandy Bridge Dual Core i7 mobile CPUs:

  • Core i7-2xx0M
  • Core i7-2xx9M
  • Core i7-2xx7M

The third generation of Intel Core i7 mobile CPUs, aka “Ivy Bridge” made its appearance on April 2012, and brings a few improvements over the Sandy Bridge, which includes less power consumption, higher clock speeds and better integrated graphics.

Ivy Bridge Quad Core i7 mobile CPUs:

  • Core i7-3xx0QM, i7-3xx0QE
  • Core i7-3xx2QM, i7-3xx2QE
  • Core i7-3xxxXM

Now that you are familiar with all the i7 processors, all you have to do is to find a notebook that uses one of these. And the easy way to do this is to go to your favorite online store and filter the available laptops by the type of processor. Make sure to check the processor model number to see if it’s a 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation i7 CPU.

A few things that I need to mention:

Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs have an integrated GPU, and a discrete graphic card may not be present in the laptop configuration. If your main tasks don’t implies video transcoding, 3D graphic design and hardcore gaming you’ll be fine with the integrated graphics, otherwise you should look for a laptop that has a discrete graphics card.

To take full advantage of the i7 power, also make sure the laptop has at least 4GB DDRAM, though most of them have at least 8GB.

For fast booting, a 64GB or 128GB solid state drive (SSD) is required.

The rest of features like HD webcam, 3D display, blu-ray drive and so on, are up to you to decide what you need and what you don’t.