Performance of Intel Pentium 2117U ULV processor

Last week we reported on Pentium 2000-series mobile CPUs with Ivy Bridge core, coming in the Q4. As a refresher, new processors are Pentium 2020M with 2.4 GHz operating frequency and 35 Watt TDP, and ultra low voltage 2117U with 17 Watt TDP, clocked at 1.8 GHz. Based on benchmarks of Core-branded Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge chips, we expect 2000-series CPUs to be a few percent faster than older generation of Pentiums. Fortunately, we don't need to rely on a guess, even an educated one, because benchmarks of one of these Pentiums were published in Intel's sales kit (PDF file) on page 29:

Performance of Pentium 987 and 2117 CPUs
Click on the image to zoom

In addition to forthcoming Ivy Bridge-based Pentium 2117U, the document also shows benchmark results for Core i3-3217U, unreleased Pentium 987, and recently launched Celeron 877. Benchmarks, used by Intel, are PCMark07, SYSmark 2012 and HDXPRT 2011. All three are computer benchmarks, that is they depend not only on the CPU performance, but also on performance of all other system components: hard disk, graphics card, motherboard and memory. Nevertheless, the test results show that Pentium 2117U performs noticeably faster than Sandy Bridge-based Pentium 987. To easily see the difference in speed between Pentiums, as well as two other processors, we measured the sizes of graph bars, and used the measured values to calculate relative performance. The results are presented in the table below:

ModelPCMark07
(from graphs)
PCMark07
(relative)
SYSmark 2012
(from graphs)
SYSmark 2012
(relative)
HDXPRT 2011
(from graphs)
HDXPRT 2011
(relative)
Celeron 877 0.92 97% 1.38 93% 1.48 94%
Pentium 987 0.95 100% 1.48 100% 1.57 100%
Pentium 2117U 1.15 121% 1.79 121% 1.82 116%
Core i3-3217U 1.35 142% 2 135% 3.65 232%

"Relative" columns contain processor performance, relative to Pentium 987. As can be seen from the table, the Pentium 2117U is 16% - 21% faster than the 987. This result can be considered good if we take into account that the 2117U operates at 20% higher frequency than the 987, and that the performance could be limited by other system components, which we assume were identical for all tested processors.

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