– The Pentium B960 as well as the Core i3-2350M belong to the same Sandy Bridge group of processors.
– The main difference between them is absence of Hyperthreading in Pentium B960. With Hyperthreading, two threads can run for each of the two core. This improves the performance a little bit in multithreaded operations where inefficiency in software execution is exploited to take advantage of the “idle times” during execution.
– The core i3-2350M has marginally higher clock frequency ( 2.30 GHz versus 2.20 GHz) , that adds to its gain.
– The core i3-2350M has 3 MB of L3 Cache. The Pentium B960 has only 2 MB of L3 Cache.
– Some features are disabled in Pentium B960. This includes Hardware Vitualization Support ( VT-x), Clear Video HD Technology and Quick Sync Video. Quick Sync Video is important if you wish speedier Video Encoding. The VT-x support is great if you have multiple virtual machines on your computer ( Linux + Windows for example).
– While the Core i3-2350M comes with integrated HD Graphics 3000, the Pentium B960 comes with HD Graphics 2000. The number of the execution units in the HD Graphics 3000 is double ( 12 EUs Vs 6 EUs) that in the HD 2000 which makes significant difference in performance
Table : Intel Pentium B960 Vs Core i3-2350M Feature Differences
|Feature||Intel Pentium B960||Core i3-2350M|
|Core Frequency||2.2 GHz||2.30 GHz|
|No. Of Cores||2 ( No Hyperthreading)||2 (4 Hyperthreads)|
|Cache Organization||2 MB L3||3 MB L3 Smart Cache|
|Turbo Frequency||No Turbo||No Turbo|
|TDP Rating||35 Watts||35 Watts|
|64 Bit Support||Y||Y|
|Lithography||32 nm||32 nm|
|Integrated Memory Controller||DDR3-1333||DDR3-1333|
|Integrated Graphics||Yes, 650 MHz Base, 1.1 GHz Max||Yes, Base 650 MHz, Turbo 1.15 GHz|
Table : Intel Pentium B960 Vs Core i3-2350M Benchmarking Comparison
|Benchmarks||Intel Pentium B960||Core i3-2350M|
| PassMark Score
| Super Pi 2M (Lower in better)
||44 seconds||41 seconds|
| 3D Mark 06 CPU
| Windows 7 Experience Score
As you can see, there are no surprises in the Benchmark score. The benchmark scores 15% to 30% performance improvement in the Core i3-2350M. The performance improvement will depend upon how much the Hyperthreading is able to make use of the idle cpu to insert and take advantage of another thread.
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–Sandy Bridge Architecture is a must read if you want to understand the architecture of i3-2350M.
Some more details of Intel Pentium B960
Pentium B960 is the highest clocked Pentium Processor in the Sandy Bridge line. With a decent performance with its integrated graphics, the Pentium B960 is expected to dominate the entry level low cost notebooks starting from the 1st quarter of 2012. You always have the option of going for the Core i3 or the core i5 processors at $50 to $200 extra.
Some more details of Core i3-2350M
The core i3-2350M is clocked at 2.30 GHz and is the fastest core i3 processor available at the time of writing ( core i3-2370M is not yet launched). There is no change with respect to the core i3-2330M ( the Sandy Bridge processor, just below it in frequency).