updated 03:05 pm EST, Fri February 15, 2008
Penryn XPS M173
Dell is now offering customers the option to include an Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" processor select XPS M1730 notebooks. Users can select the Core 2 Duo T8300 at 2.4GHz or T9300 at 2.5 GHz 45nm CPUs with the 17-inch M1730. The former is included in the unit's price, while the latter is a $125 upgrade. The T7800, running at 2.6GHz, is a $400 upgrade option. Introduced in January, the 45-nanometer Core 2 notebook platform is based on the same Penryn architecture as the desktop Core 2 and Xeon parts. The smaller, denser chips also make room for media instructions and larger caches.
Earlier this month, Dell quietly upgraded its 13.3-inch XPS M1330 notebook, making it the first system from the Texas company to include Intel's new Penryn 45 nanometer notebook processors in the US. That gaming-oriented system currently has the option of a 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz, or 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo with the extra Level 2 cache (up to 6MB), lower power draw, and generally higher performance of the new Intel hardware.
Penryn's SSE4 media instructions greatly improve the performance of encoding audio, images, and video as well as games when optimized for the new code; the revision also boosts Level 2 cache by 50 percent across the board and offers a Deep Power Down mode that almost completely shuts off the CPU when not in use.