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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Intel Core i7 860S

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core i7 860S

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More cores 4 vs 2 Twice as many cores; run more applications at once
Supports trusted computing Yes vs No Somewhat common; Allows for safer, more reliable computing
Front view of Intel Core i3 540

Reasons to consider the
Intel Core i3 540

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Much higher clock speed 3.06 GHz vs 2.53 GHz More than 20% higher clock speed
Has a built-in GPU Yes vs No Somewhat common; A separate graphics adapter is not required
Much better overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.47 GHz vs 2.53 GHz More than 75% better overclocked clock speed (Air)
Much better overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.07 GHz vs 2.53 GHz More than 20% better overclocked clock speed (Water)

Benchmarks Real world tests of Core i7 860S vs i3 540

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i7 860S
137,300 MB/s
Core i3 540
123,300 MB/s

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

GeekBench

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

PassMark (Single Core)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

summary

Core i7 860S  vs
i3 540 
Clock speed 2.53 GHz 3.06 GHz
Cores Quad core Dual core
Socket type
LGA 1156
Is unlocked No No

features

Has a NX bit Yes Yes
Supports trusted computing Yes No
Has virtualization support Yes Yes
Instruction set extensions
SSE2
MMX
SSE4
SSE3
SSE
SSE4.1
SSE4.2
Supplemental SSE3
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes Yes

power consumption

TDP 82W 73W
Annual home energy cost 19.75 $/year 35.75 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 71.83 $/year 91.1 $/year
Performance per watt 2.39 pt/W 1.24 pt/W
Typical power consumption 66.63W 94.67W

bus

Architecture DMI DMI
Number of links 1 1
Transfer rate 2,500 MT/s 2,500 MT/s

details

Core i7 860S  vs
i3 540 
Architecture x86-64 x86-64
Threads 8 4
L2 cache 1 MB 1 MB
L2 cache per core 0.25 MB/core 0.5 MB/core
L3 cache 8 MB 4 MB
L3 cache per core 2 MB/core 2 MB/core
Manufacture process 45 nm 32 nm
Transistor count 774,000,000 382,000,000
Max CPUs 1 1
Clock multiplier 19 23
Voltage range 0.65 - 1.4V 0.65 - 1.4V

overclocking

Overclock popularity 8 26
Overclocked clock speed 2.53 GHz 4.47 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 2.53 GHz 3.07 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 2.53 GHz 4.47 GHz

integrated graphics

GPU None GPU
Label N/A Intel® HD Graphics
Number of displays supported N/A 2
GPU clock speed N/A 733 MHz

memory controller

Memory controller Built-in Built-in
Memory type
DDR3-1333
DDR3-1066
DDR3
Channels Dual Channel Dual Channel
Maximum bandwidth 21,333.32 MB/s 21,333.32 MB/s
Maximum memory size 16,384 MB 16,773.12 MB
Intel Core i7 860S
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Intel Core i3 540
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