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Core 2
Produced From 2006 to present
Common manufacturer(s) Intel
Max. CPU clock rate 1.06 GHz to 3.33 GHz
FSB speeds 533 MHz to 1600 MHz
Min. feature size 65 nm to 45 nm
Instruction set x86 64, (SSE4.1 is for 45 nm processors only)
Microarchitecture Intel Core
Cores 1, 2, or 4 (2x2)
Socket(s) Socket T (LGA 775)

Socket M (µPGA 478)
Socket P (µPGA 478)
Micro-FCBGA (µBGA 479)

Micro-FCBGA (µBGA 965)
Core name(s) Allendale, Conroe, Conroe-L, Merom-2M, Merom, Merom-L, Kentsfield, Wolfdale, Yorkfield, Penryn

Core 2 is a brand encompassing a range of Intel's consumer 64-bit x86-64 single-, dual-, and quad-core CPUs based on the Intel Core microarchitecture. The single- and dual-core models are single-die, whereas the quad-core models comprise two dies, each containing two cores, packaged in a multi-chip module.[1] The introduction of Core 2 relegated the Pentium brand to the mid-range market, and reunified laptop and desktop CPU lines, which previously had been divided into the Pentium 4, Pentium D, and Pentium M brands.

The Core microarchitecture returned to lower clock rates and improved the usage of both available clock cycles and power when compared with the preceding NetBurst microarchitecture of the Pentium 4/D-branded CPUs.[2] The Core microarchitecture provides more efficient decoding stages, execution units, caches, and buses, reducing the power consumption of Core 2-branded CPUs while increasing their processing capacity. Intel's CPUs have varied wildly in power consumption according to clock rate, architecture, and semiconductor process, shown in the CPU power dissipation tables.

Core-based processors do not have Hyper-Threading Technology found in Pentium 4 processors. This is because the Core microarchitecture is a descendant of the P6 microarchitecture used by Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, and Pentium M. Core 2 also lacks an L3 Cache found in the Gallatin core of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, although an L3 Cache is present in high-end versions of Core-based Xeons and Hyper-Threading is present on select Atom processors. Both an L3 cache and Hyper-threading is present in current Nehalem and future Westmere processors.

The Core 2 brand was introduced on July 27, 2006,[3] comprising the Solo (single-core), Duo (dual-core), Quad (quad-core), and in 2007, the Extreme (dual- or quad-core CPUs for enthusiasts) version.[4] Intel Core 2 processors with vPro technology (designed for businesses) include the dual-core and quad-core branches.[5]


Duo, Quad, and Extreme

The Core 2-branded CPUs include: "Conroe"/"Allendale" (dual-core for desktops), "Merom" (dual-core for laptops), "Merom-L" (single-core for laptops), "Kentsfield" (quad-core for desktops), and the updated variants named "Wolfdale" (dual-core for desktops), "Penryn" (dual-core for laptops), and "Yorkfield" (quad-core for desktops). (Note: For the server and workstation "Woodcrest", "Tigerton", "Harpertown" and "Dunnington" CPUs see the Xeon brand[6].)

The Core 2 branded processors featured the Virtualization Technology (with some exceptions), Execute Disable Bit, and SSE3. Their Core microarchitecture introduced also SSSE3, Trusted Execution Technology, Enhanced SpeedStep, and Active Management Technology (iAMT2). With a thermal design power (TDP) of up to only 65 W, the Core 2 dual-core Conroe consumed only half the power of less capable, but also dual-core Pentium D-branded desktop chips[7] with a TDP of up to 130 W[8] (a high TDP requires additional cooling that can be noisy and expensive).

Intel Core 2 processor family
logo *
Desktop Laptop
Code-named Core Date released Code-named Core Date released
Core 2 Duo logo Core 2 Duo logo as of 2009 Conroe
dual (65 nm)
dual (65 nm)
dual (45 nm)
Aug 2006
Jan 2007
Jan 2008
dual (65 nm)
dual (45 nm)
Jul 2006
Jan 2008
Core 2 Extreme logo Core 2 Extreme logo as of 2009 Conroe XE
Kentsfield XE
Yorkfield XE
dual (65 nm)
quad (65 nm)
quad (45 nm)
Jul 2006
Nov 2006
Nov 2007
Merom XE
Penryn XE
Penryn XE
dual (65 nm)
dual (45 nm)
quad (45 nm)
Jul 2007
Jan 2008
Aug 2008
Core 2 Quad logo Core 2 Quad logo as of 2009 Kentsfield
quad (65 nm)
quad (45 nm)
Jan 2007
Mar 2008
Penryn quad (45 nm) Aug 2008
Core 2 Solo brand logo Core 2 Solo logo as of 2009
Desktop version not available
Single (65 nm)
Single (45 nm)
Sep 2007
May 2008
* Sort by initial date released

List of Intel Core 2 microprocessors

Processor cores


Conroe / Merom (65 nm)

The original Core 2 processors are based around the same dies that can be identified as CPUID Family 6 Model 15. Depending on their configuration and packaging, their code names are Conroe (LGA 775, 4 MB L2 cache), Allendale (LGA 775, 2 MB L2 cache), Merom (Socket M, 4 MB L2 cache) and Kentsfield (Multi-chip module, LGA 775, 2x4MB L2 cache). Merom and Allendale processors with limited features can be found in Pentium Dual Core and Celeron processors, while Conroe, Allendale and Kentsfield also are sold as Xeon processors.

Additional code names for processors based on this model are Woodcrest (LGA 771, 4 MB L2 cache), Clovertown (MCM, LGA 771, 2x4MB L2 cache) and Tigerton (MCM, Socket 604, 2x4MB L2 cache), all of which are marketed only under the Xeon brand.

(main article)
Brand name (list) L2 Cache Socket TDP
Merom Mobile Core 2 Duo U7xxx 2 MB BGA479 10 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo L7xxx 4 MB 17 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo T5xxx 2 MB Socket M
Socket P
35 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo T7xxx 2-4 MB
Mobile Core 2 Extreme X7xxx 4 MB 44 W
Conroe and
Core 2 Duo E4xxx 2 MB LGA 775 65 W
Core 2 Duo E6xxx 2-4 MB
Core 2 Extreme X6xxx 4MB
Kentsfield Core 2 Quad Q6xxx 2x4 MB 95-105 W
Core 2 Extreme QX6xxx 130 W

Conroe-L / Merom-L

The Conroe-L and Merom-L processors are based around the same core as Conroe and Merom, but only contain a single core and 1 MB of L2 cache, significantly reducing production cost and power consumption of the processor at the expense of performance compared to the dual-core version. It is used only in ultra-low voltage Core 2 Solo U2xxx and in Celeron processors and is identified as CPUID family 6 model 22.


(main article)
Brand name (list) L2 Cache Socket TDP
Merom Core 2 Solo U2xxx 1 MB FCBGA 5.5 W

Penryn / Wolfdale (45 nm)

In Intel's Tick-Tock cycle, the 2007/2008 "Tick" was the shrink of the Core microarchitecture to 45 nanometers as CPUID model 23. In Core 2 processors, it is used with the code names Penryn (Socket P), Wolfdale (LGA 775) and Yorkfield (MCM, LGA 775), some of which are also sold as Celeron, Pentium and Xeon processors. In the Xeon brand, the Wolfdale-DP and Harpertown code names are used for LGA 771 based MCMs with two or four active Wolfdale cores.

The chips come in two sizes, with 6 MB and 3 MB L2 cache. The smaller version is commonly called Penryn-3M and Wolfdale-3M as well as Yorkfield-6M, respectively. The single-core version of Penryn, listed as Penryn-L here, is not a separate model like Merom-L but a version of the Penryn-3M model with only one active core.

(main article)
Brand name (list) L2 Cache Socket TDP
Penryn-L Mobile Core 2 Solo SU3xxx 3 MB BGA956 5.5 W
Penryn Mobile Core 2 Duo SUxxx 3 MB 10W
Mobile Core 2 Duo SUxxx
Mobile Core 2 Duo SL9xxx 6 MB 17 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo SP9xxx 25 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo P7xxx 3 MB Socket P
25 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo P8xxx
Mobile Core 2 Duo P9xxx 6 MB
Mobile Core 2 Duo T6xxx 2 MB 35 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo T8xxx 3 MB
Mobile Core 2 Duo T9xxx 6 MB
Mobile Core 2 Extreme X9xxx Socket P 44 W
Mobile Core 2 Duo E8xxx 6 MB 35-55 W
Penryn-QC Mobile Core 2 Quad Q9xxx 6-12 MB Socket P 45 W
Mobile Core 2 Extreme QX9xxx 12 MB
Wolfdale Core 2 Duo E7xxx 3 MB LGA 775 65 W
Core 2 Duo E8xxx 6 MB
Yorkfield Core 2 Quad Q8xxx 2x2 MB 65-95 W
Core 2 Quad Q9xxx 2x3-2x6 MB
Core 2 Extreme QX9xxx 2x6 MB 130-150 W


The Xeon "Dunnington" processor (CPUID Family 6, model 30) is closely related to Wolfdale but comes with six cores and an on-chip L3 cache and is designed for servers with Socket 604, so it is not marketed as Core 2. It is mentioned here for completeness.


The successors to the Core 2 brand are a set of Nehalem microarchitecture based processors called Core i3, i5, i7 and i9. Core i7 was officially launched on November 17, 2008 as a family of three quad-core processor desktop models, further models started appearing throughout 2009.

With the launch of 32 nm processors in the upcoming months, Intel has scheduled to discontinue some Atom, Celeron, Pentium, Core 2, and even Core i7 models. The Core 2 Extreme QX9775 will be phased out around Q3, 2009. The Core 2 Quad Q8200, Q8200S, Q9400, and Q9400S are scheduled to be discontinued in 2010.[9]. Intel may also rebadge some Core 2 processors in the E7xxx, E8xxx, Q8xxx, Q9xxx and Wolfdale series as Core i3 processors, together with new Core i3 processors using the 45 nm Nehalem microarchitecture[10], [11].


The pricing for various models of Core 2, at the time the processors were released, can be found in the list of Intel Core 2 microprocessors. It should be noted that these prices are what it costs system builders like Apple Inc., Dell and HP to stock Core 2 processors. There are no set MSRPs for Core 2 CPUs in the retail channel — prices at retailers are usually very close to the aforementioned prices, but are dependent on what the supplier is charging to stock these CPUs and on supply and demand.

Nomenclature and abbreviations

With the release of the Core 2 processor, the abbreviation C2 has come into common use, with its variants C2D (the present Core 2 Duo), and C2Q, C2E to refer to the Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme processors respectively. C2QX stands for the Extreme-Editions of the Quad (QX6700, QX6800, QX6850).

See also


  1. ^ "Intel Clovertowns step up, reduce power". TG Daily. Retrieved 2007-09-05.  
  2. ^ "Penryn Arrives: Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Review". ExtremeTech.,1697,2208241,00.asp. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  3. ^ "Intel Unveils World's Best Processor". Intel. Retrieved 2007-08-14.  
  4. ^ "Intel to unify product naming scheme". TG Daily. Retrieved 2007-08-06.  
  5. ^ "Intel Centrino 2 with vPro technology and Intel Core2 processor with vPro technology" (PDF). Intel. Retrieved 2008-08-07.  
  6. ^ "Intel Unleashes New Server Processors That Deliver World-Class Performance And Power Efficiency". Intel. Retrieved 2006-06-26.  
  7. ^ "The 65 nm Pentium D 900's Coming Out Party: Test Setup". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2007-06-15.  
  8. ^ "The 65 nm Pentium D 900's Coming Out Party: Thermal Design Power Overview". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2007-06-15.  
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

News reports on the Core 2 product launch



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