The efficiency and accuracy of computers lead to the migration of various business processes onto computer systems. As a result, the small and medium sized businesses started using computers to manage their business operations. This type of workload could only be handled by computers with certain advanced features. As a result, demand for a new computer segment which popularly came to be known as mid-range computers was created. Intel, being the market leaders in processors, did not fail to recognize the potential of the mid-range computer market. In their endeavor to attract business from this market segment they launched Intel Core i5.
The Intel Core i5 first generation offers 6xx and 7xx models for the desktops and 4xx and 5xx for the laptops. While the desktop models are designed on the Nehalem microarchitecture, the laptop models are based on the Arrandale architecture.
All the models of the Corei5 have memory controllers that accept only the DDR3 memories and support the standard dual channel architecture up to 1.6v. Any memory module that needs higher voltage than 1.6v will not work and eventually might also end up damaging the processor. The 6xx processors have two cores which are two times less than the cores present in the 7xx processors. The 6xx can execute four threads at a time as it has the Hyper Threading feature which is absent in the 7xx processors. The slowest model in the 6xx series is the Core i5-650 that is clocked at 3.2 GHz. It also includes 256 KB per core L2 cache and 4 MB level 3 cache that is shared between both the cores along with 64 bits and virtualization and supports Turbo Boost. Almost all the features of i-650 are similar with the other 6xx processors; the only difference is that others have higher clock frequencies.
The 4xx and 5xx models of the Core i5 are based on Arrandale and are built on the enhanced Nehalem architecture known as Westmere. Some of the basic features of this series of Intel processors are SSE4 instructions, 3MB shared level 3 cache, HT (Hyper Threading), Turbo Boost technology and Visualization. These processors are capable of stimulating two logical processing cores in each physical core. This is the reason the supporting operating system recognizes it as four core CPU. The mobile variant of the Core i5 comes in either 988 pin micro PGA package or the 1288 ball micro BGA package.
When it comes to performance and prizing the Core i5 is positioned above budgeted core i3 processors and below high performing Core i7 processors.