Intel Core i5-2520M and The Asus K53E Notebook

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Vital Signs and Turbo Boost 2.0 Overclocking

The Core i5-2520M that powers the Asus K53E is a dual core processor with Intel HyperThreading technology and Turbo Boost 2.0 on board.  As such, though it clocks in at 2.5Ghz stock frequency, the chip's max Turbo Boost frequency, under single threaded loads is actually 3.2GHz.  That's quite an uptick.  Let's have a closer look.

Core i5-2520M Overclocking
Turbo Boost 2.0 with a Dual-Core Sandy Bridge Chip

Core i5-2520M - Left: idle and Right: single-thread Turbo Boost at 3.2GHz

As you can see, this processor has rather wide scope of clock frequencies, from as low as 800MHz at idle on the desktop, to 3.2GHz under a momentary single-threaded burst requiring a quick snap of extra torque. Intel likes to call the new 2nd generation Core series processor's ability to achieve this level of clock gating, "HUGI" or "Hurry Up and Get Idle."  Otherwise know by it's marketing name as Turbo Boost 2.0, the aggressive momentary overclocking and downclocking of the chip allows it to attain peak performance under a myriad of threaded or non-threaded workloads.

Core i5-2520M - Full load, all cores, Turbo Boost enabled

And finally, here's what the Core i5-2520M looks like under full load with all cores and threads exercised at 100% utilization.  The processor is pushing 2.9GHz, in round numbers, and maintained that clock speed under continuous load in our Cinebench benchmark loop.  Remember though that manufacturers, depending on the thermal requirements of their system, may elect to set the max Turbo Boost frequency lower if they so choose.

And here is the rest of the 2nd generation Intel Core i5 family of Sandy Bridge-based notebook CPUs.  Don't ask why Intel decided to drop in the Core i5-2537M model number for their lower-power 1.4GHz chip.  It doesn't make sense to us either but that's that way things are listed in Intel's decoder ring.

 Model Number
# of Cores/Threads
 Clock Speed
 Turbo Boost Speed
Core i5-2540M
 2/4  2.6GHz  3MB  3.3GHz
 Core i5-2537M
 2/4  1.4GHz  3MB  2.3GHz
 Core i5-2520M
 2/4 2.5Ghz
 3MB 3.2GHz
 Core i5 2410M
 2/4 2.3GHz

Intel is also building out their line-up of Core i3 Sandy Bridge dual-core chips as well, with the primary differences being slightly slower speed graphics clocks and no Turbo Boost support.  They do however also support Hyperthreading.  For the entire family of 2nd generation mobile chips (denoted with the number 2 in their suffix) check out Intel's Mobile Processor Comparison page.

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