Intel Montevina Plus launched: First pictures and benchmarks of the Centrino 2 refresh
Intel extends the current notebook lineup. Today Montevina Plus is officially launched. PC Games Hardware delivers details and first benchmarks.
It sounds like a refresh and it actually is one: The Montevina platform, which is the internal codename for Centrino 2, is updated with new Core 2 Duo CPUs, a new chipset and energy efficient processors. The latter ones are the most important new feature of Montevina Plus since they extend the portfolio into the sector of ultra slim notebooks. In order to lower power consumption and size, both, the CPU and the new GS40 chipset, are produced in a smaller BGA package. In difference to the common Land Grid Array (LGA), this Ball Grid Array doesn't need a socket - the chips are soldered. The level 2 cache per core is set to 2 (Core 2 Solo SU2700) to 3 MiByte (SU3500).
About three weeks ago MSI already revealed the first details at the S Slim Event and in the meantime we already had a chance to check devices from Asus (UX58) and Acer (Aspire 5810T and 3810T). While Asus is using a combination of Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4 GHz) and Geforce G 105M, Acer equips the devices with Intel's GMA 4500. The result is a low 3D performance that is about 25 percent higher than the performance of current netbooks. The Core 2 Duo (2x 1.4 GHz) in the Aspire 5810T has access to two cores and thus reaches about 1,530 points in the XCPU test of Cinebench R10 (32 Bit). For comparison: A Atom N270 which is used in current netbooks reaches about 850 point. Below you can find more benchmarks.
Intel GS40: CULV chipset (Centrino Ultra Low Voltage)
The CULV chipset that was introduced today is a relative of the GS45 and due to its small package it is most suitable for ultra slim laptops. A GMA 4500 graphics chip is working inside and with up-to-date drivers it is able to accelerate common HD codecs but still has a limited gaming performance (see benchmarks).
New Core 2 Duo CPUs
Intel also delivers new components for normal notebooks. The Core 2 Duo T9900 is running at 3.06 GHz (FSB 266, 6 MiByte L2 cache) and has a TDP of 35 watt while the P9700 (FSB200) needs only 28 watt when running at 2.8 GHz. Furthermore there is the P8800 with 2.66 GHz and FSB266 which has only 3 MiByte L2 cache.
Forecast: "Centrino 3”
In the meantime it is all over town that Intel's fundamental renovated notebook architecture, codename "Calpella” is expected to come soon. Rumors say that in fall, fourth quarter at the latest, the first laptops with mobile Core i7 / i5 technology will be launched. This is still just rumors, but we will keep you up-to-date.