Intel Core i7 Processor
I was just looking at various computers on newegg.com (since I am in the market for a laptop computer right now), and I came upon this one.
What puzzled me was the processor's clock speed, which I confirmed here. Of course I am well aware of the fact that the clock speed of a processor is only one of the factors that go into its overall speed and quality (other factors include pipelining, parallelism, caching, out-of-order execution, speculative execution, branch prediction, yada yada yada yada...etc.), but for what purpose did Intel lower the clock speed on this thing when the norm these days is anywhere between 2 and 3 GHz? Is there some amazing improvement in its architecture that they could do that/needed to do that?
Another Wikipedia article states: "At the time of its release at the Intel Developer Forum on September 23, 2009, Clarksfield processors were significantly faster than any other laptop processor."
Fewer pipeline stages would be my guess. I'm willing to bet we see more and more CPUs designed this way as power consumption becomes more and more important to users.
It's lower for three reasons. One, it keeps it cooler, two, it consumes less power, and three, they can now sell processors with the same architecture but higher clock speed for more money. As for the architecture being amazingly improved, yes it is. A 1.6Ghz Core i7 tends to execute the same code faster than a Core 2 Duo would at say 2.4Ghz. So they do it because they can afford to do it while offering the consumer a cooler, cheaper processor.
Because they want to make sure the battery life is at least 30 minutes.
They always do that with laptop processors.
If a 1.6ghz is $300, a 1.8 will be $400, and a 2.0 $600, just because they can, and people cannot generally overclock laptops.
For desktop processors it's not as bad because people can just set the clock speed in BIOS.
That's why I just get a 1.4ghz Core Solo (single core) for my laptop, and 1.8ghz C2D for desktop, overclocked to 3.3ghz.
You should keep in mind that usually when you buy a processor, it might run at around 1.3V. IF you overclock 1.8 GHz to 3.3GHz, you would have to run the processor on... say, 1.6V. That is a huge increase in both power consumption and heat generation.