Does an i3 3110m at 2.4 run faster than a 2.6 Core 2 Duo




My friend wants to buy a laptop for surfing the web, movies, music and a playing a few games.

She is mainly interested in The Sims 3 and Grand Theft Auto V (released later in the year).

The minimum specs suggested for GTAV are...

Minimum Grand Theft Auto V requirements:
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6 Ghz or Memory/RAM: 2 GB Ram
Video Card: 512MB NVIDIA 7900 or 512MB ATI X1900

The laptop she is interested in has..

i3 2.4 3100m CPU
4GB 1600 DDR3
GTX 660m GPU
128GB SSD Drive

Would she be able to run GTAV and similar games, and to what sort of level?

Am I right in suggesting that a 2.4 Ivybrigde i3 would be faster than a 2.6 Core 2 Duo?

Thank you



May 13, 2008
yes the newer 2.4ghz cpu will be faster than a 2.6ghz dual core as with new architectures they make the processors more efficient per clock cycle


Dec 11, 2012
Is it better? Yes.

Is it faster? No.

The architecture changes give the i3 an advantage over the core 2 duo. The i3 has a feature called hyper-threading that allows the dual core to do twice as many floating point operations per second.

For each processor core that is physically present, the operating system addresses two virtual or logical cores, and shares the workload between them when possible. The main function of hyper-threading is to decrease the number of dependent instructions on the pipeline. It takes advantage of superscalar architecture (multiple instructions operating on separate data in parallel). They appear to the OS as two processors, thus the OS can schedule two processes at once.

So, the dual core does as much work as a quad-core. But the cores do not operate faster, they just get more work done.

This is most evident in single threaded applications (like most games), where the workload can be spread over the virtual cores, completing operations much more efficiently.



Cheers Groundrat,

So for games like Grant Theft Auto V which requires a Core 2 Duo 2.6ghz minimum can I expect that the more efficient architechture of the Ivybridge i3 will be able to run it at a respectible framerate even though the i3 is 2.4ghz?

How much will the 4GB of 1600 DDR3 RAM and the GTX 660m GPU assist the CPU in running the game?

Thanks for the replies so far guys



Oct 29, 2012
Short answer is yes, the i3 is much better than the 2.6GHz core2.

The i3 3110m has roughly 25 to 40% better raw performance of the 2.6GHz core 2 duo. (desktop)
Most of this is just due to archetectural changes and optimizations inherent to the Core i3 CPU over the Core2 CPU. The Core i3 simply does more per clock cycle than the Core 2 can handle.

A word though... Hyperthreading does not allow a dual-core processor to come anywhere near quad-core performance. The actual performance boost of hyperthreading depends on the application. The maximum benchmarked difference is around 30%, but this is mostly in highly threaded applications. In most games, that difference is almost always between 0% and 5%.

GTA 4 always liked at least 4 processors, and guessing that GTA5 will be similar in engine it will likely will use hyperthreading quite well. However, it is nowhere near what a true quad-core will deliver.

Furthurmore, the listing you gave is their minimum spec. A laptop with an i3 and 660m will probably not play GTA5 smoothly without turning down some details. It is indeed higher than their minimums, but well below their recommended config. (which will probably be full quad-core core2 CPU 3GHz and a GTX260)

Hyper Threading (HT) does not work like actual cores. It is only useful for programs that have been designed to use HT. Depending on how well HT has been implemented it could be anywhere from a 10% - 40% improvement. Games do not make use of HT, in fact over the years several benchmarks have should that a CPU with HT performs on average 2% worse in games when HT is enabled compared to when it is disabled. 2% lower performance is nothing to worry about. It would be too troublesome to enable / disable HT in the laptop's (or desktop's) BIOS depending if you are going to play games or not. It's better just to leave it enabled.

Assuming the same CPU architecture and same clockspeed a dual core CPU with Hyper Threading will always get beaten by a quad core CPU without HT as long as the programs are capable of using more than 2 cores and they are designed to make use of HT. Programs capable of running on only 1 or 2 cores and are not designed to take advantage of HT will basically have the same perform on both CPUs.

Am I right in suggesting that a 2.4 Ivybrigde i3 would be faster than a 2.6 Core 2 Duo?

Yes, the 2.4GHz Ivy Bridge CPU will be faster than the 2.6GHz C2D.

The performance progression in architecture design basically works out as follows (average performance increase):

Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad => 1st Gen Core i3/i5/i7 (Lynnfield, Nehalem) = 10%

1st Gen Core i3/i5/i7 (Lynnfield, Nehalem) => 2nd Gen Core i3/i5/i7 (Sandy Bridge) = 12%

2nd Gen Core i3/i5/i7 (Sandy Bridge) => 3rd Gen Core i3/i5/i7 (Ivy Bridge) = 6%

Average Estimate Performance Increase = 100% (C2D / C2Q starting point) * 110% * 112% * 106% = ~130.6%

An Ivy Bridge CPU is about 30.6% faster than a Core 2 Dou / Core 2 Quad assuming both CPUs have the same clockspeed. Therefore, a Core i3 running at 2.4GHz is roughly equal to a Core 2 Duo running at 3.13GHz.

Keep in mind that you are comparing a mobile CPU to a desktop CPU. Mobile CPUs designed to use less power than desktop CPUs. Therefore, some of the internal components within the mobile CPU may have been "de-tuned" which may decrease performance a little bit in order to lower power consumption. That means the estimate increase in performance of 30.6% could be less when comparing a desktop CPU to a mobile CPU.



A single thread never gets split up. Ht is 2 threads per core but a single thread is always a single thread. A multithreaded program can give 2 threads to 1 core.