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Dell launches first laptop with Intel's Core i7

Computer maker takes an early lead in embracing the new Core i7 processor, Intel's first mobile chip based on its new Nehalem microarchitecture.

SAN FRANCISCO--Dell is launching its first laptops with Intel's new Core i7 processor for laptops.

The Intel "Clarksfield" Core i7 processor boasts four cores and is the chipmaker's first mobile chip based on its new Nehalem microarchitecture. Most Intel processors will move to this design in 2010.

Dell is trying to take an early lead in embracing the new technology. Dell's flagship product for the mobile Core i7 will be the 15-inch Alienware M15x gaming laptop. Dell is also offering the chip as an option on other laptop models worldwide, including the Studio 15 and Studio 17.

At the Intel Developer Forum today, David Perlmutter, executive vice president and co-general manager of Intel Corporation's Intel Architecture Group, is discussing Intel's mobile Nehalem platform that also includes a future chip codenamed "Arrandale," which will integrate graphics into the CPU, or central processing unit.

The Core i7 is packaged with the Intel PM55 Express chipset--companion silicon that assists the processor in communicating with the rest of the system. Two features that differentiate Core i7 from Core 2 Duo processors (the most-widely-used chips in laptops today) is Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading. Turbo Boost speeds up and slows down individual cores to meet processing and power-efficiency needs, respectively. Hyper-Threading can double the number of tasks--or threads--a processor can execute.

The Alienware M15x configurations include the Intel Core 920XM CPU and 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M graphics chip.

The Alienware M15x will come with Intel's first Core i7 mobile processor
The Alienware M15x will come with Intel's first Core i7 mobile processor. Dell

The Dell Studio 17 will feature the Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6GHz processor, a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 graphics chip, 17.3-inch HD+ (1600x900) display, and 9-cell battery.

The Studio 17 starts at $1,099.

Dell will also offer the Studio 15 with Core i7. Configurations include Core i7 720QM 1.6GHz, 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics chip, and 4GB of memory. Pricing start at $999.

And the Dell Studio XPS 16 will come with a Core i7 option, with a starting price of $1,249, Dell said.