Dell, HP blanket notebook lines with Penryn chips

Dell offers the 45nm Penryn processor across the board. HP with some exceptions.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read

Intel's newest Core 2 Duo processor has finally found its way into most models in the world's two largest PC makers' notebook lines.

With some exceptions. Hewlett-Packard (HP) will offer the 45-nanometer Penryn processor for the first time in its 8700 performance line in the next two weeks.

HP 8700 performance series will get Penryn chip upgrade soon
HP 8700 performance series will get Penryn chip upgrade in the coming weeks. Hewlett-Packard

Intel's 45nm Core 2 Duo Penryn processor was announced back in January as a significant upgrade from the previous "Merom" 65nm processors. Penryn boasts improved power saving features and generally better (though not phenomenally) performance at the same clock speed due, among other things, to a larger cache memory. On certain multimedia tasks, there is up to a 40 percent improvement in applications using Penryn's new SSE4 instructions.

Dell's newest Penryn-based offerings include Latitude and Precision notebooks, which are business and engineering lines respectively. Dell is already offering Penryn on its consumer line of notebooks, including the Inspiron and XPS lines. Certain high-end XPS models on Dell's Web site, such as the XPS M1730, can be configured with Penryn processors only. One M1730 SKU offers Penryn T9300 (2.5GHz), T9500 (2.6GHz), and X9000 (2.8GHz) chips only.

One of the notable exceptions is the low-end Dell Vostro line which offers only the older line of Core 2 Duo processors and AMD's Turion 64 X2 chip.

While HP was very quick to bring Penryn to its consumer and business lines, there are only limited processor selections in its business line. The HP 6510, 6710, 6720, and 6820 models offer either the Penryn T8100 or T8300, according to HP spokesperson Mike Hockey. But online configuration options are not offered with faster Penryn chips.

The HP 8700 performance line, which includes mobile workstation models, does not offer the Penryn chip yet. This is expected to change in the next week or so when HP, for the first time, includes configurations with the processor, Hockey said.