Although Intel included Core i5-2390T into their Core i5 family, this processor differs dramatically from the other members of this CPU family. While other Core i5 processors are all quad-core CPUs, Core i5-2390T is a dual-core one. However, it wouldn’t really fit into the Core i3 family, too, because it supports Turbo Boost technology, which is only typical of Core i5 and i7 processor series. In other words, it would make most sense if we singled out this processor into some kind of non-existent “intermediate” Core i4 group, but obviously Intel didn’t feel like adding even more confusion into the already complicated model name nomenclature.
Just like Core i3 processors, Core i5-2390T supports Hyper-Threading technology, i.e. the operating system sees it as a quad-core processor, like all “real” Core i5 models. However, Hyper-Threading can’t be an equal alternative to physical processor cores, so they use clock frequencies to make up for the lack of physical cores. For example, the clock frequency of the Core i5-2390T processor is 2.7 GHz, while the clock frequency of the Core i5-2500T is 400 MHz lower.
Turbo Boost technology in Core i5-2390T is also pretty aggressive. Let’s compare the frequencies of a 35 W Core i5-2390T with the frequencies of other dual-core Sandy Bridge CPUs supporting Hyper-Threading, which are not part of the energy-efficient series and feature 65 W TDP.
Although the nominal clock speed of the Core i5-2390T is significantly lower than the clock speed of Core i3 processors, it may overclock and outperform them in real life quite significantly, because all other dual-core Sandy Bridge processors do not support Turbo Boost at all. However, being implemented in an energy-efficient dual-core processor this technology is obviously informal, but it can significantly increase this CPU’s clock frequency.
Core i5-2390T works at 1.092 V Vcore, which is higher than the core voltage of the Core i5-2500T processor. But nevertheless, this dual-core processor has a lower TDP of 35 W due to fewer physical cores.
As for the graphics core, this processor features an Intel HD Graphics 2000 with lower nominal frequency of 650 MHz compared with the regular processors. However, GPU Turbo Boost technology makes up for this shortcoming: the graphics core may be automatically overclocked to 1.1 GHz, i.e. to the same level as the graphics core in 95 W processors. At the same time it means that Core i5-2390T is inferior to its quad-core brother, Core i5-2500T, in GPU speed.