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Are laptop processors the same as desktop processors?

What are differences between laptop and desktop processors?

Many people wonder why laptops do not carry the same processors as desktops, and that they really do have a number of quite substantial differences due to the physical limitations of the laptops.

Differences between laptop and desktop processors

In this article we are going to explain the differences between laptop and desktop processors, with which you will understand why it is not viable.

A laptop must integrate a functional PC in a very small space, which limits the size of its components, and that includes its cooling system.

If we had a laptop with a say, 95 watt processor which is typically a typical value in a mid-range PC processor, we would need a matching heatsink to keep it at a proper operating temperature.

Differences between laptop and desktop processors

Consumption: a desktop processor consumes much more energy than a laptop; therefore you need a suitable power supply and cooling system.

Socket: Normally a desktop processor is “removable”, but laptop processors are generally soldered to the board and cannot be changed without also replacing it.

Different number of cores: as a general rule, laptop processors tend to have fewer cores than desktop ones, and with equal cores, they generally will not have HyperThreading / SMT to double the number of threads.

Are laptop processors the same as desktop processors

Lower speed: Laptop processors also tend to have much lower operating speeds, and with a very big difference in base speed and Turbo speed. It is not uncommon to see core 1.2GHz laptop processors reaching 4GHz in Turbo mode. This and the previous are related, of course,
with having a lower consumption.

Different characteristics: when we buy a processor we can see that they have a list of specific characteristics beyond the cores and their speed. Many of the features of desktop processors are eliminated in portable processors, such as the ability to run virtual machines

Integrated Graphics: There are many desktop processors that incorporate integrated graphics, but many others do not. In a laptop, practically all of the processors that we are going to find will have an integrated graphics.

You have already seen it. With the limitations that laptops have, the manufacturers of processors have had to figure out how to offer good performance but with fewer features and, logically, lower consumption and thus less power than desktops.