Apr 062012

As of January 2010 Intel has changed the Centrino brand to represent only their wireless products. 2009 was a transition year where they moved away from Centrino towards the Core i3/i5/i7 processor as a brand to look for in laptops.

Centrino is mainly a mobile platform and branding effort by Intel, the full name being “Intel Centrino Mobile Technology”. It is not a specific component of a laptop such as the screen or processor, but a group of components.

Laptop manufacturers couldn’t use the term “Centrino” and benefit from Intel’s massive ad campaign and branding effort unless they included the required components listed below:

Third Generation Centrino 2 Components (2008):

Intel Core 2 Processor

Intel Mobile Express Series 4 Chipset

Along with faster processors and front side bus speeds comes support for DDR3 memory on this chipset. Each chipset listed as part of the Mobile Express Series 4 supports most or all of the features above it in the list below.

  • PM45
    • 667 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 1066 Mhz front side bus
    • Supports DDR2 at 667 or 800 Mhz and DDR3 at 667, 800, 1066 Mhz
    • Dual Channel Memory support
    • Max of 8gb
    • 16x PCI Express
  • GM45
    • Additional CPU support: Pentium and Celeron on 45nm technology and a few other Celeron CPU’s on 65nm
    • Supports integrated graphics (Intel Gen 5.0 integrated graphics engine) or 16x PCI Express graphics
  • GS45
    • Supports Core 2 Solo/Duo and Celeron CPU’s based on 45nm technology
    • Low power configuration
      • 800 Mhz front side bus and DDR2 memory at 667 Mhz and DDR3 at 667 or 800 Mhz
      • Internal Graphics engine at 320 Mhz
    • High performance configuration
      • 800 and 1066 Mhz front side bus with DDR2 at 667 and 800 Mhz and DDR3 at 667, 800, and 1066 Mhz
      • Internal Graphics Engine at 533 Mhz

Intel WiFi Link 5100 and 5300

WiFi Link 510011 / 54 / 300 Mbps802.11a / 802.11b / 802.11g / 802.11n(draft)
WiFi Link 530011 / 54 / 300 / 450 Mbps802.11a / 802.11b / 802.11g / 802.11n(draft)

Second Generation Centrino Duo and Centrino Pro Components (2006 – 2007):

Centrio Duo and Pro are basically the same with the latter implementing Intel vPro technology for enhanced security and management for businesses.

Intel Core Duo Processor

Intel Mobile 965 and 945 Express Chipsets

There are several variations of each and listed below are the major features:

  • Mobile 965 Express (All):
  • 533 Mhz and 800 Mhz front side bus
  • Supports dual channel DDR2 memory at 533 Mhz and 667 Mhz
  • 16x PCI Express
    • GM965
      • Integrated graphics – Mobile Intel GMA X3100
    • GME965
      • Integrated graphics but no MacroVision support
    • GL960
      • Supports Intel Celeron processors
      • DDR2 memory at 533 Mhz only
      • Integrated Graphics
      • PCI Express graphics disabled
      • Some power management features disabled
      • GLE960
        • Same as GL960 but without MacroVision support
  • Mobile 945GM/GME Express:
  • 533 Mhz and 667 Mhz front side bus
  • Supports single and dual channel DDR2 memory at 400 Mhz, 533 Mhz, and 667 Mhz
  • 16x PCI Express support
  • Integrated graphics – Intel Gen 3.5 Integrated Graphics Engine
    • 945PM
      • does not support integrated graphics
    • 945GMS
      • Only single channel DDR2 memory at 400 Mhz and 533 Mhz
      • 945GSE
        • Same as 945GMS but without MacroVision support

Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG and Intel WiFi Link 4965AGN

PRO/Wireless 3945ABG11 / 54 Mbps802.11a / 802.11b / 802.11g
WiFi Link 4965AGN11 / 54 / 300 Mbps802.11a / 802.11b / 802.11g / 802.11n(draft)

First Generation Centrino Components (2003 – 2005):

Intel Pentium M Processor

Intel Mobile 915 and 855 Express Chipsets

Not only designed to take advantage of all the great power saving features of the Pentium M, the chipsets themselves are also highly optimized to save power.
A laptop will come with one or the other(915 or 855), the main difference is the 915 Express supports newer technologies such as PCI Express, DDR2, Dual Channel Memory, Serial ATA, Intel High Definition Audio, and 533 Mhz front side bus.

The three variations of the Mobile 915 Express are:

  • 915GM with integrated graphics and dual channel memory support
  • 915GMS like the previous but with single channel memory
  • 915PM features 16x PCI Express for third party graphics such as ATI or Nvidia

The three variations of the Mobile 855 Express available are:

  • 855PM features a 4x AGP interface for third party graphics
  • 855GM includes integated graphics capability
  • 855GME like the previous but supports faster memory

Intel PRO/Wireless 2100, 2200, or 2915ABG Networking Card

A WiFi network card with power saving design in the form of five selectable power states that let you choose between battery life and performance.

PRO/Wireless 210011 Mbps802.11b
PRO/Wireless 2100A11 / 54 Mbps802.11a / 802.11b
PRO/Wireless 2200BG11 / 54 Mbps802.11b / 802.11g
PRO/Wireless 2915ABG11 / 54 Mbps802.11a / 802.11b / 802.11g