If there is a difference between what the BIOS reports and what Intel® Processor Identification Utility is reporting, then more often than not, the Intel Processor Identification Utility is right and the BIOS didn’t load something correctly. However, the only way to get to the right answer is to get some more information to include things like screenshots of the processor identification utility or CPU-Z*, the Family/Model/Stepping info, and a description of the processor information from the BIOS.
The Core2 Duo T7250 is 2.0GHz/800MHz FSB with 2 cores, 2MB L2 Cache, and VT Capable (http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=31728)
The Pentium T3200 is 2.0GHz/667MHz FSB with 2 cores, 1MB L2 Cache, no VT (http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=37160)
Intel Customer Support
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Thank you, John, for helping me out. It's still a contradiction.
Both the BIOS and the Intel CPU ID utility indicate 1 MB cache, which points to the Pentium T3200. On the other hand, they also both indicate Processor ID 06FD, and when I google Intel 06FD the top result is the Core2 Duo T7250 link that you sent me!
I have attached screenshots from the Intel CPU ID utility and CPU-Z. They are consistent (Pentium T3200), but the BIOS contradicts them both.
From the BIOS:
Processor Type = Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo processor
Processor ID = 06FD
Current Clock Speed = 2.00 GHz
Minimum Clock Speed = 1.00 GHz
Maximum Clock Speed = 2.00 GHz
Processor Cache Size = 1024 KB
Dual Core Present = Yes
The screen also reads "None of these fields are changeable."
From the Intel(R) Processor Identification Utility:
Time Stamp: 2010/09/13 21:19:36
Operating System: 5.1-2600-Service Pack 3
Number of processors in system: 1
Current processor: #1
Active cores per processor: 2
Disabled cores per processor: 0
Processor Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU T3200 @ 2.00GHz
Maximum CPUID Level: A
L1 Instruction Cache: 2 x 32 KB
L1 Data Cache: 2 x 32 KB
L2 Cache: 1 MB
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep(R) Technology: Yes
Intel(R) SSE: Yes
Intel(R) SSE2: Yes
Intel(R) SSE3: Yes
Intel(R) SSE4: No
Enhanced Halt State: No
Execute Disable Bit: Yes
Intel(R) Hyper-Threading Technology: No
Intel(R) 64 Architecture: Yes
Intel(R) Virtualization Technology: No
Expected Processor Frequency: 2.0 GHz
Reported Processor Frequency: 2.0 GHz
Expected System Bus Frequency: 667 MHz
Reported System Bus Frequency: 667 MHz
It looks like the system possibly needs a BIOS update, but I'm not sure that Dell* will actually have BIOS new enough that will report the correct brand string. You might check with Dell on this matter. It is possible that since this is a refurbished system, that the processors might have been swapped out (the Core 2 T7250 removed and replaced with the Pentium T3200 - note: each have the same speed and CPUID), and that the BIOS didn't notice the difference. Sometimes, a processor swap (between two different CPU model numbers) requires a BIOS update. If this is true, then a BIOS update should fix the problem. The BIOS update can only come from the system manufacturer - in this case, Dell. Also, it is possible that resetting the BIOS to factory defaults might fix the problem. Again, check with Dell first. If you were sold a refurbished system that was supposed to come with a T7250 CPU, then you might want to consider sending it back as it appears (from all the information you have provided) to have a different CPU installed.
Updating the BIOS (to Jan 2010 version) was one of my first steps, and it didn't help.
Resetting the BIOS sounds risky; I think I'm wiser to just follow my hunch on the inferior processor and return the laptop.
I'm marking this question as answered, and thank you again.
Feel free to share any additional thoughts:
For instance, I am wondering if there is a significant practical difference between the T3200 and T7250 dual core 2.0 GHz processors?
Also, is my understanding correct that both chips have a CPUID of 06FD?
1. "...I am wondering if there is a significant practical difference between the T3200 and T7250 dual core 2.0 GHz processors?"
The T7250 has one more MB of cache.
The T7250 supports virtualization technology and the T3200 does not.
The T7250 FSB (bus speed) is 800MHz, and the T3200 FSB is 667MHz
2. "... is my understanding correct that both chips have a CPUID of 06FD?"
Yes, they both have the same CPU ID.
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Just some extra info for you. Both CPUs support "Brand Strings" which are read directly from the CPU.
For the T3200 it would be Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T3200 @ 2.00GHz
For the T7250 it would be Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7250 @ 2.00GHz
So there should not be any doubt in your mind.
Also AFAIK the T7250 supports SLFM and IDA with an oppertunistic frequency of 2.2GHz while the T3200 does not.