What do you do when you can't sleep at 2 o'clock in the morning? I don't know about you, but these are the times where I would just take out my laptop and get some work done, so I can slack off during the day. As I type away on by brand new Lenovo ThinkPad T420 I got just a few days ago to replace my beloved but aging -- and unfortunately, murdered by Yours Truly -- ThinkPad T400, let's talk about the idea of 'change' at this unholy hour of writing. Change is consistently happening in the world around us. Whether it be the Obama '08 campaign slogan or the recent news of Osama bin Laden's death in Pakistan carried out by members of the United States Navy SEALs, one thing we can draw from our observations can be be rounded up by one famous quote: "Change is certain, progress is not". I'll let you ponder this in a political and human progress context -- but in the technology world, change is progress, right? My recent upgrade from the T400 with a Core 2 Duo P8600, 8GB RAM, Radeon 3470 hybrid switchable graphics, and 9-cell battery to a brand new T420 with a Core i5-2520M, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA NVS4200M with Optimus, and a 9-cell battery is an unquestionable change and progress on paper. Faster number crunching? Check. Better battery life? Check. Plays games? Check, and add a 'surprisingly well' to that, too. But better screen? Not with the infamously griddy AUO display I got to experience first hand. What I am trying to say is, while the "change-is-certain-progress-is-not" attitude generally do not apply to the world of technology, this is not always... certain. It is true when we reviewed the Intel Core i5-2500K earlier this year, change was certain, and progress is unquestionable. But what about its little brother, the $138 Intel Core i3-2120? Did we make progress despite the fact you can't overclock this little monster? To answer this question, we took one into our labs here at APH Networks today, and see how well this CPU -- where its formula of taking an i5-2500, keep its clock speed, chop off two cores, half the cache, delete Turbo Boost, and add Hyper-Threading, performs against the current enthusiast favorite, along with the i5-750 of the last generation.
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