Laptop for Msc in Computer Science

I will be starting a master's degree in computer science in a couple of weeks, which will take place abroad, so I need to buy a laptop. What are your suggestions? I am specifiacally hovering over two choices. The first one is Toshiba Satellite L875-12J 17.3" Intel Core i5-3210M and the second is Toshiba Satellite L850-1MK 15.6" Intel Core i7-3630QM.
The rest of their characteristics are the same.
4GB RAM integrated receiving extention up to 16GB
HD 750 GB, 5400 rpm, SATA
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7670M 2 GB
I also wanted to ask if the i5 CPU compared to the i7 in laptops, makes a big difference in performance. Because if their performance differs only very slightly, then I would prefer to buy the one with the bigger screen.
Obviously, the best choise would be a 17" with i7 CPU, but I think this is a bit out of my badget.
Thank you
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  1. Davidchase said:

    I would recommend you to go for L850-1MK 15.6" Intel Core i7-3630QM. As you are enrolling in MSc, even if its a little out of budget but will prove a worthy buy for the whole program. Also a little recommendation for battery life once charged and you have decided to sit for more than couple of hours. Disconnect the battery and run your laptop on AC only this will increase its battery life.

    Thank you for your answer Davidchse. The truth is, that I would prefer the L875-12J due to the 17.3" screen. But you are saying that the i7 processor really makes a big difference compared to the i5 one, right? So that's why your recommendation is the L850-1MK. I am also thinking of the Toshiba Satellite L870-17M which has the intel I5-3230M CPU with 6 GB of integrated RAM and 17,3" display. The rest of the characteristics are the same. Comparing the L870-17M with the L850-1MK that you suggested, would you still buy the second one?
    I am going to apply this technique to my battery. I was aware of that, but thank you for your interest. I appreciate it.
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