I've been looking into a new system for primarily playing fps games (COD - Ghosts, gta 4 bf3 and some Skyrim occasionally), along with a little bit of light Photo Shop usage. I want to be able to run these games on max settings on a 16 inch monitor (so 1366x756res). I understand fps games (bf3 cod at least) typically are more CPU based than GPU, so I wanted to get an idea of which Intel CPU would give me the most bang for my buck when it comes to running these games.
Would it be mostly a waste of money for me to go with the more expensive i5 2430m? I've recently started to look at the i3 3110m, and it seems that it would be more than sufficient to run these games.
2nd laptop an i3 3110m with amd 7670m ddr3 and rest everything is same.
The main question I guess: Would an i3 3110m paired with a amd 7670m ddr3 graphics card be the best bang for the buck? Or would it be more worth it to spend that extra $ on the i5 with AMD7470m ddr5? Do any bf3 and cod players out there notice much of a difference between the i3 and the i5 for playing fps based games?
Neither of those laptops will get close to running those games at max settings. To play AAA games at max settings on a laptop you have to get a serious gaming laptop. In my opinion go with the second, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't do everything you want it to.
Where did you get that info on FPS games being more dependant on CPU than on GPU? I'm genuinely curious. In my experience, it's been a good while since I've last seen a CPU cause a bottleneck sooner than the accompanying GPU. Considering we're talking mobile parts here, this should be even truer, since mobile GPUs have but a fraction of the capacity of their desktop equivalents.
The lower resolution on the other hand certainly favors the GPU a lot more than the CPU, simply because high resolutions demand a lot from the GPU.
I agree on with Stu on the "max settings" thing, it's quite unlikely to happen. If you look at the chart on the link below you will see that the 7670m does about 30fps at "medium" settings on Skyrim:
Keep in mind that games are designed to have scalable graphics so they can both run on low end hardware and take advantage of high end hardware. Max settings are usually designed to use the most of current generation's technology, sometimes even future technology (Crysis anyone?). If a 7670m could do max on a notebook, how would you hope to sell a GTX 780? I'll tell you, you get developers to use that extra potential.
What I mean with this is that maximum settings shouldn't be a necessitiy.