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Laptop CPU Pentium4 3.4GHz vs PentiumM 2.26 GHz ?

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November 28, 2005 11:09:00 AM

Hi.
I´m thinking of starting a small engineering consultantsy bussiness.
I am trying to figure out which set-up would work best for CAD (ProE and Inventor) and 3DMax usage primarily. It is not supposed to be moved very often, so wheight and battery-time is no big issue here.
I have 2 (or 3) options.

Option 1, a so called multimedia-computer:
HP zd8399EA laptop 17"
Intel P4-650 3.4GHz with HT
800MHz FSB,
2Mb level 2 cache
2Gb of DDR2 533 MHz
100Gb ata 100, 4200 rpm (I suppose this could be upgraded to a 7200rpm, still ata100.)
chipset not specified.
ATI MOBILITY RADEON X600-grafics PCI-Express with 256Mb on board

Option 2, a "mobile workstation":
HP nw8240, 15.4"
Intel Centrino Pentium M 780
533MHz FSB
2Mb level 2 cache
2Gb of SODIMM (whatever that means?)
80 Gb HDD, 7200 rpm
Mobile™ Intel® 915PM Express chipset
ATI Mobility FireGL V5000, PCI Express 128Mb

Is there anything to suggest that a Pentium M 780 2.26 should be better than a Pentuim 4-650 3.4GHz? I may be a rookie, but I thought that the "workstation"-label would imply the absolute best performance, all things considered. Or is it so that a "gaming"-computer is the better (performance-wise) in spite of the smaller price-tag?

Option 3, Dell mobile workstation:
Dell Precision M70, 15.4".
Intel Centrino Pentium M 780
533MHz FSB? (A friend has one, but his sysinfo shows 800MHz FSB???)
2Mb level 2 cache
2Gb of DDR2 533 MHz
100GB hard drive 7200rpm
Mobile™ Intel® 915PM Express chipset
nVidia® QuadroTM FX Go1400 PCI-Express, 256 MB

There is also a fourth option, Fujitsu Siemens h230, with basically the same spec as the HP nw8240, but with a 100Gb s-ata HDD 7200 rpm.

Which one would be the better? Also considering that the nz8399EA is almost half the price of the others.

Please advise.
Thanks in advance.

More about : laptop cpu pentium4 4ghz pentiumm ghz

November 28, 2005 4:09:14 PM

The Pentium-M is not based on the same core architecture as the Pentium-4, it is pointless to compare them based on the CPU frequency alone.

The only way to tell which one is the most powerfull for your line of work would be to compare how each architecture perform in CAD and scientific benchmarks.

Also consider that a workstation class mobility GPU (Ati FireGL or nVidia Quadro) will be more expensive than a mobile gaming GPU but will greatly boost the overall performance when dealing with complex 3D models.

I suggest that you focus on DTRs (DeskTop Replacement) "Notebooks" with either FireGL or Quadro GPUs as they are the most likely to provide workstation class performance and still be possible to lug around.

Note that any DTR equiped with a Pentium-4 will have ridiculously short battery life and will run very hot under load, look for Pentium-M or Athlon64/Turion64 CPUs as they are much more frugal than Pentium-4's and their heat output will be easier to manage.

You might want to chek out This Guide for in-dept information about mobile computing.

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November 28, 2005 4:39:25 PM

I recommend that you go with the Pentium M laptop w/ the ATI Mobility FireGL. You're going to get better CAD performance out of that setup than the "multimedia PC." Since CAD already relies heavily on what video card you have, a faster processor isn't going to make a big difference. Besides, the Pentium M has better floating point performance compared to the P4. And as you know, floating point performance is important.

I have a Dell Precision M60 laptop that has a Pentium M (1.6Ghz) and a nVidia QuadroFX Go 700 (128MB dedicated RAM). It performs extremely well in CAD, Lightwave, and 3DS Max.

That Mobility Radeon x600 is for gaming and won't do well in CAD like applications.

-mpjesse
November 28, 2005 10:49:32 PM

There pros and cons on both.

Like my Laptop Intel 3.4 ee L3 2mb cache. It eats engery. 1 gb of ram If you in a car while driving or near a wall outlet. You will only get 1 hour battery life.

My laptop mainly for gamming.
November 28, 2005 11:47:46 PM

Any of them should be good enough. Just dont keep the P4 on your lap.
Make sure it has a good warranty.
November 29, 2005 6:19:28 PM

Lucky mine a Northwood chip. But it great in the winter time hehe. But I have wireless keyboard setup.
November 30, 2005 5:10:18 AM

Thanks guys for this input.
The guide (thank You SidVicious) was a real eye-opener. I would never have guessed that a P-M was that quick in spite of the lower clockspeed.

My priorities now shifted towards
1) Fujitsu Siemens h230 with P-M780 and 2Gb ram etc...
2) HP nw8240 with P-M-780 and 2Gb ram.
They both have the G-card -ATI M FireGL V5000 with 256Mb dedicated videoram.

But the more I look, the more curious I get about the laptops with Turion64 processor.
In the past, AMD was imfamous for getting hot and craving special power units, but they should have improved by now.
What are Your thoughts about these laptops, perhaps with XP-64 as os?
Would the have any advantage over P-M780?

Thanks again
//Gunnar_L
!