I am looking at buying a laptop with the new i7-720QM Processor or Core 2 Duo P9700. When built with either processor there are only about 100.00 differences in overall price.
I mostly use my laptop for photo editing, some video editing and occasionally playing games.
Some of my older games recommend at least 2.0 ghz. My concern is the older games will not recognize quad cores and therefore not work or run correctly.
I am also concerned abut the heat output and turbo mode of the i7-720QM Processor. I feel like it is like putting a turbo on a 4 cylinder car and every time the turbo kicks in it will wear the system down a little, maybe burn out the system.
I feel like the i7 has not been road tested enough yet. However I need to replace the laptop that became infected and is now just a paperweight very soon.
My dilemma is that I do not want to spend 1400-1800 on laptop with a Core 2 Duo processor that will be obsolete in 3 years. I like to keep my machines at least 3-5 years. (I still have my old desk top running from when 1 GB of RAM was considered wow!)
if you are playing any older game, let's say pre 2007ish then any dual core is an overkill of a processor. but it really falls down to your operating system and video card, and ram. but mostly the operating system is a big issue. if your are running linux Ubuntu, get virtualbox to emulate windows xp, but you will need win xp cd. apart from the operating system being an issue, well let's just say stick with what works. why change something that works good. anyways later.
If you're primarily doing photo editing, you should definitely get the i7. Especially if you're using Photoshop CS4, which comes with both 32 and 64-bit versions, and can take advantage of all the cores (and memory) you can throw at it. It can also offload a lot of display tasks to the GPU (http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405711.html).
Google for i7 Photoshop CS4 benchmarks and you can see just how impressive the new i7 architecture will be for this task.
For only 100 bucks difference the i7 is the way to go. Do not worry about the turbo thing. It is not like a turbocharger in a car. For the price range you're looking at I think it would foolish not to get the i7.
The i7 is definitely the way to go. It will be faster in pretty much every way. However, why do you think that an "infected" laptop is a paperweight? Even if all else fails, you can reinstall the OS, and you don't need to spend the money on a new computer.
The new I7 architechture is significantly faster clock for clock then pretty much any processor out there. They perform about 20-30 percent faster at the same clock speed than core 2 quads , which themselves are much faster than previous pentium series processors. Basically those recommendations serve as a guideline , but even if it it cant utilize more than 1 core , the i7 720qm clocks up to 2.8ghz on single threaded apps...however even if it didnt and was running at 1.6 ghz , it would still be able to handle it easily.