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Difference between Intel Core i5-520m and i7-720m

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February 1, 2010 1:54:07 PM

I am a student looking to buy a laptop online from a large retailer (not sure if I'm allowed to say names here). they are offering the i5-520m and i7-720 m processors with a price difference of only $100 between the 2. However i'm not sure which to choose? From what I understand the newer processor is the i5 - i guess intel doesn't do ascending number order when naming their releases.

The choices I have are:

Choice 1
NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i5-520M (2.40GHz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.93Ghz, 3M cache). With 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3

Choice 2
Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Quad Core Processor 1.6GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache). With 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz.

I am using the computer for basic functions, word docs, excel spreadsheets. I will also be using it as my primary laptop so for my facebook, watching youtube, maybe popping in some DVDs. (It has a BluRay option). I will NOT be gaming on this computer. Basically I want to buy a laptop that I will be happy with for 2 or 3 years down the road as I'm not made of money and not knowledgable enough to do upgrades, etc.

Can anyone tell me, what would be the best choice? There is only a $100 difference between the 2 choices.
February 1, 2010 2:07:09 PM

The i5 is a dual core, the i7 is a quad core. When they say "4 threads" for the i5, they're really saying that it has 2 cores with each core supporting hyperthreading. That's a tough call with the price premium being $100 for the i7. Considering your usage, I'd say save the $100 and go with the i5.
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February 1, 2010 2:20:17 PM

Well the main differences between the 2.

Core i5 520M:
is a dual core cpu with HT. (4 threads)
Has a higher stock speed than core i7 720QM.
Has intregrated gpu.
Turbo boost on the core i5 520 (if i remember right) both cores go up to 2.93GHz while the core i7 720 can only have 1 core goes up to 2.8GHz.

Core i7 720:
Is a quad core cpu with HT (8 threads. )
Had larger L3 cache.


i say get whats ever cheaper of the 2.

While the core i5 has faster speed while will make last a while. the core i7 with be 4 cores will last just a long.
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February 1, 2010 2:25:48 PM

warmon6 said:
Well the main differences between the 2.

Core i5 520M:
is a dual core cpu with HT. (4 threads)
Has a higher stock speed than core i7 720QM.
Has intregrated gpu.
Turbo boost on the core i5 520 (if i remember right) both cores go up to 2.93GHz while the core i7 720 can only have 1 core goes up to 2.8GHz.

Core i7 720:
Is a quad core cpu with HT (8 threads. )
Had larger L3 cache.


i say get whats ever cheaper of the 2.

While the core i5 has faster speed while will make last a while. the core i7 with be 4 cores will last just a long.


I agree. Add a lower 35 watt TDP to the i5's list, meaning it will use less power.
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February 8, 2010 4:42:31 PM



I am in the same dilemma you are in, trying to decide between the core i5 and i7. Dell has a deal in their Studio 15 series for both the i5 and i7, but surprisingly selling at the same price - $899?!

I would appreciate some comments from anyone who already own either of these processor embedded laptops. I have not experienced the performance for real, just read the specs and datasheets available on the Internet.

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February 8, 2010 9:49:09 PM

I too am in the process of looking for a new laptop and am trying to decided between the two processors. I currently have a Core i7 in my desktop and love how fast I am able to do video encoding. That is something that I will be doing a little of on the laptop, while I am traveling. Any ideas which processor would be better for that. I will not be doing any gaming on the laptop so I am not worried about a video card. I am looking for this to last at least 3 years. I am leaning towards the Core i7 720QM, any help you can give would be great.
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October 31, 2010 8:44:49 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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