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Which Laptop?

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March 25, 2010 5:31:31 AM

I am currently looking into buying a new laptop between the $1300-$1400 range. I found two Toshiba's that are pretty similar, I am just unsure of which one would have the better specs. I am also open to other suggestions. The use of this laptop will include some gaming.

Satellite A500-ST6644
*i5-430M Processor 2.26GHz (2.53 Turbo Boost, 3MB L3 Cache, 1066Mhz)
*6GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM (4096MB+2048MB)
*320GB HDD (7200rpm, Serial ATA)
*NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M with 1GB GDDR3 discrete graphics
*High Capacity Lithium Ion Battery (12-cell)
TOTAL: $1,333.00

Satellite A500-ST6647
*i7-720QM Processor 1.6 GHz (2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost ), 6MB L3 Cache, 1333MHz DDR3
*6GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM (4096MB+2048MB)
*500GB HDD (7200rpm, Serial-ATA)
*NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M with 1GB GDDR3 discrete graphics
*Lithium Ion battery (6-Cell, 4000mAh)
TOTAL: $1,378.00

Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

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a c 133 à CPUs
March 25, 2010 5:36:08 AM

The I7 is a lit5tle overkill for a laptop they are also aren't very good on the battery. The I5-430 will be perfect laptop for just about everything you can think of with that graphics card and 6GBs of ram it will be great for gaming and will also do encoding and plenty other stuff.

Do you have any specific needs for this laptop?
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March 25, 2010 5:40:17 AM

There aren't any specific needs, other than I would like for it to last a couple of years. I will use some software from Adobe CS3 (Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc.) I also play games, and I want to make sure that it is capable of supporting newer releases coming out, i.e. Diablo III (no system requirements have been reported yet).
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a c 133 à CPUs
March 25, 2010 5:44:58 AM

Well the I7 is a little low on its base clock of 1.6ghz it will multitask better with its 4 cores and 8 threads but for gaming you will be better off with the higher clocked I5 at 2.26 with 2 cores and 4 threads . Also the I5 is a 32nm processor so it will run cooler and use less power and will run a little faster clock for clock.
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a b à CPUs
March 25, 2010 5:54:06 AM

I suggest the second one.

On toshibadirect, you can configure it to have:
-Core i7 720QM, which is far better than the i5 430M
-6GB RAM, the same as the first model,
-500GB 7200RPM SATA, the same HDD,
-nVidia GeForce GT 330M, the same as the first model
-12-Cell Battery - better than the 6-Cell of the first model's.

and it will cost $1359.00, a mere $26 more for a much better processor.

The only another decent, relatively budget gaming notebook that comes to mind is the Alienware M15x, the M11x is just too weak imo, mind you, my knowledge of gaming notebooks isn't very deep.

For $1399 you can get a Alienware M15x configured with Core i3 330M, 3GB RAM, 250GB HDD, GTX 260M and a six cell battery.
The processor, RAM size, and HDD are significantly smaller compared to the other configured model, but if gaming is your primary concern, than a GTX 260M is quite a bit faster than the GT 330M.
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a c 133 à CPUs
March 25, 2010 6:03:54 AM

Lmeow said:
I suggest the second one.

On toshibadirect, you can configure it to have:
-Core i7 720QM, which is far better than the i5 430M
-6GB RAM, the same as the first model,
-500GB 7200RPM SATA, the same HDD,
-nVidia GeForce GT 330M, the same as the first model
-12-Cell Battery - better than the 6-Cell of the first model's.

and it will cost $1359.00, a mere $26 more for a much better processor.

The only another decent, relatively budget gaming notebook that comes to mind is the Alienware M15x, the M11x is just too weak imo, mind you, my knowledge of gaming notebooks isn't very deep.

For $1399 you can get a Alienware M15x configured with Core i3 330M, 3GB RAM, 250GB HDD, GTX 260M and a six cell battery.
The processor, RAM size, and HDD are significantly smaller compared to the other configured model, but if gaming is your primary concern, than a GTX 260M is quite a bit faster than the GT 330M.



If its only a $26 more then get the I7 it will do better in games once they start taking more advantage of more then 2 threads but make sure you get the 12 cell battery the 6 cell battery will not last long with the I7 and the GT330. The I5 will be way better on battery life IMO will perform just as good as the I7 in gaming the only part that the I7 will really shine is programs that can take advantage of its 8 threads.
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a c 83 à CPUs
March 25, 2010 6:18:51 AM

saaiello said:
Well the I7 is a little low on its base clock of 1.6ghz it will multitask better with its 4 cores and 8 threads but for gaming you will be better off with the higher clocked I5 at 2.26 with 2 cores and 4 threads . Also the I5 is a 32nm processor so it will run cooler and use less power and will run a little faster clock for clock.


Take a look at the reported turbo mode speeds, the I7 has a higher speed under turbo, so it'll perform better for single/dual threaded tasks. The 1.6 won't matter much in a highly multithreaded situation either because the increase in cores will make up for the decreased clock speed and than some.
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a c 133 à CPUs
March 25, 2010 6:33:27 AM

loneninja said:
Take a look at the reported turbo mode speeds, the I7 has a higher speed under turbo, so it'll perform better for single/dual threaded tasks. The 1.6 won't matter much in a highly multithreaded situation either because the increase in cores will make up for the decreased clock speed and than some.


Ah but you are missing that the I5 is 32nm so even though the clock speed is slightly lower the 32nm can perform more per each clock cycle. One Thing about newer processors clock speed isnt as Important as it used to be you have to look at the whole package.
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March 25, 2010 5:14:31 PM

Isn't this the "new" i7? Would that not mean that this is also 32nm tech?
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