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Better laptop: i3-330m 1gb vram or i5-430m 512mb vram?

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April 14, 2010 2:20:19 AM

I am buying a laptop for running a trading platform using two monitors. Streaming stock quotes and charts... intensive for processing, memory, and video ram (though not as much as gaming). 11 windows (1GB RAM) for that, plus Mozilla Firefox with about 10 tabs, plus Skype.

Which would perform better?

i3-330m (2.13 GHz) with a 1GB ATI Radeon 5470 video card $596
or
i5-430m (2.26GHz) with a 512mb ATI Radeon 4330 video card $560

Both are Dell Studio laptops with 4GB of RAM.

Both the i3 and i5 have 2 cores and 4 threads in the mobile CPUs (vs 4C/8T in the i5 desktop CPU)

Thanks
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April 14, 2010 2:32:21 AM

If the 5470 laptop supports eyefinity I would hit that one up just for triple monitors in your case.
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April 14, 2010 2:37:58 AM

popatim said:
If the 5470 laptop supports eyefinity I would hit that one up just for triple monitors in your case.


What is eyefinity? How do you tell if it does... is it based on the graphics card (google the Radeon 5470)?

thanks
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April 14, 2010 4:38:08 AM

Eyefinity is ATi's technology of using three - six monitors, either all as one, so it either becomes a massive screen, or each screen can be used indiviudally. I'd go for the Core i3 330M laptop. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but the difference between the two CPUs in both laptops is that the Core i5 430M has Turbo Boost, and can go up to 2.53GHz, while the i3 330M stays at 2.13GHz, and I'm sure that the 400MHz difference in clock speed won't equate to too much of a performance loss with regards to having 11 windows, 10 tabs on Firefox, and Skype. I don't even think the Mobility Radeon HD 4330 supports more than one monitor, unless you use your laptop display as one monitor, and an external LCD or projector as another.

From AMD's website:

Quote:
ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
Four independent display controllers
-Drive up to four displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
Display grouping
-Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display


http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/graphics/ati-mo...

Go for the Core i3 330M and ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5470 laptop.

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April 21, 2010 12:12:08 AM

Best answer selected by joshuatree.
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April 21, 2010 12:14:56 AM

thanks everyone

I got the i3-330M and 1GB VRAM... The laptop's resolution is a bit too high for a 15.6" at 1050p, but I manually adjusted the font larger for Windows Explorer. For firefox, I do have to hit control+ for each new web page (doesn't seem to stick). But I still prefer high crystalline resolution to a fuzzy 768p at this size.
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