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)
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:
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
-Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
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.