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Hz vs Cache

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May 28, 2010 2:27:51 AM

I am deciding on buying the Studio 15 by Dell. I need to decide between the i-5 520 (2.93 GHz, 3M Cache) or the i-7 720 (2.8 GHz, 6 MB Cache). Which one should I buy, and what is the cache needed for anyways. Thanks.

This is for multimedia, by that I mean for bluray movies and gaming (Total War, Age of Empires, Civilization, etc.). Graphics card is ATI Radeon HD 5470. The i-7 will cost an extra $250. Is it worth it?

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May 28, 2010 2:31:48 AM

cache is the amount of cpu instructions that a cpu can take in at a time. The Hz is the refresh rate, the higher the rate, the faster the instructions go in and out of the cpu and onto the computer.
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May 28, 2010 2:34:23 AM

go for the i7, its not the cache or the frequency that really matters in this case, its the fact that the i7 is a quad with hyper threading and the i5 is a dual core with hyper threading. The i7 will out perform the i5 in most scenarios.
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May 28, 2010 2:37:19 AM

The i7 is geared more towards gaming, if this is simply a office computer or a computer at home, there is no need for an i7. Least thats my opinion
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May 28, 2010 2:39:16 AM

Laptops with i7's are overkill unless they are backed by a powerfull integrated graphics card anyways. Yet again, just my opinion
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May 28, 2010 5:50:11 AM

Computerrock1 said:
cache is the amount of cpu instructions that a cpu can take in at a time. The Hz is the refresh rate, the higher the rate, the faster the instructions go in and out of the cpu and onto the computer.

Wow dude. Way to confuse him. I think you understand it correctly but are just wording it horribly.

Cache is like RAM directly on the CPU die. The more, the better because the more information can be kept in that cache and accessed faster than it would from the RAM. Kind of like the more RAM you have, the less hard drive access. The cache does not make a practical difference in a lot of applications but gaming and I believe multimedia will make good use of it.

Hz is the cycles per second. For each cycle, the CPU can process a certain amount of data. The amount of data processed per cycle is not the same for all CPUs. This is why a core i7 at 3GHz will be faster than a 3GHz phenom II; it does more per cycle. This is known as IPC. Back in around 2005/2006, AMD had the Athlon 64 CPUs and had a lot of problems selling their faster 2GHz CPU over the slower intel pentium 4 3GHz CPU because people just looked at the GHz.

Even though the i7 will be more powerful for your applications and in the future, it is not worth $250 more, in my opinion. Especially since in only a year or two, you will be able to get a much better laptop for less. I would put that $250 towards a new laptop in 2 years.
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