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Hope this is the right place to post.....

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April 16, 2010 7:51:26 PM

hi i'm not actually building a laptop i'm having one built but i guess the same issues crop up and i need to understand one or two things.

i will use my new kit for one sport strategy game that has few graphics but nonetheless needs a lot of memory. i will run 1 or 2 other applications at the same time. memory and power are important, graphics not.

i dont know what's more important: memory or processor.

would a faster processor (i5 520 turbo boost up to 2.93 mhz) benefit me, or would faster ram (1333mhz ddr3 as opposed to 1067mhz ddr3) be better? what improves performance more?

would 4gb ram as opposed to 3gb be important at all if i'm not going to use it all?

finally i'm confused as to why an i7-720QM processor at only 1.6mhz is better than the i5-520 at 2.4mhz?

but the MAIN question remains what is most important in order:
processor?
ram total?
ram speed in mhz?

thanks if you can help,

neil

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April 16, 2010 9:20:10 PM

On the RAM size, part of the answer depends on your Operating System. Any 32-bit OS can address no more than 4 GB or memory in total. Of that capability, some must be reserved for addressing RAM associated with the video display, whether it uses mainboard RAM or uses separate RAM mounted on a dedicated video card. Some real mainboard RAM is dedicated to use by the OS itself, too. The net result is that the actual RAM space you can use for your applications is the total RAM, minus the amount the OS uses itself, and then minus what is used for video space. If your portable uses some of main RAM for video (a common design with no extra video card), about 0.5 to 0.8 GB of real RAM will be used up, leaving you with 2.5 to 2.2 GB free for apps if you start with 3 GB. If you start with 4 GB, You could have 3.2 to 3.5 GB free, but you'll never see more.

If you had a very large add-on video RAM system the picture could change and you'd actually have less free space for apps, but I really doubt you'd have that situation in a portable.

On the other hand, if you use a 64-bit OS you can handle MUCH more RAM than 4 GB. But still that same quantity of real RAM will already be reserved for the OS and video use. With a 64-bit OS you could install over 4GB if you wanted to and be able to use it, but not with a 32-bit OS.

Now, a lot of games do NOT ever attempt to use more than 2 GB or RAM, and some use less. So even if you are using a game and a couple of apps simultaneously, a 4 GB RAM setup with about 3.2 GB or more free would do all you need.
April 16, 2010 11:42:07 PM

hi it's getting more complex:( 

apparently i need to look at disk speed (7200rpm better than 5400 but does this matter if the game is loaded?????) as well as processor and ram,

ok i've decided i need 4gb ram but there is also the choice of 1067mhz or 1333. is there a huge amount of difference when running one game that doesnt require flash graphics and 2-3 other applications?

also i'm looking at the alienware m11x which is meant to be a great, powerful gaming laptop but the processor although it's a brand new machine is an intel® Core™ 2 Duo SU7300(1.3GHz,800MHz,3MB). based on the price of this it seems this processor is better than an i5-520 2.4ghz processor. is this possible?

thanks once again, i know i'm trying to get answers to several issues at once....
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