Better laptop: i3 1gb vram or i5 512mb?

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
i5-430m (2.26GHz) with a 512mb ATI Radeon 4330 video card $560

Both are Dell Studio laptops with 4GB of RAM.

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More about better laptop vram 512mb
  1. i5 for sure. For the applications you describe, lots of VRam is not needed. I doubt a 5470 could really take advantage of all of that ram anyway. However the effect of a faster processor will be obvious.
  2. Would I notice much difference b/w 2.13GHz and 2.26GHz though? Granted, the i5 has turboboost up to 2.53GHz.

    Both the i3 and i5 have only 2 cores and 4 threads in the laptop mobile line (versus 4C/8T for the i5 desktop CPU).

    Both were released Q1'10 and feature memory connection speed 2.5GT/s via DMI.

    This isn't gaming but does draw ~25 charts (constantly ticking). The software platform recommends at least 512mb per monitor (hence 1gb for 2 monitors) and graphics processing at least as good as the Nvidia 8800GT

  3. Best answer
    Wait, I see the cards have changed. under these new circumstances, I'd have to go with the i3, as the 4330 is a pretty weak card.

    Problem though is, neither of those cards equals a 8800GT.

    See here for a good comparo:,2569-6.html
  4. thanks

    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 throughout the browser). But oh well, it's worth doing... I still prefer high crystalline resolution to a fuzzy 768p at this size.
  5. Best answer selected by joshuatree.
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