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Which processor/Computer is better?

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August 4, 2010 9:31:42 AM

So, I just wanted to know which processor is better of Intel® Core™ i7-840QM Processor (8M Cache, 1.86 GHz) and Intel® Core™ i5-540M Processor (3M Cache, 2.53 GHz).

Here are the specs:
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43125
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=43544

I'm looking for speed. The only reason I'm doubting the i7 is because of the clock speed, as it's 1.86GHz, versus the 2.53GHz of the i5.

Then, I wanted to know which of the following laptops are better from Dell. They're both XPS 16, but for some reason, the model's different.

Studio XPS 16 Studio XPS 16 Notebook
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium Edition
Processor NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i5-540M (2.53GHz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 3.06Ghz, 3M cache)
Memory 6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3
LCD Panel Edge-to-Edge FHD Widescreen 15.6 inch WLED LCD (1920x1080) W/2.0 MP
Video Card 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 565v
Hard Drive 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
System Color Obsidian Black High Gloss Finish
Network Card Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, Multiple Languages
CD ROM/DVD ROM Slot Load DVD+/-RW (DVD/CD read/write)
Sound Soundblaster X-Fi Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled
Wireless Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250
Bundle Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 ISTART
Antivirus Software McAfee SecurityCenter, 15-Months
Battery 6-cell Battery 6BAT
Service 3 Year Basic Service Plan
Support 1Yr LoJack for Laptops Theft Protection
Service 1 Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Bluetooth Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module (2.1+EDR)

Versus

Studio XPS 16 Studio XPS 16 Notebook
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Processor NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i7-840QM Quad Core Processor 1.86GHz (3.2GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB Cache)
Memory 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz 4GB2D
LCD Panel Edge-to-Edge FHD Widescreen 15.6 inch WLED LCD (1920x1080) W/2.0 MP
Video Card ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5730 - 1GB MDSNINT
Hard Drive 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive 500GB
System Color Obsidian Black High Gloss Finish
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, Multiple Languages
CD ROM/DVD ROM Slot Load Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)
Sound Soundblaster X-Fi Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled
Wireless Intel® 5300 WLAN Wireless-N (3x3) Mini Card
Bundle Microsoft® Office Starter 2010
Antivirus Software McAfee SecurityCenter, 15-Months
Battery 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Service 2 Year Basic Service Plan
Support 1Yr LoJack for Laptops Theft Protection
Service 1 Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year

The first one doesn't say 64bit for some reason. Does that mean it'll be 32bit or something? It doesn't have anything recorded down. O.o So, yeah. The first one also requires me to have 6GB memory rather than 4. So, with those specs, which laptop do you think is better in terms of speed.

And final question, how do I determine the battery life of each? Cause it doesn't tell me. Battery life as in run-time. Not how many years until I replace.

Thanks in advanced for all answers~

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August 4, 2010 9:47:58 AM

The i7 840QM is a quad core with Hyper-Threading, and more than double the cache of the Core i5 540M. The reason why the i7 840QM's stock speed is so low is to conserve power, it has a 45 W TDP. Do note that in single threaded applications it will automatically 'overclock' itself in a sense and run at 3.2 GHz. The Core i5 540M is only a dual core with Hyper-Threading (essentially 'virtual', slower cores, four threads in total), and has a max Turbo Boost of 3.066 GHz.

The i7 840QM will use I'd say a quite noticeable increase in power, the i5 540M will have a longer battery life.

Overall CPU wise the Core i7 840QM laptop will be faster, for graphics though the i5 540M will have a very slight advantage. The i7 840QM laptop has the HD 565v which is apparently a rebranded Mobility Radeon HD 4670, which performs like an underclocked desktop HD 4670, while the i5 540M has a Mobility Radeon HD 5730 which performs more like the desktop HD 5570, which performs closely to the HD 4670 at stock speeds.

I'd go with the i7 840QM regardless though, unless battery life is a major factor, because it will be faster for nearly everything, possibly a bit weaker in gaming and activities of the sort.

I doubt the i7 840QM laptop will come with Windows 7 32-bit, even Dell's not that stupid.
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August 4, 2010 9:57:38 AM

Between those CPUs,it depends on the tasks you do.
Some games(mostly RTS games or others like Prototype etc.) and some apps like Photoshop,3D max... benefit from a quad core CPU,on the other hand quad core runs hotter and will give you less battery life compared to i5.
As between those laptops,the second one has a more powerful graphic card.
And i think the first one will come with 64bit OS,because it makes no sense using a 32 bit OS with 6GB RAM.
And the battery life should last about 2hrs and 30 minutes with an i7 CPU
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=5719
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August 4, 2010 5:36:48 PM

Thanks for the responses so far.

Now, the general agreement is

i7 8400QM is faster for most processes

i5 540M has better graphics
i5 540M has longer battery life

Is that correct?

Now, I'd like to ask how much better are the graphics going to be and will they be noticeable?

I do watch movies a lot, handle photoshop, as well as play MMORPG's, so will that affect? These are the main tasks I do as well as social networking (instant messenging, rather than facebook), talking in forums such as these, listen to music, etc.

Wai-ai-ai-t. I just read it again. I thought I put the i7 first, but I guess I pasted it second. We have a disagreement here?

Quote:

Overall CPU wise the Core i7 840QM laptop will be faster, for graphics though the i5 540M will have a very slight advantage.


Quote:
As between those laptops,the second one has a more powerful graphic card.


So which one really has a better graphic card?

Quote:
I'd go with the i7 840QM regardless though, unless battery life is a major factor, because it will be faster for nearly everything, possibly a bit weaker in gaming and activities of the sort.


You state that it'll be weaker in those activities, but that's one I will be using it for. So, could you specify on how it's weaker? Is it in terms of picture quality or performance in speed, though speed is mainly due to internet speed.

Now, battery is important to me if it's a major difference. Though I mainly only use it at home, once in a while I may take it out to do homework with friends and such, so I need to know battery life too. The one question you guys haven't answered is is there a way to calculate the battery life of a computer, knowing all of its specs? You gave me one, but I'd like to calculate the other in order to compare, while also knowing the formula so I could apply it to other computers.

Next comes screen resolution. It says it's 1920 x 1080. Now is that a good screen resolution? My father recently purchased an HP, and the screen resolution was HORRIBLE! So, this is a major factor in deciding to purchase a laptop for me.

Also, looking at the CD/ROM slot, does that mean the i7 could read Blueray, while the i5 can't?

Thanks for all answers and all future answers. :) 

EDIT: Oh, and to let you know, I currently run an inspiron 1520, which I've used for about 4-5 years without replacing or adding anything, except 2 bars of RAM.
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August 4, 2010 8:01:05 PM

Go with i7 840QM/HD 5730M,because like i said 5730M is faster than a HD 565v,also for tasks like PhotoShop,a quad core becomes handy.
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August 4, 2010 11:32:39 PM

Hm. But you still haven't answered the other questions. D: Sorry for this, but I really want to know all about it better I decide. :/ 

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a b à CPUs
August 5, 2010 4:11:44 AM

1920 x 1080 is really large resolution for a laptop, it's nice though. There's no real way to calculate battery life based on components apart from comparing it to other laptops with similar specs and check how long they last.

By slightly slower I mean when gaming you'll achieve fewer framerates with the HD 565v. Of the sort really just meant anything more graphically heavy than CPU heavy, which is really just gaming. (There's professional CAD work & programming where it's quite GPU heavy, but I don't know if you're into that stuff)

Maziar is right though, the i7 will be considerably faster in Photoshop as it is a quad core. If you're bringing it to a friend's house you will probably want to bring a charger as well, and even then it's got a bit over two hours (I'm supposing based on some reviews of other laptops with similar specs, this is on the balanced setting I believe, might be power saver) which should be enough. The i5 540M might not offer that much more battery life, and I'd go for the i7 840QM laptop, if you can use the HD 5730 with it that would be best.
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August 5, 2010 5:24:55 AM

Hm. I see. Thanks for the response.

Now, a friend just told me to look at the Alienware. Now, I'm TORN between the two. I configured them to about the same specs, and they're about even in starting price, at around 2000~2100. But the XPS has an automatic 304$ discount. In addition, I found some coupons of my own, lowering the XPS price to about 1500$.

It's just all the personalization components that I like about the Alienware, such as the name plate and avatar.

Now, my question is: Is it worth it? I'm not a hardcore gamer. I do MMO's at most. My main activities are MMO's, homework, photoshop, video editing, social networking, etc. I don't do games such as Crysis and such.

So, is it really worth it? And why would I pick one over the other? It's just the Alienware looks so great, in my opinion. And I love the light up keyboard. I'm going crazy over this. :/ 

Thanks again.
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August 5, 2010 5:43:55 AM

If you feel that it's $600 is worth the extra personalisation and aesthetics, then go for it. I personally don't, and think it's not worth it - remember that you'll be focussing on the laptop screen more than you will on the laptop itself.
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August 5, 2010 6:27:48 AM

DarkXBlazer said:
Hm. I see. Thanks for the response.

Now, a friend just told me to look at the Alienware. Now, I'm TORN between the two. I configured them to about the same specs, and they're about even in starting price, at around 2000~2100. But the XPS has an automatic 304$ discount. In addition, I found some coupons of my own, lowering the XPS price to about 1500$.

It's just all the personalization components that I like about the Alienware, such as the name plate and avatar.

Now, my question is: Is it worth it? I'm not a hardcore gamer. I do MMO's at most. My main activities are MMO's, homework, photoshop, video editing, social networking, etc. I don't do games such as Crysis and such.

So, is it really worth it? And why would I pick one over the other? It's just the Alienware looks so great, in my opinion. And I love the light up keyboard. I'm going crazy over this. :/ 

Thanks again.

Which model of AW ? if you are talking about M15x,then its a good choice and has a more powerful VGA(5850M vs 5730M),and a better cooling solution.The only problem is that it has lower battery life(near 2 hrs) than XPS 16 and its a little heavy for a 15" laptop.
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August 6, 2010 1:31:35 AM

That's true. I think I'll go for the XPS, because I do need to take it places occasionally. Still, do you know how much battery life the XPS will have? The i7 one. For just web browsing, social networking, and Microsoft Word and stuff. If I ever play games, I'm sure I could be plugged in.

Thanks~
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August 7, 2010 10:38:41 PM

Ah, thanks for that, but is that for normal web browsing, or is that under extreme gameplay?

And another thing that I'm not sure if I asked is, why is there so many different types of XPS? When you browse through all of their laptops, you only get one. But some coupon codes have a certain e-code that you could search for to find. I saved the one I wanted in the cart, but it has erased itself, so now I can't find it anymore. :/ 
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August 8, 2010 7:04:30 AM

That's for normal tasks like web-browsing.
As for your second question,well Dell always lets user choose 3-4 configurations(and customize them) with a specific laptop.
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August 8, 2010 7:14:05 AM

Well, they have different processors and video cards and stuff. :/ 

And if it's 2.5 hrs for web-browsing, what could gaming be? O.o Like not extreme such as Crysis or anything. Just simple MMORPG's, like Nexon Maplestory or IJJI Gunz.
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a b à CPUs
August 8, 2010 9:04:15 AM

I am not sure about gaming,but it would be much less,(also the performance won't be quite good when its running on battery)
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August 8, 2010 6:27:09 PM

Oh, I see.. Is 2.5hrs with brightness maxed out and such, or is it optimal settings?
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a b à CPUs
August 8, 2010 7:04:38 PM

I think its optimal settings
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August 9, 2010 6:58:57 PM

Ah. Optimal settings.. hmm. So at max settings, it'll shrink down even more, eh? See that's the one problem for me. Once in a while, I will need to take it out

Also, I read some reviews of it, and people who wrote pros and cons, and one of the main recurring cons was it gets a bit hot. Now, I need to know if that's just the bottom of the laptop, or where my palm/wrist (next to the touch pad). Because if it's top, that'll be a big problem.

Edit: And also, here's a very newbie question. I was wondering if all Dells use the same battery, or do different dells use different batteries. Like I'm running on an Inspiron 1520 at the moment, if I ordered the extra battery with an XPS, would it not work for the 1520?

Yeah, they're too very different computers, so I would expect yes, but just asking for the sake of asking. :) 
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