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Intel Core i5 vs. Core i7

Hey Everyone,
So I'm a developer who has a bit of a gaming habit (i.e. Starcraft 2) - and I'm completely fed up with my Macbook Pro. I purchased this guy about a year ago with a Core 2 Duo CPU (2.26 Ghz) and it's either Mac OS or the CPU - but I'm pretty much done with it. I can barely use the multiple IDEs I need day in and day out - and it heats up like nobody's business when I try to play Starcraft 2 on the lowest settings.

ALL OF THAT BEING SAID -

I'm making the switch back to Linux (and dual boot Windows for gaming). I know what I'm doing when it comes to getting just about any device working under Linux, so that isn't an issue. But what I really need to know is whether or not I'll be disappointed with Core i5 450M (2.40 Ghz), vs. a Core i7 720QM (1.60 Ghz), vs. a Core i7 620M (2.66 Ghz).

Right now if I had to pick between the 450M and 720QM I'd go with the 720QM hands down. For an extra $100 I get 4 real cores which makes sense considering all of the applications I have running for development work, etc. However, I was perusing Apple's site (mostly because I get pleasure out of buying their same system specs for much cheaper when not in apple's case) and noticed that their Core i7 CPUs are actually the 620M - not the 720QM. I spec'd out pricing on a 620M system and it would add about $400-$500 to the cost of the entire machine.

Given all of that - am I going to be disappointed with a 720QM system? Or will the built-in overclock take care of any issues there? Because these are all in laptops, I completely understand that 2.66 Ghz isn't likely to be realized if everything starts overheating, so is that another issue to take into account?

I guess my real question is this - is it worth the extra $500 to get the 620M?

P.S. - Why in the world is the 620M MORE expensive than the seemingly later-released 720QM ?
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. If you can use a 4 cores, the 720QM a great CPU, though its boosts up to 2.4Ghz as a dual core anyways so it would be alot better than the 530 in both cases.

    The 620M is more expensive simply because its Apple. The CPU alone actually costs $30 less.

    Which laptop are you looking at though? Since you don't want OSX anyways, no need to even consider Apple. Heres one with an 720QM+HD5650 for only $1000: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115830
  2. Timop said:

    The 620M is more expensive simply because its Apple. The CPU alone actually costs $30 less.


    Ah ok - so you're telling me that the 720QM is still the better option ? If so that makes the decision a lot easier.

    Timop said:
    Heres one with an 720QM+HD5650 for only $1000: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115830


    Yeah - I saw this while searching on newegg... it looks great! I'll probably go with nVidia (personal preference I guess) - but thanks!
  3. The 720QM is a great general option, choose the 640 when you only can use 2 cores period. Its advantage is simply a faster clock Slightly larger L3 and longer battery life if you care. Either CPU will be better than your old C2D however.

    By Nvidia you mean this $900 one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115789&cm_re=GT330M_720QM-_-34-115-789-_-Product

    (BTW, what is your budget anyways? You could also consider the HP Envys..)
  4. Yeah - Seems like the 720QM is where it's at for me then.

    Quote:

    (BTW, what is your budget anyways? You could also consider the HP Envys..)


    Budget is ideally sub $1000... but that's not firm. Essentially I'll sell my MBP for about $850 and have to only pay for whatever beyond that really...

    The HP Envy's seem to have a bit of the Apple-tax effect... i.e. paying more for the looks, etc. Totally over it; I'd rather save the cash.

    Quote:


    That's the one! Given the 100% 5/5 star ratings, I'm feeling good about it.

    Thanks so much for your help!
  5. Starcraft 2 uses 2 cores so a faster dual core is going to perform better than a slower quad.

    In other words, a 1.6ghz i7 isn't going to be too much faster than a 2.2ghz C2D in Starcraft.

    I'd go for a faster dual core (640m, as SC2 loves extra cache) if your main thing is SC2.
  6. Best answer
    FunnyLookinHat_ said:
    Hey Everyone,


    I'm making the switch back to Linux (and dual boot Windows for gaming). I know what I'm doing when it comes to getting just about any device working under Linux, so that isn't an issue. But what I really need to know is whether or not I'll be disappointed with Core i5 450M (2.40 Ghz), vs. a Core i7 720QM (1.60 Ghz), vs. a Core i7 620M (2.66 Ghz).

    Right now if I had to pick between the 450M and 720QM I'd go with the 720QM hands down. For an extra $100 I get 4 real cores which makes sense considering all of the applications I have running for development work, etc. However, I was perusing Apple's site (mostly because I get pleasure out of buying their same system specs for much cheaper when not in apple's case) and noticed that their Core i7 CPUs are actually the 620M - not the 720QM. I spec'd out pricing on a 620M system and it would add about $400-$500 to the cost of the entire machine.

    Given all of that - am I going to be disappointed with a 720QM system? Or will the built-in overclock take care of any issues there? Because these are all in laptops, I completely understand that 2.66 Ghz isn't likely to be realized if everything starts overheating, so is that another issue to take into account?

    I guess my real question is this - is it worth the extra $500 to get the 620M?

    P.S. - Why in the world is the 620M MORE expensive than the seemingly later-released 720QM ?


    Your a developer so the more cores you have the better, no?
    Just pick the i7 720, you won't regret and stop hesitating on derivative's (i5/i3).
    The 620 is more expensive due to it's initial release prior to the 720, higher demand and targeted as a primary model.
  7. MarcinCimmerian said:
    Your a developer so the more cores you have the better, no?
    Just pick the i7 720, you won't regret and stop hesitating on derivative's (i5/i3).
    The 620 is more expensive due to it's initial release prior to the 720, higher demand and targeted as a primary model.


    The 720 was released a few months before the 620.
  8. Best answer selected by FunnyLookinHat_.
  9. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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