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I7 has no switchable graphics?

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December 22, 2010 5:00:19 AM

I'm looking into a new notebook and it seems I'm reading that the core i7 processors don't support switchable graphics (nVidia Optimus). Is this true? I can't find a straight answer anywhere. And does Optimus make much of a difference in the battery life in the first place? The problem is I want to be able to do some gaming, but if the battery life difference is large enough, I would consider grabbing an i5 with Optimus instead. I know the i5 processor is more than enough for gaming, but then I end up with a lower end video card, like the 420M, which isn't too great of a notebook gaming GPU.

Thanks.

More about : switchable graphics

a c 151 à CPUs
December 22, 2010 3:06:25 PM

The Alienware M11x has both an i7 and Optimus. What is your budget?
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a c 205 à CPUs
December 22, 2010 3:33:14 PM

The i7's do not have integrated GPUs so im not sure how they could support Optimus as there is nothing but the discrete card to switch to. If you really want Optimus you will need to get an i3 or i5.
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a c 151 à CPUs
December 22, 2010 4:03:50 PM

Looks like the M11x has a GM45 mobile chipset that provides an Intel intregrated GPU that works with the Nvidia 335 in a hybrid GPU (Optimus) config.
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2010 4:14:24 PM

hunter315 said:
The i7's do not have integrated GPUs so im not sure how they could support Optimus as there is nothing but the discrete card to switch to. If you really want Optimus you will need to get an i3 or i5.


For the laptops, there are core i7's that do have integrated graphics. Although those are only on the dual core i7's and not the quad core i7's.

http://www.intel.com/products/processor/corei7/mobile/s...

So if the OP looking for a quad core i7 mobile cpu, he is out of luck as no laptop with this cpu has optimus. If he looking for a dual core i7, there quite a few laptops in such configurations.

Although if your looking into dual core i7's, might as well look into the core i5's as there no difference between them other than clock speed and the cost.
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2010 4:22:18 PM

COLGeek said:
Looks like the M11x has a GM45 mobile chipset that provides an Intel intregrated GPU that works with the Nvidia 335 in a hybrid GPU (Optimus) config.


Actully... GM45 chipset is for the core 2's ;) 

http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=35509#compat...

All the Mobile core i's are on HM55, HM 57, PM55, QM 57, QS 57, or a few others chipset i forget to mention.
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December 22, 2010 4:27:29 PM

So apparently the i7 itself has no room for the onboard GPU or something like that, so it actually physically can't have switchable graphics. The dual-core i7 are able to have switchable graphics (which is why the ULV in the m11x can do it). The m11x uses the i7 640UM chip, it's just a fancy dual core chip called an i7, it is still a dual core though.

It doesn't have to be to a specific notebook though, this happens to be for all quad-core i7 notebook processors, from what I can see.


Would you say that if battery life is important, that the quality between an i5 and an i7 in a notebook would justify the difference in battery life? Knowing i5 will use Optimus and i7 will drain the hell out of your battery using a 435M which has a higher TDP than the ATI cards.
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2010 4:48:33 PM

darksteel said:
So apparently the i7 itself has no room for the onboard GPU or something like that, so it actually physically can't have switchable graphics. The dual-core i7 are able to have switchable graphics (which is why the ULV in the m11x can do it). The m11x uses the i7 640UM chip, it's just a fancy dual core chip called an i7, it is still a dual core though.

It doesn't have to be to a specific notebook though, this happens to be for all quad-core i7 notebook processors, from what I can see.


Would you say that if battery life is important, that the quality between an i5 and an i7 in a notebook would justify the difference in battery life? Knowing i5 will use Optimus and i7 will drain the hell out of your battery using a 435M which has a higher TDP than the ATI cards.


I'll just brake this down a little.

Quote:
So apparently the i7 itself has no room for the onboard GPU or something like that, so it actually physically can't have switchable graphics. The dual-core i7 are able to have switchable graphics (which is why the ULV in the m11x can do it). The m11x uses the i7 640UM chip, it's just a fancy dual core chip called an i7, it is still a dual core though.

It doesn't have to be to a specific notebook though, this happens to be for all quad-core i7 notebook processors, from what I can see.


That pretty much sums it up. I know that my dad Toshiba satellite core i7 720QM laptop does not have intergated graphics. All it has is the Geforce 310M but were not much into high gaming currently so this laptop fits our needs of high cpu power that a laptop costing under $1k.

And yes, there is not one core i7 quad core laptop cpu that im aware of that has nvidia optimus from anyone that i know of.

Quote:
Would you say that if battery life is important, that the quality between an i5 and an i7 in a notebook would justify the difference in battery life? Knowing i5 will use Optimus and i7 will drain the hell out of your battery using a 435M which has a higher TDP than the ATI cards


Hmm.... [:grahamlv:3]

im gona let someone else try to answer that question as im not much of a gamer. So im kinda not the right person to properly answer that question. [:huntluck]


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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2010 5:05:05 PM

COLGeek said:
Oops, you are correct. Not GM45, rather they use the GS45.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m11x/pd?refid=alienw...


Still the same. It just difference with this chipset is that that only supports the low(er) voltage core 2's.

http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=33421#compat...



What alienware is doing on there M11x laptop for optimus is using the gpu that built into the cpu for the core i's.

The core i7 640UM has a gpu built into it as it's only a dual core cpu. :) 

As for the chipset that this cpu uses, It uses (according to intel's web site) HM55, HM57, QM57, and QS57.
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December 22, 2010 5:25:56 PM

Are you guys really going to sit here and argue which chipset the m11x uses instead of answering my questions?

I'd like to know how much difference the i5 vs i7 will make. Will I get a significant increase in battery between say a 435M with the i7 and a 420M with the i5 that has Optimus? Would I notice much of a difference between the two while playing a game like COD? Fallout New Vegas? (purely in terms of the processor and not the GPU).
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a c 151 à CPUs
December 22, 2010 5:26:28 PM

warmon6 said:
Still the same. It just difference with this chipset is that that only supports the low(er) voltage core 2's.

http://ark.intel.com/chipset.aspx?familyID=33421#compat...



What alienware is doing on there M11x laptop for optimus is using the gpu that built into the cpu for the core i's.

The core i7 640UM has a gpu built into it as it's only a dual core cpu. :) 

As for the chipset that this cpu uses, It uses (according to intel's web site) HM55, HM57, QM57, and QS57.

Understood on all technical points and agreed.

Alienware/Dell have cobbled together something that says i7 and supports Optimus. Given all other discussion, there seems to be no available quad-core, full i7 with Optimus solution.

That being said, looks like a higher end i5 would be needed to get all the features the OP started the thread discussion with.
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December 22, 2010 5:36:31 PM

If I'm getting an i5, then I'm getting a 5xx CPU, maybe the 540M or 560M. I'm just trying to make an informed decision about the processor I ultimately end up choosing. Heat and battery life have been an issue on my current one, though HP wants to RMA it after two unsuccessful attempts to fix it. I want to be able to game though, at least play some stuff, if not on ultra, then at least on like medium. Though, if the battery life is significantly increased by using Optimus and the i5 (with a lower TDP), then I'll definitely consider it.
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