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512mb vram or 1gb vram?

I've been looking at laptops recently and I've decided on the specs I want except the vram. My two choices are:

Choice 1: Sony Vaio VPCEC290X
Intel® Core™ i5-540M processor (2.53GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 3.06GHz
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
320GB hard disk drive (5400rpm)
6GB (4GBx1 + 2GBx1) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5650 GPU (1GB VRAM)
17.1 inch monitor at 1600x900 Screen Resolution
Total Cost - $1169.99

Choice 2: Sony Vaio VPCEA290X
Intel® Core™ i5-540M processor (2.53GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 3.06GHz
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
500GB hard disk drive (5400rpm)* or 320 hard disk drive (5400rpm)**
6GB (4GBx1 2GBx1) DDR3-SDRAM-1066
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5470 GPU (512MB VRAM)
14.1 inch monitor at 1366x768 Screen Resolution
Total Cost - $1169.99* or $1119.99**

(FYI, the choices are both customized from the original product.)

Now, normally this wouldn't be a difficult decision for me to make, but I'm torn between the two because I'm aesthetically more attracted to choice 2 because of it's case color ("Iridescent Blue") and design, but I'm wanting the better vram. As you can see, the specs are the closely related, so this is the only issue I have. If anyone can provide me with a noob-friendly response (I'm still only a month into learning anything about computers), I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!

P.S. My budget is 1,200 dollars (plus minus 100 depending on specs), so if anyone knows of an even better option than these two, I would love to hear about it.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Ignore the VRAM, choice one has a 5650 which is significantly faster than the 5470, and if you want to do any gaming on the system you need a strong GPU. If you are only going to be using it for basic tasks, nothing too graphically intensive then either one will work fine.
  2. hunter315 said:
    Ignore the VRAM, choice one has a 5650 which is significantly faster than the 5470, and if you want to do any gaming on the system you need a strong GPU. If you are only going to be using it for basic tasks, nothing too graphically intensive then either one will work fine.


    I was planning on using the computer for gaming/work, so I guess it's the first one. Thankfully that was my only problem, because I've been over thinking this lone issue for about 4 days, and when that happens I begin to get headaches, lol. Mind if I ask why the 5650 is faster, or is that question best left for another thread?
  3. A mobility 5650 has 400 stream processors at 450MHz or 550MHz depending on the version, the mobility 5470 has 80 stream processors at 750MHz, even though its clocked a bit faster, the 5650 having 5 times as many processors gives it a clear performance edge.
  4. Why is the difference in processors so drastic?
  5. To make it faster. The top of the line 5870 has 1600 processors. Unlike CPUs, GPUs rely more on the number of cores than clockspeed to cover the full performance range.
  6. Not sure, i think the mobility 54xx family is a different chip from the 56xx/57xx group, both are pretty close in total power consumption so im not sure why there was such a big change but there is.

    http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/graphics/ati-mobility-hd-5700/Pages/hd-5650-specs.aspx
    http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/graphics/ati-mobility-hd-5400/Pages/hd-5470-specs.aspx
  7. Best answer selected by B_I_O_M.
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