I3-550 vs i3-350 vs i5-430


I'm looking for some advice having narrowed down my choices to the following on the basis of budget and needs:

i3-550 with HD 5450 (512mb)

- - or - -

i3-350 with HD 5650 (1GB)

- - or - -

i5-430 with HD 5650 (1GB)

I'm an occasional light gamer (eg COD4) but I do far more video encoding and some heavy GIMP work.

I know that the HD 5650 is superior, but because I do more video encoding than I do gaming will the i3-550 be a better bet?

If not, is there any significant benefit of the i5-430 over the i3-350 considering the heavy use will be encoding? On paper, it looks like about 8-10% performance increase under load.

Thanks in advance for any comments
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  1. Thanks for the reply.

    I had discounted another combo - the E8400 with nvidia GT250m (1gb) because I felt the E8400 was significantly slower on the CPU-intensive tasks...?
  2. Only the i3 550 is a desktop chip. The rest are all laptop chips. What are you looking to buy? A desktop or a laptop?
  3. They're fitted into various Lenovo all-in-one systems, so half-way between the two I suppose!
  4. Budget is flexible - I just begrudge spending money on hardware I'll never use!
    Storage is cheap and I'm not fussed on the difference between 21.5" and 23" or in having bluray, so it really boils down to the CPU and GPU for me. The applications I use are definitely more CPU-intensive than GPU-intensive:

    Lenovo IdeaCentre B310 - about $815 (I'm in Europe)
    Processor Intel® Core™ i3-550 (3.2GHz, 4MB Cache, 1333MHZ FSB)
    Screen 21.5" (Lenovo, Full HD 1920x1080 Resolution, Multi Touch Capable)
    Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit
    Memory 4GB (1333MHz DDR3)
    Hard Drive 500GB (7200RPM)
    Optical Drive DVD Rewriter (Records DVDs 8x & CDs 24x & Dual Layer Super Multi)
    Graphics Dedicated (ATI RADEON® HD 5450 with 512MB Dedicated Memory)

    Lenovo IdeaCentre A700 - about $1050
    Processor:Intel® Core™ i3-350M processor (2.26GHz, 3MB Cache)
    Screen 23" (Lenovo Widescreen, LED Backlit, 1920x1080 FULL HD Multi Touch Screen)
    Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
    Memory: 4Gb DDR3 DRAM 1066 MHz
    Hard Drive: 640Gb HDD
    Graphics: ATI Radeon™ HD 5650 1GB
    Optical Drive: Slot-in ODD, DVDR

    Lenovo IdeaCentre A700 - about $1300
    Processor Intel® Core™ i5-430M Dual Core Processor (2.26GHz, 3MB Cache, Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.53GHz)
    Screen 23" (Lenovo Widescreen, LED Backlit, 1920x1080 FULL HD Multi Touch Screen)
    Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit
    Memory 4GB (1333MHz DDR3)
    Hard Drive 1000GB
    Optical Drive Blu-Ray (Blu-Ray HD Play back + DVD-RW & CD-RW)
    Graphics Dedicated (ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650 with 1GB Dedicated Memory)

    I have just seen another option which could be a good compromise of price, CPU and GPU but the advert is misleading - at one point it says E8400, the other time it says Q8400

    Lenovo IdeaCentre B500 - about $980
    Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad processor Q8400s (2.66GHz, 4MB)
    Display: 23 inch Full HD 16:9 widescreen (1920 x 1080)
    Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M 1 Gb
    Memory: 4 Gb DDR3 DRAM 1066 MHz
    Hard Drive: 1 Tb
    Optical Drive: DVDRW
  5. You have answered your own question, in that you require more of your CPU than your GPU, so for you my friend the Lenovo IdeaCentre B310 is the only way to go.
  6. Thanks for the advice.
    At the cheapest option, the B310 is certainly the most appealing.

    My only doubt lingers over the B500 for an extra $150ish. It has a bigger screen, but loses the touchscreen. A 1GB GTS 250m significantly outperforms a 512MB HD 5450, and on paper it looks like a Q8400 outperforms a i3-550... if that is correct, and the fact that the GPU is more potent, would seem to make that an appealing option - any thoughts?

    Edit - elsewhere the B500 seems to ship with a HD5570 rather than the GTS250m
    This article had quite a few benchmarks of the Q8400 and i3-550 in various roles - it would seem they are quite evenly matched overall, but the Q8400 edges ahead in the areas I focus on. So B500 I think with the better GPU. Plus I won't have to keep wiping the touchscreen ;)
  7. any reason why you are looking for a all in one instead of a laptop or desktop? just curious :D
  8. It's a fair question - space is the main reason (it's going to be wall mounted).

    Besides, I've played with (and still own) desktops, laptops, netbooks, ITX boxes so I fancy a change :)
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