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Which CPU is better for gaming?

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September 20, 2011 6:28:45 PM

I'm looking at purchasing a new laptop, mainly for college work and some gaming, I'm just wondering which CPU is better (both laptops come with a GT540M GPU)

The i5-480M (2.6GHz)

or

i7-2630QM (2.0Ghz)

Which is best? The only thing confusing me is that the i5 is 600Mhz faster so I presume it is better for gaming? Any help would be much appreciated.

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September 20, 2011 6:56:13 PM

Although the second gen i7 has a slower clock speed it is actually faster.

It is going to have a larger CPU instruction cache, as well as a newer memory controller which is going to allow it to assign memory faster and more efficiently.

Also, the i5 is a dual core, with a total of 4 logical threads.
the i7 is a quad core with a total of 8 logical threads. This will help a lot on newer multi-threaded games and applications.

Nowadays you are not limited by the CPU speed as much as you are by it's ability to handle more data at the same time, which is why the more powerful, higher thread count CPU is going to out perform the faster processor.
September 20, 2011 7:12:02 PM

Thankyou, I hope it can run BC3 and MW3 on low or maybe medium settings!
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a c 83 à CPUs
September 20, 2011 7:41:39 PM

I don't know how powerful the GTS540M actually is, but being a low-mid range laptop card it's probably safe to say both of those processors will game about identically because your fps limit will be on your GPU not your CPU.

However it is correct that the I7 is more powerful for reasons mentioned above already.
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 8:19:47 PM

I doubt you will have any problems playing BF3 or MW3 at all.
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September 20, 2011 9:14:40 PM

The 2630QM will be great for those games, the 540M is what will hold you back, and quite a bit at that. It's less than half as powerful as a GTS 450.
September 20, 2011 9:26:39 PM

Would you recommend a better laptop for me? I have £600 to spend. Please UK sources only thankyou

Is the gt540m really that bad??
a b à CPUs
September 20, 2011 9:27:59 PM

The 540m is definitely better than an onboard intel or nvidia 300m-series card. It will definitely do the job, but don't expect to be able to play at 1920x1080 on maxed graphics.
September 21, 2011 4:45:04 PM

Okay. The screen is 1366 x 768 so the fewer pixels on screen means I can use medium/high settings?
a b à CPUs
September 21, 2011 4:55:57 PM

Yes, the lower resolution will allow you to kick up the settings few notches without trading any FPS.
September 21, 2011 6:20:22 PM

But GTX460m laptops are so expensive. I'm not gonna be using it for hardcore gaming, so low/med settings are fine for me and what I've read the 540m is just fine for that.

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a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2011 6:54:02 PM

TheGreenMarine said:
Okay. The screen is 1366 x 768 so the fewer pixels on screen means I can use medium/high settings?


You should be able to play most games with medium quality settings and anti aliasing set to x2.

My Lenovo IdeaPad Y470 has a Core i5-2410M and a GT 550M. While testing Crysis I was able to get between 35FPS and 44FPS in the second chapter "Relic" most of the time. It probably dipped as low 25FPS and peaked at around 54FPS.

The GT 540M will probably get around 29FPS - 38FPS most of the time in Crysis. I tested less demanding games like Fallout 3 and Mass Effects on my GT 550M so they should run pretty well on the GT 540M too.

I might borrow GTA IV from my cousin and give that a spin on my laptop.
October 17, 2011 2:05:52 PM

The GT540m is not that bad repliers say . He is going to buy a laptop and not a Full horse power PC .
!