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I5 vs. i3?

Last response: in Systems
June 29, 2011 4:21:16 PM

Helping my local public library with a technology purchase. They're looking to upgrade their public access computers, which are used primarily for internet browsing and MS Office applications.

Two deals which caught my eye (both w/ Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit):

Acer AX3960-U4102, $400, Intel i3-2100 3.1 GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB hard drive

Dell Vostro 460, $529, Intel i5-2400 Quad-Core 3.1GHz; 2GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz; 320GB HDD; plus 20" Dell E2011H LCD monitor -- extra 2GB RAM for $60

I'm leaning towards the former since monitors are cheap & I'm thinking the extra RAM will make up for the slower CPU (3821 vs. 6051 Passmark score), but I always have a hard time with this kind of trade-off.


More about : question

June 29, 2011 4:55:06 PM

do they need that much of power like i3 or i5.
June 29, 2011 5:11:48 PM

Perhaps not, but MS applications are fairly resource-hungry & we'd like the machines to last at least 4-5 years ...
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June 29, 2011 5:18:08 PM

Get the Vostro, no contest, get the extra 2gb of ram if you want. Changing/upgrading Ram is a cinch, processor you tend to be stuck with for longer, especially if it's not a homebuilt PC that is upgraded frequently.

If you get the vostro and it doesnt seem fast enough, you simply buy 2gb of ram and stick it in. In the other scenario what will you do, buy a new processor?
July 3, 2011 6:24:04 AM

I don't see the i3 having trouble with MS apps. for years. True, the processor isn't cheap to upgrade, but the i3 3100 is still a fast processor. I hear 4gb is the target ram for a basic computer anyway.