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Core i3 or i5?

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April 2, 2012 2:50:22 PM

Hi,
We are a small business, and have a team of Investment Analysts who work primarily on Excel Data Tables. A common issue to hear from them is that the system responds very slowly when Data Tables are run.
They are using Core 2 Duo processor laptops. And Office 2010 on Windows XP SP3.
Now we have to get new laptops for them as the existing ones are 4 years old, and also slow as they tell it.
We have to decide between a Core i3 and Core i5 processor, RAM size, and GPU for them. GPU, because they use Google MapsGL, as well.
I want to justify the purchase of the systems, be it a Core i3 or Core i5, and other specifications. And the systems have to be used for next 4 years.
Any advices, please.
Regards
Yagyesh

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April 2, 2012 3:04:40 PM

i3 is the best choice SINCE you wont be loading anything awful/intensive for the CPU... If you want a computer to last longer than 4 years, than get a i5...(Get both either SB or IB because they are newer Gen.)
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April 2, 2012 3:12:57 PM

yagyesh said:
Hi,
We are a small business, and have a team of Investment Analysts who work primarily on Excel Data Tables. A common issue to hear from them is that the system responds very slowly when Data Tables are run.
They are using Core 2 Duo processor laptops. And Office 2010 on Windows XP SP3.
Now we have to get new laptops for them as the existing ones are 4 years old, and also slow as they tell it.
We have to decide between a Core i3 and Core i5 processor, RAM size, and GPU for them. GPU, because they use Google MapsGL, as well.
I want to justify the purchase of the systems, be it a Core i3 or Core i5, and other specifications. And the systems have to be used for next 4 years.
Any advices, please.
Regards
Yagyesh


I would recommend the i5, The i3 is duo-core. Your already using Core 2 Duo which is also a dual core cpu. Future proof your office now so you can save time and money from upgrades. i5 is quad core but you will get at least another 5 years from it before needing anything else. i3 will fall behind in two years that will cause you the grief of going through deployment of upgrades, downtime, etc, etc. If you use i3 you will have same issues within 2 years i guarantee it.
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April 2, 2012 3:45:03 PM

If you can, I suggest you wait a bit for the ivy bridge launch due end of April.

Ivy bridge quads should be available in laptops before the duo's are.

Not only is ivy bridge faster than current sandy bridge, but the integrated HD4000 graphics is considerably stronger, and will probably be appropriate for your use.

Until early reviews show up, this is about the only good early info:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-c...

When you invest in a new 4 year laptop, insist on including a SSD for at least the os and some apps. A SSD absolutely transforms even the most mundane laptop performance.
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April 2, 2012 3:45:48 PM

Quote:
there is a 30% increase and sometimes more (sometimes little less) with the i3-SB over the C2D equal..


True, they are looking for investment for next 4 years, I think i3 will start to be dated and i5 will definitely still have kick in it at tat time. They are running a biz so it would save them from any needed cpu upgrades for next 5 - 7 years. he is trying to convince them a good reason for the upgrades and keep them confident in his decision.
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April 3, 2012 4:44:59 PM

Quote:
I agree, I'm just pointing out the performance increase.
and depending if the work on the unit will be in heavier multitasking at times then yes, i5 is the move.

at this time and date I suggest that ones full awaits Ivy Bridge unless need to buy today then Sandy it is.


Definitely, OP you should wait if you can and see what ivy delivers.
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a c 473 à CPUs
April 3, 2012 5:10:02 PM

yagyesh said:
Hi,
We have to decide between a Core i3 and Core i5 processor, RAM size, and GPU for them. GPU, because they use Google MapsGL, as well.
I want to justify the purchase of the systems, be it a Core i3 or Core i5, and other specifications. And the systems have to be used for next 4 years.
Any advices, please.
Regards
Yagyesh



If you are replacing them with new laptops, then be advised that mobile Core i3 and Core i5 are all dual core CPUs. The basic difference is that the mobile Core i5 CPUs have Turbo Boost which is an automatic overclock based on how many cores are being used and how hot the CPU is. Mobile Core i7 are either dual core CPUs ("M" designation) or quad core CPUs ("QM" designation).

You may want to wait for Ivy Bridge laptops to come out. Intel has updated the AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) instruction set to increase performance, I think I read by as much as 30% somewhere. To the best of my knowledge AVX is used in financial and scientific modelling. You should research if Office 2010 uses AVX instructions (it probably does) and if it does, then waiting for Ivy Bridge laptops will be your best option. It's likely that only the Core i7 "QM" CPUs will be the only quad cores.

Regarding RAM, you probably want at least 8GB of RAM because complex spreadsheets and databases can be quite large. The GPU should not be too much of an issue since integrated graphic cores are capable of handling basic video like Youtube and video conferencing. Google MapsGL is not very graphically intensive.
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April 9, 2012 4:43:46 PM

Sorry for not replying back sooner. Actually I visited the forum earlier, read the responses and also discussed with couple other experts I had access to.

Thanks to all of you for guiding me in making the choice. I have ordered for one machine at the moment. We could not wait until June which is the expected date for the Ivy Bridge release for Mobile Processors.

(Though I have read the post by 'jaguarskx' today only. Or else I might have asked for the price of a Core i7 also to see if that was OK with our budget.)

I have ordered for a machine with the following specs.
A. Intel Core i5-2450M processor (2.50 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10 GHz)
B. 4GB 1 DIMM (4GB x1) DDR3 1333Mhz - so that we could add another module later.
C. 320GB 7200RPM SATA HDD Drive - as SSD is so much expensive !
D. GPU as AMD Radeon HD6630M ,1GB - because the Google MapsGL page says, “…some users have reported having issues with the Intel HD 3000 video card.” which was coming as the default option with the machine.
E. Windows 7 professional 64-bit - so that the system could utilise more than 4 GB of RAM.

Thanks so much!
Regards
Yagyesh
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