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I3-2350m vs i5-2450m vs A8-4500m vs A10-4600m

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June 23, 2012 7:48:36 PM

I was wondering if you guys could put in order for me as far as gaming power and processing power the order of the processors from best to worst. If the order of pure processing power is different than gaming power please specify which is which. Please keep in mind with the i3 and i5 I would have a Geforce GT 630m and with the A8 and A10 I would have a Radeon HD 7670m so please do not weigh heavy on AMD's clearly superior integrated graphics.
June 25, 2012 5:13:20 AM

CPU: i5 is a quad core (EDIT: i5-2450m and 3210m are dual core with HT, my bad) and thus is faster than the i3 which is a hyperthreaded dual core, which is roughly equivalent to the quad core a10
GPU: 630m ~ 7670m

If I were a person that didn't care about preventing an Intel monopoly or the inevitable future of heterogeneous computing, I would get an i5 + GT 630m. But I am not such a person. I used to rock a dual core Turion II @ 2.3ghz with an HD4650, and I played Metro 2033 on it reasonably well, MW2 very well in 1080p, and never once felt it was sluggish in computing even though the Turion II is wantonly mediocre in CPU benchmarks, and that to me is impressive because I would usually have 30 tabs open in Chrome in the background and be playing a game while listening to Meshuggah FLAC audio. So yeah, I punished the *** out of that chip and it never let me down.

What blows me away is that the 7660g integrated gfx on the a10-4600m is actually faster than the discrete 4650 I had, and on top of that the a10 is a better CPU architecture, is a quad core, has a faster clock for single threads, and consumes less power.

Everyone knows Intel is ahead on x86 performance. That's not some kind of secret, I mean, they spend more on R&D alone than AMD's total revenue. What does seem to be a secret, since everyone blithely ignores this, acts like it is patently false, or instead focuses on the exception cases, is that Intel's marginal benchmark superiority doesn't result in anywhere near the same superiority in usage, and thus, rarely matters. Yes, heavy lifting situations with video and file compression and the like are faster on Intel atm. But you have to ask yourself: would I do enough heavy lifting to make those quicker completion times in aggregate worth the price premium for the chip in addition to potentially contributing to a future Intel monopoly?

Regardless of what you buy in the future, please don't be one of those HERP-DERP-I-AM-BUY-INTEL-IT-AM-BENCHMARK-FASTER tools because that is an intensely reductive and myopic approach. Just buy whatever will do what you want it to do at the lowest price. I would argue that for most situations right now, including gaming because few games are very CPU intensive, AMD wins that contest.

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June 25, 2012 5:33:13 AM
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Actually, now that I think about it, you should definitely go for the A10-4600m because the iGPU has strong OpenCL support which might give it huge longevity and free added performance in the future as more programs start to utilize that architecture, which I think is an almost certain thing. Add on top of that the asymmetric crossfire between the 7660g and a 7670 which will only develop better driver support as time goes on

By the way, I discovered there is a Tom's article on exactly what you are talking about http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a10-4600m-trinity-p...

And Notebookcheck did a thorough testing of the Trinity chips, showing exactly what I suggested about the huge added performance from GPU accelerated apps. I mean, the 4600m competes with a high end i7 Ivy Bridge when the iGPU is helping. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Trinity-in-Review-AMD-A10-...
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June 25, 2012 5:40:50 AM

Is the A10-4600 with 7670m even better than an i5-3210m processor with a GeForce GT 630m? What is the difference crossfiring vs. AMD dynamic graphics vs. Optimus. That's confusing me
June 25, 2012 6:07:23 AM

I was mistakenly thinking about the desktop i5 series when I said it was a quad core. My bad. It is a Dual Core with hyper threading.

Optimus switches between the intel integrated and the nvidia card depending on what you are doing in order to save battery life, generally using the nvidia card for games and the integrated for normal usage. AMD dynamic graphics does more or less the exact same thing.

Crossfire ties the integrated 7660g and the 7670m together, which can almost double performance in some games depending on driver support but often has microstutter issues making gameplay jerky (though some people say they don't notice it), which may be resolved at some point with better drivers, but since the 7670m and the 630m are so close in performance, and the a10 really has phenomenal battery life, comparable performance on the whole to the i5, and the added advantage of the OpenCL support, I'm actually surprised at how unbiased I feel in suggesting the a10-4600m and the 7670m over the Intel and nvidia here. I usually feel a pang of fanboyism when I suggest AMD, and this time I honestly think it's kind of a wash, since the i5 has better heavy lifting right now, but the OpenCL through the a10 might surpass that in the near future, and AMD laptops are usually a hair cheaper, so I think you really just need to think about exactly what you'll be doing with your machine. But even if you are going to play games that are heavily CPU limited, you have to wonder whether either of those graphics cards will be good enough to let that limitation show.

June 25, 2012 6:19:37 AM

In terms of away from the plug. Not gaming just browsing and such. Who do you feel has the best battery life? And what has been your experience with the functionality of Optimis vs. AMD Dynamic Graphics? I have heard Optimus is much better but has that changed? As far as the OpenCL and Crossfiring graphics promising longevity I really like that. Is it not possible to crossfire HD 4000 and 630m? Is that a limitation of Optimus?
June 25, 2012 6:53:46 AM

AMD's crossfire and nVidia's SLI technologies are very similar, allowing you to connect their respective graphics cards together and dramatically improve performance, under the idea, if one discrete graphics card is good, then 2 or more is better. But only AMD at the moment has the ability to asymmetrically connect graphics units, meaning the cards do not have to be the same model, or very similar but restricting the faster card to the scale of the weaker one.

Optimus does work quite well from what I understand, but it still does not work in every imaginable case where you would like it to, so it still takes fiddling on the rare occasion. On the other hand, even if AMD's graphics failed to switch, you would likely just be forced to use the integrated 7660g, which is powerful enough that you might not even notice since it is only slightly less powerful than the 7670m, depending on what you were doing.

To directly answer you question about "crossfire" between the intel HD 4000 and the 630m, no that can't happen, but that would be bada$$. nVidia and Intel would have to come up with some monstrously complex software for that to work. AMD's asymmetric crossfire is totally an in-house project, and was insanely buggy and terrible when they first launched it. It's a bit better now, but they still have a ways to go before it is totally seamless and universally supported in all games, but they're getting there.

The power usage of the a10 for low intensity stuff like browsing or word processing is fantastic, at least matching current Intel Sandy Bridge (2000 series), and surprisingly Ivy Bridge (3000 series) as well, and commonly outperforming them for such tasks, which is really quite surprising because Intel can use much lower voltages and thus less power on their 22nm chips versus the 32nm chips from AMD, which is typically where battery life war is won. But I guess AMD has worked out their power gating tech extremely well if their higher voltage chip ends up using less power.
June 25, 2012 7:16:06 AM

So the gaming performance of the GeForce is likely to get outdated much faster than the 7660g+7670m due to the crossfiring giving my laptop essentially two GPUs which will make my gaming ability more powerful for future releases? And for the processor it seems like a wash should the OpenCL work out for me. If I do end up using CAD for engineering in college would the A10 be powerful enough? That's my only CPU concern besides CPU intensive games but shouldn't it also be able to handle those too on Medium/High settings?
June 25, 2012 4:16:13 PM

CAD is actually a major target for OpenCL development, so you might even win out there as well. And look at the gaming performance this way: Even if the crossfire never gets better, which I doubt it won't because there is money to be made by AMD making it better, then you won't be any worse off with the 7670m since it has almost the exact same performance as the 630m.

So, the absolute worst case scenario where everything goes wrong and crossfire is never made perfect and OpenCL is trashed, is that you still have better battery life, have slightly lower performance in CPU limited games, and rendering things in CAD takes maybe 15% longer, which you probably would never notice unless you were building an entire car bolt by bolt. So I would say that even the worst case is sort of a wash because battery life is super important. My Turion II and 4650 got 2.5 hrs tops. You'd be looking more like 6 hrs on a normal 6-cell battery, and sustained gaming on a 12-cell lol
June 25, 2012 5:04:18 PM

And if everything went my way. OpenCL would get dominance and I'd get free CPU boost. Crossfire would let me play a ton of games. And CPU dominant games would start to utilize four cores and I'd actually be better off. Is that right?
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June 25, 2012 5:07:28 PM

Overall the A10 with the Radeon HD 7670m is a little better for games since the nVidia GT 630m is a little slower, but not by very much.

A Core i5-2450m will have more processing power though and will perform better than an A10 in CPU intensive tasks.

As to which one will give you better battery life, that really depends on the specific laptop due to other components and charge capacity of the battery. Most laptops can manage 4 hours when not doing anything intensive. Playing games on a battery will likely last anywhere from 45 minutes to 75 minutes. Of course if you are playing a non intensive game like Minesweeper or Solitaire, then you'll be closer to the 4 hour mark. The LCD screen draws a decent amount of power, so the larger the screen the shorter the battery life.

It's best to find professionally written reviews of the laptops you are interested to find out their pros and cons, like battery life. Unfortunately, most laptops are not professionally reviewed.
June 25, 2012 5:15:43 PM

Let me ask you this. In terms of OpenCL, Crossfire, and utilization of 4 cores; do you think that the A10 with 7670m will be able to play more games and perform tasks better than the i5-3210m+630m in... 4 years from now? I'm interested in longevity at this point as it seems both options are very nice anyway.
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June 25, 2012 6:24:24 PM

Hard to say. I'm not very knowledgeable of OpenCL so I'm not going to comment on it. The vast majority of games do not use more than 2 cores. Sure games will be coming out that can use 4 core in the future, but they will only be a very small fraction compared to future games that will use 2 cores. Designing a game to use multiple cores means more complexity, time and money... and a later launch date.

Crossfire is good as long as the game is designed to support Crossfire. At this point in time I think most games do support Crossfire or SLI. As stated both the HD 7670m and GT 630m are close in performance. Will they still be able to play games 4 years from now really depends on your expectations. They are not powerful cards, but they do have decent performance. My laptop has a nVidia GT 550m which basically equals the newer GT 640m. I think it's performance is adequate for a 1366x768 screen. Most current games will have to be played on medium graphic settings to get good frame rates (40FPS+) on average. However playing games on high settings results in decent frames rates (30FPS+) on average.

I think the GT 550m can last another 2 or 3 years for the average gamer who is not looking max everything graphic options. Probably in 3 or 4 years the graphic settings will have to be lowered to a mix of low and medium settings to get decent performance. Since the HD 7670m and GT 630m are slower than the GT 550m, they will not likely last as long as you may want them to last if your expectations are too high.

For me, I may upgrade my laptop next year, but not due to the lack of gaming performance. The 1366x768 resolution is fine for games, but for doing other things (like multi-tasking) it is a bit too limiting. So getting a larger resolution screen is a priority, gaming will be less of a priority. Maybe I'll just rely on the integrated graphic core in Intel's next CPU; Haswell.
June 25, 2012 7:02:04 PM

If AMD perfects asymmetric crossfire over the couple years, then you would easily have more longevity for gaming with the a10 and 7670m. The same goes for the market developing software using OpenCL which AMD is at the bleeding edge of in terms of hardware.

Like I said, that i5 is a more powerful CPU in single threaded use, and a bit more powerful in fully multithreaded use, but that difference only shows up in terms of slightly faster completion times, and not so much in responsiveness or general capability. Like I said, I never felt like I was going very slowly with my PoS Turion II. If you had an a10-4600m and an i5-3210m side by side for certain CPU tasks you might choose the Intel, but the reality is that you'll never A B comparison test two chips simultaneously, so though it matters technically by several percent, in real human terms you really don't lose much because we're not talking about orders of magnitude in difference here. I think a good analogy is that only when racing a car that does 0 to 60 in 5 seconds does a car that does it in 6 seconds ever seem slow. And that 6 second car is cheaper. :) 

July 5, 2012 9:41:08 PM

Best answer selected by Summertime_21.
April 25, 2013 10:58:25 AM

hello came across this wonderful thread!! the competition which Intel- AMD and Nvidia -ATI are doing is really exiting..

any way, i wanted to ask one question, it may sound little bit silly BUT,

what will be the overall performance if we combine i5-2450 & 7670??

where it will stand?? in above i5-630 Vs A10-7670 game??

as king coz i am confused between following two laptops :( 

http://www.sony.co.in/product/sve14a15fn

http://www.flipkart.com/hp-pavilion-g6-2313ax-laptop-ap...

I trust this forum a LOT!! so please guide me!!thanks..
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