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Best CPU/Graphics for the $$$

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July 18, 2012 5:43:54 PM

Hello All,
Looking to buy a laptop for my son for college and need advice. He is not a big gamer but will be searching the web, writing papers, YouTube and so on. I am looking at the HP's but am confused on processors/graphics choices. I can upgrade to several different CPU's and Graphics cards but don't know what is worth the $$ to give the biggest bang for the buck or If an upgrade is really even necessary. I would like the pc to last him for the four year term if possible. Here are my choices above the base model and their additional cost. Any feedback is appreciated.

Base Model:
2nd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2350M Processor (2.3 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache) w/integrated HD 3000
6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)

CPU Choices:
2nd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2370M Processor (2.4 GHz) +$10.00
2nd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2450M Processor (2.5 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz) +$75.00
3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M Processor (2.5 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) +$95.00

Graphics Choices:
1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7670M Discrete-Class Graphics +$50.00
2GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7670M Discrete-Class Graphics +$75.00

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a c 109 à CPUs
July 18, 2012 5:57:41 PM

If he is doing light gaming then get the 3rd CPU choice because of the improved IGP, if he is doing a medium amount of gaming then get a 1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7670M Discrete-Class Graphics.

The base model will suit his needs if he is doing web stuff and writing papers.

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July 18, 2012 6:07:21 PM

The base CPU should be sufficient for all day-to-day tasks and most games. I would recommend getting the 1GB Radeon as it will be a good improvement over the base integrated graphics.
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July 18, 2012 6:07:33 PM

The 7670M will be good... he can do a little light gaming and it costs less than the Ivy Bridge i5.
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a b à CPUs
July 18, 2012 6:08:51 PM

Agree with Jay.
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a b à CPUs
July 18, 2012 6:21:18 PM

You are going to want the "3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M Processor" based on the greatly improved CPU and graphics performance. The 3rd generaton Intel Core products offer a better performance/watt ration which is important on laptops.

Personally I'd say save the money and don't give him the GPU. He shouldn't be playing games while he should be studying for school anyway. The integrated HD 4000 graphics of the i5-3210 are good enough for any application he'll need for school, as well as light gaming.
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a c 141 à CPUs
July 18, 2012 11:14:18 PM

You might want to check with the school to see what they recommend for his intended major. Subjects like engineering often need a little more in the cpu department than an english major if you know what I mean. I would also get hin the 7670 gpu, for $50 is a decent buy and might spare him from a completely boring weekend at some point.

You definitely want to get the accidental damage warranty though over the standard.
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July 19, 2012 1:01:56 AM

popatim said:
You might want to check with the school to see what they recommend for his intended major. Subjects like engineering often need a little more in the cpu department than an english major if you know what I mean. I would also get hin the 7670 gpu, for $50 is a decent buy and might spare him from a completely boring weekend at some point.

You definitely want to get the accidental damage warranty though over the standard.


Thanks Popatim and All,
I did contact the school the other day. He planning on BioMed Eng. We have a friend in the 3rd yr of the same program who is using a Samsung w/2nd gen i5 with a Gforce 310m and he is doing fine with that. He said they have done some very light CAD and NX. I read somewhere on one of the forms I visited that the HD-4000 is a bit better than the 310m so I started leaning towards the i5-3210m for the processing power.
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a b à CPUs
July 19, 2012 1:15:28 AM

yeah, the hd-4000 should be better than the 310m
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July 19, 2012 4:06:04 PM

Yes I think for cad and encoding the HD-4000 is sufficient enough
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July 26, 2012 10:32:55 PM

Best answer selected by knox.
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