Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

I7 or i5 in laptop - performance boost worth the price difference?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
August 19, 2012 9:25:22 AM

Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to look at this thread

I'm currently looking at buying a new laptop, and have narrowed it down to varying specs of the same model.

All the specs are exactly the same, except that the higher spec model has an i7-3612QM and a blu ray player, and the lower spec has a Intel Core i5 3210M. Normally I'd just go for the higer spec, but there is a huge price difference between them - roughly £125 ($200).

I was just wondering how much of a performance increase the i7 would give me compared to the i5, and is it worth the money?

I'll be using it for university work, watching movies, playing games every now and again (Total war franchise, Portal 2, ect), and very occasional basic photo and video editing (for when I'm travelling - I've got my desktop for more intensive jobs). I'm wondering if getting the i7 is a good idea, as I tend to multi-task alot, with several programs open at once, and I'm also looking for a bit of longetivity (I've had my old laptop for 5 years, and am only retiring it because it's no longer suitable for my uses).

Also to clarify, I'm asking specifically about how the CPU's compare in performance and whether the i7 is worth £125 more (inc blu ray), hence why i'm posting in CPU and not Laptops.

Thanks in advance :) 

More about : laptop performance boost worth price difference

a b à CPUs
August 19, 2012 2:31:51 PM

i7 all the way
a c 480 à CPUs
a c 466 D Laptop
August 19, 2012 3:43:05 PM

Most games only use 2 cores. Very few use more than that. If you do play a game that can make use of all 4 cores, then naturally you should be better performance.

I don't really keep track of what games can use 4 cores. All I can say is that none of the games I've played uses 4 cores. While GTA 4 recommends a quad core CPU, it in fact only uses 2 cores. The game runs poorly on the PC because the console port to PC was crap. BF3 makes use of 4 cores, but only in multiplayer mode.

Video editing does benefit from 4 cores depending on what program and what video codec you are using. However, I assume do not travel very often to the point where you need to rely on the laptop to do video editing rather than your desktop.

A quad core CPU only provided better longevity over a dual core CPU if you tend to use a lot of programs that can make use of quad cores. Based on what you listed, you don't.

I would simply upgrade the CPU to the fastest Core i5 CPU like the i5-3360M.
Related resources
August 19, 2012 3:51:10 PM

In most cases you will be limited by your video card. In modern desktops you only a middle of the road cpu to max out top of the line GPUs, and the GPUs inside laptops are much weaker than their desktop counterparts.
For example, a stock Core i5 2500 will max out a 7970 and the best mobile gpu is just about on par with to a 7850.
So go for the laptop that has the best gpu for the money you are willing to spend.
a b à CPUs
a b D Laptop
August 19, 2012 4:35:12 PM

Blu-ray, cost to upgrade a laptop from DVD-rw to a BD-Rom/DVD-RW is around 100 pounds (at less it was a year ago (Updated two laptops. Had to fo direct to taiwan to get a Blu-ray drive for $100, they wanted $200 in the States (For manuf probably a 50 dollar upgrade cost). So the upgrade from i5 -> i7 really is not that much in of itself.

So question really boils down more to the use of the Blu-ray drive. For the vast majority of what you will be doing you probably would never know the diff between a i5 and an i7. ie how often will you be encoding a large video file, while at the same time working on a complex spreadsheet. Having a Large number of programs open is NOT true multitasking - It is when the programs are open and actively doing something.
a c 346 à CPUs
a b D Laptop
August 19, 2012 6:19:59 PM

If you care about laptop performance, get one with a SSD.

For the most part, a modern dual core will be plenty.
August 19, 2012 11:06:37 PM

if you want it to last long, i would go with the i7 to make this computer more future proof
a c 109 à CPUs
August 19, 2012 11:08:39 PM

I would say i5, very occasional editing doesn't require i7s and you could probably buy a blueray player for laptops online...
August 20, 2012 2:54:39 AM

Thanks for all the help guys,

Your comments have supported my initial suspicions that the i7 isn't entirely necessary for my uses, so I've decided to save the money and get the i5. For the moment, having a bluray player is just an added extra, not a necessity (though it's nice to know they're not too expensive if I indeed wanted to get one at some point). Plus, I'll actually be coming in under budget for a change! :na: 
a c 186 à CPUs
August 20, 2012 3:04:28 AM

rsammas said:
if you want it to last long, i would go with the i7 to make this computer more future proof

No such thing! :kaola: 
a b à CPUs
August 20, 2012 10:42:10 AM

roadkillfever said:
Thanks for all the help guys,

Your comments have supported my initial suspicions that the i7 isn't entirely necessary for my uses, so I've decided to save the money and get the i5. For the moment, having a bluray player is just an added extra, not a necessity (though it's nice to know they're not too expensive if I indeed wanted to get one at some point). Plus, I'll actually be coming in under budget for a change! :na: 

since you don't need the blu ray the i5 is enough.
!