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Advantage of Radeon HD 7450M over intel HD 3000 graphics - or not?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 9, 2012 3:07:38 PM

I'm trying to decide if I need a GPU or not for the notebook I'm about to buy.

The recommended CPU would be an i5-2450 with intel HD graphics 3000 and 6GB ram.
Is there much of an advantage in adding an AMD Radeon HD 7450M with 1GB reserved memory - presumably taken out of the 6GB ram available - if that adds 8% to the price of a very affordable computer.

Searched for "intel hd 3000 or radeon hd 7450m", found a couple of replies.

Viewed the hierarchy on http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/fastest-graphics-card-rad..., pity, could not find the HD 7450M.

The notebook has a 1600 x 900 screen, and in addition an external 1920 x 1200 screen will be used to do consumer-level photo editing and some DTP. An X-rite i1 display is used to calibrate the external screen.

ACDSee Pro 5 and Adobe Photoshop Elements for the photo editing and ACDSee Canvas and Corel Suite X5 for the DTP part.

Other applications are the usual e-mail, surfing, office suite and web authoring, and will be single screen; there is no intention of playing games. Have worked out that - for CorelDraw, Photoshop Elements and similar - the i7-2670QM does not appear to offer that much extra punch, at least not for the 70% higher price tag.

Question:

Looks like the intended software will not make use of the GPU, would there be any other benefit from the external GPU, or can the intel HD 3000 integrated graphics handle both screens at the intended resolution?

Closing thoughts:

I'm only somewhat concerned about performance during editing - lag while resizing, applying corrections etc., am especially keen to avoid long render times - the ones where you hear yourself muttering to the computer "come on now dear, what's taking you so long?".

Info on both http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/a8-3500m-llano-apu,review... and on http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benc... indicates that the Radeon (ranked 194 there) would be in the order of 20 to 50% faster than the intel HD 3000 (ranked 230), but is that relevant at my level of use? The HD 3000 seems twice as fast for 3D mark tests as the mobility radeon X1600 in the intel core2duo T5200 notebook which is being replaced, although in the Tom's Hardware hierarchy it is placed just one step up from the X1600.

That concludes my first question on Tom's Hardware, happy to provide more info if needed, and otherwise looking forward ... .

March 9, 2012 3:48:05 PM

For this kind of use you will not see that much diffrence. I will note that the newer versions of Photoshop 5,5.5, and 6 use Nvidia video cards to help with renders and resizing so the ATI 7450 will do little or nothing to help unless your apps support Open CL... Good Luck

Thent
March 9, 2012 4:02:51 PM

@ Thently:

Thank you for the quick reply, that's what I suspected.

So what remains is to find out whether there would be any other advantage in having the dedicated graphics card?

Looking ... ,
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March 9, 2012 4:48:49 PM

It will give a slight better performance in windows most likely not noticeable for windows opening closing moving about... Gives you the ability to play games not maxed out but at least the option if you get board one day :)  .... For a work computer not needed unless it is suported by your software but I like to have the option in case something does come along I want/need it for.

Thent
March 19, 2012 8:16:11 PM

Follow-up: by the time I'd reached the shop the model with the Radeon video had sold out, so bought the one with Intel HD graphics 3000, which is quite an improvement over the Radeon X1600 in the four year old notebook. Thanks to all who looked but felt unable to reply, and most in particular to the one member who did actually reply.
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