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Dual Core to Quad Core upgrade- worth it?

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November 26, 2012 7:30:29 PM

So I'm customizing a laptop and I'm wondering which processor I should choose. I would be using this laptop for digital art, any gaming that I can actually manage although I don't expect much out of it, playing music while at the same time browsing the internet, etc. I was thinking about upgrading the graphics card on it (From AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7600 Series Discrete-Class to 1GB AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7670M Discrete-Class Graphics) but I'm thinking the processor would be better to upgrade if I can only choose one. To upgrade either the processor or the graphics card is $50.
Tldr; Will there be a significant boost in performance from the dual core to the quad core or is it a waste of $50?

Standard Processor: AMD Dual-Core A6-4400M (3.0GHz/2.6GHz, 1MB L2 Cache)
Upgradable Processor: AMD Quad-Core A8-4500M (3.0GHz/2.1GHz, 4MB L2 Cache)

Laptop if you want to see it --> http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products...

Thanks.

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a c 471 à CPUs
a c 433 D Laptop
November 26, 2012 7:49:41 PM

In terms of games, getting a more power graphics card would benefit you more than a more powerful CPU. Even for a game that can make use of 4 cores, if you decide to stick with the integrated graphic core, then your gaming performance will be limited by the graphic core, and it will be not as good as a dual core CPU with a dedicated graphics card.

As for digital art, depending on the programs you use it is possible that a quad core CPU will improve performance for that. Of course the best thing to do would be to get both upgraded CPU and the discrete graphics card.

To look at it from a different perspective, you can spend the extra $100 to upgrade both CPU and GPU and it will probably last you a while for both games and digital art work. Or decide to "cheap out" and spend $50 on either one of the upgrades only to be disappointed in 1 or 2 years at which point you will need to spend more money later for something that meets your expectations.

If I were you I would actually spend a total of $150 on upgrades. $100 for the A10-4600m which will get you the fastest Trinity APU which also comes with the most powerful integrated Radeon HD core. Add $50 for the Radeon HD 7670m which will gain a better performance boost with the integrated Radeon 7660g core.

Regarding that $25 option for that extra 1GB of RAM for the graphic card. You can actually skip that one. It will not benefit you in games at all. While it might give you a tiny / small performance boost for digital artwork (depending on what you are doing) it is not worth blowing out your budget even more.
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November 26, 2012 8:07:01 PM

By "digital art" all I really mean is Paint Tool Sai lol. Oh, also I was thinking about learning programming. But extremely basic stuff. (And will probably end up giving up) Do either of those change anything?
Thank you so much for your response, that was very helpful.
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November 26, 2012 8:07:13 PM

Best answer selected by CaramelCrumbles.
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a c 471 à CPUs
a c 433 D Laptop
November 27, 2012 12:02:01 AM

Don't know much about Paint Tool Sai, but it seems that you are not "seriously" into digital art. If so and you want to just spend $50 to upgrade, then the clear choice is the Radeon HD 7670m. However, as stated before, I would max out the CPU (AMD calls it an APU) since the additional cores can benefit you in a few games like BF3. But more importantly, the more powerful integrated graphics should boost / max out the graphic card performance. The added benefit is that do so may allow you to postpone buying a new laptop for 1 or 2 years depending on your gaming expectations.
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a c 471 à CPUs
a c 433 D Laptop
November 27, 2012 12:03:23 AM

Learning programing with a dual core or quad core laptop won't change anything.
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November 27, 2012 12:15:29 AM

Thank you so much you have been beyond helpful!
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