Laptop processor Intel 3rd Gen i3 or i5 for student multitasking?

Hello, just a quick question for those who have compared intel's 3rd gen i3 and i5s (any models really) and whether there is noticable difference in performance when multi-tasking with non-intensive programs (i.e. surfing the web with multiple tabs/windoes, word processing, multiple document/pdf viewing.

I am just trying to evaulate whether the extra money for an i5 3210M over an i3 2370M for this purpose (the price difference in the laptops I'm considering being about $100). It is meant a laptop for uni work, so there's no dedicated VGA - and in my work I useually have at least 5 web-pages open, and several documents/pdfs while processing my own document (and copying pictures etc.).

As far as I can tell, the main difference between the processors is the turbo boost on the i5, but I'm not sure as to whether this would be utilised with such tasks. Ideally I would also want to play music, if that makes much of a difference.

Would appreciate any answers, thanks muchly in advance :)
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  1. Ah thank you very much - great answer :) Out of curiosity, how did you come to 40% faster (than the 2370M), is that comparing the turbo-boost to 3.1GHz?

    Yeah I think I've decided on the 3210M - but I've got a couple more things to consider... I've worked out that I can probably stretch my budget (if it's worth it, in your opinion) to either
    - upgrade the graphics to a dedicated 2GB GT 635M for approx. $100
    - upgrade to an i7 3610QM for approx. $70 (still with the integrated HD 4000)

    From what I've read it seems the i7 would be unneccessarily over-powered - and that I would likely not notice a difference between the 3210M. So the upgraded graphics seems appealing now that moderate level games on low-ish setting is plausible - but is the GT 635M worth the extra, over the intel HD 4000? Note that the RAM is 4GB.
    (Ps. in upgrading the graphics I would drop from a 750GB to a 500GB HD)

    Thanks again for the reply - hope someone can help with this question :)
  2. If your not gaming or running Autocad a i-3 will do the trick, make sure you get sufficient memory & hd capacity in you choice though
  3. Best answer selected by Stugcb.
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