Why does my laptop outperform my gaming PC?

Hi everyone, I recently received a new work laptop and decided to put it to the test by installing Dragon Age: Origins (my favorite PC game). After starting it up, I was surprised and frankly a little dissapointed to see that not only did the laptop run it, it outperformed my 3.5 year old gaming pc by a wide margin even at the same resolution and settings. As someone with little tech knowledge, could someone explain why this is?

Laptop specs:
Dell Vostro 3750
Win 7 Pro 64 bit
1600 x 900
Intel i5-2410M @ 2.3 GHz
320 GB HDD
GeForce GT 525M

Gaming PC specs:
Win Vista Home Premium 64 bit
1600 x 900 (scaled down from 1920 x 1080)
AMD Athlon X2 6000+ @ 3.1GHz
320 GB HDD
HD 6850 (upgraded about 1 year ago)

Is my gaming PC just running outdated parts? Common sense tells me a dual core 3.1GHz CPU and HD 6850 would outperform a dual core mobile 2.3 GHz CPU and GT 525M. Thanks for your help!
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  1. Best answer
    An i5, regardless of whether or not it's mobile, will clearly outpace and outperform an Athlon X2. The architecture truly is that superior.

    Also, you have probably bottlenecked your 6850 in that desktop by coupling it with an inferior older CPU. I bet, if you were to put that 6850 in a newer desktop i5 or even i3 you would see a ginormous improvement.

    The 525M in that laptop isn't affecting the performance difference.... it's a fairly low-end mobile GPU, but the CPU is making up the least in what you're talking about.
  2. Try scaling up your resolution and you will see why. At low resolutions, sometimes lower cards perform better. But if you turn up the resolution, that is where the better cards shine.
    That and the laptop is a couple of generations newer tech. ('cept for gpu)
  3. Yeah, you've gotta consider that there's been lots of advancements in CPUs every generation. Just because it's got a faster clock speed doesn't mean that it can also compute that much faster.
  4. your gaming pc is a turd compared to your laptop
  5. That CPU is bottlenecking your GPU at that res.
  6. Best answer selected by amplex007.
  7. Definitely your CPU. I had an Athlon dual core, when I bought my GTS 450 a while back, I was bottlenecking badly in Battlefield bad company 2. My board was an AM2 board, probably like yours, but with a bios update, allowed me to upgrade my processor. I dropped an Athlon II quad, which are dirt cheap now, I think they are floating around ebay for under 75 bucks. And the PC really came to life. My PC is 5 years old, next upgrade for me is a better graphics card and power supply. Though I do want a 27 inch monitor also.

    Check your board's specs, if you can drop a quad into it, do it. You would be suprised how your old PC roars to life. Soon as I put my quad in my PC, bottlenecks were gone.
  8. Oh, one more note too, if you do upgrade your current rig, I think Windows 8 upgrades will only be 40 bucks even from Vista or XP. Might be worth grabbing. Not the biggest Windows 8 fan myself, but I think I would use Classic Shell on my desktop, and might want a Windwos 8 tablet down the road.
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