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P8600 vs T9400

Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
August 21, 2008 7:50:54 PM

Hi everyone, I'm a long time reader, first time poster.

I'm looking to buy a small, portable laptop with great battery life but also high gaming potential. I know this sounds almost counter intuitive.

1_What is your budget?

I'd like to spend $1500 or less

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

14" or smaller (Smaller is better)

3_What screen resolution do you want?

Doesn't really matter, as long as if I connect it to a external display setup I can run full 1920x1050 or higher.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

I want a highly portable notebook that can be a desktop replacement.

5_How much battery life do you need?

I prefer at least 4 hours of usage time on battery. My last notebook's battery only lasted 90 minutes. There were some meetings that it couldn't last through. Again, the longer the better. Any idea if that new Dell's 19 hour battery life is for real?

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

Crysis, WoW, Lots of FPS

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing , surfing the web, playing music, watching movies, Etc.)

Web design, general emailing, MS Office non productivity, surfing the web, iTunes, downloading all kinds of junk.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

At least 250GB.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

Costco online, Dell, Sager

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

1-2 years

11_If you would like to mention some other things about purchasing your ideal laptop, post them.

I'm considering between CPUs: P8600 (or P8400) vs T9400. I understand that the P8600 uses only 25 watts whereas the T9400 uses 35 watts. How much will battery life be increased? Is it measurable? Has anyone done this comparison?

Also, the P8600 (P series in general) has a 3MB cache as opposed to the T9400 (T series) which has 6MB cache. I just read another article on cache and I'm thinking cache seems more important than I previously thought. What will be the hard #s in terms of perfomance gains by doubling the cache (for gaming and general office use)?

Finally, would what is the best route to go if I want both performance and portability? More battery life and less cache (P8600) or less battery life and higher cache (T9400)? Or is this even measurable? Again, the $100 or so difference is neglible for me.

I guess I'm asking which will I notice more, the increase in battery life of a P8600 or the increased perfomance gain of T9400?

Additionally, if I move from a 5400rpm hard drive to 7200rpm hd, will this significantly decrease battery life? From what I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, hard drive speed is one of the biggest bottlenecks in computing right? If so, what are the numbers in terms of performance gain vs energy loss? (i.e. 30% faster hd vs 20% shorter batter life)

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

Likes: Asus, Acer, Apple, really any big name with good customer service
Dislikes: Ibuypower...their customer service is non existent.

13_What country do you live in?


More about : p8600 t9400

a b D Laptop
August 21, 2008 9:38:13 PM

It looks like you have a model already in mind, what is it?

More importantly, what graphics card does it use? You're digging yourself a hole with the battery life so high and the want to play COD4. Those don't go hand in hand.

As for the P8600 vs the T9400, unless you're doing a CPU intensive task where every clock you can have is better, I would never recommend anything above 2.2GHz. The gains in performance after that is not noticeable; neither will be the gain between these two CPU's. The gain in battery would be around a mere 10 minutes or so, my guess.

Having never owned a notebook with a 7200rpm hard disk, I can't say what the battery decrease will be. However, I don't notice a speed difference between my 7200 disks on my desktop versus my 5400 disk on my laptop. Everything is pretty much the same. Games load a hair faster on the notebook, though.

Lastly, Apple + games = does not exist. I don't recommend you buy an Apple computer for anything. You can do everything a Mac can on a PC cheaper.
Related resources
August 23, 2008 12:20:05 AM

I recently swapped in a 7200rpm WD Scorpio Black into my notebook, and there is a definite speed boost (I had a Samsung HM250JI 250GB 5400RPM before). It's mostly noticeable in boot and login times, and definitely worth it in my opinion. The battery life decrease should not be significant - a few minutes perhaps, as the hard drive is not the main component that is taking power in your computer anyways.
August 23, 2008 1:00:34 AM

Cool, thanks. Anyone else want to weigh in on the T9400 vs P8600 (or P8400) issue? I think I'll probably order the computer early next week.
a c 244 D Laptop
August 23, 2008 6:16:02 AM

I say go for T9400
September 7, 2008 2:10:04 AM

Okay. Well I'm looking for a laptop of a similar caliber... I've been looking at the Asus G50V X1 offered by Newegg. The screen is 15.4 but a wxsga+ which is a plus for me. If the 13" is an absolute must then I guess that decides it right there. Not sure if you like the color of the notebook either(I usually like my gadgets to be a neutral colors but I think this looks good). It's relatively light and from what I hear Asus is a reliable brand.
P8400 CPU - Montevino platform
9700m GT Nvidia chip
7200 rpm 200gb hd
It also has a number pad which is a big selling point for me.
I'd advise you to go to a BestBuy and take a look at it. Don't get it from there though because Asus has changed the specs for the ones sold in BB. It has a T5750, worse screen, and some other things for $1200-1250.

You may want to do a little more digging to confirm all this. I've always been a desktop person and have already built mine the way I like it. I'm done going overboard with all the expensive parts and need a middle ground with the laptop. I'm new to the laptop market so maybe I'm not seeing something but I think the Asus is a good choice.

If you happen to find any other good choices, I'd be interested in them but I'm probably going to order this one in a week or so. Good luck!