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Need a new laptop fast as my Desktop Pentium IV 3GHz

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January 19, 2009 9:10:47 AM

Hi all,

I have a venerable ThinkPad T30 (7 years old). Still serves me well, but I would like a laptop that is as fast as my Desktop Pentium IV 2.8 GHz (ASUS board, full architecture), which I bought years ago, and is still as fast as I need - and I do a lot with it: program, graphics, some video editing..

Most of all the current slew of new laptops have CPU speeds of only about 1.8GHz, so there must be more to the story than this...

Is there a page/site that shows benchmarks of new laptops cmprd to a ~Pentium IV 3GHz.

Is there a page/site that explains what all the new terms mean Core /2 Core / whatever.

And most important, recommendations for a laptop that is as fast as my desktop.

TIA

avraham
a b D Laptop
January 19, 2009 5:34:48 PM

As far as benchmarking goes, there isn't much in the laptop world. All notebooks are too different from one another to get a reliable standard on any one piece of hardware.

Lots of notebooks have CPU speeds in excess of 2.0GHz, so don't fret. What kind of price range have you been looking at?

Even a lower dual core 1.8GHz processor from today can out-compute your aged P4, so don't worry so much about that.

I don't really know of any main site that explains "newer" technical terms, but I assure you, if you ask here, you'll get an ample response on anything. As for Core/ Core 2, they're both CPU architectures from Intel. The Core architecture is the older one which replaced the Netburst technology present in your Pentium IV, Core 2 has just completed it's life. Built off Intel's Pentium III and combined with technology from the Pentium M processor (from the original Centrino platform), the Core processors pretty much revolutionized the CPU industry. They've got lower heat output at higher clocks and can overclock at mindblowing levels. (For example, the lowest Core 2 Quad-core processor, the q6600, is stock at 2.4GHz, but can be overclocked in excess of 4GHz most of the time.) Of course, you won't be overclocking in your notebook often, but that still means less heat and longer battery life for you.

Now, most CPUs nowadays are dual core, which, if you didn't catch it, simple means there's 2 CPU cores combined on a single chip. They give ridiculous performance boosts over their single-core predecessors. Quad-core chips also exist (even for notebooks!) and give the performance their name implies. This, along with massive architectural improvements, is what allows a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo to outperform your Pentium IV @ 3.0GHz.

These days AMD isn't doing so hot, and their new CPUs have been less than revolutionary, but they'll catch up with time. (For all our sakes)

Now, as for recommendations, I can't do much until I know how much you're planning to spend. It'd be rather silly to talk about a $6000 notebook you can't buy anyway. Budget please? :) 
January 19, 2009 11:50:35 PM

A Core 2 laptop that is 1.8-2GHz should easily perform at least on par with a 3GHz P4. Besides, most of the non bottom-end laptops have CPUs more in the 2.3-2.5GHz range, giving them a significant advantage over a 3GHz P4 in basically every way.

Now, what's your budget and how big of a screen size do you need?
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January 20, 2009 2:08:27 PM

Wow! That's a great summary of the current state of the field!

Ok. So it's difficult to talk in dollar terms, since I live in Israel and here, traditionally, we get less GHz for the buck - and I assume that's still the case.

But if I look at a local online purchasing portal (zap.co.il - written in Hebrew), and do a search for a cheap but lightweight laptop (budget is not so big at all and I seem to do a lot of walking with a laptop on my back) then I get the following list:

http://zap.co.il/models.aspx?Sog=C-PCLaptop&DB710529=12...

with at the top, a Dell Vostro A860 15.6" 2.0Ghz 120GB

for about 2,600 shekels, which is about $700. (There is about 3.9 shekels to the $US.) You can probably make something of the laptop list there, although it is in a foreign language.

So how fast would be a Dell Vostro A860 15.6" 2.0Ghz 120GB, as compare to my ~3GHz Pentium IV desktop?

Great thanks!

- avi







frozenlead said:
As far as benchmarking goes, there isn't much in the laptop world. All notebooks are too different from one another to get a reliable standard on any one piece of hardware.

Lots of notebooks have CPU speeds in excess of 2.0GHz, so don't fret. What kind of price range have you been looking at?

Even a lower dual core 1.8GHz processor from today can out-compute your aged P4, so don't worry so much about that.

I don't really know of any main site that explains "newer" technical terms, but I assure you, if you ask here, you'll get an ample response on anything. As for Core/ Core 2, they're both CPU architectures from Intel. The Core architecture is the older one which replaced the Netburst technology present in your Pentium IV, Core 2 has just completed it's life. Built off Intel's Pentium III and combined with technology from the Pentium M processor (from the original Centrino platform), the Core processors pretty much revolutionized the CPU industry. They've got lower heat output at higher clocks and can overclock at mindblowing levels. (For example, the lowest Core 2 Quad-core processor, the q6600, is stock at 2.4GHz, but can be overclocked in excess of 4GHz most of the time.) Of course, you won't be overclocking in your notebook often, but that still means less heat and longer battery life for you.

Now, most CPUs nowadays are dual core, which, if you didn't catch it, simple means there's 2 CPU cores combined on a single chip. They give ridiculous performance boosts over their single-core predecessors. Quad-core chips also exist (even for notebooks!) and give the performance their name implies. This, along with massive architectural improvements, is what allows a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo to outperform your Pentium IV @ 3.0GHz.

These days AMD isn't doing so hot, and their new CPUs have been less than revolutionary, but they'll catch up with time. (For all our sakes)

Now, as for recommendations, I can't do much until I know how much you're planning to spend. It'd be rather silly to talk about a $6000 notebook you can't buy anyway. Budget please? :) 

a b D Laptop
January 20, 2009 5:46:04 PM

As far as I can tell, that notebook should far trump your P4.
January 20, 2009 7:38:47 PM

Really?!

Ok. So life is easier than I thought. I assumed that I would have to pay at least twice that amount to get a laptop as fast as my Pentium IV.

Thanks!

- avi



frozenlead said:
As far as I can tell, that notebook should far trump your P4.

!