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I7 vs SLI

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  • Intel i7
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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November 23, 2009 8:10:52 PM

I've been looking for a new gaming laptop and noticed that I can only find ones with i7 processors OR dual video cards, but not both. I see this among several manufacturers (Alienware, Sager, Eurocom). Is there some inherant technology exclusivity that prevents them from existing together? I wouldn't think so because I see desktops with both. Should I just be more patient and are the models coming out (soon hopefully)? Thanks.

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a b D Laptop
November 23, 2009 10:05:08 PM

It's probably a power and heat problem. i7 and SLI is a lot of juice and a lot of heat - two things notebooks aren't so good at. Needless to say, the power of an i7 is unnecessary for those buying SLI systems, whereas SLI is unnecessary for those buying i7 systems.
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November 23, 2009 11:58:19 PM

Wrong. I7 runs cooler than a Quad core and having an i7 does not mean you can skimp on graphics.
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November 24, 2009 1:30:25 PM

Yeah, I was thinking what Gkfisher said. Doesn't seem right to spend $4000 on a laptop and get a generation old CPU.
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a b D Laptop
November 24, 2009 2:41:29 PM

An i7 is a quad-core processor...
The i7 uses more power and runs hotter than the core 2 quad at load - why do you think they lowered it's clocks so much? At idle/little work, it's a crapshoot between dynamic CPU throttling methods.

The i7 is unnecessary for gamers. A core 2 quad or a high clocked core duo will do you just as well in a notebook as an i7. Notebook GPUs are not as beefy as their desktop brothers, and require less CPU power to drive them. There's no technical reason to have an i7 as a notebook gamer other than to say you have one, or if in the case you do real work with your gaming computer. The horsepower of the i7 is best utilized by the worker - video, audio editors, CAD and modeling specialists, MATLAB programmers, etc. The worker generally doesn't need a dedicated GPU (except the CAD or modeler, but they require professional GPUs anyway).

For example, the Sager unit with an i7 (albiet a desktop version) is touted as the "mobile workstation", whereas the SLI notebook with a core 2 quad is the true "gamer notebook".

High-end manufacturers are probably in progress of building i7/SLI machines, but we won't see them for a while. There's no reason to put one out on the market except to say they truly have the most powerful gaming notebook; however, a smart gamer knows that (for now) having an i7 in your notebook is much less important (and almost a gimmick) than having SLI.
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January 29, 2010 12:16:08 AM

Quote:
220919,5,60392 said:
An i7 is a quad-core processor...
The i7 uses more power and runs hotter than the core 2 quad at load - why do you think they lowered it's clocks so much? At idle/little work, it's a crapshoot between dynamic CPU throttling methods.

The i7 is unnecessary for gamers. A core 2 quad or a high clocked core duo will do you just as well in a notebook as an i7.
said:


Thanks, frozen, this is a helpful perspective. Any chance you have found any benchmarks comparing an i7/dual ATI's in crossfire (in current M17) versus a quad-core with SLI?

Am about 1 month from ordering my next laptop and am getting genuinely different perspectives on which way to go.
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January 29, 2010 12:19:57 AM

PS: I've read that the reason for not having i7/sli is nvidia won't support the i7 with drivers. they claim that nvidia doesn't want people to pay $ to intel for more expensive processor because doing so could cut into the $ that nvidia gets people spend on graphics cards. (most people can't afford both.) it does makes business sense, but i'm not sure whether this is true.
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