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Asus Laptops: i7 vs i5 with switchable graphics?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 15, 2010 7:40:44 AM

Hi all! It is my first time here asking a question, and I would appreciate some feedback on this. I've been waiting to buy a new laptop for sometime now, and seem to have narrowed my search down to the new ASUS N61 series. I do a LOT of web-browsing, frequently with MANY tabs open simultaneously, and do a fair amount with media and a limited amount of gaming. My question is this: Am I better off with an the ASUS N61JQ-A1 with an i7-720QM 1.60GHz Processor and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 with 1GB DDR3, or the ASUS N61JV-X2, with a 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-430M Processor and and an NVidia GT325M Graphics Engine with 1GB DDR3 Dedicated VRAM...bear in mind please, that the latter of these two systems, the N61JV-X2 has NVIDIA Optimus switchable graphics, which seems to do a pretty amazing job in terms of battery life. Any guidance the comunity can provide would be greatly appreciated. The difference in price between the systems is not too extreme; the i7 laptop is about $150 more give or take.
February 15, 2010 12:53:22 PM

well i too am in the market for similar notebook, and from what i gather from your question is N61VJ-X2 with i5 is enough for you.

But by 'fair amount of media & limited gaming' if you meant especially gaming is more than minor concern GT 325M might be a problem.
( check www.notebookcheck.net for more info on gaming/graphics etc)

Also as you said N61JV is much better on battery life, so if you use without AC power that too says you might want to consider N61JV more.

so in conclusion if gaming is not a much concern N61JV could be more than enough IMHO.
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February 15, 2010 10:51:14 PM

If we were to ttake the expense out of the picture....any idea how much of a difference the switchable graphics might make on the battery life? Anyone have an idea..?
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February 15, 2010 11:32:55 PM

Well, it all comes down to what are you looking for. Both laptops will do super fine for the use you will be giving them. The only noticeable difference between the two models is power vs battery life I suppose. Both the i7 and i5 models you mentioned are beasts in multitasking, while the i7 has the edge on graphic design and gaming. That ATi model is noticeably superior to the nVidia one but since you mentioned the Optimus technology, I believe you are thinking more on battery life advantages. In battery efficency terms (with a 6-cell battery) I think the A1 would last 1-2 hrs, while the X2 could potentially last as much as 4-5hrs.

I would go with the cheaper N61JV-X2 for a slightly less stellar performance but a significant amount of extra battery life. At the end, both are Asus laptops with the newest Intel processors. No matter wich one you choose, you are going to have a great laptop.
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