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Choice of CPU - video card (Dell)

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  • Graphics Cards
  • CPUs
  • Dell
  • Laptops
  • Product
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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April 13, 2010 4:07:45 AM

Hello,

I am ready to buy a Studio 17 from Dell but I am having difficulties to decide between two different option for CPU and video card.

1) core i7 720QM + 1GB2 ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650
or
2) core i5 520M + ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5650, 1GB

The prices are very similar (and this is not the issue). I am really no expert but I have the feeling that the CPU of the first one is better but its video card is weaker...

I am really no expert and would warmly welcome a few words of advice.

I am not an intensive gamer but, this is my "desktop" and I would like to be able to play a few recent games (even if not with all graphic options at max) and hopefully run "new" games (in decent settings) for as long as I can (I am likely to keep this computer for approximately 3 years).

Many many thanks for your help !

More about : choice cpu video card dell

a b U Graphics card
a c 203 à CPUs
a c 572 D Laptop
April 13, 2010 6:14:30 AM

The GPUs are fairly close. And I think for most current games the CPUs would be pretty close as well.
But I'd have to think that the Core i7 720QM might have an edge in future games, even with the slightly less powerful GPU.

A few benchmark comparisons to compare the CPUs and GPUs.
3DMark 05
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 = 13023
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5165 = 13284
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 = 12609
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M = 12579
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 = 14023

Passmark CPU benchmark
Intel Core i5 M 520 @ 2.40GHz (2.93 turbo) = 2489
Intel Core i7 720QM @ 1.60GHz (2.8 turbo) = 3242

For price comparison look at:
TOSHIBA Satellite A505-Core i7 720QM 16" 4GB 500GB HDD 5400rpm GeForce GT 330M $1000
ASUS N61JQ-X1 Core i7 720QM 16" 4GB 320GB HDD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 $1050




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April 13, 2010 3:07:02 PM

Hi, thanks for your answer !

Unfortunately, I opened two identical threads at the same time (by double clicking, I assume) and could not delete any. In the other thread, I got the exact opposite advice from another "veteran" so I am still a bit confused...

I am copying frozenlead's answer here: "You're correct with the stronger CPU/ weaker GPU combo. Considering you want to game, I would get the 5650 unit - a stronger GPU will go farther than a stronger CPU - plus, it's not like the i5 is weak, by any means. "

I really don't mean to start a battle of advice and I am greatful to both of you for trying to help. I trully appreciate the time you take to answer and give some thought to my stupid questions ! I am just trying to make my mind and it is difficult when two persons that know much more than I do come with two contrary opinions ! ;-)

Sorry for insisting but if I could get some further comments, it would greatly help me make up my mind.

Thanks also for indicating other options. They do look like potentially better deals... but I definitely want a 17 inches screen (minimum !).

Thanks again

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Related resources
a b U Graphics card
a c 203 à CPUs
a c 572 D Laptop
April 13, 2010 6:13:19 PM

I can't find any offerings on the Dell website for a Studio 17 i7 720QM & Radeon HD 4650 combo.
All the listings offer is a top CPU Core i5-520 and the only discrete GPU is HD 5650.

Are you planning on buying your Dell someplace other than the Dell website?
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a b U Graphics card
a c 203 à CPUs
a c 572 D Laptop
April 13, 2010 6:17:22 PM

I don't disagree with frozenlead's guidance. I just think the video cards are close enough in performance that I'd suggest the quad core might have an advantage, especially for the 'casual gamer'. The actual performance of the two laptops is almost close enough not to be able to notice the difference.
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a b D Laptop
April 13, 2010 6:53:59 PM

I don't disagree with WR2 either - there are a few games here and there that show better performance with quad-cores, and there will be more in the future. It's a bit of a judgement call; for now, I'm sticking with "buy the best GPU you can afford and hold it for as long as possible". You just happened to pick two units that are very close in performance.

And don't feel stupid for asking questions...half the people on this forum will ask things like "5870 how?" or something that makes no sense whatsoever.
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April 13, 2010 8:26:06 PM

These guys are right. Your choices are close. One laptop will run games slightly better and the other will run everything else slightly better. Neither is a slouch. BTW look at WR2s suggested laptops to be sure you're getting a good price.
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April 13, 2010 9:01:31 PM

WR2 said:
I can't find any offerings on the Dell website for a Studio 17 i7 720QM & Radeon HD 4650 combo.
All the listings offer is a top CPU Core i5-520 and the only discrete GPU is HD 5650.

Are you planning on buying your Dell someplace other than the Dell website?


You can find it on the website but it is well hidden ! You cannot find it by just browsing the studio 17 but, if you type core i7 in the search engine and go to laptops offering this CPU, it appears as on top of the short list of choices... I know it is a bit weird !

Thanks to both of you for answering and coming back to the thread for more clarification ! That's great ! I now feel much more comfortable to make a choice.

Just a last quick question (I can't resist asking more and more): frozenlead, on the other thread, you were advising me to wait for the extra memory as this could be easily added. Is that that simple on a laptop? I am the kind of guy that has trouble removing the battery!! ;-)
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a b D Laptop
April 13, 2010 9:32:25 PM

Well, if you've trouble removing the battery, it might take a bit more than 3 minutes. But, it really is quite easy. For 99% of notebooks, all it takes is removing two screws, unclipping the memory, and clipping new modules in, then replacing the screws. It really isn't hard, and I'm sure there are numerous youtube videos on the subject.
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April 13, 2010 9:47:02 PM

frozenlead said:
Well, if you've trouble removing the battery, it might take a bit more than 3 minutes. But, it really is quite easy. For 99% of notebooks, all it takes is removing two screws, unclipping the memory, and clipping new modules in, then replacing the screws. It really isn't hard, and I'm sure there are numerous youtube videos on the subject.


Well, if youtube can help, I will trust that I am not completely incapable of doing it (despite my serious handicap! ^^), follow your advise and save a couple hundred dollars now!

Thanks so much to you and WR2.
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May 3, 2010 3:36:03 AM

Well, it's me again ! I have not yet bought the computer but I would like to do it now... and I have a new question so I am returning to this old thread ! ;-)

The computer I am about to buy is a dell laptop (from the French website because I am a strange person that can't live without the weird French keyboard and that's the only way to get it). The Studio 17 they are offering I what I believe is a relatively good price (approximately $1,200) is pretty much the one I had described above with core i7 but the GPU is an ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 560v. I can't find any benchmark or review of any sort. I don't know if this is a typo or if it is another name for the 4650 or the 5650 that are usually available for Dell computers.

I don't want to buy anything that would have a weaker video card than the 4650. Has anybody ever heard of this GPU?

Help would be greatly appreciated!
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May 18, 2010 8:20:24 PM

For what i've read on other forums and sites, ATI is rebranding its products. In fact, 560v is a 4650 with a new name, or at least they have the same specifications.
There is also a rumour that the "new" 560v has better cooling and less power consumption, but I haven't found any info about that.

I bought recently a dell 1747 with 560v, and Everest says me it's a 4650.
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May 18, 2010 8:36:01 PM

I would seriously not go with dell anyway, they are far too overpriced, and their customer service sucks, i bought a lappy from them back in 08 a Dual Core @ 2.2 ghz 2 gb ram, and it use to seriously overheat, eventually the charger melted rofl... and it was on 5-6 hours a day, so i rang up dell, and they refused to give me anything even though i paid 120 pounds for their extended warranty, and when i finally got through to customer service, it was just a bunch of Middle eastern guys reading off a script on their computers and whom knew nothing about computers.
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