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Confused on which laptop to get, i3 or i5 processors?

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July 9, 2011 7:59:54 AM

hi, i am in a dillema, i am after a new laptop, and have been trying to study the intel core i3 and i5 specs, and have come across 3 laptops within my budgets. I'm trying to get the one which is overall the best.

the first one is this:
Samsung RV711-A02UK Core i3-2310M, 17.3"with 4GB Ram, 750GB HD, Intel HD Graphics.

the second one is:
ACER Aspire AS7741-484G32, Core i5-480M, 17.3" with 4GB ram, 320GB HD, Intel HD Graphics

the third one is:

ACER Aspire 7750, Core i5-2410M, 17.3" with 4GB ram, 500GB HD.


All are roughly same price. The samsung is the newest laptop as its just being released.

I plan to run some music software on the laptop.



July 9, 2011 8:51:26 AM

The Core i5-2410M one will be the most powerful. (laptop 3)

The other two CPU's should perform fairly close to the same. (480m has a higher clock speed, but the 2310m is a newer, more efficient architecture) The 2310m and 2410m will both have much better video performance when using integrated graphics as well.

Here are exact specs on each one:

i5-480m: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52952
i3-2310m: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52220
i5-2410m: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52224
July 9, 2011 9:08:44 AM

thanks.



Both the samsung RV711 and acer 7750 are practically the same price, so im still thinking on which brand to get. The samsung model i'm looking at is not out yet, it comes out next month I think, but its got a good spec. Out of these 2, is it better to go for the i5 or i3? The one with i5 has slightly less HD space, but is obviously faster. I'm still thinking of whether to get the extra 250GB in HD space in trade off for the slightly faster i5 processor.


Samsung RV711-A02UK Core i3-2310M, 17.3"with 4GB Ram, 750GB HD, Intel HD Graphics. (£490)

ACER Aspire 7750, Core i5-2410M, 17.3" with 4GB ram, 500GB HD. (£496)


I'm more familiar with Acer aspire, but what is Samsung like as a laptop build quality and reliability?
If the samsung has a better battery life, that would make my decision easier.



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July 9, 2011 10:20:50 AM

Finding the right balance can be tricky. I think it would nice if you could tell us what exactly do you plan to do with your new purchase, because depending on the tasks you'd be doing, we can make a better suggestion. Having said, until few weeks ago I was in the same boat, until I bought this DV6 :) 

Anyway, I would suggest that 2410 would be a much better choice for several reasons, e.g. SNB is an improvement over previous generation architecture, more power efficient resulting in better battery life, and it got HD 3000 graphics core, which again is much improved IG solution from Intel.

For your concern about storage, there is always an option of buying a USB 2/3 external HDD, like WD's Passport :) 
July 9, 2011 12:09:29 PM

hi,

its mainly to run some music software such as cubase sx and several VST's. thats what I primarily need the laptop for. Not for games or anything.

I'm finding it tricky choosing the right spec.


At present, i've been temporarily using my friend's Acer Aspire 8935g which is a Core2Duo P8700 with 4GB ram, and ATI radeon HD 4670 graphics with Blu Ray and Realtek HD sound.

That processor seems to work fine with the types of software I am using at the moment. Obviously, I don't need Blu Ray, I just need a laptop which has a decent similar processor or better.


What I definitely need is a 17.3 inch screen for my laptop, minimum of 4gb ram, some decend HD space, and a good processor.

If I could find a really cheap laptop under £300 that would be ideal, but i'm prepared to spend more for an upto date processor.


July 9, 2011 12:16:13 PM

If I can find a really cheap Core2Duo for under £300, I would rather buy one of them.

But since i3's and i5's are now standard, I figure paying upto £450 to £500 for a decent spec seems a good idea as they will last a good while.


July 10, 2011 11:31:34 AM

I would got the i5-2410m over the i3-2310m no question. the base clock speed is only 2.1 vs 2.3, but the i5 will turbo up to 2.9, while the i3 is fixed at 2.1 full time. That will make more more of a difference than the difference in HD space. IDK that I'd even look at a Core2Duo unless it was a LOT less than that ATM, they are only about half as efficient clock per clock at this point.
July 13, 2011 10:00:21 AM

Yargnit said:
I would got the i5-2410m over the i3-2310m no question. the base clock speed is only 2.1 vs 2.3, but the i5 will turbo up to 2.9, while the i3 is fixed at 2.1 full time. That will make more more of a difference than the difference in HD space. IDK that I'd even look at a Core2Duo unless it was a LOT less than that ATM, they are only about half as efficient clock per clock at this point.


is it better to get a refurbished laptop if its cheaper?

Someone on this forum
http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=19570...

managed to get a dell laptop with a real high spec for less than £475.

i would like something like that. I've never had a dell though, so i don't know what quality is like for the hardware.

July 14, 2011 2:37:23 AM

That depends on your feelings about buying refurbished. If you buy refurbished make sure you take a close look at the warranty, and strongly consider the extended warranty (and factor that into figuring the price)

I generally don't like refurbished myself, but if you can get abetter spec'd system for a lower price even factoring in buying the extended warranty (preferably one where they'll flat replace it with a new model if it has serious problems) then it's not a bad way to go.

Make sure you have at least 30 days to return it no questions though as you most likely cannot inspect it prior to purchase. (in case it was returned due to dead pixels or something like that)

Basically you're getting an upgrade from integrated to discrete graphics in exchange for going refurbished, only you can decide if that's worthwhile based on your usage.

As a brand, dell is generally pretty good though for laptops.
July 15, 2011 8:25:39 AM

Yargnit said:
That depends on your feelings about buying refurbished. If you buy refurbished make sure you take a close look at the warranty, and strongly consider the extended warranty (and factor that into figuring the price)

I generally don't like refurbished myself, but if you can get abetter spec'd system for a lower price even factoring in buying the extended warranty (preferably one where they'll flat replace it with a new model if it has serious problems) then it's not a bad way to go.

Make sure you have at least 30 days to return it no questions though as you most likely cannot inspect it prior to purchase. (in case it was returned due to dead pixels or something like that)

Basically you're getting an upgrade from integrated to discrete graphics in exchange for going refurbished, only you can decide if that's worthwhile based on your usage.

As a brand, dell is generally pretty good though for laptops.


ok thanks

ive also found this laptop which is not sandybridge, but its under £400 and is an I3-350.

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/508343...|category_root|Office%2C+PCs+and+phones|14418968/c_2/2|14418968|Laptops+and+Netbooks|14419039.htm

Struggling to find the 17.3 Inch screen I5-2410m laptops for under £500.


Also, which laptops out of the first generation i core's and sandybridge i core's have the best battery life?

July 16, 2011 1:32:24 AM

A 1st Gen i3 will be the weakest of the group. And 2nd gen (sandy-bridge) laptops will be more power efficient. They both have the same thermal envelopes (35w max TDP) but the faster sandy-bridge laptops will finish the same task sooner, so they'll be running at high power usage for less time. The i5-2410m with integrated graphics should be the most power efficient overall in terms of battery usage.
!