(1) Win XP support. Yes you can load WinXP on new laptops. Not really recommended. WinXP is no longer supported by uSoft. You will need to download and install all drivers for XP from manuf Website. Win 7 has better memory management. Most laptops now come with 64 bit ver of Win 7. The ONLY reason to down grade to XP is if you have some OLD programs that contain 16 Bit code.
(2) Ram. Yes you can run on 2 gigs. However; for new OS and programs the Min recommended is now 4 gigs. With 4 gigs you can run 32 bit or 64 bit OS, but with a 32 bit OS you will lose about 1/2 gig. Case in point my two older laptop cam with less than 4 gigs - My first upgrade for them was to 4 gigs of ram. Nice improvement for low cost.
(3) Visual studio - yes, Win 7 will suport.
(4) While you can run (A) core dual, (B) C2D -Core 2 Dual and any above (ie Ix-XXX or the newest Ix-xxxx (SB). It is not always about the cpu itself, with the newer cpus you also get an IMPROVED motherboard, better power management, and newer chipsets. So here my recommendation would be Ix-xxx or the newest SB (Ix-xxxx) which also provide USB3 and improved power management. Also, unless you are also looking to gaming, you are going to be reling on the Internal GPU. With the Sandybridge (Ix-xxxx) the Internal Graphic (HD3000) is inside the CPU, not an external chipset and is very good. The Ix-xxx also used a IGP internal to the CPU - HD2000
Can u pl elaborate
What is the difference in 1st gen and 2nd gen i3 and i5 proc. ?
Which applications demand i3 and which demand i5 ?
My applications are
student EDA tools
Gaming - medium, reasonable. but not the highest end
1st gen Ix vs 2nd gen Ix (1st Genetation = Ix-xxx, 2nd (SB) = Ix-xxxx
More effecient CPU (at Same speed SB is faster)
Better IGP (HD2000 vs HD3000 may not be a big factor if you get a Laptop with a dedicated GPU - caution 1st generation with a low end dedicated GPU may not be faster than the SB with the internal IGP.
i3 vs i5 vs i7
CPU speeds and number of cores. The number of cores will determine performance when multitasking more than the CPU speed. CPU speed is more important when application is single threaded.
1st gen Core i3/i5 CPUs are called "Clarkdale".
- Inexpensive laptops uses the Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics core inside the chipset. Not ideal for games.
2nd gen Core i3/i5 CPUs are called "Sandy Bridge".
- Generally, speaking clock for clock they are on average 10% faster than their 1st gen counterparts. For example a Sandy Bridge Core i3 @ 2.0GHz is about the equivalent to a Clarkdale Core i3 @ 2.2GHz.
- The graphics core is built into the CPU. Low end Core i3/i5 CPUs will have the Intel HD 2000 graphics core; about 40% - 50% better performance than the Intel GMA 4500MHD. Higher end Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5 CPUs will have the Intel HD 3000 graphics core; around 2x better than the Intel GMA 4500MHD or slightly better than the desktop version of the Radeon HD 5450. Better for games, but it is still considered somewhat weak.
As for which is better, Core i3 or Core i5? Core i5 will have higher clock speeds so they will have better performance. Generally speaking the faster the processor the later you will feel the need to upgrade because the CPU is too slow for newer / more demanding programs.
If you want to play games, then it is possible to play games with the Intel HD 3000 graphics core. But if you have to budget to buy a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, then that would be the better choice.
Thank u for your reply
Is 4GB RAM essential or 2 GB RAM would do
For moderate games, intel HD3000 Graphics - Is it adequate ? or is a seperate Graphics Card necessary?
OS- What is the difference between Win 7 and WIN XP ?
Does Win7 support the older EDA tools and visual studio ?