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A8 3500m + 6750m vs i7 + 540m

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  • Intel i7
  • Processors
  • Laptops
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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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July 31, 2011 10:33:22 PM

I'm in the market for a laptop, and my budget is about $700. I'm looking for the best gaming I can get out of a $700 laptop. Best Buy actually has a really good deal going on with this: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pavilion+Laptop+/+AMD+...

It's an HP Pavilion dv6, with a 1.5ghz quad core AMD A8 3500m processor, 6gb of ram, and a Radeon 6750m graphics processor. I was pretty hooked on it but I found this Acer on newegg.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2GHz i7 with a GT 540m and 4gb of ram.

I already know that the 6750m is decently more powerful than the 540m, but the i7 is obviously better than the A8 3500m. I need to know if the i7 would give the Acer the edge, or if the 6750m is far enough ahead that I'll still get better framerates even with the slower processor.

If it's a difference of just a couple FPS I'd probably be more inclined to go with the HP, just because of the extra stuff (bigger HDD, nice audio, more RAM, bluray player, and fingerprint reader which I don't care about but might be fun to use.)

So if I could get some opinions on which is better, or if you have a better idea in mind, post it here, thanks!

More about : 3500m 6750m 540m

a c 467 D Laptop
July 31, 2011 10:38:42 PM

I would go with the HP since it has a more powerful graphics core.
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August 1, 2011 12:52:07 AM

What's the screen size / resolution for both laptops?
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Related resources
August 1, 2011 1:09:30 AM

1366 x 768 15.6" on the HP,
and the same on the acer.
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August 1, 2011 5:55:19 AM

I would go for the hp also. Just about every game is GPU bound so the win will go to the more powerful GPU. Very few games are CPU bound anymore so a faster CPU won't really help much.
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August 1, 2011 6:12:39 PM

Immudzen said:
I would go for the hp also. Just about every game is GPU bound so the win will go to the more powerful GPU. Very few games are CPU bound anymore so a faster CPU won't really help much.


True.....but....1.5ghz quad core?? A 2.0ghz dual core i3 would blow it out of the water. If I were you I would find a higher clocked i3 (sandy bridge) or i5 (sand bridge) dual core with a really good gpu.
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August 1, 2011 6:51:51 PM

1.5ghz at default clock with all 4 cores running. The turbocore stuff allows them to clock up to 2.4ghz if not all are in use. If you have a program that will run on all 4 cores correctly then 1.5ghz will be fine for a laptop. If something only needs two cores then the cores will probably be running around 2.4ghz.

However the basic problem is that if you want a fast clocked chip and a good GPU then you are going to spend a lot more money and get lower battery life. If you want good battery life also then you are going to be spending vastly more money. The point is that at $700 this laptop is very hard to beat for average tasks. Yes you can get an i5/i7 system that is faster for CPU and graphics but it will cost a lot more and you take a serious battery life hit.
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August 1, 2011 7:31:45 PM

That makes sense. Didn't know the A8 had turbo capability.
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August 1, 2011 8:42:56 PM

If you can find a decent i3 or i5 with something better than a GT540 for that price, I'll take a look. The next logical step up from a GT540 would be a GT460 (I think) , but that almost always boosts up the price by $200 - $300. Otherwise I think by what I've read and seen here and other places, the 6750 would more than make up for the performance loss of the processor. In games, anyway.
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a c 467 D Laptop
August 1, 2011 11:38:36 PM

It seems alright for a 17" laptop if it is not too big and heavy.

The only thing I don't like are the orange stripes.
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August 2, 2011 1:36:48 AM

Abyssalx said:
And then there's this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2.53GHz i5, 5870m, 4gb RAM and a 17" screen. It's $100 more than I wanted but it's really good. Only thing is, much less features and it looks god-awful. Opinions?


Wow you where not kidding that thing is truly ugly. I wonder how anyone designed that thing. Other then that the specs seem fine. The biggest downside is it is about $150 more then the llano laptop I have been looking at getting dv6-6135dx from bestbuy.

The downside I see on that laptop is that the laptop is pretty heavy and I doubt it has very good battery life. It looks like about 2-3 hours is about the best you will get out of it. Still pretty nice except for the looks though.
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August 2, 2011 4:30:11 AM

Well, that MSi I posted not only went up by $50, it's now out of stock. Ugh. I'm still looking around so if anyone finds some good deals around $700 - $1000, let me know.
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August 2, 2011 7:14:58 PM

That link did not work for me. What is the model number?
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August 2, 2011 9:02:42 PM

Yeah the link didn't work. I'll try to get a good price with those specs, hold on.
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August 3, 2011 4:39:26 PM

I don't know. The i5 with the 6770 is good, but it's $850. I think there's better out there if I keep looking. HP actually has pretty good prices on their machines though, I'm surprised.

Edit - the MSi GX740, i5 2.53ghz + 5870 is only $800 on Amazon. I think that's what i'm gonna buy. I'll buy another battery also, to compensate for the battery life.

Edit again - That MSi's i5 is a Nehalem, not a Sandy Bridge. I hear a lot of obsession over Sandy Bridge, is it really that big of a deal?
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August 4, 2011 5:15:50 PM

Sandy bridge is better, did you also use coupons for the HP. A 1366x768 on a 17 inch is awful, 1080p screens are much better, 768p screens are like mirrors, i have one and it sucks.
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August 4, 2011 5:41:42 PM

It's not 1366x768, it's 1440x900. Which my 19" monitor runs on that, so I don't have a problem with a 17" not being HD. The MSi is out of stock on amazon now too... UGH. The only confliction I'm having is the battery life. But I still can't find a better or equal laptop for that price.
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August 12, 2011 6:18:13 AM

I've got the Dv6 you're looking at and i'm loving it. Don't let the processor speed fool you. I've found it has plenty of power to handle anything you're going to throw at it.

gaming on it is great. I was playing BBC2 on it at around mid quality and it was running pretty smooth
most games will probably be able to run at mid quality I'd say.
It runs cool too after a few hours the only part of the laptop that was hot was the top left corner on the bottom

The extras on it are pretty nice and build quality is great.
I think if gaming is what you're looking at you can't go wrong with
great Laptop
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August 14, 2011 2:22:11 PM

So far I am really liking mine. It has run mathematica and other software without any delays that I could notice, it has played all the games I tried without any issues and I can use it as an ereader with the amazon kindle software for about 6 hours or so. I picked up the dv6-6135dx from bestbuy.

I have only encountered two problems with the laptop so far. 1 the camera with its default settings is very slow so you have to turn off automatic light correction and the it works normally. The other issue is I can't get it to connect at 1Gbps to my switch only 100mbps. However using the same cables and the same ports my other machines will all connect at 1Gbps. This is not a huge problem since I don't really send large files to the laptop.

Overall though I would say it is a very good purchase. The fingerprint reader for passwords is also pretty cool.

Edit: Turns out I had a bunch of cables that had 1 line bad in them and 7 out of 8 is not enough for gigabit and since they used to work at gigabit I had not run them through a wire tester again. So it all works now.
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September 11, 2011 2:33:45 AM

What about a laptop with i5-2410m, NVIDIA GeForce GT 555m, 5400RPM :(  , 1366x768 Resolution, and 4GB DDR3-1333 of RAM? Would it be better than the Pavilion dv6-6135dx?
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September 11, 2011 11:48:14 AM

Are you talking about the Lenovo Y570? If so, then kinda. The GT555m is by default better than the 6750m. But, the GT555m in the Lenovo is GDDR5, which is usually better, but it has a slower bitrate and acts more like an overclocked 540m. Still, it's at least on par with the 6750m. The i5 is no doubt better than the A8-3500m. My big deal with the Lenovo is that the sale that makes it worth it is sometimes there and sometimes not, and the battery life is bad compared to the hp, and battery life is pretty important to me. I'm honestly still conflicted over this dv6-6135dx. I want it but then I see some laptops with i5's and i7's and I wonder if sacrificing a little battery life or graphics performance is worth it for that.
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September 11, 2011 2:07:48 PM

In normal usage (excel, mathematica, word, browsing etc) I am getting about 5 hours on the hp. In intensive games like fallout 3 I seem to get about 2 hours when I used the dedicated graphics card. I get about 7-8 hours when use the kindle reader software. Many games work on the integrated graphics card and those look like they will run about 4 hours or so.

Overall I have been very happy with the system. It definitely does not feel like it has any slowdowns. Calculations in things like mathematica and excel seem to happen instantly, applications launch quickly, the desktop remains very responsive etc.

I suspect I would need benchmark software since not even a stopwatch would do it to see an i5 was faster for calculating. However I would not need a stopwatch or benchmark software to see how much faster the GUI responds or the battery life since I have compared that with other students that went the intel route and that one is REALLY obvious.

When the intel systems are on integrated gpu they sure seem to run a lot slower on the basic graphics end. When they use a dedicated gpu the battery drains quickly. I really like that on integrated gpu I get good battery life and performance.
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September 11, 2011 2:31:38 PM

Yeah, I just kinda realized something too. I have an old Sony Vaio laptop with a Pentium Dual Core 1.46ghz t2310 processor. And an old intel integrated graphics card. That processor is slow, as hell, compared to today's processors. But I have no lag, and watch HD movies on my 47" 1080p flatscreen with it with no problem or lag at all. And it's running windows 7. The 3500m completely decimates that processor, so I have no inhibitions left. The Dv6-6135dx is definitely what I'm going to buy.
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September 11, 2011 5:41:14 PM

Many people dramatically overestimate the importance of a faster processor. Most of the stuff we do now is not processor bound. Even for my database work I am looking at getting an ultra low power machine for my next system since you can get 16GB of ram and a quad core processor for devel that is faster then my current machine and still end up using a tiny fraction of the energy.

Overall we have gone way beyond the point of diminishing returns for CPUs and much of the newer development is on specialized processors to do certain tasks quickly (hardware video decode, encode, etc) and GPGPU work.
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September 11, 2011 8:11:59 PM

Abyssalx said:
Are you talking about the Lenovo Y570? If so, then kinda. The GT555m is by default better than the 6750m. But, the GT555m in the Lenovo is GDDR5, which is usually better, but it has a slower bitrate and acts more like an overclocked 540m. Still, it's at least on par with the 6750m. The i5 is no doubt better than the A8-3500m. My big deal with the Lenovo is that the sale that makes it worth it is sometimes there and sometimes not, and the battery life is bad compared to the hp, and battery life is pretty important to me. I'm honestly still conflicted over this dv6-6135dx. I want it but then I see some laptops with i5's and i7's and I wonder if sacrificing a little battery life or graphics performance is worth it for that.

Yes, you are correct. That's the laptop. Now, I am wondering what makes you say that the i5 is better than the a8. It is my understanding that the i5-2410m has a faster main clocking speed and turbo clocking speed than the a8, but the thing that confuses me is that on intel's website, they say that the i5 has hd graphics integrated in the processor. Same with the a8, they say that there are integrated graphics in the processor. So both the Lenovo and the HP come with dedicated graphics. Wouldn't that mean they both have dual graphics? Integrated and Dedicated? If so, would that mean I could get extra performance with crossfire? Or does crossfire only support dual dedicated cards?
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September 11, 2011 10:03:48 PM

IMO the Llano with the stronger graphics card

You might even get better game performance from a cheaper but higher clocked Llano A4 3300 or 3400 dual core .
The intel i3 is a stronger cpu , but even the strongest cpu combined with a weak graphics chip cant game
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September 12, 2011 2:17:44 PM

ZeroShadowX7 said:
Yes, you are correct. That's the laptop. Now, I am wondering what makes you say that the i5 is better than the a8. It is my understanding that the i5-2410m has a faster main clocking speed and turbo clocking speed than the a8, but the thing that confuses me is that on intel's website, they say that the i5 has hd graphics integrated in the processor. Same with the a8, they say that there are integrated graphics in the processor. So both the Lenovo and the HP come with dedicated graphics. Wouldn't that mean they both have dual graphics? Integrated and Dedicated? If so, would that mean I could get extra performance with crossfire? Or does crossfire only support dual dedicated cards?



Well, my idea that the i5 is better than the A8 is purely speculation. Benchmarks, etc, show it getting better scores. Whether or not you'll notice that, I don't know, probably not.

The Idea with the A8's integrated graphics is that it blows the Intel's integrated graphics out of the water. The A8 comes with an integrated 6620g (I think) which is actually decent, compared to the Intel HD 3000, which is more or less useless. The Intel HD 3000 cannot combine with any GPU. It is merely used as a power saving option on laptops. The 6620g in the A8, however, CAN crossfire, but the deal is, the drivers are meh, and some games will work great with the crossfire and some won't. Still, it can boost performance a lot. Along with being able to crossfire the 6620G in the A8 and the 6750m dedicated card, you can use power saving options to disable the 6750m, and get a lot of battery life. This is just in an options window on the desktop, but some games will require you to change settings in a newly updated BIOS in order to use the 6750m in some games. (Like OpenGL games) (and don't worry, it's an HP bios update, and it's not a big deal to do, or change the option)
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September 12, 2011 2:56:40 PM

Outlander_04 said:
IMO the Llano with the stronger graphics card

You might even get better game performance from a cheaper but higher clocked Llano A4 3300 or 3400 dual core .
The intel i3 is a stronger cpu , but even the strongest cpu combined with a weak graphics chip cant game



I don't know. From what I've seen, the A8 is around the same for most things as the i3. Although it wouldn't surprise me if I'm wrong. The A# series are new chips made from old parts. I'm kinda surprised AMD took that route, I think they could've done better, especially since the point was to impress everyone with the combine processor performance and gaming performance of the new cpus.
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September 12, 2011 7:46:05 PM

The CPU parts are about the same. The integrated GPUs are not remotely the same. You can play things like Fallout 3 on the integrated GPU on the A8 procs which you can not even remotely do on the i3 integrated chip. A lot of games you can play just fine on the integrated graphics chip in the A8.
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September 12, 2011 11:34:23 PM

Abyssalx said:
I don't know. From what I've seen, the A8 is around the same for most things as the i3. Although it wouldn't surprise me if I'm wrong. The A# series are new chips made from old parts. I'm kinda surprised AMD took that route, I think they could've done better, especially since the point was to impress everyone with the combine processor performance and gaming performance of the new cpus.


My point is that the A4 is clocked at 1.9 GHz and turbos up to 2.5 GHz . It can do these higher clocks than the A8 Llanos because the limitation is heat and power draw .
For cpu intensive tasks the A8 is likely to be better , but in gaming where few games make use of a quad core anyway then the dual core A4 should shine when coupled with a discrete graphics chip like the 6750m

I hope so
I bought an A4/ 6750m Hp DV6 yesterday .
I'd let you know how it runs , but its birthday present [ for someone else ] and it wont get run for 10 days or so
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September 13, 2011 12:59:25 AM

Abyssalx said:
Well, my idea that the i5 is better than the A8 is purely speculation. Benchmarks, etc, show it getting better scores. Whether or not you'll notice that, I don't know, probably not.

The Idea with the A8's integrated graphics is that it blows the Intel's integrated graphics out of the water. The A8 comes with an integrated 6620g (I think) which is actually decent, compared to the Intel HD 3000, which is more or less useless. The Intel HD 3000 cannot combine with any GPU. It is merely used as a power saving option on laptops. The 6620g in the A8, however, CAN crossfire, but the deal is, the drivers are meh, and some games will work great with the crossfire and some won't. Still, it can boost performance a lot. Along with being able to crossfire the 6620G in the A8 and the 6750m dedicated card, you can use power saving options to disable the 6750m, and get a lot of battery life. This is just in an options window on the desktop, but some games will require you to change settings in a newly updated BIOS in order to use the 6750m in some games. (Like OpenGL games) (and don't worry, it's an HP bios update, and it's not a big deal to do, or change the option)

Ok, Thanks. My next concern would be, when crossfire is enabled on some games, will the combined performance be better than the NVIDIA GeForce GT 555m alone? According to notebookcheck, the GT 555m alone has better performance than the 6570m. I actually wouldn't use the intregrated graphics unless I needed save power or use it in crossfire, and also I would lean more toward the HP because it has more bells and whistles for the money (who could not want a fingerprint scanner and face recognition :)  lol). Another concern that I have would be, wouldn't the APU be a bottleneck for the graphics? Or would the Lenovo be better solely for gaming? Thanks for all your help.
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a c 572 D Laptop
September 13, 2011 1:29:26 AM

If you're using gaming as your only criteria, and the APU/CPU choice isn't unusually pathetic, most anything with the GeForce GT 555M would be better than most anything with Radeon HD 6570m / Radeon HD 6750m or Radeon HD 6755G2 (which is HD 6750 aCFX with Radeon HD 6620G).

If you check the HP Pavilion dv6-6135dx review & Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 reviews linked above I think you can see where the A8-3500M APU is holding back the GPU in a gaming benchmark.

Looking at games 2 & 3 years down the road I'm thinking the i5-2410M and GT 555M has the better outlook there.
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September 13, 2011 1:25:56 PM

But again, battery life. The HP already has a 5 hour working battery life, with probably 2.5 on gaming. I'm gonna buy another 9cell hp battery along with that hp so that I can get 8-9ish hours on working and a few more on gaming. The lenovo has no battery replacement, and is a 3.5 hour optimal, and in my opinion, that kills the deal. Again, the 555m in the Lenovo is the GDDR5 version, which means it is 128bit as opposed to 192bit, and then barely, if it all will outperform the 6750m. Processing speed has little to do with gaming anymore, and I don't do HD video editing or anything like that to have myself care enough about super CPU speed that I won't notice.
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September 13, 2011 1:27:50 PM

Also, the 6750m with the A-series processor benchmarks on notebookcheck are done with 1gb of ram. Wtf. And to get a more powerful battery with an i5/555m I'm looking at ~$900 as opposed to $650.


Edit - To be fair, the y570 isn't a bad choice. But with the i5 and the 555m, it only goes down to $670 with a coupon thats available fairly erratically.
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a c 572 D Laptop
September 13, 2011 2:49:52 PM

Battery usage is roughly equal between a A8-3500M and i5-2410M equipped system. Except while gaming on the battery then the A8-3500M + HD 6620G graphics lasts substantially longer. If you're using the A8-3500M + HD 6750M discrete graphics card you'd lose the big advantage in battery life that comes with using A8-3500M + HD 6620G IGP while gaming.


From the reviews linked above - some benchmarks showing Pavilion dv6-6135dx & IdeaPad Y570 testing results:

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September 13, 2011 3:07:35 PM

Just before you posted that I was looking at some other reviews of the Y570. It seems they benchmarked the Y570's battery life with the 555m on. Because with it switched off, it seems to get upwards of 6 hours of battery life. I was confused about that fact. I hope that there are some Y570 coupons soon. I know that the i5 and 555m is only $679, and if the i7 and 555m is only a bit above $700, I'll just go for that. Especially considering the DV6 just jumped $50 in price.
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a c 572 D Laptop
September 13, 2011 3:55:08 PM

You have to be careful when looking at the battery life to make sure you know what size battery (in watt hours) the testing was done with. That PCMag review of the Lenovo Y570 was done with a six cell 62WH battery which I don't believe is the 'standard battery' the laptop offers. I've seen some of the new Llanos get tested with larger than standard batteries too. That, more than anything, seems to muddy up the water about battery life.

There is another little 'gotcha' about Lllano's and gaming on the battery. The performance drops off a bit to extend the battery life. When LegitReviews looked at that they saw a 30% difference in performance. It's probably a fair trade-off to get the extended battery life but people need to be prepared to adjust the resolution or graphics settings in some games to keep them running smoothly.
I haven't been able to find a reference that metions if it's possible to avoid that performance drop off. Im sure any number of people would want to have the option to choose between a battery saving mode and full gaming performance.


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September 13, 2011 6:39:46 PM

Well, the only reason I stated the low battery life on the lenovo, was even on the website, Y570 says 4 hour battery life. I don't know why it says that if you can get 6. I'll have to look and see what the battery specs are on the one online.
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September 13, 2011 11:40:57 PM

Gaming with the dv6-6135dx is not just a single number. For a lot of games including fallout 3 type games you can do gaming on the integrated GPU and still get good battery life. When you use the dedicated GPU your battery life does drain a lot faster but not any faster then the intel machine with dedicated GPU running. The point is that the intel CPU with integrated GPU can not really play games at all while the AMD one can. On the AMD laptop many games can be easily played on the integrated GPU and give you nice long battery life.
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September 14, 2011 1:34:32 AM

That's a good point. It's pretty convenient to just be able to switch from doing homework to playing a game, just like that, which raises another question I have. The Lenovo Y570 has nVidia Optimus, and it has the switch for the Intel Integrated and the 555m on the front. Can I only change the GPU when it's off, or can I change it any time?

Funny thing I just found too.

The Dv6-6xxx uses the MU09 battery, I just found a 12 cell 95wH battery, it's not retail of course, but jesus.
http://www.battery4us.com/hp-notebook-batteries/MU09.ht...

Edit again - I guess it is retail. HP makes a 12cell battery for the dv6-6000 series for $100. I wonder what kinda battery life this gives X.X
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a c 572 D Laptop
September 14, 2011 5:22:07 AM

The Lenovo Y570 has that Optimus lockout switch with the LED to show you when its on/off. The default is switched off which has caught quite a few people out.

Besides the manual lockout switch to limit the Y570 to the HD 3000 graphics only you can influence how Optimus works in several ways.
Hardware Canucks did a video review that explains in more detail about the Automatic mode and the custom profile settings that are also available: NVIDIA Optimus Technology Video Review

It's probably worth your while to dig up the User Manuals (and maybe even see if you can find the more elusive Maintenance/Service Manual) and look them over.
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September 14, 2011 12:46:01 PM

It is not just about switching from games to homework. It is about being able to have GPU acceleration in common apps without having to activate the dedicated card.

Many of the games I have from steam run just fine on the integrated GPU so I don't even have to use the dedicated GPU to use them. This makes a huge power and performance difference. To play games as old as fallout 3 or older you really need to use the dedicated GPU on the intel systems but for many of these the integrated GPU on the AMD system will work just fine.

Being able to do some gaming on the integrated GPU is such a huge thing. Since it means while you are out and you have an hour between classes and you may not be able to plug in you can still do some gaming while waiting or run software that is GPU accelerated.

One thing I really don't like about the PCMark and 3DMark stuff is that way it is so heavily biased against reality and focused almost totally on the CPU. They are not representative benchmarks. Which is why intel is the only hardware vendor left that supports them IIRC. Many apps you use every day are already GPU accelerated and so actual experience does not reflect what you would expect from that benchmark number.

In general ignore any synthetic benchmark and go purely based on actual app benchmarks. Also if what you are doing is not CPU bound just ignore benchmarks completely pretty much since for most people just about anything is far more then fast enough.

That 12 cell battery though looks extremely cool for the dv6.
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September 14, 2011 1:49:12 PM

Another thing though about the DV6 is that the graphics switching that HP or whoever put in it, doesn't support OpenGL games. This means you have to manually switch the discrete GPU on in the Bios if you want to play a graphics-intensive OpenGL game. I'm still really conflicted on this, however. Optimus seems like the perfected technology attempted in the HP. But there are a few things that still lead me on to the HP.

#1 is the low power used to gaming on the integrated chip. To be honest, my classes are short enough and I could probably manage to use the dedicated card in between them and not have to worry, but still, there are many times when this would come in handy. The HP also has a blu-ray player, which would be nice. And, I can just go to the store and grab the HP, as opposed to waiting for shipping.

Two things, though.

First, I really love the look of the Lenovo Y570. Despite what PCMAG says, I think its one of the best looking laptops available.

And second, It almost looks to me like bestbuy is phasing the 6135dx out. As of 2 days ago, the price went up by $50, There is only one store an hour away that has it in stock, and it's now no longer available for shipping.

--On a side note, my purchase is most likely going to be made on the 30th.
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September 14, 2011 10:19:16 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Y570, on newegg for only $699. I hope this deal stays until the 30th when I go to buy it. Free 3 day shipping too. Ill grab 8gb of ram for an extra $40 too, why not.
It seems that this one comes with a 48wh battery, I'm guessing that's standard off the website too. That's really disappointing. The 6 hour benchmark was on a 62wh battery, meaning optimal life would be 4 hours. Which means with mostly full brightness (medium inside and full when outside) and watching youtube for maybe an hour, etc, it would probably only last about 3 hours, and that puts gaming in between classes out of the question.
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October 2, 2011 6:44:30 PM

Apparently there is a dv6-6145dx now that is on sale for $650 from bestbuy. It gets another 2G of ram but loses the bluray drive. Other then that the specs look the same.
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October 2, 2011 8:55:44 PM

I don't think it has the 6750m, only the 6620g from the A8 processor.
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