Hi, I've been looking around for a new laptop at about the £400 price range (I guess that's around $500 these days?). I want to be able to play some modern games at moderate settings so it's been hard to find something at that price, but I've narrowed it down to 2 Dell Inspiron laptops. The differing specs are as follows:
CPU: Intel Core I3-380M 2.53Ghz
GPU: ATI Radeon HD5650 1GB
RAM: 3GB 1066Mhz
HDD: 320GB, assume the speed is 7200RPM
The cheaper option has a better processor and the graphics cards are about equal, but the 5650 seems to good for overclocking. The only thing that concerns me hugely is memory speed, will it make a difference to a laptop playing games? I don't mind upgrading it to 4GB as it will still be a lot cheaper than £418 in total.
You really should assume the 320GB HDD in the £380 Inspiron is a 5400rpm drive. It's the 'standard' speed in the budget models.
RAM speed differences will be negligible.
Check on the GT 525M OC ability using RivaTuner. I believe its on par with the HD 5650 using CCC.
Core I3-2310M 2.1Ghz would be equivelent to a 2.4Ghz 1st gen Core i CPU. That's not enough difference to be noticed.
The one other difference is probably the resale value a few years down the road favors the 2011 model, not the 2010 model.
Everything is 'close enough' to pick the lower priced option if you prefer it.
Thanks for the reply. At factory settings are the graphics cards about equal? Would I notice any difference in gaming between the two laptops? If not then I'll go for the cheaper model and upgrade to 6GB memory to take the cost to my budget of £400.
Thanks for the help. I think I'll go for the £380 model as I won't be paying anyway and £40 extra for a laptop purely because it has a better hard drive and memory would make me feel bad. As I see it, performance where it matters to me in games will be similar, if not better in the cheaper one.
I really would like to upgrade the memory to 6GB, but can I use any brand of memory in a Dell? Kingston do a 4GB stick for £20 which fills the budget and gives me peace of mind with regards to memory usage in Crysis.