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Need help deciding whether or not to get a new computer

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 21, 2011 7:14:49 AM

I currently have an HP m9500y Desktop with a Phenom x4 9750 (4x2.4GHz), 8GB DDR2 RAM, 640GB HDD (5400rpms), and an ATI Radeon 5770 (1GB DDR5) Graphics Card. It's about 3 years old.

I am considering trading it in and getting an Asus K53TA-BBR6 Laptop with an A6-3400M (4x2.3GHz), 8GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD(5400rpm) and ATI Radeon 6650M (1GB DDR3) which is set up dual with the Radeon HD 6480G chip that is part of the APU, which if I'm reading correctly makes it a Radeon HD 6720G2 for which I have found little or no performance data.

I use my computer for internet, productivity, GIMP, and light gaming (Fallout:NV, Civ5, SCII, CoD: Black Ops, etc), I dual boot Windows 7 and Backtrack Linux, and I'm looking to get some mobility, hence moving away from desktops.

Total cost after trade-in is about $200, and I'm wondering if it's worth it. Is this a performance upgrade, a lateral move or am I actually downgrading performance in favor of mobility here? Benchmark sites disagree on this point. Thanks!

More about : deciding computer

a b D Laptop
August 21, 2011 8:20:40 AM

Fallout NV is not "light gaming"; nor are the other games if you choose high quality settings. All those games need a GTX560Ti for the best results.

Laptops make poor gaming machines. They are expensive, hot, and noisy.

My advice is to purchase a non-gaming laptop, and if you really wish to game use your current computer or upgrade it with a better graphics card.

The AMD APU is a very nice chip for a laptop and helps keep things quiet.

15.6" laptops are much better to travel with but the 17" laptops have a larger screen area so that's your first choice.

My basic laptop advice:
1) 15.6" or 17" (16x9 ratio. prefer higher than 1366x768 resolution)
2) HP or Asus
3) HDMI output
4) APU processing
5) second hard drive bay if possible (for backups. can also use a portable 2.5" USB drive)
6) 3GB or 4GB of RAM
7) spend roughly $500-$800
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a c 433 D Laptop
August 21, 2011 8:24:46 AM

It is a downgrade.

The Llano CPU core is based off of the Athlon II X2 core which is weaker than the Phenom II core. Clock for clock the Athlon II X2 core is probably about 10% slower than a Phenom II core.

The Llano graphics core is weaker than your Radeon HD 5770. To start with a graphics core for a laptop is weaker than the graphics core of a desktop video card. That's because a laptop video card must consume less power and generate less heat to be used in a confined space. Based on some benchmarks I saw sometime ago, the Mobility Radeon HD 5850 has about the same performance as a desktop Radeon HD 5770. Therefore, you would need sometime like a Mobility Radeon HD 6870 to equal your desktop Radeon HD 5770.
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August 21, 2011 9:44:51 AM

"The Llano CPU core is based off of the Athlon II X2 core which is weaker than the Phenom II core. Clock for clock the Athlon II X2 core is probably about 10% slower than a Phenom II core."

I don't have a Phenom II. I have a Phenom. Same advice apply?
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Best solution

August 21, 2011 5:43:52 PM

Your Phenom x4 is a Phenom II my friend ^-^ Anyways I wouldn't do the trade since both are about the same performance. Your best bet may be to wait a year and get a more powerful computer for less money than it would cost you now to get high-end gaming rig. Save some money until then. ^-^
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a c 572 D Laptop
August 21, 2011 6:11:00 PM

A downgrade - especially for CPU hungry RPGs and SIM games, a good example of which is StarCraft II or Civ5.

-> Asus K53TA-BBR6 Laptop with an A6-3400M (4 x 2.3GHz 1.4 GHz)


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August 21, 2011 7:50:32 PM

Best answer selected by kikai93.
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August 21, 2011 7:50:46 PM

Thanks for the help guys!
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a c 572 D Laptop
August 21, 2011 8:19:19 PM

MrBig55 said:
Your Phenom x4 is a Phenom II my friend ^-^
Not a Phenom II (Deneb), just a Phenom (Agena).
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August 21, 2011 9:50:49 PM

WR2: So, does the A6 perform significantly better than the Agena processors?
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August 21, 2011 10:43:55 PM

I would say they do, higher clock speed, larger l2 cache and faster bus speed
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a c 572 D Laptop
August 21, 2011 11:12:02 PM

The Big List of mobile CPU benchmarks throws in a few desktop CPUs for comparison.

In that list the A6-3400M (1.4Ghz turbo 2.3Ghz) is ranked #142 and a well known desktop CPU C2Q Q6600 (2.4ghz) is ranked #67 and C2D E6600 (2.4Ghz) ranked #95. After AMD fixed that infamous TLB bug in the original Agena CPUs with the B3 steppings they never got the respect they probably deserved, mostly because the competition had that Q6600 that did an awesome job overclocking (and for a few other reasons). But if you look at the stock performance the Phenom X9750 (2.4Ghz) and X9850 BE (2.5Ghz) weren't always that far off from the Q6600.

from: http://techreport.com/articles.x/14424/4 (more benchmarks available)

On that chart the A6-3400M would probably slot in under the C2D 6750.

It's not that the A6-3400M is bad. I just think you have the better CPU and the desktop HD 5770 GPU is a big improvement over the laptop HD 6650M.

HD 6650M (even with hybrid Crossfire) is roughly between a desktop HD Radeon HD 5570 and Radeon HD 5670 (closer to the 5570). A Nvidia GeForce GT 430 has more GPU power than the HD 6550M
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August 21, 2011 11:57:34 PM

Thanks, WR2. The is the most well-explained, empirically verifiable reply I've gotten across seven forums. Kudos.
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