Compaq Presario vs. Toshiba Satellite?


I'm in need of a laptop computer now, as desktop and laptop I currently have are old and slow. My parents are going to buy me a laptop, with only two choices. A Toshiba C655D-S5200, or a Compaq Presario CQ57-S5130. I'm a writer, and mainly will need it to hold up decently in the portability arena. My current laptop is a Gateway, have had the common issue of the DC jack prong that has to be soldered. I've had that done 4 times, and have resorted to an external battery charger, which isn't good for portability, as have to take battery out to charge after 4 hours. I do watch movies, download music, and have a ton of pictures and home videos I want to consolidate onto this new laptop. Speakers need to be fairly good. Other than that, I don't have anything I need. Which do you think would be better?
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  1. This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Laptops & Notebooks by Buwish
  2. Hello rachbehr

    Do both those laptops have the AMD Dual-Core C-50 CPU?
    It's a very weak CPU. You'd end up with a new, and very slow, laptop.

    There's a fair chance your old laptop has a more powerful CPU. What make/model is it?

    To give you an idea how weak that CPU is:
    In the Big list of Mobile Processors (CPU Benchmarks) is ranked #454 out of 520+ laptop CPUs. That makes it less powerful than many five and six year old laptop CPUs.
  3. Staples has a good deal going at the moment.
    Acer Aspire AS5250-BZ467 15.6" Laptop $300 (normally $500)
    AMD E-450 (1.65GHz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Radeon HD 6320 Graphics and all the usual stuff you'd expect.
    Uploaded with

    It's no speed burner either, but it's moved up to #327 on the Big List above.
    It's a much better match to the types of things you want to do.
  4. WR2, that is an exceptional deal for an awesome budget laptop, the E-450 is NICE.. I got a C-50 with 4GB RAM and 240GB HDD, DVD reader/writer, 5 in 1 card slot w/built in webcam and microphone for $281.00 brand new. But alas, the deal you presented is even better. Good laptops can be had for less than $300 brand new folks!

    The AMD C-50 is quite capable and in my real life performance tests on the games and programs that I use, the dual core 1.0ghz C-50 out performs the single core 3.0ghz Pentium4 (I know, that's fairly old, but three times the ghz. It had crap for L1/L2 cache of course, and couldnt be left on for days at a time plugged in without becoming very, very warm to the touch, dare I say hot.)

    The AMD C-50 will score between a 2.7 and a 3.0 on the Processor Performance Index score for CPU, from a range of 0.9 to 7.9. However, the strong points of the C-50 APU (technically speaking) are two cores, two levels of cache with a decent amount of megabytes, runs at 8 watts, and heats to 75-80 degrees under _full load_. This thing is underclocked, and its been designed to not be overclockable, because it contains the ATI Radeon HD 6250 Graphics Chipset on the CPU itself. It directly controls the graphics and allows the entire system's available RAM to be accessed for graphic intensive applications. My C-50 laptop for example has 4.0ghz of 1333mhz ddr3 RAM. Considering the system neeeds about 0.5 ghz to run Windows 7 as I have it optimized, I essentially have a PCI-E Radeon HD 6250 with 3.0ghz of 1333mhz RAM accessable to it. While the CPU score is 2.8 (I've seen 2.7 and 2.9 before), the 'Windows Aero Graphics' score is a 5.1, the 'Memory Performance' is 5.5, and the 'Gaming Graphics' score is 5.9. The hard-disk score is 7.3. It runs games that have a minimum requirement of 1.5-2.0Ghz on medium settings with nearly any lag whatsoever. Also, the C-50 runs the graphics bus speed at 280mhz. It has 'out of order' processing technology, which I THINK means that it prioritizes individual data processes in the most optimal fashion, making them 'out of order'.

    It is an underclocked, locked AMD C-60. That APU is 1.3ghz and runs the graphics bus at 480mhz instead of 280mhz, it uses the same wattage. Some C-50's, usually Acer brand laptop C-50s from August and Septmber 2011, have C-50's that are actually C-60's once the BIOS is upgraded.

    This same technology is used in the E-series, E-350 and E-450, the higher end pair of APUs. Motherboards that accept C-series APU's also receive E-series APU's without issue; even though the E-series has a sightly higher wattage (18w). It also runs the graphics bus at 480mhz, and the E-series APU's have the next-level-up Radeon HD chipset, I think it is the Radeon HD 6320, or 6350. These run at 1.6ghz, have more cache than the C-series, and I also suspect are underclocked.

    For a lower-costing laptop, you really can't beat the AMD APUs, (except the single core C-30), you get WAY better graphics and at least equal processing power (even if the ghz do not match, ghz are not everything) to anything of a comparable price with an Intel CPU and on-board cheap graphics chipset.

    If you're going to buy a laptop with a C-50 or C-60, you need to optimize Windows 7 to run fairly light visually, and you must set all the power saving and performance quality setting in the entire control panel to 'highest performance'. They come set default as 'best power saving'. You also need to IMMEDIATELY upgrad the Bios to the very latest, and update the ATI graphics driver to at least Catalyst 11.11. By the time you read this, there may well be a newer driver, but 11.11+.

    If you do this, I promise you will be pleased with your performance. I have ONE gripe about this laptop, the speakers are kind-of weak on bass, nothing headphones cant fix. ;-) Paid $281.00 for it brand new at a Wal-Mart in late August. Upgraded from 2GB to 4GB of RAM and that made a big difference as well. It really does fly, im pretty astounded that 1.0Ghz can perform this well.

    If you grow bored with your C-50 or C-60 laptop and attempt an APU upgrade to an E-350 or E-450, you may find an unfortunate surprise waiting for you; the APU might be soldered into the socket on the mainboard. If so, do not panic! If the entire system was $300 brand new, you can purchase a compatible mainboard and E-450 APU combo upgrade for under a $100. If you're a tech, you could put it in yourself.


    Rockwell Rains
    CompTIA A+ Certified (since 2000)
    Compaq Presario CQ57-229WM
    -C-50 dual core 1.0ghz
    -Radeon 6250 HD
    -4GB DDR3 PC3 1060 RAM
    -240GB 7200rpm SATA
  5. In fact... here are a pair of articles that explain things better.
    "An accelerated processing unit (APU) is a processing system that includes additional processing capability designed to accelerate one or more types of computations outside of a CPU. This may include a graphics processing unit (GPU) used for general-purpose computing (GPGPU), a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), or similar specialized processing system. Variations on the usage of this term include a marketing-based variation in which the APU is described as a processing device which integrates a CPU and a GPU on the same die, thus improving data transfer rates between these components while reducing power consumption. APUs can also include video processing and other application-specific accelerators. Examples include AMD Fusion, IBM CELL, Intel HD Graphics, and NVIDIA's Project Denver."

    The above paragraph, in my opinion, basically says that APU's are CPU's that have extra capabilities built-in which speed up and optimize computations outside of the CPU. So it takes the load off of the CPU so to speak by accelerating and processing certain things without using the CPU's priority directly. This allows a CPU with less gigahertz to run much quicker than a comparable speed (in gigahertz) traditional CPU that uses alot more power. This makes for less cooling needs, making them ideal for slim laptop computers and netbooks. AMD just released their APU's this year under the Fusion name. Intel has its' own APU project, but I don't know much about it in specific. This has to mean, to me, that the technology needs to sink or swim, and seems to be swimming, so now there is already APU's in development for desktops and laptops for the next few years. It remains to be seen if this design will overtake traditional video card + CPU combinations.
    "AMD Fusion is the marketing name for a series of APUs by AMD. There are two flavors of Fusion currently available, one with its CPU logic based on the Bobcat core and the other its CPU logic based on the 10h core. In both cases the GPU logic is HD6xxx, which itself is based on the mobile variant of the Radeon HD 5xxx Series. Fusion was announced in 2006 and has been in development since then. The final design is the product of the merger between AMD and ATI, combining general processor execution as well as 3D geometry processing and other functions of modern GPUs (like GPGPU computation) into a single die.[9] This technology was shown to the general public in January 2011 at CES. In the same year AMD introduced Bulldozer for Socket AM3+ and for the server market."

    It also fully supports DirectX 11, and better APU's are on the way for 2012.
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