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High end i5 or low-end i7

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 3, 2012 6:33:39 PM

Hey now.

I'm saving up for a new laptop with the upcoming ivy bridge cpu's. I'm waiting for HP to come up with a successor to the Elitebook 2560P. Looking at the current model, there is quite a big price gap between the model with the fastest i5 and the model with the 'slowest' i7. I'm expecting the upcoming models will be the same.

How much real difference is there in performance between these two? They're both dual cores with hyperthreading running at pretty high clock rates. I'm not looking for exact numbers here or benchmarks. I'm just wondering if you guys find the $300 price difference worth it.

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April 3, 2012 6:38:44 PM

Here's what I'm looking at. Seems really close, but the i7 model is a lot more expensive.

Core i7-2620M 2/4 2.7 Ghz 3.4 Ghz 4MB 35W 650-1300MHz
Core i5-2540M 2/4 2.6 Ghz 3.3 Ghz 3MB 35W 650-1300MHz
April 3, 2012 6:42:39 PM

It looks like the i7 merely has a 100 MHz advantage on base and turbo clocks and an additional 1 MB of L3 cache. Unless you're really doing high-end stuff (in which case neither is a good choice), the i5 is your most cost effective option.
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April 3, 2012 6:44:01 PM

not really. the i5 should be fine. Obviously a gamer you are....So what Graphics does the laptop come with?
April 3, 2012 6:45:37 PM

Depends on what you're using the laptop for. If using it for gaming or regular office/school tasks then the i5 will be more than enough.

If you're using more CPU intensive applications then go with the i7.

Also remember that these chips are much faster than CPUs a few generations ago. If you're still getting buy with a Core2 chip then either of these will blow it out of the water.
April 3, 2012 6:48:42 PM

This laptop won't be used for gaming. It is a 12.5" super rugged business laptop with integrated Intel graphics, so I won't do much more than minesweeper, lol. It has stuff like 10 hour battery life, 3G, TPM module and the ability to hold two HDD's (or DVD burner).

April 3, 2012 6:49:50 PM

Absolutely go for the i5.

Quote:
If you're using more CPU intensive applications then go with the i7.

I disagree. If he's using CPU intensive applications, he wants an i7 QM
April 3, 2012 6:52:47 PM

jsrudd said:
Depends on what you're using the laptop for. If using it for gaming or regular office/school tasks then the i5 will be more than enough.

If you're using more CPU intensive applications then go with the i7.

Also remember that these chips are much faster than CPUs a few generations ago. If you're still getting buy with a Core2 chip then either of these will blow it out of the water.


I'm currently running a Core 2 Duo on my desktop with 4GB ram. I'm perfectly happy with its speed. Are the current mobile chips in that speed region now?

My current laptop is a 1st generation Intel Atom. It's an MSI Wind U100. It lasted me through 4 years of college and it was my main computer for 6 months when I was an exchange student. It is awesome.

I want to give myself a really nice laptop once I graduate. Something that can do everything my desktop can (minus gaming) in a small package.
April 3, 2012 6:53:49 PM

Forgot to mention, the Core 2 Duo is the E8400, which was the bomb when I bought it.
April 3, 2012 6:56:25 PM

Dickstar said:
I'm currently running a Core 2 Duo on my desktop with 4GB ram. I'm perfectly happy with its speed. Are the current mobile chips in that speed region now?


Ivy Bridge will blow you away compared to a Core 2 Duo. I'd ballpark maybe a 35% improvement from the Core 2 Duo architecture assuming equal clock speed and core count. That said, you don't have the benefit of turbo boost on the Core 2, so there's a reasonable chance your laptop could be running at a higher frequency than your desktop (at least in bursts, if not all the time).

EDIT: The 3.0 GHz clock of the E8400 sits right around the middle of Sandy Bridge's turbo range so it's likely you'll see clock speeds in that area for many CPU intensive tasks.
April 3, 2012 6:58:16 PM

aicom said:
Ivy Bridge will blow you away compared to a Core 2 Duo. I'd ballpark maybe a 35% improvement from the Core 2 Duo architecture assuming equal clock speed and core count. That said, you don't have the benefit of turbo boost on the Core 2, so there's a reasonable chance your laptop could be running at a higher frequency than your desktop (at least in bursts, if not all the time).


Will it be faster even in this desktop CPU vs moblie CPU case?

If so, wow. It really goes fast in computer land.
April 3, 2012 7:21:02 PM

Dickstar said:
I'm currently running a Core 2 Duo on my desktop with 4GB ram. I'm perfectly happy with its speed. Are the current mobile chips in that speed region now?

My current laptop is a 1st generation Intel Atom. It's an MSI Wind U100. It lasted me through 4 years of college and it was my main computer for 6 months when I was an exchange student. It is awesome.

I want to give myself a really nice laptop once I graduate. Something that can do everything my desktop can (minus gaming) in a small package.


I like your comment regarding the MSI notebook. A very under-rated company that makes great laptops.
April 3, 2012 7:45:23 PM

You'll only see an advantage of the i7 if the applications you are using know how to use more than 4 threads.

While both processors have 4 physical cores the i5 provides processing of 4 threads at a time the i7 procesess 8 threads at a time. A single core processing 2 threads has a slight performance decrease over a single core procesing a single thread. This gives an advantage to the i5 in single threaded operations. However if your application can use more than 4 threads the i7 gives a performance boost.

If you are the type that runs multiple applications all at once the i7 will be better for you. If you are concentrating on one or two tasks at a time you are better off running the i5. It all depends on your usage.

The actual computing power of the i5 and the i7 cores are virtually the same. 100 Mhz difference is nothing.

The 'slowest' i7 beats out the fastest i7 in some cases. All the i7s offer about the same performance in the majority of usage scenarios. You pay a lot more for a tiny improvement in performance between all the i7 series.
April 3, 2012 8:19:47 PM

warbler boi said:
I like your comment regarding the MSI notebook. A very under-rated company that makes great laptops.


My parents have an MSI laptop in the living room. I forgot the exact specs but it is a mid-range dual core AMD with 3GB ram and a 16" widescreen laptop from the early Vista era. I recently installed Windows 7 on it and it runs it fast. The thing is on pretty much all day because everyone in the house uses it. It never gave any problems. Even the battery holds up pretty good after all this time.

My main computer's motherboard (750i Nforce) is from MSI and so are the graphics cards (2x8800GTS 512). I like them because they come up with innovative and cool stuff like their dual-fan cooling systems on their graphics cards. The latest versions of these cards make their fans turn the opposite way on max speed for a few seconds when the computer is turned on. This blows the dust out of the card. It's simple and effective. I really like those kinds of smart little things.

So yea, mucho love for MSI here as well.
April 3, 2012 8:23:59 PM

pacioli said:
You'll only see an advantage of the i7 if the applications you are using know how to use more than 4 threads.

While both processors have 4 physical cores the i5 provides processing of 4 threads at a time the i7 procesess 8 threads at a time. A single core processing 2 threads has a slight performance decrease over a single core procesing a single thread. This gives an advantage to the i5 in single threaded operations. However if your application can use more than 4 threads the i7 gives a performance boost.

If you are the type that runs multiple applications all at once the i7 will be better for you. If you are concentrating on one or two tasks at a time you are better off running the i5. It all depends on your usage.

The actual computing power of the i5 and the i7 cores are virtually the same. 100 Mhz difference is nothing.

The 'slowest' i7 beats out the fastest i7 in some cases. All the i7s offer about the same performance in the majority of usage scenarios. You pay a lot more for a tiny improvement in performance between all the i7 series.


Thanks for your input. These are mobile CPU's though. Both the i5 and i7 I listed are dual cores with hyper threading. The only mobile quad cores Intel makes are the i7xxxQM series and I'm not interested in those. They're too expensive for me and their power draw is higher, which means less battery life.
April 3, 2012 8:59:41 PM

Dickstar said:
Thanks for your input. These are mobile CPU's though. Both the i5 and i7 I listed are dual cores with hyper threading. The only mobile quad cores Intel makes are the i7xxxQM series and I'm not interested in those. They're too expensive for me and their power draw is higher, which means less battery life.


Doh! If that is the case... then they are the same darn thing. go for the cheaper one. They will perform similiarly. That is just nasty marketing gimmicks to get you to pay more. They stroke your ePeen to see if they can get more money from you. It is like a waitress that wears a lowcut blouse... She gets better tips but she serves the same food as the ugly one...
April 3, 2012 9:59:27 PM

pacioli said:
Doh! If that is the case... then they are the same darn thing. go for the cheaper one. They will perform similiarly. That is just nasty marketing gimmicks to get you to pay more. They stroke your ePeen to see if they can get more money from you. It is like a waitress that wears a lowcut blouse... She gets better tips but she serves the same food as the ugly one...


Yeah, that's what I thought. I was just wondering if there's a major difference in architecture between the two of them. The clock speed doesn't always give away how fast a chip is, and it has 33% more cache. This is why I asked. I wasn't sure about it but I've gotten plenty of good feedback. Thanks fellas.
April 3, 2012 10:09:00 PM

Oh, and you can't compare hot women with anything that requires logical thinking. Because that's the whole point of them. You wouldn't believe the bullshit I've put up with for some hot pieces of tail throughout the years. It is insane.
April 3, 2012 10:37:34 PM

Dickstar said:
Oh, and you can't compare hot women with anything that requires logical thinking. Because that's the whole point of them. You wouldn't believe the bullshit I've put up with for some hot pieces of tail throughout the years. It is insane.


The psychological aspect of getting an i7 over an i5 is very comparable...

Quote:
Yeah, that's what I thought. I was just wondering if there's a major difference in architecture between the two of them. The clock speed doesn't always give away how fast a chip is, and it has 33% more cache. This is why I asked. I wasn't sure about it but I've gotten plenty of good feedback. Thanks fellas.


It is the same architecture... They just burn out one of the 4 L3 modules on the chip to render it useless. An extra little bit of L3 cache really doesn't change the performance by anything noticeable. It is just a naming game where they can say it is different because of... I'd go with the i5 because it will save power and have a longer battery life with little difference in noticeable performance.
April 4, 2012 12:51:22 PM

pacioli said:
The psychological aspect of getting an i7 over an i5 is very comparable...

You're forgetting one very important thing.

A CPU doesn't have a vagina.

Very, very important.

said:
It is the same architecture... They just burn out one of the 4 L3 modules on the chip to render it useless. An extra little bit of L3 cache really doesn't change the performance by anything noticeable. It is just a naming game where they can say it is different because of... I'd go with the i5 because it will save power and have a longer battery life with little difference in noticeable performance.
[/quote]
said:


Sweet. I guess the choice will be easy then.

Now to wait for Ivy Bridge... Damn, I'm going crazy. I'm every day on Google and Google news to check if they announced new models. These laptops are awesome, I'm in love. So many cool features like auto screen brightness with an environment light sensor, night light instead of backlit keyboard, the ability to hold 2HDD's or a DVD burner, matte screen, glass touchpad, displayport, hdmi AND vga, eSata, huge battery life, high end CPU's and ram... all in a 12.5" package. It's also supposedly easy to replace the CPU if you want to. On top of all that you can stand on them with your full weight, you can pour a full cup of coffee on them and it just drains out, you can drop them from waist height... They meet the "MIL-STD-810 military standards for reliability and performance under extreme conditions".

I'll never understand why someone would want a Macbook over one of these, ever.
April 4, 2012 1:21:06 PM

aicom said:
Ivy Bridge will blow you away compared to a Core 2 Duo. I'd ballpark maybe a 35% improvement from the Core 2 Duo architecture assuming equal clock speed and core count. That said, you don't have the benefit of turbo boost on the Core 2, so there's a reasonable chance your laptop could be running at a higher frequency than your desktop (at least in bursts, if not all the time).

EDIT: The 3.0 GHz clock of the E8400 sits right around the middle of Sandy Bridge's turbo range so it's likely you'll see clock speeds in that area for many CPU intensive tasks.


The speed.gain is well over 35%. The gain from ivy bridge is supposed to be 5-10% over sandy bridge and sandy bridge had a huge advantage over The first gens which the first gens had a big advantage over none core i series
April 5, 2012 8:39:17 AM

cbrunnem said:
The speed.gain is well over 35%. The gain from ivy bridge is supposed to be 5-10% over sandy bridge and sandy bridge had a huge advantage over The first gens which the first gens had a big advantage over none core i series


That sounds like something that makes me very very happy.
April 5, 2012 1:42:14 PM

Dickstar said:
That sounds like something that makes me very very happy.

that was written badly lol cause i was on my phone. let me rewrite it.

the speed gain from a core 2 duo will be much higher then 35%. in gaming it might be 35% better but in things like encoding and rendering it is 2-3 times faster. plus they overclock much better.

the difference is huge but remember you wont see the gain in every game or in everything you do.
April 5, 2012 3:50:45 PM

make sure you update, its essential !!!!
April 5, 2012 6:14:19 PM

chudddds said:
make sure you update, its essential !!!!


What do you mean?
April 5, 2012 9:03:51 PM

Dickstar said:
What do you mean?

Someone is off their medicine...
!