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Laptop - i5 2450M vs A6 3420M

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 15, 2012 6:02:11 PM

Hi,
I am planning to buy a new laptop, which I will be using mostly for lightroom, photoshop or illustrator works + some image stitching softwares like hugin. Within my budget I'm getting a choice of i5 2450M vs A6 3420M powered laptops. For the same price I get 6GB ram on the A6 model vs 4GB on i5 model. Also 1GB discrete graphics on A6 vs on-board graphics for the i5. Which one is a better choice for my purpose? I've read in some earlier threads that A6 is as good as the i3! Is there no advantage of a quad core over a dual core? :D  I'm confused.
I prefer a larger HDD(the A6 version comes with 1TB where as i5 only 500GB, I have a lot of RAW & TIFFS which eat up a lot of space). I'm located in India.
Thanks in advance,
Raghav

More about : laptop 2450m 3420m

April 15, 2012 6:11:10 PM

Intels integrated graphics are extremely bad so im not sure you would want to be editing photos with an intel 3000. However four cores is much better than two when it comes to programs such as photoshop. I would try and see if you can get an a8 on sale, also could you tell us your price range as maybe someone could find you a better i5 config relatively cheap.
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April 15, 2012 6:22:35 PM

The main disadvantage of the Intel graphics is 3D speed.

Image editing does not require 3D speed.

You need to balance the more powerful i5 processor against the larger hard drive and more memory of the A6. The graphics are only a minor consideration.
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April 15, 2012 6:39:43 PM

Thanks for the replies jsc & proskillr :) 
So in principle i5 better than A6 for my purpose? Somehow I couldn't find an A8 powered laptop in my country.
I think hard drive shouldn't be a major concern I can add an external USB one later on. I use an Athlon X3 with 8GB DDR3 on my desktop now, when I use softwares like Hugin/Ptgui(for stitching images which I do most of the time) I see the cpu usage nearing 100% whereas only 50% of my RAM is used. Are these processes more CPU intensive? In that case would the i5 be a better choice?
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April 15, 2012 6:56:51 PM

I looked up a little bit about Hugin, and it seems the i5-2450m will be best overall. Hugin (and I'm assuming other stitching programs as well) are indeed multi-threaded, however it's stated that they don't scale well past two cores. IE, two more powerful cores > 4 slower cores for Hugin and the like.

Also, as I'm running on Intel HD 3000 right now (i5-2410m), I can tell you that Photoshop runs great - I really doubt the added discrete GPU would make enough of a difference in Photoshop to warrant the slower CPU.

Pre-Post edit: Did more searching on PTGui - its FAQ says that panoramic stitching is limited the most by HDD speed, and that it's also multi-threaded. That said: make SURE that the i5 laptop has a 7200RPM HDD (or an SSD), and keep in mind that the i5 will still handle the task better than the A6.

Post-Post edit: Forgot to include sources, in case you wanted to look yourself. Hugin resource usage, PTGui resource usage, PTGui being multi-threaded.
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