Hi! I'm buying a laptop and I need help to decide which processor is better. I don't use my computer for games, but I do run software to edit sound files, which some times makes my actual laptop crash. I need to decide between: i3-2350M Processor (3M Cache, 2.30GHz) vs i5-2450M Processor (3M Cache, 2.50GHz) . The difference in price will not be that much, I'm just not sure if it's worth it!
This are the rest of the specs of the laptop, it's a lenovo.
Display type: 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display
System graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor graphics with dynamic frequency
Total memory: 4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM)
Hard drive: 500GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
System expansion slots: Express Card Slot, 4-in-1 Card Reader
Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 AGN
It depends how CPU-intensive your requirements are. Many users will not notice a difference between a Core i3 and a Core i5. Particularly for basic usage. A Core i3 will probably already be a considerable bump up from what you had before. Which sound software do you use, and how often / intensive?
However, if this is the Lenovo Thinkpad T420 or T430, then you should probably upgrade the display to HD+ (1600x900). You generally shouldn't buy a Lenovo Thinkpad T420 / T430 in any configuration that includes the default HD (1366x768) display instead of the upgraded display, unless you require its larger text for eyesight-related reasons. 1366x768 resolution limits multitasking because it makes it more difficult to fit two windows onscreen at a time, and because it requires a fair bit more scrolling than higher resolutions do. This upgrade will tend to make more of a difference than processor upgrades.
Whether it's the T420 / T430 or not, consider buying a T420 / T430 through the Barnes and Noble Gold discount. If the laptop in question is already the T-Series, then you will get a bigger discount. if the laptop in question is not the T-Series, then this discount may put the T-Series (with 1600x900) within your budget.
The primary differences between the i3 and the i5 are:
1. i5 has Hyper Threading - Only boosts performance if the program can make use of HT. Generally a 20% - 40% performance increase depending on how efficiently the program was designed to make use of HT.
2. i5 has Turbo Boost - This is an automatic overclock depending on how many cores are being utilized and the CPU temperature. The i5-2450m can max out at 3.1GHz on one cores as long as the CPU is not too hot and probably around 2.8GHz - 2.9GHz when both cores are used.
Not sure how intensive audio editing software is, but video encoding is extremely CPU intensive and the difference of 500MHz or 600MHz can be significant (when two core are being used) in the amount of time need to complete the encoding process.