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Performance boost from laptop to desktop?

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  • Laptops
  • Performance
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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August 1, 2012 7:17:39 PM

Sorry, I'm not entirely sure this is where I should post, but either way, I'm going to ask this.
I've used nothing but laptops for the past 5 years. My newest one is a MSI A6200 with an i3 350m in it. I believe it is fast, at least in my opinion. What I want to know is, what should I expect going from this laptop to either a FX-4100 or a i5-2500k?

I know a lot of people comment that the i5 mops other processors around like dirty water, but in REAL LIFE PERFORMANCE, coming from a laptop, will I honestly ever really be able to tell a huge difference between the two cpus? And either way, what will it fell like using a top tier desktop compared to a laptop?

Again, not sure if this is the right forum, but I figured it was somewhat relevant...

Thanks!

More about : performance boost laptop desktop

August 1, 2012 8:14:24 PM

What are you doing with the computer? Real-life performance requires a definition of what your real-life computer does :) 

Gaming performance is usually much better on a desktop, but it's really because of the GPU. Desktop CPUs are faster, but if you think an i3 350m is fast, then it's likely fast enough for what you are doing.

The big advantage to a desktop is that a dedicated power source and better airflow allows for higher clock speeds of parts.
Add in that you can update parts of your desktop to suit your needs, such as adding a better graphics card, or improving the cooling, adding an SSD (which will make more of a difference to a casual user than any other upgrade btw, and is fully laptop-able), etc so that you don't have to by an entirely new computer because one component fails (or is just awful).

There is also a simple sense of satisfaction that comes from building something yourself.
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a b D Laptop
August 1, 2012 8:37:23 PM

If you're satisfied with the performance of your laptop it's obvious you aren't doing anything demanding and therefore you probably will be disappointed in the performance of any desktop. Until you tax the abilities of the laptop you won't know the difference.
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August 1, 2012 8:44:21 PM

I play some games, but of course, can't do much on a laptop. I did play all the way through Skyrim, but it took forever because of lag. The only thing I hate on my laptop is transferring data, and rendering videos.

How will a desktop help with that?
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August 1, 2012 9:18:15 PM

It will, much so.

An i5 will make a big difference in rendering videos. Depending on how much video stuff you do, this is one of the few cases where an i7 is worth the extra money. The new generation of ivy-bridge (i5-3___) also use a tech called Quick-Sync if you have a Z77 motherboard and if your software supports it; this lets the software use the integrated GPU of the processor to speed up the processing of the video.

I don't think it will help though in transferring data, but not sure what you mean (I can't think of any definition that would be helped by the CPU). If you transfer alot between an external HDD and your laptop, you can of course get a large enough hard drive that you won't have to do that.

For Skyrim, and other games, a dedicate graphics card will make the game much more playable (the CPU will help too, but it's not as important as the graphics card). Considering how you played the game, you could go for a 7750 (a 100$ card) or 7770 (130$) and probably be happy. It will give smooth skyrim play at (I'm guessing) medium settings. If you get a 7850 you'll be able to play at high or ultra settings smoothly.
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a b D Laptop
August 1, 2012 9:24:18 PM

If you're transferring data to an external device a lot, you might be limited by the bandwidth of USB 2.0 if you don't have a newer device with a 3.0 port. There are add-on cards for a laptop with USB 3.0 if you have an available ExpressCard slot though. As far as rendering video, that's an activity that likes a faster CPU and a faster desktop CPUwould really help.
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August 1, 2012 9:42:02 PM

I was thinking a 6850, for only $30 more, I can't justify getting at 6770. I'm not too sure on the new cards, will they work on a non-z77 board?
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August 1, 2012 9:55:19 PM

DarthScabrous said:
I was thinking a 6850, for only $30 more, I can't justify getting at 6770. I'm not too sure on the new cards, will they work on a non-z77 board?


As long as they have a PCI Express x16 slot. Depending on what card you get, you may need a 3.0 compatible board but as a heads up, they are backwards compatible.
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August 1, 2012 10:17:52 PM

I've used $3000 Vaio Z laptops and $500 HP basic models. Bottom line, never used a laptop that is as slick and smooth as a desktop. These were clean installs too with a only a few basic programs. It will be a long long time before any laptop will ever have the grunt to compete with a half decent desktop.
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August 1, 2012 10:21:03 PM

Well hell then, I should just save me some money and get the FX-4100. If any new desktop will seem faster than what I have now, even getting an AMD should make for a great increase in speed above what I have now.
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August 1, 2012 10:32:46 PM

I'd build around an APU, I have a 3870K and you'll save a bit of cash. It won't be suitable if you game heavily though. For light to moderate usage it can't be beat. If you do go for the 4100, get the 4170 which is currently the best FX in the lineup.
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August 1, 2012 10:55:04 PM

What's the advantage of the FX-4170 vs the 4100?

And I heard that the APU cpu part is on par with an Athlon II. Granted, I know I'm not used to desktop speeds, but even to me, that seems a far cry from newer cpus. Am I correct?
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August 1, 2012 11:08:07 PM

DarthScabrous said:
What's the advantage of the FX-4170 vs the 4100?

And I heard that the APU cpu part is on par with an Athlon II. Granted, I know I'm not used to desktop speeds, but even to me, that seems a far cry from newer cpus. Am I correct?


dont waste your money on an AMD cpu. at any price point an Intel Cpu is better.
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August 1, 2012 11:15:05 PM

cbrunnem said:
dont waste your money on an AMD cpu. at any price point an Intel Cpu is better.


Wrong, not at any price point. The CPU part is similar to an Athlon x2 but its been tweaked and its certainly fast enough for your typical desktop applications. The GPU part is vastly better than any integrated Intel and that is more important in 2012 than raw CPU speed.
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August 1, 2012 11:22:05 PM

Smeg45 said:
Wrong, not at any price point. The CPU part is similar to an Athlon x2 but its been tweaked and its certainly fast enough for your typical desktop applications. The GPU part is vastly better than any integrated Intel and that is more important in 2012 than raw CPU speed.


name a price point that an AMD cpu wins
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August 1, 2012 11:27:04 PM

You can use any PCIE GPU in your motherboard, PCIE is forward/backward compatible. The new generation is quite a lot faster than last gen and uses less power, with a 7770 being about equal to a 6790. Check out tom's guide for GPU's for the money: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...


I wouldn't go for an APU, unless you want to go for a cheaper build (with no GPU, just the integrated one from the APU). They just aren't that powerful, more of a jack of all trades chip.

The FX processors were generally regarded as a flop (mostly because they didn't bring AMD back into high end competition with intel). The price on those seems pretty good, I really haven't watched them much. No matter what though, it will be faster than what you have. I personally would go intel, or get a phenom II, but I say that mostly out of ignorance of the FX series :) .

If you have extra cash, a 120GB ssd (a type of hard drive) can make a great addition to your PC. Makes a world of difference in general responsiveness and reduces boot times to about 20sec. The downside is that they are small enough they require more management to keep from filling. (though there are some tricks around that)
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August 1, 2012 11:45:25 PM

in real-life productivity, it's most likely the storage I/O speed that you'll feel. Nobody has outtyped a wordprocessor since the 80s.

Apples to apples, the difference in HDD is what causes a desktop to be snappier than the laptop as the lags and delays are due to I/O not cpu.

So, by this token, whatever you get next, get an SSD in it. Laptop with SSD can feel speedier than a desktop with plain HDD in "real world", especially if the desktop's hdd is full of crap and fragmented and whatever.


So, if you didn't have tasks that required CPU (like you were actually waiting for your cpu for seconds/minutes for builds/renders/etc) then the cpu won't make as much difference.



And then, for the subject of games, this is mainly dependent on the video card. In this area, desktop have the advantage to have the power and variety of cheaper cards.
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August 1, 2012 11:59:14 PM

cbrunnem said:
name a price point that an AMD cpu wins


3870K is $110 v an i3 2100 for $120, the APU is a better all rounder. Stop shilling for Intel.
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August 2, 2012 12:01:25 AM

raytseng said:
in real-life productivity, it's most likely the storage I/O speed that you'll feel. Nobody has outtyped a wordprocessor since the 80s.

Apples to apples, the difference in HDD is what causes a desktop to be snappier than the laptop as the lags and delays are due to I/O not cpu.

So, by this token, whatever you get next, get an SSD in it. Laptop with SSD can feel speedier than a desktop with plain HDD in "real world", especially if the desktop's hdd is full of crap and fragmented and whatever.


So, if you didn't have tasks that required CPU (like you were actually waiting for your cpu for seconds/minutes for builds/renders/etc) then the cpu won't make as much difference.



And then, for the subject of games, this is mainly dependent on the video card. In this area, desktop have the advantage to have the power and variety of cheaper cards.


+1 this.
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August 2, 2012 1:51:21 AM

Smeg45 said:
3870K is $110 v an i3 2100 for $120, the APU is a better all rounder. Stop shilling for Intel.


ah but thats apu vs cpu.... the i3 is a better cpu the 3870k is a better apu. but 6550d graphics are not good its like comparing bad and worse. when intel finally releases a new gen i3 with hd4000 graphics the diff between the 3870k and the i3 in terms of apu perf will be MUCH smaller.
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August 2, 2012 6:34:44 AM

cbrunnem said:
ah but thats apu vs cpu.... the i3 is a better cpu the 3870k is a better apu. but 6550d graphics are not good its like comparing bad and worse. when intel finally releases a new gen i3 with hd4000 graphics the diff between the 3870k and the i3 in terms of apu perf will be MUCH smaller.


By then the 5800K will once again smash Intel.
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August 2, 2012 11:33:24 AM

Smeg45 said:
By then the 5800K will once again smash Intel.


apu's have their very small niche but you can never go wrong with an intel cpu. at the level of gpu performance they have the difference between an apu and hd4000 is an after though.
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