Help me pick a laptop

Okay so i just started a college and need a computer for schoool. Besides school i would like to use this laptop mainly for some light multi track recording, photo editing, and possibly some light gaming. My budget is around 600 dollars anyone have any suggestions?
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  1. Here's a start: HP Pavilion dv6z-7000

    $550 with the AMD Trinity Quad-Core A8-4500M (3.0GHz/2.1GHz) -- another $50 will get you an HD 7670M discreet for dual graphics

    3 x USB3 (not sure how you do your audio stuff)
  2. would the amd A8-4500m be better than an intel i5 if they were the same price?
  3. Processor wise, a Core i5 would be more powerful. If your into gaming, then the Trinity APU would have the stronger integrated graphics.
  4. would the quad core amd be better than the dual core intel for recording music using protools and other software?
  5. If the programs you use can take advantage of more than 2 cores, then generally speaking it's better to go with a quad core Trinity APU.
  6. Also -- you should investigate how your audio/video software functions with OpenCL/GL. Trinity rocks GPGPU - i5s, not so much. Tom's has quite a number of articles on this.

    However, some audio apps will tend to favor the Sandies (Lame, maybe?) as they generally run single-threaded.
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