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Haswell for college laptop?

So I've been doing a bit of researching on laptops and Haswell and it's bugged me for awhile; should I plan on getting something with like say a 4800MQ i7 or would a decent IB be fine?
I'm going for computer engineering so probably looking at the around $1000 range. I'm not really into high-end gaming but I must admit the Alienware M14x (with minimal upgrading [i7 and RAM (maybe after buying)]) sounds nice. I already have a tablet (Asus Transformer Pad TF300T) so touch screen/convertible isn't necessary.
I plan on using this for all 4-5 years

anyways is it reasonable to expect a ~$1000 Haswell laptop before September that's worth getting over some other ~$1000 IB laptop (or AMD if they can actually compete at that point)


I guess I'm also looking for more specific suggestions in terms of what laptop to get

I'm not very picky except I want under 17", good battery life, a disc drive (I'm looking at you Samsung), and I want something that supports 16GB (or 32GB) of RAM (I'll accept something with an 8GB max if it's really that awesome though)
It'd be nice to go with SSD (or hybrid or mSATA & HDD) but not necessary
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about haswell college laptop
  1. id rather get a desktop (1000 dollars can get you very far) but then if you want a laptop go ahead.

    haswell is supposed to have much better battery life and performance. you could probably wait a bit
  2. With what your doing I would not waste the money on haswell. IB should be more than fine.
  3. I need a laptop
    see the battery life is what tends to get me

    although if I go down to a decent IB in the $600-700 range I could build a good starter or even decent desktop with that ~$400 or get a ps3 for my dorm room :}

    I'll probably wait for Haswell for the IB price drop
  4. I swear I've been obsessing over finding rumors about haswell and the next gen ultrabooks. you don't need an "ultrabook", but haswell will improve battery life, most likely allowing you to use your new lightweight laptop for your daily classes without needing to sit near an electrical outlet.

    Intel claims double battery life, but that's too good to be true. expect a good leap in efficiency, but don't expect over 10 hours of normal usage.
  5. Best answer
    Generally speaking the primary differences between Haswell and IB for the average consumer are:

    1. Lower power consumption. Currently the lowest power consuming mobile CPUs are 13w TDP and 17w TDP. Those are used in ultrabooks; the 13w TDP Ivy Bridge CPUs are only a limited production run. Other mobile CPUs are 25w, 35w and 45w TDP. Intel's primary goal is to reduce overall power consumption especially for the CPUs used in ultrabooks. The reason is to penetrate the tablet market which is currently a very hot market.

    2. Slightly better performance. I expect the performance increase assuming the same clockspeed will only increase about 6% since lowering power consumption is the primary goal.

    3. More powerful integrated graphic core. There will be several different "models" of the graphic core depending on the clockspeed and the number of shaders. GT2 versions will only have 20 shaders. The GT3 versions will have 40 shaders. Presumably there will be 3 different GT3 models; HD 5000, HD 5100, and the HD 5200. The HD 5200 maybe as powerful as the iGPU in the Trinity A10-4600m; the Radeon HD 7660g.


    If you are looking to get better gaming performance with Intel's iGPU, then sure wait for Haswell. But if you are going to buy a laptop with a discrete graphics card/chip anyway, then there's no real point in waiting.
  6. jaguarskx said:
    Generally speaking the primary differences between Haswell and IB for the average consumer are:

    1. Lower power consumption. Currently the lowest power consuming mobile CPUs are 13w TDP and 17w TDP. Those are used in ultrabooks; the 13w TDP Ivy Bridge CPUs are only a limited production run. Other mobile CPUs are 25w, 35w and 45w TDP. Intel's primary goal is to reduce overall power consumption especially for the CPUs used in ultrabooks. The reason is to penetrate the tablet market which is currently a very hot market.

    2. Slightly better performance. I expect the performance increase assuming the same clockspeed will only increase about 6% since lowering power consumption is the primary goal.

    3. More powerful integrated graphic core. There will be several different "models" of the graphic core depending on the clockspeed and the number of shaders. GT2 versions will only have 20 shaders. The GT3 versions will have 40 shaders. Presumably there will be 3 different GT3 models; HD 5000, HD 5100, and the HD 5200. The HD 5200 maybe as powerful as the iGPU in the Trinity A10-4600m; the Radeon HD 7660g.


    If you are looking to get better gaming performance with Intel's iGPU, then sure wait for Haswell. But if you are going to buy a laptop with a discrete graphics card/chip anyway, then there's no real point in waiting.


    I think you are massively underplaying the increase haswell will bring over IB. Haswell will be a much bigger increase over IB than IB was over sandy bridge. IB>SB =6-7% (massively more in laptops due to higher clocks, ex 2630qm ->3630qm was something like a 25% increase because clock speed went from 2.0 ghz to 2.4 ghz plus 7% better IPC). IB ULV i5 = SB SV i5.

    Yes the focus of haswell is to reduce power usage but for a given amount of power, cpu speed will increase significantly (a processor using 35 watts IB vs Haswell will be significantly faster for haswell). OP is buying a gaming notebook (entry-class), he's probably going to have a quad core for that at a tdp of ~45 watts (no intel is not lowering this they are actually raising it to 47 watts). If both cpu's use the same amount of power then the haswell will be significantly more powerful.

    I am guessing that the GT2 variant will have 20 EUs. That will be an approximately 20% boost which will put it very close to the a10, 7660g and well ahead of the a8 (a8 has 2/3 the shaders of a10 at the same speed). The two will be approximately equal (the a10 is about 20-40% faster than hd4000 with good ram--ignore synthetics but focus on real games here--the a10 beats a 630m in 3d mark 11 but gets beaten by the 630m by 20-40% in every game benchmark). The gt3 with 40 shaders (though at a reduced frequency) will easily put the a10 to shame (intel has a much better memory controller as well).
  7. Today, the ivy bridge laptops are very good.
    You will in the fall be paying top dollar for a haswell laptop.

    I might suggest you look at other parts, notably the screen and the ergonomics of any unit.

    See if you can't find a laptop like the Sony vaio S which has a nice 1080P display in the 15" size.

    You can save a bunch usually if you replace a cheap hard drive with a SSD yourself.

    Most apps will have a hard time using 2-3gb of ram. If you have one that needs lots, check out what the maximum supported size is. Laptops in general will have only two ram slots, so 16gb will probably be the maximum you can get.
  8. whyso said:
    I think you are massively underplaying the increase haswell will bring over IB. Haswell will be a much bigger increase over IB than IB was over sandy bridge. IB>SB =6-7% (massively more in laptops due to higher clocks, ex 2630qm ->3630qm was something like a 25% increase because clock speed went from 2.0 ghz to 2.4 ghz plus 7% better IPC). IB ULV i5 = SB SV i5.

    Yes the focus of haswell is to reduce power usage but for a given amount of power, cpu speed will increase significantly (a processor using 35 watts IB vs Haswell will be significantly faster for haswell). OP is buying a gaming notebook (entry-class), he's probably going to have a quad core for that at a tdp of ~45 watts (no intel is not lowering this they are actually raising it to 47 watts). If both cpu's use the same amount of power then the haswell will be significantly more powerful.

    I am guessing that the GT2 variant will have 20 EUs. That will be an approximately 20% boost which will put it very close to the a10, 7660g and well ahead of the a8 (a8 has 2/3 the shaders of a10 at the same speed). The two will be approximately equal (the a10 is about 20-40% faster than hd4000 with good ram--ignore synthetics but focus on real games here--the a10 beats a 630m in 3d mark 11 but gets beaten by the 630m by 20-40% in every game benchmark). The gt3 with 40 shaders (though at a reduced frequency) will easily put the a10 to shame (intel has a much better memory controller as well).


    Don't know where your getting your speculation from but intel can't touch the a10

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/A10-5800K-vs-Core-i3-3220-CPU-Review/1646/2

    at the same price point amd is more than twice as fast. Even with haswell, the a10 will still be faster, and when the next gen GDDR5 chip comes out, amd will blow intel's apus out of the water. Not to mention they have all next gen console contracts, meaning they will have optimization advantage as well. Seeing as the OP is shooting for non-hardcore gaming, just get a 8350 lappy.
  9. whyso said:
    I think you are massively underplaying the increase haswell will bring over IB.


    You are entitled to your own opinion. But nothing thus far has changed my opinion about Haswell's performance which I have more or less formulated about 6 or 7 months ago.
  10. thor220 said:
    Don't know where your getting your speculation from but intel can't touch the a10

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/A10-5800K-vs-Core-i3-3220-CPU-Review/1646/2

    at the same price point amd is more than twice as fast. Even with haswell, the a10 will still be faster, and when the next gen GDDR5 chip comes out, amd will blow intel's apus out of the water. Not to mention they have all next gen console contracts, meaning they will have optimization advantage as well. Seeing as the OP is shooting for non-hardcore gaming, just get a 8350 lappy.


    Yes, lets compare it to a desktop chip. a10 mobile runs a much lower clock rates.

    Their benchmarks seem very fishy.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/trinity-gaming-performance,3304-7.html

    Shows significantly higher bf3 scores (the a10 does not lead by 3x, now its 60% faster).

    Hd 4000 can easily achieve playable rates in starcraft 2 1080p low.

    26 fps 1080p low. How does anandtech get then 45 fps 1050p med?
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5771/the-intel-ivy-bridge-core-i7-3770k-review/15

    I think you are trolling. Are you one of those desktop users who have no clue about mobile?

    Yes, lets put a 8350 fx chip in a laptop. Lets just forget that it uses 125 watts of power.
  11. whyso said:
    Yes, lets put a 8350 fx chip in a laptop. Lets just forget that it uses 125 watts of power.


    Sorry bout that, meant the a10, lol

    Realistically, we might as well wait until Haswell releases to see what the new laptop chips are like. But even if intel manages to surpass the a10, it only stands to be passed by jaguar apus, which lost just as promising.

    But in the end I think the OP should wait for Haswell. It's increased power savings is just what he is asking for and it should be able to play games on decent settings. Now if only intel could get VirtuMVP integrated into laptop chips to boost graphics performance even more, of course after they make it much better.
  12. thor220 said:
    Sorry bout that, meant the a10, lol

    Realistically, we might as well wait until Haswell releases to see what the new laptop chips are like. But even if intel manages to surpass the a10, it only stands to be passed by jaguar apus, which lost just as promising.

    But in the end I think the OP should wait for Haswell. It's increased power savings is just what he is asking for and it should be able to play games on decent settings. Now if only intel could get VirtuMVP integrated into laptop chips to boost graphics performance even more, of course after they make it much better.


    hmm very true.

    Though I would recommend to the OP to just stay away from an igp for gaming. He has the budget to a get a discrete gpu and even low range (such as the 630m) are better than any mobile igp.
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