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Hardware Thread, Which Laptop? in Technical; I need a laptop for my daughter to take to uni - it needs to be 17in screen, with a ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Which Laptop?

    I need a laptop for my daughter to take to uni - it needs to be 17in screen, with a good dedicated graphics card (she is studying product design engineering and so needs good graphics).
    We were looking at the Dells but the difference between i5 and i7 has been blurred, it seems, with new versions being released by intel. See here: Core i5 vs. Core i7: Differences Between Intel&#39s i5 and i7 Processors
    I am very confused now.
    We were looking at an XPS L701X i7 which looked quite good but then we saw that the processor was slower than the i5 which confused us.
    We can't afford much more than 700 tops - not with all three kids at Uni next year - so any advice gratefully received!

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I am very confused now.
    We were looking at an XPS L701X i7 which looked quite good but then we saw that the processor was slower than the i5 which confused us.
    What makes you say i5 is faster than i7? Remember a lot of the i7s have double the i5 cores/threads

    Steve

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    It's well worth looking at the Dell Outlet for a good price.

    Dell Outlet - Refurbished Computers/PCs: Laptops, Desktops & Servers | Dell UK

    One of the guys here bought a 17" one for a bargain price from there. Saved a good bit on the price

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    The spec says so - mrwITch's i5 is one of the newer ones - sandy bridge? - 2.6ghz whereas the i7 we were looking at was 1.73ghz.
    mrwIT says the double cores/threads is only any use if the software you use can deal with that.
    The article confused me...
    Just want a decent spec machine!!!

    I bought a machine from Dell Outlet last year for the last child to take to uni - a very nice i5 There hasnt been much on the site lately and the current one that is there is actually cheaper if you buy it new after you add in VAT and delivery.
    Last edited by witch; 19th July 2011 at 09:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    mrwIT says the double cores/threads is only any use if the software you use can deal with that.
    Yes and no. IME most software now will utilise 4 cores. Even just sat on edugeek with a few apps in the background 5 of my threads are being utilised. Also clock speed has got little to do with it unless comparing same family CPUs, and even then thanks to the way intel label their CPUs it's still very confusing.

    Personally I'd be aiming at the sandy bridge series - tbh anything in that range and you can't go wrong.


    What about the Dell "New Inspiron 17R" or XPS 17 ranges?
    Last edited by j17sparky; 19th July 2011 at 10:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Yes and no. IME most software now will utilise 4 cores. Even just sat on edugeek with a few apps in the background 5 of my threads are being utilised. Also clock speed has got little to do with it unless comparing same family CPUs, and even then thanks to the way intel label their CPUs it's still very confusing.

    Personally I'd be aiming at the sandy bridge series - tbh anything in that range and you can't go wrong.


    What about the Dell "New Inspiron 17R" or XPS 17 ranges?
    It is the XPS17 we are looking at on the site wasn't a sandybridge - so that is the issue. MrwITch's i5 sandybridge has 2 cores and therefore up to 4 threads, whereas the XPS i7 is a clarksfield and has 4 cores and up to 8 threads. So is that better? Or not?
    The New Inspiron appears to be an i3 and anyway doesnt have enough graphics

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    It is the XPS17 we are looking at on the site wasn't a sandybridge - so that is the issue. MrwITch's i5 sandybridge has 2 cores and therefore up to 4 threads, whereas the XPS i7 is a clarksfield and has 4 cores and up to 8 threads. So is that better? Or not?
    The New Inspiron appears to be an i3 and anyway doesnt have enough graphics
    Well generally sandys give more performance per core/thread as you mentioned, But unless I'm mistaken, It's still "worse" then double cores, if that makes sense (in a sense: 4x2.6 vs8x1.7~ (Not exact, but example))

    Only main advantage of sandy I can see, is it's lower power. But compared to what the rest of the laptop will use (17" etc) minimal imo.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Well generally sandys give more performance per core/thread as you mentioned, But unless I'm mistaken, It's still "worse" then double cores, if that makes sense (in a sense: 4x2.6 vs8x1.7~ (Not exact, but example))

    Only main advantage of sandy I can see, is it's lower power. But compared to what the rest of the laptop will use (17" etc) minimal imo.

    Steve
    Don't think I understand that - so...should I go for the 17in clarksfield?
    (I just want to break into song.."Take the last train to clarksfield (yes, I know) and I'll meet you at the station")

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    Heres the inspiron The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

    I would have thought a 525m would have been fine, it seems to play games ok http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G1LA9GPsMA

    Which i7 is it? I can't find any i7s on the dell site which arn't sandy bridge.


    This is the XPS I was looking at. Same spec as the inspiron near enough but with a GT550 http://configure.euro.dell.com/dells...l_id=xps-l702x
    Last edited by j17sparky; 19th July 2011 at 10:39 PM.

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    Looking at a Dell XPS 17 with an i7 740QM which according the Intel website is a clarksfield
    configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=uk&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&oc=n00xl706& m_30=322462

    It has to be a 17in and it has to have a lot of graphics, probably at least 2GB of non-integrated due to the extensive 3D software she is going to have to run at Uni (they have told us that)
    Last edited by witch; 19th July 2011 at 10:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Looking at a Dell XPS 17 with an i7 740QM which according the Intel website is a clarksfield
    configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=uk&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&oc=n00xl706& m_30=322462
    Don't suppose you know which I5 you were comparing it to? or which your partner has?

    Steve

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    BTW I'm getting "your message is too short..." while trying to post back to you. I believe it's because of the auto replace on youtube URLs

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Looking at a Dell XPS 17 with an i7 740QM which according the Intel website is a clarksfield
    configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=uk&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&oc=n00xl706& m_30=322462
    Well according to benchmarks the sandy bridge is slightly faster. Plus it has better graphics and is 50 cheaper.

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php


    EDIT // No sorry the graphics are a bit slower - blooming nvidea product names!

    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php


    Sack it, just get a mac, it's easier!
    Last edited by j17sparky; 19th July 2011 at 10:45 PM.

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    Where are you looking?
    Can't get a mac - can't afford it, don't need it, and yes I am one of those mac haters...
    Actually the uni has said that they have more pcs with the software on than macs so a windows machine would be preferable.

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    mrwITch has a Dell XPS 17 with an i5 2540M

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