2 or 4 cores for a laptop CPU?

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Puffi
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2 or 4 cores for a laptop CPU?

Post by Puffi » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:08 am

I'm getting a laptop, but can't decide between the P8700 and i7 720M CPU's. Sure the i7 is faster, at least in artificial benchmarks and whatever can actually utilize its 4 cores, but is it at all faster in "normal" use, such as browsing while playing HD media? What about something like Photoshop? Or gaming?

What I want to know is what I'm sacrificing if I get the P8700. Or the i7 720M.

CA_Steve
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Post by CA_Steve » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:14 pm

A dual core is fine for browsing while playing HD media.

games: a Few use 4 cores, most use 2 cores today. Over time, with DX11, more will utilize 4 cores. It used to be true that a fast dual core will best out a slower quad core in most games. The Turbo feature in the i5/i7 series changes that.

Photoshop, etc: Newer versions of Photoshop will make use of 4 cores and will be faster with it.

I think the i7 provides a more flexible solution for the long haul.
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Puffi
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Post by Puffi » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:24 am

Umm, the turbo feature? What does that do? I mean don't all the newer mobile processors have some kind of throttling etc.? How is the turbo feature any better? the i7 720M also has a TDP of 45 watts. The P8700 is only 25 watts, which is quite a big difference.

CA_Steve
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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:21 am

Read this page and the next.
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swivelguy2
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Post by swivelguy2 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:53 pm

A mobile i7 will be faster in probably all tasks than a core 2 duo, but the P-series processors represent a highly evolved, optimized technology, and will run quietly, with a long battery life. The i7 will be a powerhouse but consume a lot of power.

Nick Geraedts
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Post by Nick Geraedts » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:34 pm

Newer Intel CPUs also have the ability to let Windows7 "park" the cores, essentially turning them off altogether. All the i7 CPUs support this, but I'm not sure if the previous generation mobile C2D chips do.

Ultimately, the i720 will give you better performance overall, and better multitasking capabilities. You'll probably be giving up a bit of battery life though. It's really a question of how much are you going to be sitting plugged in.

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