Do I really need i7 in a Laptop?

verklighet

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
84
Hey guys!

I've been considering buying a laptop for a while now, and in my search I've felt like I hunted newest technology rather than a computer efficient enough for my needs... All I need my computer for is gaming and Photoshop work essentially.

So is i7 really a must?
The prices usually have a steep rise between that and the i5/i3...which one is most applicable for my intentions?

It seems like the other choices will do the work and last long enough to make a worthy laptop.

Thanks guys!
 

nimajneb5000

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
87
I would say look for a quad with decent clockspeeds (2.0 +) and you will be good. However, you may want an Nvidia GPU for cuda accelerated stuff (never had to use photoshop so I dont know how big of a difference it really makes, just my 2)
 

Rokodo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
137
A balance of power/performance across a range of components is more important than absolute power in one focused area.

Core i7 in terms of notebooks is a label, what you have to look out for is the model number to see if you're getting a dual or quad (taking hyper threading out of the equation) core chip. Intel lists all the specs of their CPUs here: http://ark.intel.com

A notebook with a dual Core i5 (3 MB cache) and a solid state drive is likely to outperform a notebook with a dual Core i7 (4 MB cache) running at a similar frequency with a conventional mechanical hard disk drive. In practical terms you will benefit more from the i5 machine.

It is also important to get a good GPU. For gaming and Photoshop an AMD HD card will do nicely, something from their mobile 5xxx range or better. Again, specs per card are available online, but AMD are generally better value than Nvidia these days if lacking in features you don't really need.

Summary:
1. Don't trust CPU branding. Research chip by chip (recommended minimum dual core with HT, 2 GHz or higher frequency, 3 MB cache or more).
2. Ensure you get a notebook with a discrete GPU from AMD or Nvidia.
3. Try to spend some cash on a notebook with a larger capacity (128-256 GB) SSD if possible. They are expensive but improve overall system responsiveness dramatically.
4. If you need storage space due to a small SSD drive in the notebook, invest in an externally enclosed WD/Seagate/Samsung 2TB HDD to store files on, but don't rely solely on that for important data.
5. Dual core chips are a safer bet for a notebook as they are less likely to overheat, especially after a time period where dust clogs up the internal components. In practical computing terms you don't really need more than dual core just yet for photo editing/gaming.
 

ciaphuas

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Messages
84
I have an quad i7 in my laptop but I'm sure i would be just as happy with an i5
 

limitedaccess

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
7,594
You might want to consider waiting for the SB laptops. Not for the performance, but the potential power savings, meaning longer battery life.
 
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