/ Laptop: i7 or i5?

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Mark Torrance on 25 Jan 2013
Two options - computing power will be devoted exclusively to playing games.

i5-3210M Dual Core Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD

i7-3610QM Quad Core Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD

Both with 2GB GeForce GT 610M graphics. The i7 could have more RAM added later. In all other respects they are identical (different versions of the same model). I have no need for lots of HD space (unless there is some game-related reason for this - I know nothing about computer games). I realise that these are both low-end for a lot of games. I'm just maximising potential for my son to fritter his life away randomly slaughering things when he should be doing his homework.

The i7 costs 80 more. It's going to be one of these two. I don't want to waste money.

Tell me which to buy.





Siward on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Torrance: I'm no expert but I was considering the exact same question myself a month or so ago. Most advice on the web seems to favour going for an i5. There are very few games utilising the quad core capabilities of the i7 and the i5 is a very capable processor. The saved money could go towards games, or upgrading the graphics card.
Mark Torrance on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Siward:

Good. Thanks. And my googling confirms this. i5 it is then.

The money saved will go on character-bulding trips to sites of educational and historic interest.
itsThere on 26 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Torrance: The i7 will be faster. You will be able to find benchmark tests for the non laptop version. There are lots of games that use quad core/hyperthreading. Very soon we will be using 8 cores. An i5 is still fine, and very very good for games. Its not as if you need 8, 2 or 4 is still fine and will be for a long time.

More importantly any laptop that you use for games will live a short and hot life. Buy a cooling pad off amazon. It may help it live a little longer.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist.php?groupid=959&catid=1843
You can find them on amazon just search laptop cooler.
itsThere on 26 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Torrance: Oh and dont get windows 8.
needvert on 26 Jan 2013
Check out reviews for it first.

I notice i7 X220 thinkpads had power issues that the i5s did not. That was a while ago, but not entirely surprising that jamming the fastest cpu you can find in a really confined form factor could lead to issues.

Most of all, you want something that works, and for that staying to popular models with a lot of user reviews helps.
Philip on 26 Jan 2013
i5 In general.
i7 for desktop-replacement laptops or very well designed machines that can handle the heat and provide the power without a heavy battery.

As laptops that get used regularly and travel never last as long as desktops, future proofing is not as essential. I would probably not even got to i5 without a good reason. I still avoid celerons though - purely from historic prejudice.
Muel - on 26 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Torrance:
> (In reply to Siward)
>
> Good. Thanks. And my googling confirms this. i5 it is then.
>
> The money saved will go on character-bulding trips to sites of educational and historic interest.

This is simply untrue, some games only favour a dual core, but all modern games (pretty much) created in the last 3 years support 6/8 cores. It's a common mistake though which is probably why your google search showed it up.

For 80, I very, very strongly recommend going for the i7. I have the i5 you're looking at and it's not good enough for serious gaming. It's not bad, but for 80 it is well worth the extra. When I looked it would have cost 200 extra, hence why I went for the i5.
mattrm - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Torrance:

In gaming the more power the better. So if you're happy to shell out for the i7 then that's what I'd do. Also the more RAM the better. If you can get an SSD hard drive as well, that's well worth it.

Ideally you'd want a desktop so you can put a decent gfx card in. That's going to be the limiter here. I doubt the CPU will be. Desktop gaming rigs are also much cheaper.
Mikkel - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to mattrm:
Yea i dont understand buying laptops for gaming.
My brother have had to return 3 HP ones now, because they got so hot you could not touch them.

He have not eventually bought a monster of a gaming laptop which is nice, but he could have build one hell of a desktop + a nice monitor for the same money. (or less)
Fluvial - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to Mark Torrance:

Due you definitely want a laptop?

i5s are good enough I would think for the needs of today - and as quoted they dont last long enough for the need to future proof

Try these guys:

http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/

For custom builds I have had 2 desktops both gaming ones and they have both been great (1 for me 1 for son)


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