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Laptop CPU comparison.....

pawhe955
Grafter
Posts: 106
Registered: 31-07-2007

Laptop CPU comparison.....

Hi all,
Looking at a buying a laptop, and have come down to 2 that have similar specs, but primary difference being CPU.
One has:
type : Intel® Pentium® dual-core processor T4200
clock speed : 2.00 GHz
Front Side Bus : 800 MHz
2nd level cache : 1 MB
And the other:
type : Intel® Core 2 Solo SU3500
clock speed : 1.40 GHz
Front Side Bus : 800 MHz
2nd level cache : 3 MB
Anyone care to opine as to which might be better....??  On face value, the (older?) Pentium is higher spec ("faster" and dual-core)., but does the architecture and larger 2nd level cache of the Core 2 make up for that (albeit it's a Solo)?  (I do wish that Intel would "rationalise" they massive range of CPUs....). I do realise that the Solo is ULV, so battery life is apparently 6-8 hrs instead of the Pentium's approx. of 3 hrs - but more interested in raw power and speed, as although a laptop, will probably be used at home plugged in most of the time.....
Usage is likely to be general stuff for kids for school (MS Office, odd proprietary "educational" programs [Yenka<?>], web, email) - perhaps some DVD playback (therefore codecs) - no requirement for really high-spec gaming (both laptops only have integrated Intel GMA4500MHD).....
Thanks,
P.
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Laptop CPU comparison.....

I find this site useful for comparing the raw benchmarkable power of CPUs. Using that website, we find that the T4200 gets a score of 1225 compared to only 472 for the Core 2 Solo - which, to be honest, isn't at all surprising. Bearing that in mind, even if you only need a single core you'll still be getting higher performance with the the Pentium as its benchmark score is well over twice that of the C2S.
wisty
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 443
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 3
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Laptop CPU comparison.....

It depends what you want it for. How do YOU define better?
Clearly the first has a lot more CPU power - but its battery life is far worse. If those are manufacturers estimates - halve them in real world conditions. Do you plan to use it mobile, or is it really a desktop replacement. My laptop has a Pentium M 1.4GHz and has about four hours life in real use. I run Windows 7 on it. It gets me through a day out and about. I couldn't live with a laptop that only has 2-3 hours life let alone the 1.5ish you are really going to get.
Personally, if I wanted it for travelling I would get the core solo with a lot of RAM (cuts down on disk access).
If its a desktop replacement - I would get a desktop at the same price. Better display, better ergonomics (keyboard, relative positioning etc) and probably a lot more speed in both the disk and processor.
pawhe955
Grafter
Posts: 106
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Laptop CPU comparison.....

@Be3G - Thanks for the info. and the pointer to that website, I wasn't aware of it - looks useful - already bookmarked for future reference......
@Wisty - as mentioned, the laptop is for the kids for school work, so therefore is more about being "portable" (moving from room to room, possibly house to house, but usually somewhere where it can be plugged into the mains), than being used on the move, purely on battery. So in this case, I'll probably go with the CPU power. As it happens, the laptop with the Pentium Dual-Core comes with 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory, so it's maxed out (for the provided 32bit OS) - the disk is a standard (for laptops) 5400rpm, but I guess that we'll have to live with that....
Thanks for the replies - looks like the kids (not me, of course) might be getting a new toy to play with tomorrow......
One other question - has anyone tried imaging a hard disk of a new machine BEFORE switching it on for the first time & running through the "unpacking/installation" of the OS? - e.g. inserting a bootable CD such as an Acronis boot disk, and imaging the "untouched" HD contents off to a USB Disk?  I had an issue recently where an HP laptop is telling me that I've already created "Recovery DVDs", when I'm sure I haven't - and although I've now created full images of the HD using Acronis, I would like to create a number of images during the build (e.g. as the OS is customised, and during subsequent software installs) of the new machine, and am wondering whether I can go so far as imaging the disk at the earliest possible moment, before I've done anything at all to it.....
Thx.
mgillespie
Grafter
Posts: 222
Registered: 08-04-2007

Re: Laptop CPU comparison.....

The T4200 Dual Core has much better frequency scaling on the CPU, so it can wind down (saving battery) when not needed.  It's much smarter about when it runs at full tilt...  with the T4200 Dual Core You are getting the most powerful and most power-saving in a way...