2.16 GHz Pentium Quad Core (1st Generation) vs 4th Generation Intel Core i3

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liza d

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Apr 9, 2015
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I have a similar situation and question, but one has a more RAM. Similar computers, similar prices.

Pentium N3540 2.16GHz 8gb RAM 1TB HD vs.

Intel Core i3-4005U 1.70GHz 6gb RAM 500gb HD

Saying that I can suffice with the 500gb HD, which would be faster, taking into account the greater RAM in the Pentium.

I surf the internet, watch videos, play casual games with some fancy graphics, and most importantly do heavy image editing (though not with monster Photoshop; I use lots of freeware clones.) I currently have an old Duo Core, 4gb, 150gb hd. Running up on hard drive limits and freezing on games and some videos. Sometimes slow on very large image files. Which option would work better for me? Thanks!
 

Yllson

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Oct 1, 2015
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iwanttobeamole

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Sep 19, 2010
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Hi Liza and everyone else who came across this page looking for useful answers.
Here's a couple of things that others haven't quite grasped yet.

Firstly the name "Pentium" is now just a marketing term usually referring to Intels cheapest range of processors. Actual Pentiums came out in the 90's and were their main product line. But this is irrelevant.
The current generation of pentiums have come from the intel Atom architecture. These chips are super low powered, cheap to make, and came from the netbook era. They're great for things like chrome books etc, set top boxes, and tiny stick PCs like the Intel compute stick. Cool things, but not really fit for purpose when it comes to a personal use laptop/PC

As for performance, without going into to too much detail, the Pentium's per core processing power is around half of the i3, but it has twice as many cores. This might sound like they're about even, but bear in mind that most software DOES NOT deal with multiple cores. This means any single program is only going to use a single core. So it's going to run at half the speed on an the atom based pentium quad core, than it is on the i3. So the i3 is going to be a much better option all round.

Here's link to cpuboss which, while not necessarily a perfect apples to apples comparison, does give a pretty good idea of performance. http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-N3530-vs-Intel-Core-i3-4005U

Now. Ram.
Here's how I describe ram. Imagine your computer is an office. Ram is the size of your desk, where the hard drive is the filing cabinet in the corner. When you load something up (including windows itself) the computer goes to that filing cabinet, pulls out the files it needs and puts then on the desk for you to use. If your desk is too small, and gets full of stuff, the computer has to constantly go backwards and forwards to the filing cabinet to swap the files around, and this obviously takes AGES.
So you get more ram, which is like getting a larger desk. This is great and means that the computer has loads of space to have heaps of stuff open at once and will run nice and fast without having to go back to the filing cabinet all the time.
However, once you have a large enough desk, and you have enough space for everything you want to do, you could make that desk 10 times larger, and it wouldn't make a lick of difference. Once you have enough ram, adding more will make absolutely no difference.
There are another few factors here, ram is cheap (~$20 USD for 4gb) and very easy and quick to upgrade in any machine. 6GB would likely be enough for anything you need to do for now. Maybe down the track you need a bit more, but it's an easy cheap upgrade that any computer geek with their salt could do in a flash. This I think takes the ram off the table as the difference is negligible and the solution (to a problem that doesn't yet exist) is very easy.

Lastly, I want to talk about the elephant in the room. The hard drive.
The absolute best upgrade you could possibly do to any laptop, is to replace the hard drive with a solid state drive. These do the same job but 5-500 times faster! They have no moving parts, they use less power, create less heat, and are not susceptible to damage like a traditional spinning hard drive. Upgrading to an SSD is getting much cheaper now, and will absolutely change the way that you think about computers. If you put an SSD into your old Core 2 Duo laptop, it would outperform either of these new laptops in most general tasks. (obviously not in processor specific tasks). An SSD is THE BEST single upgrade you can do to any machine.

Hope this helps a few people out.
 

Dipesh_2

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Jan 5, 2016
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Joanne_6

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May 21, 2016
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Joanne_6

Commendable
May 21, 2016
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I just wanted to say thanks iwanttobeamole for such an informative answer. I've been looking for information on the things you wrote about, but can never seem to find simple straightforward answers. A great help. Thank you.
 

Zwansaurio

Commendable
Nov 20, 2016
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Pentium 2.16 quad core is a 4th generation processor, supports only 8gb ram that's more than enough.
I own an Acer laptop with that processor and Nvidia 810M(for gaming, but use intel hd video por browsing), So far I could play Battleflield 3, 4(online too), Starwars Battlefront, and a few others...I was able to play Battlefield 1(online) a few minutes but for some reason the game crashed I think it was because I only have 4gb ram so I'm getting 4 more to try again...I do image and video editing, use two monitors(laptop and external hdmi conection) with no issues...for basic things and casual games is a great processor...nice battery life too...
 
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