AMD APU or Intel with dedication?

ellsswhere

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I am helping my sister buy a laptop and hoping it will last her 4-5 yrs (good luck right)

Her use is rather general: Light Photoshop/Lightroom for photos, Internet, Movies, and light gaming (she plays Sims 3 but I am sure there will be a Sims 4 in the next few years and I want it to be somewhat future proof)

So having done tons of searching in the 650-700$ range I sidestepped Newegg and decided she would benefit most from customizing an HP system and narrowed it down to 2 possibilities... using some coupons that expire 7/31


OR


I have seen recent reviews saying the AMD APU trumps the Intel SB but even though the dedicated GPU on the Intel is cheap its still dedicated... is their any benefit to the more expensive Intel or should I have her go the AMD route?
 

AntiZig

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Ok, let me explain, the AMD APU you are talking about is code named LLANO and as far as I know they haven't even hit the market yet.

Now that we are clear on that, the AMD cpu that you posted is horrendous compared to i7, so definite no brainer, get the i7, unless you're willing to wait a bit till the new llano comes about.
 

ellsswhere

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well they have come out, most reviews give them mad props because they have a much more robust gpu compared to the Sandybridge line which focused more on processing power, you are a little behind bud, the Bulldog line is almost out actually, and from this review they aren't horrendous at all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdPi4GPEI74

thanks for trying though
 

AntiZig

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umm yes ok so I'm behind at what's out and what's not. However, as you say the user not getting it for gaming, so why would you want a better GPU performance against CPU performance?

The only other consideration I see is battery life, but all llano has achieved is competitive battery life to sandy bridge, not necessarily superior. so... ??
 
G

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Pick the llano. the intel one has radeon 6490m which is slower than the 3510mx. Its cheaper also.
 

billj214

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My vote is for the i7 which is a powerhouse of a processor and the graphics are very good, if you went with Llano you would sacrifice processing power for a slightly better graphics and battery life. As for waiting for another new technology to come out, this is a PC so the next best thing is coming out all the time, now is always a good time to buy. If it were me I would get the Core i5 Sandy Bridge and put more money into an SSD hard drive upgrade, the i5 is more than enough power.

Good Luck.
 

Immudzen

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If by horrendous you mean that in most tests the difference between the i7 and llano procs is less then a second. The problem is that for the VAST majority of tasks that people do now processors where more then fast enough a good while ago.

Benchmarks like to hype up 20% differences that don't matter in reality. The llano laptop will be just as fast for all normal tasks you will do, it will have better batter life then that i7 will with the same size battery and it is $100 cheaper.

Having the fastest just to have the fastest means very little. I remember a study that intel did that if you had an infinitely fast cpu so that all operations took 0 time your performance would only double at a best case.

In actual usage the llano laptops are very nice, have good battery power, have a nice balance of cpu to gpu performance and have good integrated graphics performance. For a new laptop I would focus on battery time, memory, and gpu since the cpus have long since been fast enough while more and more things are gpu accelerated. All the browsers are GPU accelerated now, heck even office is slowly getting gpu acceleration.
 

ellsswhere

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Seriously considered the comparably priced I5-2410m laptops ($650) which destroy the AMD in single thread processing but not only is the gpu side of the processor underpowered (most games like BF: Bad Company 2) showing 30fps on medium compared to 50fps on the AMD, as programs become rebuilt for multi-threading... programs like PhotoShop can utilize 4cores at 2.5ghz rather than 2cores at a faster 2.9
 

jaguarskx

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Since you are saying she is doing light Photoshop / Lightroom work with the laptop, then either A8 or Core i7 will be more than capable of handling that type of work. The Core i7 would be better of course. But overall, the difference in performance should not be too much as long as she is doing "light" work.

However, since she wants to play games then the A8 with the HD 6620G graphics core would be better than the Intel HD 3000 in the Core i7. To give you some perspective, the Intel HD 3000 is slightly faster than the desktop Radeon HD 5450, the Radeon HD 6620G is a little slower than the desktop HD 5570. While both HD 5450 and HD 5570 are both considered weak gaming cards in a desktop PC, they are decent enough for a laptop especially if the resolution is 1366x768. What this translates to is that the Radeon HD 6620G is a lot faster than the Intel HD 3000; probably about 1.75x faster.

I would say in a few years from now your sister would rather wait an additional 10 minutes or so (of course that would actually depend on the size of the batch and what processes are being used) for a batch process to finish up in Photoshop, than it would be to play a game with stuttering graphics. Therefore, my suggestion is to buy a Llano A8 laptop.

Just to let you know, there have been a lot of recent complaints about HP laptops having reliability issues. Therefore, you should look around for a possible alternative to HP.


 

Immudzen

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Photoshop has been adding GPU acceleration support. The odds are in a few years it will run faster on the llano laptop then the intel laptop it is being compared to because of better GPGPU support.
 

AntiZig

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yeah, you know we hear the same *** about nvidia and amd drivers, they will be optimized and you will see better performance. We all know what a load of bull that is.
 

ellsswhere

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My thoughts exactly I was just wondering if AMD's claims were founded
as for looking around, I tried and it appears Acer and Lenovo are the only carriers thus far of the A8-3500 line, everyone else has the A6 or A4 which she has no interest in

I had no idea HP was having quality issues thats a huge bummer, I guess that 2yr protection plan will be worth it
Photoshop has been adding GPU acceleration support. The odds are in a few years it will run faster on the llano laptop then the intel laptop it is being compared to because of better GPGPU support.
Yeah I am a graphic designer and use Photoshop daily, it uses Open GL to rotate the canvas and fix jagged edges when scaled at 'off' sizes 33% and the like
 

Immudzen

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The most recent release of photoshop has GPGPU support right now that already works on AMD/NVIDIA cards. There is no waiting required. It is just that the odds are that in future versions of photoshop that more GPGPU stuff will be done and so if someone gets a newer version even more stuff will be done on the GPU. Heck Office 2010 offloads some stuff to the GPU also. Your web browser offloads stuff to the GPU. More things are offloading to the GPU as times go on and it does make a real difference.

This also has nothing to do with optimizing drivers. As those drivers exist right this second this stuff already works and it is FAR faster then a CPU for the tasks it is good at. In some of the GPGPU benchmarks the llano was easily hundreds of times faster then an intel chip with integrated video.
 

sugjavier

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Basically I would go for the Llano. I was in the same situation as your sister and you just a week ago.

Llano - give up some processor speed (most ppl dont even need that much anymore)
crazy boost on GPU performance compared to intel hd graphics
sandybridge+discrete gpu-OVERKILL on processing and gpu = EXPENSIVE.

Also, I hesitated too because HP was carrying it and I really dont want to buy an HP.

For me, my solution was "I will wait." Maybe till next gen Llano comes out, or buy an x17 laptop from digitalstormonline.com which is expensive but cheaper than the rest of custom builders and OEM's

So yea for you, I'd stick with Llano
 

jaguarskx

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Not necessarily. I ordered a 14" Lenovo IdeaPad Y470 that comes with a Core i5 CPU and nvidia GT 550M video card for $749 - 10% discount = $674 around July 20th. Not bad. Discount is no longer valid though.

The 15.6" Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 with the same Core i5 and an nvidia GT 555M is currently priced at $849. Had I decided to go with the larger and heavier Y570, the 10% discount would have brought down the price to $764.




 

Kamab

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AMD's A-series APUs just haven't been used in a ton of laptop builds yet. This is mostly due to the high popularity of the second generation i5/i7s, so manufacturers aren't seeing a huge need to build around the AMD APUS. I honestly think the processor is the better option for your situation, but I don't know of many specific product lines that seem to have high build quality or are at the right price point.
 
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