Athlon vs. Turion

jeyges

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May 15, 2008
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I'm looking to buy a budget laptop. I'm replacing my old Pentium 4 desktop. I don't do high-end graphics work - mostly web, MS Office, some database work. No CAD or gaming.

I found a Compaq system in Staples for $399 on sale. It has only 1GB of RAM, but I'd replace that. I thought it had a Turion CPU; after I bought it, I realized that it has an Athlon 64 X2 CPU. I'm thinking of returning it. Is there a significant difference between the Athlon and Turion in terms of performance, battery life, etc? I remember the Athlon (or was it the Sempron?) as AMD's equivalent of the Celeron, but it's a dual core chip now, although it only has 512MB of L2 cache.

The GPU is an NVIDIA GeForce 7000M, with integrated memory up to 286MB.

Thanks.
 

overclockingrocks

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Turion is AMD's version of Pentium M basically you are correct that the sempron is AMD's budget chip comparable to the celeron. the Athlon 64 X2 will get lower battery life but if it's the full desktop deal would be slightly more powerful. for $399 I'd keep it definitely upgrade the RAM of course to 2GB. as for battery life you can still expect 2 hours or so out of that chip the Turion may stretch it to 2.5-3 but for $399 I wouldn't call it a major knock I'd say you found a good diamond in the rough and with minimal upgrades (ram as I said) it would be a powerhouse for the price
 

jeyges

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Thanks so much. I was confused about the difference between the Athlon and Sempron; I can never keep the names straight. It seemed like a good deal to me; a friend bought a similar unit with an Intel chip (dual core but not Core 2 Duo), 2GB of RAM and a couple more options, and she paid $550.

I was also able to get a 3-year service contract through Staples for $120, but I was thinking of returning it and either getting nothing, or possibly a Square Trade warranty for $48. The main difference is that Square Trade doesn't provide tech support, but everyone's tech support is so lousy today that every time I call, I come away with nothing and I have to do the diagnostic work myself.
 
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