Can't understand the CPU rating system, buying laptop

derek3731

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
8
0
4,510
0
Hello,

First time poster so if I'm making any mistakes please let me know.

I built a PC in 2011 and had http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16819103886 this processor installed. I'm currently looking into buying a laptop from Lenovo and often I see processors such as Intel Core i5-540M with 1.7 ghz speed or the i5-4210U also with 1.7 ghz.

I understand that clock speed isn't a good measurement of speed, and I'm comparing AMD to Intel, but I'm curious what I'm missing that makes these processors better (since I'm assuming technology from 2011 doesn't even compare to 2014, Moore's law and all that).

Here is a comparison I put in to save anyone time! =2259&cmp[]=159]http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2259&cmp[]=159

Thank you for your time and help.
 

nikoli707

Distinguished
Jan 4, 2012
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18,590
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cpu algorithms work into the speed too. over your old x3, some quite huge leaps and bounds have been made. but for the most part, since early 2011 sandy bridge, cpu horsepower across the board has not made any huge leaps. now cpu power consumption and efficiency are the winners with the popularity of low power tablets, smart tvs, phones, etc.

600 as in $600usd.

pretty much any i5-4xxx(there would usually be a letter after the 4 numbers, usually a 'u' designating ultra low voltage) would be a great laptop. there are even i7s that are still 2 core 4 thread processors but really are just higher clocked versions. if you really search around you might be able to find an i7 quad for right at $650, and that would be a great deal, but battery life will suffer because of the increased power draw for cpu horsepower. but if you just want a great running laptop that gets very good battery life for normal web browsing, any i5-4xxx processor is going to feel the same as the next i5-4xxx or i5-3xxx. you would need benchmarking programs to measure the difference. that i5-4210u definitely faster than my a10-4600m based laptop, except in most games, and will serve you well with great battery life.

http://www.techbargains.com/acer-aspire-e5-deals
similar refurbished deal, but dead now. try to find one at the $500 price point with for promo codes from hp or lenovo, etc. or black friday is coming up!!!

http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/425846
thats a quad core that was live last week.

check that site for a week or two and look for something you like, or ask here on toms forums if we think its a good deal.
 

nikoli707

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Jan 4, 2012
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if you going to buy a new laptop, you want one with at least an amd a8 or a10 processor, or an intel i3 i5 or i7 that has a 2xxx, 3xxx, or 4xxx in it. its not likely you will find any 2xxx sandy bridge based laptops around anymore. but there are still quite a few ivy bridge 3xxx laptops around. 4xxx is the newest haswell based cpus and are newer laptops. performance from 2xxx to 4xxx is not very noticable, but battery life is, so you should try to find a 4xxx intel based laptop.

amd cpu based laptop speed is not very fast compared to intel i3s and i5s, but the a10 processors have a much more powerful igpu in them that allows medium level gaming. if your not trying to game on a budget though, skip an amd laptop and go for an intel.

that i5-540m is older than the 2xxx sandy bridge series. you do not want that.

what is your budget for a laptop? are you trying to run demanding games?
 

digitaldoc

Distinguished
Herald
Your old processor is an Athlon X3 chip, which has 3 cores,and is built on a 45 nm process. It has L2 cache of 512 kb x 3. It uses 95 W at full load.

In comparison, the Core i5-4210U you mentioned is a dual core part, but is has hyperthreading which gives it two virtual cores which help in some applications. On top of that, the base clock is 1.7 GHz, but it can turbo clock up to 2.7 GHz for bursts of speed as needed. It also has 3 megs of cache. It is built on a 22 nm process, which allows it to do all this with 15 W.

http://ark.intel.com/products/81016/Intel-Core-i5-4210U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz
 

derek3731

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
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4,510
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I'd like to spend 600<, mostly using for school and some web dev stuff but probably very limited gaming. Where can I get some simple info on the different processor series? It all seems very confusing! Thank you
 

derek3731

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
8
0
4,510
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I understand the basics of hyperthreading, and that in some applications it can increase the "virtual cores" to four in a dual core, or more efficiently process data. Basically though, what you're getting at is that the i5 uses much less power and runs more efficiently? What actually makes it run faster than my old chip? The cache? Thank you!
 

digitaldoc

Distinguished
Herald


It is really a combination of things that contribute to the overall performance. The i5 does run more efficiently and uses less power. On top of that, you add in the turbo boost, and the additional cache that also add to the package. There is also better performance in each core that is seen with each generation, and while not dramatic between a single generation this adds up when compared to a chip from 3 years ago. Below is a computational benchmark that is specifically running on a single core to demonstrate this.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/x86-core-performance-comparison/7-Zip-0.92,2776.html
 

derek3731

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
8
0
4,510
0


That does help, thank you. Are CPUs compared more by benchmarks than specs now? I know certain specs like cores are easy to read but ghz and other stuff seems almost obsolete from what I'm reading.
 

nikoli707

Distinguished
Jan 4, 2012
29
0
18,590
3
cpu algorithms work into the speed too. over your old x3, some quite huge leaps and bounds have been made. but for the most part, since early 2011 sandy bridge, cpu horsepower across the board has not made any huge leaps. now cpu power consumption and efficiency are the winners with the popularity of low power tablets, smart tvs, phones, etc.

600 as in $600usd.

pretty much any i5-4xxx(there would usually be a letter after the 4 numbers, usually a 'u' designating ultra low voltage) would be a great laptop. there are even i7s that are still 2 core 4 thread processors but really are just higher clocked versions. if you really search around you might be able to find an i7 quad for right at $650, and that would be a great deal, but battery life will suffer because of the increased power draw for cpu horsepower. but if you just want a great running laptop that gets very good battery life for normal web browsing, any i5-4xxx processor is going to feel the same as the next i5-4xxx or i5-3xxx. you would need benchmarking programs to measure the difference. that i5-4210u definitely faster than my a10-4600m based laptop, except in most games, and will serve you well with great battery life.

http://www.techbargains.com/acer-aspire-e5-deals
similar refurbished deal, but dead now. try to find one at the $500 price point with for promo codes from hp or lenovo, etc. or black friday is coming up!!!

http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/425846
thats a quad core that was live last week.

check that site for a week or two and look for something you like, or ask here on toms forums if we think its a good deal.
 

derek3731

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
8
0
4,510
0


I just wanted to thank you for your posts. You give really quality information and I sincerely appreciate it. Have a good day!
 
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