i5-4210U w/ 820M graphics or A10-7300 w/ R6 Kaveri

getch

Estimable
Mar 25, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
Looking for a new budget laptop to do some light gaming (mostly World of Warcraft and possibly some Skyrim, but I'll be fine with low-medium settings) and it's come down to a couple of choices.

The first is a Lenovo Z40, which has an i5-4210U, Nvidia 820M graphics, and 6GB RAM (not expandable, unfortunately). It seems like decent specs for the price, which is currently on sale for $530. My main reservations are the non-expandable RAM, as well as the price, compared to the 2nd option.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/z-series/z40/#tab-customize

The 2nd option is an Acer Aspire E5, which has an A10-7300, with R6 Kaveri graphics, and 4GB RAM, expandable to 16GB.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314557&cm_re=amd_a10-_-34-314-557-_-Product

Some places say that the R6 Kaveri graphics are equal to/better than the 820M (although the Lenovo has 2GB dedicated graphics, while most of the arguments are for 1GB dedicated), while others say the exact opposite. The Acer is only $380 so if I could save that much money and have an equal (or possibly better performing, depending on who you ask) machine, that would be ideal. I do also understand that the build quality might be worse for the Acer, but I feel like I would be willing to make that sacrifice for better performance. Unfortunately for the price I'm looking at, I dont think build quality and performance will come hand-in-hand.

Any opinions on which would be better for light gaming? I certainly wouldn't mind playing more modern games, but I have a desktop that can easily handle those, so I would use the laptop mainly for light and on-the-go gaming.

Any help would be appreciated!
 

getch

Estimable
Mar 25, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
Would also like to throw this Dell into the mix:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4P02M37699&cm_re=amd_a10-_-34-299-053-_-Product

Same processor as the Acer, but with a higher build quality, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB HD. But at $490, it's close enough to the Lenovo in price that it would come down to which is the better processor/GPU combo for the light gaming I plan to do.

Again, any help would be very much appreciated. Would like to jump on whichever one is recommended the most sooner than later to take advantage of the deals going on.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Overall, www.notebookcheck.com ranks the nVidia GT 820m lower than the Radeon R6 (Kaveri) graphics core as shown in the following link. The Radeon 6 (Kaveri) is ranked at #183 and the nVidia GT 820m is ranked at #236 in overall performance. However, based on some of the game benchmarks I have selected, the nVidia GT 820m performs better. Note that WoW has not been tested on the Radeon R6 (Kaveri) so performance is only a guess and since WoW has been recently updated with new content and graphics, the results for the nVdia 820m will likely be different.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html?type=&sort=&deskornote=0&or=0&search=&month=&benchmark_values=&gpubenchmarks=0&professional=0&archive=1&dx=0&multiplegpus=0&showClassDescription=0&itemselect_5539=5539&itemselect_5202=5202&condensed=0&showCount=0&showBars=0&showPercent=0&gameselect%5B%5D=295&gameselect%5B%5D=293&gameselect%5B%5D=247&gameselect%5B%5D=214&gameselect%5B%5D=112&gameselect%5B%5D=49&gpu_fullname=1&codename=0&architecture=0&pixelshaders=0&vertexshaders=0&corespeed=0&shaderspeed=0&boostspeed=0&memoryspeed=0&memorybus=0&directx=0&technology=0&daysold=0

You should also be aware that performance is based on average FPS which can differ depending on the CPU used in the laptop. All laptops with the A10-7300 and no dedicated graphics chip will be using the R6 (Kaveri) iGPU. On the other hand, the nVidia GT 820m can installed in any laptop with any CPU; even an A10-7300 if a brand wanted to do so. However, even when laptops have the exact same specs, the FPS can vary depending on how the overall build of the laptop. Below are links to benchmarks for the AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri) and the nVidia GT 820m:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-R6-Kaveri.117382.0.html

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-820M.108477.0.html


To illustrate the difference in performance even with the same CPU (or APU for AMD) check out the benchmarks for Anno 2070 in the Radeon R6 (Kaveri) link. There are 3 different benchmark results for the lowest settings; 42.5, 59.6 and 64.6. Click on the numbers to see some specs of the laptop. The laptop with 42.5 FPS only has 4GB of RAM while the other two have 8GB of RAM. That likely means the laptops with 8GB of RAM probably has two sticks of 4GB RAM which allows the RAM to operate in dual channel mode (full speed) rather than single channel mode (half speed). That is pretty important for laptops relying on integrated graphics since system RAM is used. There is another difference though, the Acer Aspire uses the A10-7300 APU, while the Elitebooks uses the AMD Kaveri A10 Pro-7350B. The A10 Pro-7350B is a business oriented APU that AMD guarantees to be more stable and durable than the consumer oriented A10-7300. As a comparison the nVidia GT 820m got 89.7 FPS on the lowest settings.


The benchmarks for the Radeon R6 (Kaveri) in Skyrim is straight forward. There is only one laptop benchmarked and that resulted in 32.4 FPS. For the nVidia GT 820m it is slightly more complicated because the 47 FPS is based on an average of two results; 43.5 and 50.7. The 43.5 FPS is from a laptop with the i5-4200u (1.6GHz / 2.6GHz) CPU which is a low voltage Intel CPU. The 50.7 FPS is from a laptop with i5-4200M (2.5GHz / 3.1GHz) CPU which is not as power efficient as the i5-4200u and has higher clock speeds. I do not think the difference in 4GB vs 8GB RAM is a big deal in this case since the GT 820m has it's own dedicate RAM.


Although the Radeon R6 (Kaveri) is ranked higher than the nVidia GT 820m according to Notebookcheck.com, it seems the nVidia GT 820m actually provides better performance.
 
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