What processor is good enough for me? Productivity + multiple monitors

AS85

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Needs:
I don't game but I do use multiple monitors (2 LG 29" Ultrawides 2560x1080 + 1 22" vertical 1920x1080). I do keep a lot of different programs open like Excel (2-4 files at a time), Chrome (10+ tabs), Firefox (10+ tabs). I do only productivity work with the max fun being YouTube, Netflix, or Amazon. I would like my programs to open fast and videos to play smoothly. 5+ hours of battery life.

Questions:
Do I need a Core i7? Do I need hyperthreading? Will a dual core i5 (pre-Skylake) be enough? My mid-2014 Macbook Macbook Pro 13 (Haswell Core i5 4278U) feels snappy but I don't know it's because of the way OSX is designed or if the Intel U processors have come a long way.

My last PC was an Acer Aspire Ivy Bridge Core i7 and it was fast enough for me.
 

AS85

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So, even a Intel Core i5-6200U would be good enough?
http://www.amazon.com/K501UX-15-inch-Gaming-Processor-Windows/dp/B0146DD02G/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&srs=2528968011&ie=UTF8&qid=1458273179&sr=1-2&refinements=p_n_operating_system_browse-bin%3A12035945011%2Cp_n_size_browse-bin%3A2423841011

Until recently, I didn't even know my Macbook had a U processor. I mistakenly bought the very first line of low voltage processors back in 2008 (ASUS UL50) - it was a quiet machine with long battery life but very little computing power. So, my impression of U processors was that they were too slow for me.
 

InvalidError

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Unless you do intensive number crunching in Excel or something else of the sort, even an i3 should be enough. When multi-tasking multiple apps that use little to no CPU power, making sure you have enough RAM to keep everything open and in-memory to avoid swapping is much more important than processing power - that's why I have 32GB RAM in my PC. (My open apps typically eat 10-18GB RAM combined total and I need some spare memory for the file system cache.)

I like never having to wait for programs to de-swap when I have 20+ programs and windows open and tab through them.
 

k1114

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Low voltage cpus go waaaaay farther back than core 2. You could say since the beginning really. The U naming scheme was just new then. The thing is cpus constantly get more powerful but things like excel and web browsers aren't needing more and more. They do a bit but now we have much more gpu acceleration and the igpu is getting better as well, more efficient apis, better optimization to make it faster without needing more resources, and other such technological advances that the average user can have more than enough performance with low end cpus.

I wouldn't really say to get too low since anyone wants their pc to be fast enough for the coming future. You're probably looking at similar performance as your current haswell i5 if you aren't looking at skylake and anything better isn't going to make any difference if you aren't even using the i5 much. Your uses just wants a ssd and enough ram for the most part. What you linked to is an overkill.
 

AS85

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My day just keeps getting worse! Actually, I guess it's a mixed bag now that I have this info.

Overkill? I'll give you overkill. I actually bought a computer on the 16th - MSI GS60 Ghost 242. The fan is rather loud. And I'm currently trying to sell it...at a loss...because I was too stupid to ask the appropriate question here.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/131755398583?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
 

k1114

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It was more about it having a 950m and you do really nothing that needs more than the intel igpu. As said, even an i3 would be fine although those dual core i7 are pretty much the same but higher clocked and have turbo. More of how the naming of cpus causes issues. You could just save money with a cheaper laptop and you'd feel the same snappiness.
 
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