Which to buy? Worse GPU or worse CPU?

ololol

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Sep 8, 2014
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Hi. I am stuck with those two options - don't know what to buy. I use my laptop normally, but would be nice to play all those new games - not on ultra settings but in decent graphics.

Acer E5-571g i5-4210U 4GB RAM HDD 500GB GF840M
Lenovo Z510 i3-4000M 8GB RAM SSHD 1000GB GT740M

Acer has 840m card - which is better. No doubts. But Lenovo has better CPU (right?), more RAM, 8GB SSD cache and bigger HDD. But card is only 740m..

Tell me guys - what to choose? I want to run games like GTA IV, Sims 4, COD. Is 840m really that better than 740m?

Cheers!
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Actually, the i5-4210U is slightly more powerful than the i3-4000m...

The i3 has base / max clockspeed of 2.4GHz.

The i5 has a base clockspeed of 1.7GHz, but because it has Turbo Boost (not found in i3 CPUs) the max clockspeed can go to 2.7GHz. However, 2.7GHz is only if one CPU core is being used. If both CPU cores are being used then I believe the max speed is 2.5GHz.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Regarding the GT 840m...

According to the following link, the GT 840m provides roughly 30% better performance than the Gt 740m.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

Performance

According to our benchmarks, the GeForce 840M is about 30 percent faster than the old GT 740M and just slightly behind a GeForce GT 750M (DDR3 version). Many games of 2013/2014 can be played fluently in WXGA resolution (1366 x 768) and medium or high detail settings. However, very demanding games such as Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4 will require lower resolutions and/or details.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Here are the benchmarks restricted to the two CPUs; the i3-4000m and the i5-4210u. Theses are basically synthetic benchmarks which means software created for benchmarking purposes and does not always reflect actual performance. People generally tend to ignore these types of benchmarks.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html?type=&sort=&deskornote=2&or=0&search=&month=&benchmark_values=&gpubenchmarks=0&archive=1&dx=&itemselect_4216=4216&itemselect_5861=5861&condensed=0&condensed=0&showCount=0&showBars=1&showPercent=0&3dmark06cpu=1&cinebench10_s=1&cinebench10_m=1&cb11_single=1&cb11=1&superpi1m=1&wprime_32=1&cpu_fullname=1&codename=0&series=0&l2cache=1&l3cache=1&fsb=0&tdp=1&mhz=1&turbo_mhz=1&cores=1&threads=1&technology=0&64bit=0&daysold=0

If you are going to be using synthetic benchmarks, then you need to understand what they are actually attempting to do. The main reason why the i3-4000m is ranked higher than the i5-4210u is because of the Cinebench results. It is not surprising that the i5-4210u performs worse because Cinebench takes a combined benchmark of the CPU and the integrated graphics core.

The Core i3-4000m has the Intel HD 4600 graphics core. The Core i5-4210u uses the Intel HD 4400 which is less powerful to lower power consumption. If the Core i5-4210u had the Intel HD 4600 then it would provided similar or slightly better benchmark results. However, since the laptops you are considering has dedicated graphics, then the performance of the integrated Intel HD graphics cores do not really matter much.

Here's a link to Cinebench:

http://www.maxon.net/products/cinebench/overview.html
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Since the Acer only has 4GB of RAM that means it is only using one stick of RAM. This results in data transfer rates running at half speed compared to full speed if two sticks of RAM were to be installed. Overall, the performance penalty is not that great. Since you are playing games with a dedicated GPU, you will only get a slight performance penalty; maybe 3% or so. However, if playing games with the integrated GPU, then it would be like 10% or slightly higher since the iGPU relies on system RAM.


SSD hybrid hard drive means loading times will be faster, but it does not affect actual gameplay performance. In games that load maps sections at a time, you should notice less pause witha SSD cache.

Keep in mind that you can always replace the hard drive with a pure SSD or hybrid HDD. However, you will not be able to replace the GPU.
 

ololol

Estimable
Sep 8, 2014
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Cool - so in terms of games Acer winds hands down, right?

But what about overall performance - I won't be playing that much - rather watch movies, working on Excel and PowerPoint, Internet surfing, little bit Photoshop.

In other words - isn't Lenovo better combination for good gaming experience (like I mentioned, GTA IV or Sims 4 on medium/high) and fast work than Acer?
 

velo3100

Splendid
Moderator
I would go with the lenovo for the following reasons:

1. As you won't be playing that much games the gt 740m is more than sufficient to run the programs you have mentioned.
2. Like jaguarskx said, the lenovo uses a better integrated graphics card which means more power saving when you are doing non- intensive tasks
3. I have heard bad things about acers so I would stay away from them for gaming
4. You will notice the effects of the cache in the lenovo which should be a boost when you are using photoshop which is quite ram intensive.
5. Also the lenovo has a bigger storage which means you can store a lot or programs and games and still get the performance like a ssd
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
If playing games is not the highest priority, then the Lenovo laptop is a more ideal laptop. You are giving up about 20% - 30% of GPU performance, but you get 8GB of RAM and a larger capacity hybrid HDD. You could upgrade the Acer to 8GB of RAM and a hybrid HDD in the future, but that means spending more money.

GTA IV will be playable on the GT 740m. I have played GTA IV on my Lenovo Y470 which has the nVidia GT 550m (no longer functional) and it runs pretty well at 1366x768 resolution. As a comparison, I would say the GT 550m's performance is about halfway between the GT 720m and GT 730m.

The Sims 4 will be pretty easy to run. I am sure it can be played using the Intel HD 4400 / HD 4600 without any issues. On a GT 740m / GT 840m it will be a cakewalk.

I am not familiar with COD, but it should be playable on medium settings at 1366x768 using the GT 740m.

The Z510 can be purchased with a 720p or 1080p resolution screen. If you are going with the 1080p version you may need to lower graphic settings or the resolution in games that are moderately graphics demanding.
 

hackintosh777

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Jul 30, 2014
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Get the Z510. The CPU is i3-4000M which is only about 10% slower than the 4210U but the GT840M is 30% faster than the GT740M. Also Lenovo has really good customer service.
 

ololol

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Sep 8, 2014
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hackintosh777, according to you, I should go with Acer - i5 + 840m, not Lenovo - i3 + 740m
Damn, I don't know what to do. I don't want to resign from the newest games for RAM and SSD cache. But Lenovo brand convices me more than Acer.
Need to make final decision - go with Lenovo?
 

vihar7

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Jan 22, 2015
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I have Lenovo laptop with Intel i5-4210U, and it's max turbo speed is 2.40ghz.
 

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