silversolitaire: (eh?)
[personal profile] silversolitaire
I'm thinking about buying a new laptop. It's going to be a Dell. Given the nature of Dell, I have many options to customize my computer. Since I do want a nice machine, but not necessarily spend a fortune, I'm trying to cut back on unnecessary spending. What I basically want is a laptop that'll allow me to do graphics processing reasonably well. I don't worry about that. But I also want to be able to play a couple of games I couldn't play just yet due to requirement limitations (namely Gothic 3 and future Sims 3). I'm not a core gamer, I don't need to run FPS at maximum frame rate or anything like that. Of course I would get a kick out of playing Sims at hires, but it's not totally necessary.

So, question is, with this set-up which is pretty much set:

4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
256MB ATI® Radeon™ HD 3450 graphics card

I know the graphics card could be better, but 256MB dedicated RAM is all I could get for any of those systems without paying through my nose. The other one would offer a GeForce, but the drawbacks for that system are just too great.

Now I wonder which processor would be best. Naturally, the better the processor the better in general, right? However, the better option adds 200 EUR, so I'm wondering whether this is worth it or not. I mean, if all a 2nd level cache twice the size does is give me one frame more per second or something, then screw it. But if the improvement would be noticeable, I'd kinda like it. However, neither I, nor Tom, nor bro really know for sure.

Anyway, these are the options:

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8400 (2.20GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache)
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9400 (2.530GHz/1066Mhz FSB/6MB cache)

So, as you can see, more gigahertz, same front side bus, double 2nd lvl cache. Any input?

Date: 2009-02-10 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9400 (2.530GHz/1066Mhz FSB/6MB cache)

Is a more powerful computer but the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8400 (2.20GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache) Will do for what you want it to.

I am more concerned about your graphics card. I lot of new games will not run well if at all if the graphics card isn't computable with the game anymore.

Date: 2009-02-11 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah I know... sadly, I can't influence the graphics card. So I decided to go with the smaller, more efficient one. It also seems to have the best value for costs.

Thanks for the input!

Date: 2009-02-10 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd actually go for the 2.20GHz option. You have 4GB of RAM!! But agree with previous commenter -- 256MB graphics card? Hmm.

Date: 2009-02-11 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, I took everyone's advice and did that.

The 256MB is dedicated RAM. It actually uses 1 GB or so? Not sure... it's not as ratty as it sounds! (I hope)

Date: 2009-02-11 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:) Yup, with 4GB RAM and for even heavy home usage, you'll be fine with 2.20GHz.

We gave the PC we built 4 years ago a 256MB card. Never tried playing Sims 2 on it, so couldn't guess what Sims 3 might be like!!

Date: 2009-02-11 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, the video card would be the only issue really, either would do you, it's more of a questoin can you safely afford the extra cash?

Date: 2009-02-11 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Too bad I can't influence the graphics card >.<;. Oh well, it'll have to do.

I probably could afford the extra cash, since I'm paying in installments, but I'm not keen on wasting it. Apparently the smaller one is more efficient and overall a better deal, so I went for that.

Thanks for the input!

Date: 2009-02-11 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i'm totally no expert on this, but i'm not sure you'd effectively notice the higher CPU/higher cache difference in day-to-day conventional use.
and shouldn't the slower CPU should come with a higher cache to compensate for the GHertzs a bit?
further there's the issue of power consumption if you're going mobile on a battery. look into the difference between the two CPUs if that is an issue (the higher cache one might consume less? not sure..).

i'm all for desktops and use a laptop only for general stuff when i need the mobility. so i'm not too worried about high-end performance.
but it doesn't sound like it's your case? to be honest, if you're buying a laptop today for all the use you mention, and i assume you're probably going to stick with it for a couple of years, i'd probably invest into one with a powerful graphics card. they're really pushing the graphics in games forward today, and i'm not sure it's good to invest in hardware that can barely cope with the current programs out there. it will be a nuisance in a year or two.

Date: 2009-02-11 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It pretty much seemed to come down the the graphics card and I had no choice of that. So I went for the "slower" processor now because apparently it's more efficient and has the best value for the price, whereas the "better" one apparently isn't worth the extra money for what it offers.

You're right, I really prefer laptops. I know desktops are better in terms of performance, etc. but I just like dragging everything I have around with me at all times. It also was a much better idea while I was still changing positions a lot between home and college.

Date: 2009-02-23 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I got an Hp pavillion t9400 recently. pretty happy with everything (obviously). but I REALLY wanted the blu-rayplayer, which only came with the more expensive T9400. if it hadn't been for the BR player I wouldn't have gone for the T9400. so in your case: go with the cheaper option: barely a difference.. more money left to save for your next computer in a few years time ;)


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