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Buying new laptop, should I get i5 or i7?
#1
Hey all, I'm getting a new laptop and am wondering about the processor I should get. I've seen some similar questions on these forums but haven't found anything that tells me exactly what I want to know. I'm looking at a Sager NP8130.

GPU and RAM are as follows:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 Video Memory
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 2 X 4GB <- stock RAM option

For CPU I have these choices:
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-2450M Processor ( 3MB L3 Cache, 2.50GHz)
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.20GHz) [+$80.00]
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2760QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.40GHz) [+$240.00]
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2860QM Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 2.50GHz) [+$430.00]

Stock configuration with the i5 comes out to somewhere around $1,100.

Now the fastest i7 doesn't look like a good deal because I highly doubt that forking over an extra $400 is worth it. The 2670QM is only $80 more but the clock speed is slower than the i5. The 2760QM has a higher clock speed, but it's still not as high as the i5, and it stretches the budget a little.

From what I've heard, PCSX2 only really uses two cores, so does that mean it would perform better on the i5 as opposed to an i7 with lower clock speed? Or am I mistaken - does PCSX2 actually benefit from a quad core? Also, while a lot of PC games don't benefit from quad cores, I've heard that newer ones (e.g. Deus Ex) do.

Other than gaming there's no reason for me to need a fast processor.

So what's the best option here? What will give me the best bang for the buck? I'd be grateful if anyone has an opinion to share.
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#2
(02-05-2012, 11:38 PM)goldRaspberry Wrote: Hey all, I'm getting a new laptop and am wondering about the processor I should get. I've seen some similar questions on these forums but haven't found anything that tells me exactly what I want to know. I'm looking at a Sager NP8130.

GPU and RAM are as follows:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 Video Memory
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 2 X 4GB <- stock RAM option

For CPU I have these choices:
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-2450M Processor ( 3MB L3 Cache, 2.50GHz)
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.20GHz) [+$80.00]
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2760QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.40GHz) [+$240.00]
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2860QM Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 2.50GHz) [+$430.00]

Stock configuration with the i5 comes out to somewhere around $1,100.

Now the fastest i7 doesn't look like a good deal because I highly doubt that forking over an extra $400 is worth it. The 2670QM is only $80 more but the clock speed is slower than the i5. The 2760QM has a higher clock speed, but it's still not as high as the i5, and it stretches the budget a little.

From what I've heard, PCSX2 only really uses two cores, so does that mean it would perform better on the i5 as opposed to an i7 with lower clock speed? Or am I mistaken - does PCSX2 actually benefit from a quad core? Also, while a lot of PC games don't benefit from quad cores, I've heard that newer ones (e.g. Deus Ex) do.

Other than gaming there's no reason for me to need a fast processor.

So what's the best option here? What will give me the best bang for the buck? I'd be grateful if anyone has an opinion to share.

Get the cheapest i7 because it has 4 cores not just two like the i5 and it has a bigger L3 cache (important for PC games I think). The slower clock speeds will be offset by the extra cores for pc gaming and pcsx2 DOES use 3 cores (with the latest SVN and MTVU hack enabled). Not to mention that u have the Turbo Boost so when you only need two cores the i7 will turn off the other two and speed up the ones that are on giving you the same or higher performance than the i5. For only $80 more that is a great deal. For any modern pc games quad cores are better than dual cores because of better multithreading. The only time the i5 would be better is if it was a quad core but for laptops it's NOT.
Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP micro ATX Intel motherboard
Intel Core i5 3570K processor @3.4 GHz
Patriot G2 Series 8 GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Sapphire Radeon HD7870XT 2GB GDDR5 RAM
Patriot Pyro SATA III 120 GB SSD
Corsair GS 600W PSU
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#3
pcsx2 can use 3 cores, the i5-2450M is a dual core cpu (with hyperthreading) so I don't think pcsx2 can take advantage of a 3rd core, unless MTVU can jump onto a ht thread (someone confirm?)
Intel Core I7 930@3.5GHz(TB, HT), 6GB DDR3@1600MHz, Geforce 970 G1
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#4
HT is crap for PCSX2, hed be better off getting the i7 and making sure HT is turned off (it causes extra heat neways)
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#5
yeah I agree HT is crap for mostly everything besides for compiling, heavily threaded & server apps Smile, the quad core cpu is always going to be better then the dual core one in future programs and the extra cache might come in handy, usually with the mobile versions of these processors the higher is better since they don't always perform on par with the desktop counterparts even though the specs sound similar.

I don't see a reason to disable ht but doing so will cause about a 10-15C in temp drop if heat is an issue.
Intel Core I7 930@3.5GHz(TB, HT), 6GB DDR3@1600MHz, Geforce 970 G1
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#6
Quote:yeah I agree HT is crap for mostly everything besides for compiling

quit with the ignorant fud spreading already.
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#7
(02-05-2012, 11:38 PM)goldRaspberry Wrote: From what I've heard, PCSX2 only really uses two cores, so does that mean it would perform better on the i5 as opposed to an i7 with lower clock speed? ...

Yes, it can be the case.
If the quad core has a significantly lower clockrate than the dual core, the dual can perform better. MTVU can utilize an extra core/thread to see a good gain on a quad, but it also can on just a dual. So when you're considering MTVU use, distinguishing how well games will perform can be tricky.

If one game has a nice boost from MTVU, a lower clocked (to some degree) quad may be a bit faster. But another game that has less of a boost (or even none at all) would still do better on a higher clocked dual. Keep in mind, the dual can still get a boost from MTVU when there's one to be had. So the difference in clock should be more than a couple hundred Mhz to really matter.

Anyway-- That's all about that.
Your situation is simple.

The i5 can turbo @ 2.8Ghz on 2 cores (HT threads would be disabled).

The first i7 can Turbo @ 2.8Ghz on all 4 cores, and possibly hit 3.0Ghz on just 2 cores.

The next i7 gets a bit pricey, but it base clock is 200Mhz higher, and the Turbo increments are 200Mhz higher. 400Mhz total is a nice jump with all things considered (good architecture, laptop already at ~3.0Ghz range).

The last i7 is very pricey, but all you get is another 100Mhz on the base clock. Don't waste your money here, if anything.

I say you let you budget decide which of the i7-2670QM or the i7-2760QM you can afford.

(02-06-2012, 01:28 AM)refraction Wrote: HT is crap for PCSX2 ...

HT has one good use for PCSX2.
It's good for sacrificing in favor of higher clocks from Turbo Boost.
I would probably just disable it out-right if it came with my CPU. Laugh
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#8
just to ask a stupid question here...

does pcsx2 even trigger the turbo?

sure I have "older" hardware without it, but the program or OS doesn't even think about even waking the cpu up from low profile, even if it could or should due to demanding load. other programs do it right. same mechanism. so... even if i'd do the same manual setting on ix-cores does or doesn't that still not affect the turbo? especially on pcsx2.
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#9
PCSX2 can definitely trigger Turbo,
but you are right to question it.
Sometimes it may not trigger the full boost,
but most will at least see the first instance (when HT is dropped).

If the load is not great enough to trigger Turbo, there is a fair chance the CPU is already running fast enough. Another possiblity is that Windows may sort of distribute the PCSX2 load among all cores (what I see on mine), so Turbo has no chance of boosting beyond. Disabling cores allows me to achieve higher boosts, but using affinity does not get me additional boost. Setting affinity in Task Manager clearly puts a large load on just 2 cores, and has helped others with their Core i Turbo.

So basically, Turbo Boost does vary a bit for some, but the worst issues are more associated with the 1st gens. Most people do see at least the initial boost, though.
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#10
In general, go with i7, Quad is more future proof VS dual core.

I got the 2760 over the 2860 becuase the performance gain was not worth the extra $$$.

I got it over the 2670 because of the higher base clocks/higher turbo boost, the 2760 can easily go beyond the 3GHz barrier compared to the 2670, and benchmarks results are much higher (eg. SuperPI 32M is calculated in 609sec VS 670sec using the 2670), so it is worth the extra $$$.

Regarding Pcsx2, I am able to play demanding games @full speed (God of War 2 for example runs 60fps everywhere at x2-x3 internal resolution [depends on GPU]).
And the clock speed stays @2.4GHz.

The only game that I am suffering with, is shadow of colossus, for this game you MUST enable hacks in Pcsx2 to be able to play it!

Note that even the 2670 can pull constant 60fps in demanding games, but in general 2760 is better, also more future proof Smile

Finally, it all depends on your budget, if it was tight, I say go with the 2670, but try to avoid the i5!
My rig: Malibal P150HM - Core i7-2760QM upto 3.5GHz - 8GB DDR3 @1600MHz - ATI 6990M 2GB GDDR5 - 500GB@7200RPMNinja
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