Which Intel do i need?

  bigandyman 10:12 02 Nov 2010


I'm about to replace my old intel P4 2.66ghz desktop with a new laptop. PRoblem is I don't know what chipset i need - i3/i5/i7.

I need to stream music/video, download from the net, run email, Powerpoint, Word and iTunes all at the same time. I'm not interested in games really but I'd like to be able to play high def video on the laptop.

So a simple question i guess - what do I need? I was looking at the i7 on a range of devices but I wondered if I'm paying a huge premium for performance I won't really use. The i5 seems like a good compromise for performance and longevity and the i3 I can't make out. Is it underpowered for my needs or a good affordable solution. I know they'll all perform far better than my P4 but I don't know how much juice I'll need for a seamless experience.

All thoughts appreciated please.

  Kevscar1 12:58 02 Nov 2010

First thing. Does it have to be a laptop you will get 2 - 3 times as much bang for your buck with a desktop.
Secondly streaming/downloading will be reliant on your internet connection speed more than your computer. Do you know how fast yours is.

  bigandyman 16:33 02 Nov 2010


Yes, it absolutely has to be a laptop as we've no room for a desktop now. Likely to be a 15.6" screen but can go bigger (ie desktop replacement - not really fussed)

Good point re the speed. I get 18mb downloading so no problems there. It was just a potential drain on the cpu while running another task in parallel. Not sure how cpu intensive it is.


  Kevscar1 10:52 03 Nov 2010

When I buy a new system I never go for the latests bits always way overpriced. Look for the next one down much better value for money. This includes graphics cards as well as CPU. Get a 64bit OS and ask how much extra memory they can install. I have 8gb in my system and can multi-task so much more than my old one with 2GB.
Whatever you do don't buy a laptop with an integrated graphics card they are always under powered minmum card you should be looking at is 512mb, the higher the better as it takes some of the load off of your cpu.
Got dual 1Gb's in my desktop.

  bigandyman 11:42 03 Nov 2010

Thanks for the advice Kevscar, especially re the graphics card.

I still don't have clarity on the i3 vs i5 vs i7 though. The i5 seems line the good safe middle ground, but again there's a range of cpus within that model. It's just so confusing. I was hoping some simple guide or what to get or avoid.

Still hoping!

  AL47 19:38 03 Nov 2010

you definitly dont need an i7, probably not an i5 either

i have an i7 desktop but thats only because i transcode blurays.. even really demanding games dont need i7 processing power

infact id say just get an i3 and pay more for a decent resolution screen

  Kevscar1 05:35 04 Nov 2010

Whats your budget, thats the determining factor.

  bigandyman 11:08 04 Nov 2010

AL47 - Thanks for the thoughts. Glad the i7 is off the radar so I can shed £'s off the cost.

Kevscar - My budget varies! I was looking to spend around £1200 for a 17" i7 desktop replacement model that would last me 6-7 years+ (the same principle of buying the best and making it last), but if i only need an i3 or i5 then in reality I'm looking around the £500- £600 mark and will go with a good quality 15.6" screen. At that price i don't mind upgrading again (if I need to) in 3-4 years. I don't want to waste money on an overspecced laptop essentially.

  Kevscar1 11:56 04 Nov 2010

Given your budget I would probably go for something like this, not top spec but will do what you wabt for 6 - 7 years.

click here

a cheaper one is here and I would ask if they can upgrade the memory to 8Gb for you, right hand ones seems best.

click here

  Kevscar1 10:34 05 Nov 2010

Sony are advertising get your VAT back so this might be the best one for you. You can change the configuration I have picked if you don't like it.

click here(cScrollCharGroupName=%24BASE_GROUP&cInstId=1&layout=25_173_74_75_77_78_79_80_82_91_92_141&cCharName=C1000000009_EC3&next=looks&carea=4B6218DEB3EC0064E10080002BC29BDF&isProdDetailPageCTO=true&order=null&citem=4B6218DEB3EC0064E10080002BC29BDF4C77AF37857A0073E10080002BC29B71&uiarea=2&cCharGroupName=%24BASE_GROUP&ctype=itemList&isHideActive=true)/.do

  Kevscar1 14:37 05 Nov 2010

Links not working

click here|{creative}

Choose series 17.
I would go for the i5 6gb RAM 1Gb video card and 500 gb harddrive and 1920 x 1080 display

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