Good graphics card + weaker CPU (or v.v.) ... ?

  SteadyEddie 22:26 15 Nov 2010

Looking to spend c.£400 on a laptop. I'm not sure what the best pairing is with regard graphics card and cpu. For that money, from my reviews, it appears you either get a good entry level cpu (say Pentium T4500) with possibly Intel HD graphics (or GMA4500 - poor/old) or a weaker cpu (say AMD Athlon II X2 P320) with a stronger graphics card such as the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250.

I am biased towards acer as a brand (quality), and for my use (general purpose - nothing specialised) I may not even notice the difference in the different pairing types above. However, still like to know I'm making the best choice(esp. re. future proofing to some extent).

If I can get the Intel HD graphics I have also read that some features are not available if coupled with Pentium (only if with new Core ix). Also, that the Intel HD is only about as good as the ATI HD 4250 (seen some stats/comparisons)

Note everything else is standard and the same offering anyway (i.e. Hard drive, wireless, battery, RAM, screen size, output)

So ... what would you buy given this choice (or do anyone know a better deal where its possible to get the best of both)? Many thanks

  GaT7 23:34 15 Nov 2010

If you don't play or intend playing any third-party 3D games, the graphics (GPU) will make little to no difference in most everyday basic tasks. If you have a few laptops in mind, post their links & we'll take a look & let you know which may have a slight edge over the others.

This £400 Acer Aspire 5734Z click here (Intel T4500, 4Gb, 500Gb) is good value I reckon. Have you found a similar AMD one?

What are those special features you mention about the graphics that are available only with Core ix CPUs. Do you need these features? G

P.S. With the help of this rather useful list, you can compare any laptop CPU at click here: make your choices by putting a tick next to the ones you want to compare & click on the 'Restrict' button. Ctrl + F in your browser to search for specific ones quickly (Laptops graphics comparison if needed: click here, click here &
click here)

  SteadyEddie 23:24 18 Nov 2010

Thanks for your reply and thanks also for the links. Funny because I already stumbled across this site looking for stats & comparisons before posting my Q.!! No I don't intend to play 3D games. I would utilise the graphics card more for video & photo editing - film & Internet. I am theorising that as the Internet becomes more visually complex and technical in the future that the graphics card becomes more important than / takes precedent over the CPU?

What started my debate was 2 laptops recommended in What-laptop magazine. An Acer Aspire 5551-P32G32Mn (see click here ecode: lx.ptq02.028) and a Samsung R730 (see click here ecode: np-r730-j02uk). I personally discounted the samsung - too big. What-laptop preferred the Acer and that is where I saw the spec differential between graphics and CPU.

I went to pc world (normally avoid!) to see Acers in the flesh and found some in various specs at competitive prices. At c. £400 it still seems to be strong CPU vs. strong graphics card.

The 'special' features of intel hd were sharper images, colour, sound which the core ix only achieves because it can manage resources to/in the chip. If paired with pentium it appears no more powerful than GMA4500. See intel website: click here

Last bought laptop in 2006 (still good) and never thought about graphics card. Lots changed since then so is the CPU still king overall or is the graphics card increasingly more important for usage (& direction of Internet)

  letsgetrdy 04:37 27 Nov 2010

Remember, a lot of the newer nvidia cards, even the lower models, have CUDA technology, which can benefit some visual editing tasks if coupled with the right software.

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