Processor advice

  SLC11 18:35 29 Dec 2010


I'm looking to get a decent laptop (up to say 1300)...

I'd been thinking of something like a Sony VPC-F13X5E but wondered if people could help.

Is there something in a similar class they'd recommend as drastically better?

What is the practical difference between an i5-560M 2.66 ghz 3mb L3 cache, and an i7-740M 1.73 ghz quad core 6mb L2/L3 cache?

Also, what is the practical difference between a 6 GB 1066MHz DDR3-SDRAM 1 x 4096 MB + 1 x 2048 MB, and a 8 GB 1333MHz DDR3-SDRAM 2 x 4096 MB - ie is the latter worth an extra £130 or so?

PS, this is largely (don't laugh!) for use for Football Manager game, which is very heavy to run, but light on graphics, but I also want to be able to buy other games for a couple of years without nit-picking the minimum specs!

Thanks for any help, its much appreciated!

  GaT7 19:33 29 Dec 2010

There won't be much real world difference between those 2 CPUs - you can compare them at click here (do a Ctrl+F in your browser, enter 560M / 740QM to go to them quickly).

Regarding the RAM, very few programs will be able to use more than 4Gb RAM, but if you go for more than 4Gb anyway, make sure to get a 64-bit OS. No, I don't think £130 is worth it for only 2Gb extra. 6Gb itself will be overkill for your needs.

Graphics cards (GPUs) come in various flavours & they can arguably make the most difference in a laptop's price tag. FM will probably run well on a basic dedicated one as you know, but other more graphically-intensive games will need better to much better ones. click here gives a useful benchmark comparison list between various GPUs with respect to some games. The GPUs towards the top are the best, with descending performance levels as you go down the list. With a budget of £1300, you should easily be able to get one in the 1st tier, up to a HD 4870. Downsides to a better GPU are lower battery times & increased heat build-up. But I guess it's a small price to pay to play games at good-excellent settings. G

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