All About PROCESSORS. What Processor should I get?
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a. Core2 Duo + Intel X3100
b. Pentium Dual Core + Intel X4500M
c. AMD TurionX2 + ATI HD3200
Based on actual experience, system "a" will have the lowest overall performance even if it has the best Core2 Duo Processor. Why? This is best explained using the skyway as an example. The skyway is like the Core2 Duo processor, travel time is very fast. But then when you get to the end or the tool plaza there is only one teller and thus there is a long line of cars waiting to pay and exit. This is what happens when you have an integrated video that does not match the speed of the processor. It becomes the bottleneck of the system.
To overcome the bottleneck a fast processor should be matched with an equally fast graphic processing unit(GPU) also called a Video Card. The GPU is like a 2nd processor that processes raw data and converts it into the images that you see on your notebook’s screen. A GPU is like an e-pass card that allows you to breeze through the long line of cars waiting to pay toll the manual way.
Does everyone need an e-pass card? It depends on how graphic intensive your daily tasks are.
A) If you live or work in the south and pass the SLEX all the time then the e-pass becomes a necessity. In the same way if you do a lot of graphic intensive operations like gaming, desktop publishing, video and photo editing then you will need a dedicated GPU.
B) If you seldom traverse the SLEX, an E-pass becomes a luxury than a necessity. You can line up and spend 10-15minutes like most travelers. In the same way if you do not use your laptop for graphic intensive operations, like if your main taks would be to do work, excel, check your email, surf the next, YM and Skype, it would be nice to have a dedicated graphic processing unit(GPU) but is not a necessity.
If you see yourself as the type of user that falls under Group-A our advise if to concentrate on the GPU and not the processor. You may want to check out this article. <click here>
If you are part of users more associated to Group-B then the question to be asked is, why would you want the fastest processor available? For users that fall under group, a fast processor only serves to start-up the computer faster. A fast processor does not make you type faster, encoder better, it does not make your email reach faster, does not make your YM faster or make your skype clearer… If you are part of Group-B our advise is to get the processor that will offer the longest battery life instead of the fastest speed.
If wish to know more about processors you may choose to continue reading below...
1. A fast processor is only useful if it is supported by a fast GPU(Graphic Card).
- Without a fast GPU the only purchase of a fast processor is to start up the computer faster.
- will a faster processor make you read this article faster?
2. A 3.0Ghz processor will not be twice as fast as a 1.5Ghz processor.
- the L2 cache; chipset, RAM, Harddrive and GPU contribute greatly to performance.
3. Laptop processor manufacturers have been concentrating on increasing battery.
- this maybe the advantage of the latest processors not necessarily speed
4. A Centrino is NOT a Processor it is an Intel Marketing term that is most confusing...
- there are 5-Types of Centrino(to date) and it is best you understand what Centrino you are buying
before you feel cheated when you get to know the real deal.
If what is stated above sounds incomprehensible to you, we have tried to explain it in layman's terms below.
As we have always stated We are neither programmers nor Computer Designers nor Computer Science Graduates; not even computer technicians. We are just simple Mobile computer users like you, with a passion to know more about the Toys we use - a.k.a. "Enthusiast".
This early we ask for your patience if we are not well versed technically and describe a laptop based more on actual experience than on technical jargon. <click here>
If you find any topic in need of correction please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the Centrino Branding so we are including this chart below:
Up next - CHIPSET and What Processor to choose
As a personal endorsement, up to this time(Feb.2008) I am still using a Dell Latitude D620 with an Intel Core Duo laptop with 2GB of RAM and an nVidia Quadro 110M GPU/Video Card; running on XP-Professional. note: this is not an Intel Core2 Duo(Merom) only an Intel Core Duo(Yonah).
What are my basic use for this laptop?
(1) Spreadsheet for costing, Financial Statements, and other computation needs
(2) Email Communication
(3) Word processing for correspondence with customers and suppliers
(4) Internet surfing for newest developments in computer technology
(6) Light graphic works for posting images on this website
(7) Web based real time video monitoring of branches.
Even if all the newer laptop technologies are available to me, I feel this system is suitable for my requirements and upgrading is not really a necessity.
If budget permits you can buy the latest system. But if your use is similar to my personal usage then a Core Duo should be more than adequate.
Intel Core Duo Review
A. Re-Visit of the Intel Dual Core:
We continue to believe that a user with a perfectly working Sonoma System laptop, should not upgrade at this time to the Dual Core system - just to be "In".
Our opinion is the Centrino Pentium-M 740(Sonoma System) is the "Sweet Spot" for laptop processors at present.
It has become Economical and it is able to undertake all the requirements of a regular user with ease
Only Power Users, Gamers and Graphic Artists will really benefit from the power of the Dual Core systems... so why then did we choose to upgrade?
Reason: We are upgrading from a Dell Latitude D600 Dothan System and not a Sonoma System
(... trying very hard to justify our purchase to our spouses again)
Seriously, our Dell D600 has dutifully served us for over 26-months and we feel it is time we pass-on our laptops while it still has warranty with Dell. Since we are upgrading from the Dothan system, we are skipping the Sonoma system and will be jumping to the Dual Core System as we have advised in the Dual Core Article below.
Importantly maintaining this website has made us power hungry users...
whereas before we used our laptops simply to run businesses aka... powerpoint, excel, word, and email...
Now we are becoming more engrossed with photos, videos and other graphic works as we try to provide a walk through experience for the site visitors.
It is easy to post a new unit like other sellers do... any reseller can post an item in their website - just list the specs and presto start selling(sounds familiar?)… but where is the personal endorsement of the unit by the seller? Is the buyer fully aware of the features and advantages of the model? If we do not post a review of the item we just become like any computer store and not a place for Fellow enthusiasts. For us, part of the joy is when we get a new model to read as many existing reviews as possible and quote findings that we agree with. Sometimes, if no review is available we write our own review to share with the site visitors. We also try to post as many possible relevant pictures to let the buyer have feel of the unit even before visiting the site.
Given our present needs we feel the Intel Dual Core will be most efficient.
We will try to share our experience with our new laptops soonest.
B. Our own review of the Dell DUAL CORE: April 19, 2006
Question: With Generic/Whitebooks/OEM Dual Cores how will the bugs be remedied?
Overview: The New DELL Core Duo Laptop models share the chassis and features of the previous models. Outside Nothing has changed. To date we can find 4-major upgrades in the newer models:
Upgrade No.1: Dual Core Platform:
January 5, 2006 was a big day for Intel; on that day the company publicly announced the Dual Core release(it had been previously known under the codename of Napa). The main feature of Dual Core CPUs is that - the new mobile processor incorporates two execution cores, architecturally alike to the Dothan.
The new chipset for the Core Duo processor is called i945PM/GM (Codenamed 'Calistoga') to support the faster 667Mhz Bus speed not supported by Intel 's last-generation i915PM/GM chipsets. Besides the faster Quad Pumped Bus (at 667MHz and a bandwidth of 5.3GB/s), the i945PM/GM chipsets support faster DDR2 SO-DIMMs. The earlier mobile chipsets could only work with dual-channel DDR2-533 SDRAM, but the new ones support dual-channel DDR2-667 SDRAM. It means the memory subsystem bandwidth has increased to 10.7GB/s, which should have a positive effect on the performance of mobile computers. Finally, the i945PM/GM can control their own power consumption as well as optimize the consumption of the memory modules installed in the system.
How does the Dual Core benefit the user?
Last April 17, with Jaydee, Reb, Merlin and Goodguy (All of TPC) we decided to run our own Benchmark tests to experience 1st hand the performance of the Dual-Core System.
Benchmark Software used is Super Pi (<click here>) which is a test to calculate how fast a system can compute the value of Pi to the millionth place. Simply put: the Lower the time, the faster the system.
Evident in the test is that the Intel Dual-Core system is 25% Faster than the previous Sonoma System. For speed demons, this is a big improvement. However, we want to point out that for regular users running Excel, Word, email and internet surfing, the performance increase will not be felt nor be noticeable. However, for users who are heavy into multi-tasking or like having several applications running at the same time, all is not lost. :-)
A 2nd test was conducted to determine the advantage of the Dual Core Processor. We used the same Super Pi test but this time, a DvD Movie was playing to simulate two processes running at the same time.
Result: Result: All systems tested showed reduction in the Super Pi test results when dual processes were running. However, all previous systems exhibited choppy DVD playback while the Super Pi test was running; whereas the Intel Dual-Core was not affected.
In actual use this means that users can run their applications while an Antivirus Program is running a scan without experiencing any lag or hang in the system.
Intel claims that to preserve battery power, Core Duo platform features Intel Dynamic Power Coordination technology that allows adjustment of the power-saving parameters of the execution cores independently. So when multi-threaded processing is not necessary at the moment, one execution core can be turned off to reduce the heat consumption and heat dissipation of the whole processor. With Dynamic Power Coordination, a processor core can be switched into reduced power consumption states: Halt, Stop and Deep Sleep. Is this true?
Evident in our testing is that the Dual Core System did not lose nor did it gain additional battery life. However, given that the Dual Core tested 25% faster in the Super Pi test shown previously, then the performance increase without sacrificing battery life is beneficial to users.
Intel also upgraded the WiFi Card... but as experience has shown with the slow DSL speed in the Philippines even the oldest wifi card is not maximized...
The thing is - today 's Core Duo processors have one possibly serious drawback: they do not support 64-bit EM64T extensions. Therefore, when the new Microsoft Vista operating system comes out next year, all of today 's advantages of Core Duo can fade away. Although Vista will support 32-bit as well as 64-bit processors, it will be optimized for more advanced CPUs. So, Core Duo processor owners may be quite disappointed in the long run -- if they actually need Vista's features.
Upgrade No.2: Intel 950 Integrated Graphic Chipset
This Upgrade we like...The graphics core in the i945GM is the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (the older was called GMA 900). GMA 950 has 4 pixel pipelines and is capable of mapping up to 4 textures per clock cycle. The graphics core frequency has been raised, whereas the GMA 900 core worked at 333MHz at the maximum the GMA 950 can be clocked at 400MHz.
It has not been stated in most of the reviews we have read but we have found 2 interesting improvements in the GMA950
1. Shared Ram is 256mb from 128mb in the older graphic GMA900.
2. We tested the Intel 950 to be capable of playing games and provided 14PFS on Doom3 at low resolution. The older GMA900 could not even load Doom3.
The PCMark05 benchmark also allows the Intel GMA950 graphics core to show its best. According to the results obtained in 2D and 3D modes during video playback and during pixel and vertex shaders processing, the new graphics core integrated into the i945GM chipset is more than 20% faster than the previous Intel GMA900 core. <click here>
The 950GM features MPEG-2 acceleration with hardware LVD/iDCT, 4x pixel rate motion compression, adaptive de-interlacing, intermediate Z rendering and a full D-connector support for TV output. On the power conservation front, Display Power Saving technology and Automatic Display Brightness, which turns down LCD backlight according to ambient light levels should both help to stretch the battery performance even further. Intel claims the Mobile Intel 945GM chip enables up to 28% less average power consumption compared to earlier generations
Upgrade No.3: Serial Ata Harddrive:
Serial ATA (SATA), replaces ATA found on the previous Dell model and is found on all Duo Core Laptops. Not surprising since, Serial ATA is an Intel-backed initiative to create an inexpensive, fast technology for connecting hard disks connect to the PC. <click here> SATA enables the high-speed transfer of data (1.5Gb/s), outstripping older, 16-bit parallel bus technology. The 2.5-inch SATA disk drives features Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which simultaneously coordinates up to 32 instructions to be queued and reordered by the hard-disk controller. Despite their diminutive form factors, 2.5" Serial ATA hard drives actually use the same connectors as their desktop counterparts. <click here>
A big question is: "Why Serial ATA?" We can not find an answer to date. Performance Wise, we don't see the point. What cables? It's a notebook! The bandwidth improvement doesn't matter, notebook hard disks by and large barely even use up a third of the bandwidth available to them in conventional IDE. Notebook hard disks are still way too slow to justify the move to Serial ATA in notebooks. <click here>
One advantage of SATA is that the notebook segment of the industry is transitioning to Serial ATA from Parallel ATA over the next two years... in other words your notebook hardrive will be easier to replace in the future.
The transition is driven by the advancement in silicon technology which makes the older parallel connection scheme outdated, and impossible to support. In addition, as hard disk drive performance increases, the additional performance capability of Serial ATA will be required. Serial ATA supports data rates up to 150 MB/s, versus the embraved industry standard of 100 MB/s for Parallel ATA. The new interface also provides for command queuing to further boost system performance. <click here>
Upgrade No.4: Instant On Media Direct Feature
The New Dell Models begin with E in the model number. "E"- Stands for Entertaiment. All of the New Dell Models we have tested have a "Media Direct" button that can accessCDs and DVDs and lets you access photos and other media files stored on your hard drive without booting up Windows first. This feature was not offered previous Dell Model except for the XPS M140 and Dell 630m
We totally agree with the conclusion of www.xbitlabs.com
- Special thanks to Atty. Elicano for the edit of the typo and grammatical errors.
The Dual Core was released last January 5, 2006. At that time we felt that it would be more prudent and judicious to first hold-off from offering models with the Dual Core to you, our clients, since numerous bugs were uncovered shortly after the initial release.
Being a hobby shop allows us do what in our opinion is "right" without failing to put food on the table.
We quoted an article when replying to enthusiasts inquiring about the Dual Core. The article stated that - "If you're thinking about buying a Core Duo-based machine, you might want to stop by Intel's documentation department and pick up the latest errata updates, which are promised to be released on the following dates: February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14, July 19, August 16, September 13, October 18, November 15, December 13." <click here>
Please send us an email for any queries.