Should I go with a 1.7 GHz i7 Quad Core or with a 2.3 GHz i5 Turbo Boost Dual Core Notebook?
Question by Dan /

I am contemplating purchasing a notebook with fairly good specifications so that it can be used for quite a long time. I have the following specs in mind:
– 4 GB RAM , DDR3
– Quad core Intel i5/i7
– at least 2.4 GHz processor
– 1 GB Graphics card/ or at least 512 MB would be ok
– 64 bits hardware/OS
– and other standard specifications

I tried to window-shop and enquire and educate on the web. I find that if I want a Quad core with i7 Intel processor the clock speed of the processor is 1.7 GHz (for the notebook). And I understand that there are four 1.7 GHz processors in the computer.

But if I opt for i5 (dual core, as I understand it) the clock speed will be 2.53 GHz. And I understand that there will be two 2.53 GHz processors in the computer.

Now, as I go by the cores, Quad core should definitely be far superior (and much more future-secured, I think). But if I go by the clock speed the dual core has 2.53 GHz – much higher than the 1.7 GHz for the i7 quad core.

So if there was a shootout between these two sets, in terms of the daily computer tasks we do, i.e. web browsing, office, video and audio editing and graphics, games, movies – which would be more powerful?

Between Higher clocking speeds and just duo VS. Lower clocking speed but quad cores – which one will render better performance?

Also I learned that i5 has the Turbo Boost feature, which will push the clocking speed close to 3 GHz when resources are needed. Does that mean that its Turbo Boost will render better performance than the i7 Quad Core when necessary?

I am talking about 4 GB RAM on a Dell notebook/or HP notebook/Lenovo.
Actually the store I went to would order me, according to my specifications, a Dell notebook with 4 GB RAM DDR3, Quad Core i7, 1.7 GHz, 1 GB Graphics card with 64-bits Windows Ultimate installed and sporting 500 GB of Hard disk, from a central store as they did not have it in the store now. It would cost about $ 1,200.

With the future in mind which one should I choose, assuming I can manage the budget one way or the other? Opinions, suggestions, answers are highly appreciated! Thanks in anticipation!

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Answers (7)
  • Kylebrickley

    I would look at a HP Pavilion dv7-6103ea the new quad apu with dual gpus give you great performance and gaming with the likes of crisis 2 along with low voltage for longer battery

    • Irkoe

      for how long will the turbo boost go for on my Intel Core i5 2410m (about 2.3ghz)?

    • Mike

      The Maximum Turbo frequency for this CPU is 2.9Ghz. You can find all details in the Intel specification

      As for the time one can’t really say. It depends on other factors too like how much the graphics card is stressed and whether the boost is at maximum all the time or fluctuating.

  • Richard Carpenter

    I would stay away from Intel, more expensive and the same (or worse) performance.

    The performance of the i7 was really disappointing for me. The AMD Phenom II x4 is what I would recommend. I am a AMD guy, but give Intel a chance. That said, I have been very disappointed with some of the custom machine I have built with Intel in the last few years.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the response Mike!
    This will help me get a better decision!

  • Mike

    It is pretty much straight forward for the Intel Core Mobile processors.
    An i7 will be more powerfull than an Core i5.

    Both processors offer the Turbo Boost feature ~ for example:

    Core i5-540M = 2,53GHz / max. 3.07GHz with TB
    Core i7-740QM = 1,73GHz / max. 2.93GHz with TB

    So basically both i5 and i7 scale up to ~3GHz using the Turbo Boost feature.

    As for gaming the Core i7 will pay off in better performance while the Core i5 will simply do the job [meaning it has enough power for smooth gameplay but won’t perform as good as the i7].

    For the everyday tasks (email, office, movies) the Core i5 will probably be the “more powerfull choice” since it uses less power and your battery will last longer.
    But that’s just the general rule ~ there are Low Voltage i7 CPU’s which will have lower power consumption than some of the i5.

    So as for the CPU it’s more about high-end or good value ~ as in the money you want to spend.

    What’s way more important is the Graphics Card!
    For gaming you’ll have to look for discrete GPU offering at least 512MB (better 1GB) memory which is NOT shared with the RAM.

    • Garygary1

      dude, amd laptops last like 5 minutes on a charge. Intel all the way