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I'm recommending a laptop to a colleague, and the specific laptop he has chosen has the above CPU chips as options. Both chips have 2-cores/4-threads. The i7-620M is a 2.66 GHz (4MB Cache) while the i5-540M is a 2.53 GHz (3MB Cache)....both Arrandale architecture.

He is a .NET programmer working with SQL Server and Oracle, and occasionally uses Adobe Fireworks for web-related design elements. He also loves playing around in Adobe Premiere Pro, and does a lot of media/video work.

Would you notice any significant performance difference between the 2? The laptop manufacturer claims that the battery life on both is the same irrespective of the chip used (although I find that hard to believe), but there is a major cost difference between them, with the Core i7-620M being the more expensive.

According to http://ark.intel.com, the one thing that seems different (besides the obvious speeds/frequencies/etc) is a feature called "Embedded" - what is this exactly? You can see the quick comparison here -> http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=43544,43560

I would sincerely appreciate any advice me on this. THANKS!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I did a lot of research on the i3, i5 and i7 at work.
Basically (even with all the fancy numbers) with those 2 CPUs (especially if they are the Mobile (M) processors) your going to pay for 1MB more cache and 130Mhtz if you buy the i7. That is the down and dirty.
Being laptop solution for a developer I would suggest the i7 if funding permitted.
This is because the +1MB extra on cache would help if he had to run development utilities for all the software you mentioned.
Is he going to be doing a test that large on the Laptop?

Just some things to think about.

Embedded means it is designed so it can be soldered or permanently mounted to a board.

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Hey Simon, thanks for the thorough reply! I agree with you with regards to extra cache...it doesn't seem like a lot, but I know that that +1MB would help for storing larger instruction sets (and additional data cache). –  Shalan Apr 20 '10 at 9:49
    
"Is he going to be doing a test that large on the Laptop?" At any given point, he has an instance of (now) Visual Studio 2010, SQL Server 2008 Management Studio, Outlook, Fireworks, Winamp, and (at least) 20 Firefox tabs opened!! not too sure if that answers your question? –  Shalan Apr 20 '10 at 9:53
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From what I've read, the i7 (in general) has increased performance when it comes to things like video rendering and compression. It also generally has a higher-end graphics capability.

I would also suggest that your friend do some research on Adobe's new Mercury playback engine for the upcoming Premiere CS5. It's going to be a game changer, and he may want to see if he can get a laptop that supports it. This will mostly be reflected in GPU choices.

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protected by Diago Oct 23 '10 at 16:34

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