Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm choosing a new laptop and one of the questions is a type of CPU — mobile or ultra-low voltage. If to be more precise, I'm torn between two models of Intel Core i5 — i5-2410M (Sandy Bridge) and i5-3317U (Ivy Bridge). Here is a comparison table of these models.

According to official specs the first one has 2.3 GHz clock speed while the second one has only 1.7 GHz, that's about 25% difference. Is it really important parameter and which CPU is preferable for a laptop for development, running VMware virtual machine, media and internet purposes?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Karan, TFM, Hennes, bwDraco, Canadian Luke Nov 10 '12 at 17:10

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your question is rather close to a shopping question and a very localized one at that. – Hennes Nov 10 '12 at 16:08
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I had a machine with a Core 2 Duo ULV 1.6 GHz and it was definitely fast enough for development (this might have been in part due to the SSD too). What you should keep in mind is that the faster the CPU is the warmer it likely gets and thus you'll more often hear the fans or cannot use the laptop comfortably on your lap because you're grilling important parts of you.

So unless you really expect to need much processing power, go with the U variant. Software development (unless it's a million LOC of C++ or something), media playback (heck, the Raspberry Pi can play 1080p video ...) or internet browsing certainly don't need that much power. Virtual machines only need plenty of memory, they run at pretty much the same performance as the host system nowadays.

share|improve this answer
Millions of LOC in C++... or just using Java. Hah. :) – Shiki Nov 10 '12 at 11:13
Java compiles very fast. So do most modern languages. – Joey Nov 10 '12 at 12:01

You can't deduce anything from the frequency when comparing different ranges of processors. You need to find benchmarks for the processors you are interested in.

It looks like the i5-3317U is slightly faster than the i5-2410M in this benchmark

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.