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Which would have better overall performance on a cheap (~$600) laptop; Intel Atom 330 with Nvidia ion or intel Pentium/Celeron with Intel graphics. I don't need 8 hour battery life and will hopefully be using this for programming/web browsing and occasionally light gaming.

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3 Answers 3

It really depends...

... Ion isn't capable of much high end gaming, but it is capable of high quality video, where as the Intel graphics model depending isn't usually up to that much and as you mentioned Celeron, I am guessing it won't be a high end edition.

So, if going for number crunching and you want speed, go for the CPU... If you want to do a lot of media, go for the Atom/Ion (and to be honest, Atom's are not that slow... only compared to a desktop Core 2 Duo/Quad).

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if you want to do programming, you don't want to torture yourself with a 10 inch display and a crammed keyboard.

netbooks are cute, they're great for mobility but one thing they're certainly not: hardcore workhorses ... get a budget laptop instead.

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Atom CPU does not necessarily mean a 10" netbook. Asus have announced the 1201 <something> with a 12" 1366x768 screen and reasonable sized keyboard using the ion platform (atom + nvidia 9400M) and I'm sure there will be more to follow. I'm in exactly the same situation.... I want a budget laptop with a decent screen and it looks like a choice between CULV (Acer timeline/Dell 13z etc) or ION –  geocoin Dec 18 '09 at 15:14
    
a 12" display and a (maybe more reasonably, but still) crammed keyboard isn't the ideal work envirnoment ... but everyone to their own. –  Molly7244 Dec 18 '09 at 15:25
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go with the better graphics solution... with the advances in graphic cards CUDA; OPENCL; DIRECT COMPUTE can be used to run your aplications even WINDOWS (areo) can run on your system without taxing your cpu...plus you have the option to overclock your GPU or CPU depending on your laptop...WITH a Nvidia graphics you will problably get a nvidia chipset which you can use nvidia system tools to overclock your FSB AND your GPU... so go with the budget laptop WITH THE DEDICATED GRAPHICS... you can't go wrong..

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