I'm considering the following two cpu models for my next laptop: Intel® Core™ i7-4700mq, i7-4500U processors

I understand that the 4700 mq will give me much more computing power, and that the 4500u should generally give me more battery life

My questions are: is it at all true that the 4500u will give more battery life (in a web surfing scenario let's say)? If yes, roughly how much more? Given all other factors equal.

(I'm reading in several places that having more cores does not create a battery consumption penalty if the additional cores are not actually active. I also understand that the hasswell serries are by themselves very good in power comsumption, even before getting to the U sub-series)

p.s. (The laptop is intended to serve me in various scenarios, the important of which are: 1. Programming. In this scenarion I will be plugged to a power cord, and willing to have maximal computation power. 2. Surfing the web, using office and the like, while being outside and wanting lot's of batterly life)

  • What kind of programming do you do? If it's web programming, you could probably do with an arm processor which will likely double your battery life – Jakke Jun 28 '14 at 7:55
  • @Jakke, I am currently doing web programming indeed. Stil, if I run a local db I imagine situations when computation power will be required for this purpose. – shealtiel Jun 28 '14 at 8:13
  • DB's only require much computation power if they're doing heavy duty work. I'm not saying it's impossible, because I don't have any info on what exactly you are doing, but my guess is that any i7 cpu will be overkill and sucking up battery power for no reason. Unless you're giving some performance monitoring info on your current system, it's really hard to tell. – Jakke Jun 28 '14 at 8:16
  • @Jakke, did you say an ARM processor? Like this? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture ? Is it intel at all? A laptop processor? I'm not familiar with it – shealtiel Jun 28 '14 at 8:16
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    maybe better to start up a chat, no sure how to do this here :) – Jakke Jun 28 '14 at 8:17

If you look at http://www.cpubenchmark.net/power_performance.html, you'll see a nice power/performance chart. The i7-4700MQ has a maximum TDP of 47W, while the i7-4500u (and i7-4600u) only have a TDP of 15W. It is a major difference that you will notice in battery life. The internal GPU for the MQ is better, but that will mostly matter if you're into gaming.

For the LAMP programming that you do, you don't really need all that power, unless your databases are processing huge amounts of data. In most cases, I'd say that's bad development, you need to take samples of data to test your programs efficiently.

Find a comparison between the 2 CPUs is on http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-4700MQ-vs-Intel-Core-i7-4500U. I am not sure which options you have for processors, but generally speaking, i7 cpus are overkill for programming. You mentioned using Office... well, if you're going to use huge spreadsheets (e.g. 10000 records) on which you do calculations, you might need it anyways, although an i5 would serve you just as well and save you a little money.

If you have money to spend though, you could also look into buying a macbook (can run Linux and Windows too), they're usually better on battery life than other laptops. If you want to save money, and don't have much data to process, you could probably get away with an Atom CPU as well. That would give you the longest battery life, but it would lack in processing power.

  • Even the IDE which needs to analilze at real time a complex project, seemed to become quite slow on my previous (and not strong enough), machine. I used PhpStorm, which is great, however havy on the system (it's java based) – shealtiel Jun 28 '14 at 14:40

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