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I'm sorry if this has been asked before. I'm a complete newbie in this field and couldn't understand a lot of the other responses to similar questions.

I'm looking to build a computer. It will primarily be for gaming and some computer science work, although that will mostly be introductory level stuff. I will need it to handle some rather intensive engines, such as CryEngine 3. Now, when it comes to processors, my laptop has an i7 4810MQ. I know that in general desktop processors should be more powerful than laptop ones, but when I searched the processor I'm looking at for the desktop (an i5 4430), its passmark is significantly lower than my laptops, 6281 compared to 8821. Are they rated on different scales? Or is the laptop processor actually more powerful in this case?

For reference: My current laptop's benchmark http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-4810MQ+%40+2.80GHz

The processor I'm looking at for the desktop's benchmark http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-4430+%40+3.00GHz

Thank you very much!

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Passmark rating scale is the same for all CPUs to enable fair comparison.

You have just discovered that, in some cases, mobile CPUs are better than desktop ones. It happens ;-)

I'm envious of your i7-4810MQ. It is a damn good CPU (even single-threaded performance is better than the i5-4430).

Take it all with a grain of salt though. These are synthetic benchmarks. What you experience in day-to-day use might differ. But with margins that large, I would say i7-4810MQ easily trumps i5-4430.

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I know that in general desktop processors should be more powerful than laptop ones

This statement is based on the fact that laptops generally have less powerful processors than desktops. That does not mean there is a difference between desktop and laptop processors. An i5 processor on a laptop is the same as an i5 processor on a desktop, assuming they have the same clock speed, as the same version of processor can have different clock speeds. So to answer your question, no, they are the same scale. The laptop one appears faster because it is, it is an i7 versus your desktop's i5.

It is important to not only consider processors, but other factors. RAM plays a major role in your computer's performance as well. Generally, a desktop will have more RAM built in, or will allow for upgrading your RAM much more than a laptop would. Desktops usually have a larger hard drive as well, which can also make performance last longer on your computer, as a full hard drive slows some processes down significantly.

My advice when looking into a computer is consider the processor first, as the processor can never be upgraded. From there, look at the RAM and the storage and make a decision based on what you need.

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  • Why do you think a "processor can never be upgraded"?
    – dirdi
    Jul 23 '20 at 5:46
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Laptops also have other limitations that can reduce the effectiveness of your cpu.

  • A laptop is more likely to overheat and therefore limit cpu power.
  • laptop batteries deteriorate and this can have an impact on CPU power until you replace it

Also:

  • laptops have a significantly reduced lifespan
  • GPU likely to be lower power in laptop and cannot be upgraded

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