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Old 02-26-2013, 01:34 PM   #26
Enigmoid
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Go with the i7. Battery life difference will be marginal (maybe 10%) under light load (and im asuming that whenever you will be using the battery you will be using the computer lightly--no gaming, etc because few people game on battery). i7 mobile idles at around 3-4 watts. Cutting it down to an i5 much change that to 2-3 watts. There will be a bigger difference if you up the brightness on the laptop, or use a 1080p screen instead of a 768p one. Anandtech did a review on an acer laptop with a ULV i5 and a 640m and they were cpu bottlenecked a few times. Note that a ULV i5 is only 10-20% slower than a i5 standard voltage and the 650m is about 10-30% faster than the 640m
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:38 AM   #27
antobag
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Originally Posted by LanceAvion View Post
However this particular model also has a capacity to swap out the optical bay (DVD drive) for another 650M which can run in SLI with the first.
Thanks for the heads up about these laptops! If I swapped out the optical bay, would this mean I would need to purchase an external DVD drive to use CDs etc?

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Originally Posted by Enigmoid View Post
Go with the i7. Battery life difference will be marginal (maybe 10%) under light load (and im asuming that whenever you will be using the battery you will be using the computer lightly--no gaming, etc because few people game on battery). i7 mobile idles at around 3-4 watts. Cutting it down to an i5 much change that to 2-3 watts. There will be a bigger difference if you up the brightness on the laptop, or use a 1080p screen instead of a 768p one. Anandtech did a review on an acer laptop with a ULV i5 and a 640m and they were cpu bottlenecked a few times. Note that a ULV i5 is only 10-20% slower than a i5 standard voltage and the 650m is about 10-30% faster than the 640m
This is interesting. I was under the impression that it was the other way around (ie. the CPU being bottlenecked by the 650m GPU). I do want to use a 1080p screen but I'll have the laptop plugged in most of the time anyway (I'm currently using an old Dell XPS M1530 on which the battery dies out after 5 minutes of normal use, so I'm used to using the cable!) I'm definitely tempted now to splash out on the i7.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:38 AM   #28
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Apologies for the double post. I don't seem to have the option of deleting it so I've just replaced it with this one.

Last edited by antobag; 02-27-2013 at 03:45 AM. Reason: double-post
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:51 AM   #29
NTMBK
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Thanks for the heads up about these laptops! If I swapped out the optical bay, would this mean I would need to purchase an external DVD drive to use CDs etc?
Yeah, you'd need to get a USB DVD drive. These are fairly cheap though, and given how frequently laptop DVD drives malfunction it's not a bad idea anyway. (Me and almost all my friends have had their laptop optical drives fail or become unreliable before the rest of the machine.)
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:44 AM   #30
antobag
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Yeah, you'd need to get a USB DVD drive. These are fairly cheap though, and given how frequently laptop DVD drives malfunction it's not a bad idea anyway. (Me and almost all my friends have had their laptop optical drives fail or become unreliable before the rest of the machine.)
Thanks for the reply. Running in SLI would definitely solve my GPU problems.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:32 PM   #31
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Yep just as NTMBK said you'll need a USB DVD drive while the second 650M is in the optical bay. However if you don't need the second 650M for a certain task, such as watching a movie, but you would like the DVD drive just put it back in. That is the beauty of swappable components.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:49 AM   #32
antobag
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Is there a way of finding out whether a laptop can swap out its optical drive for a GPU? The laptop I'm looking at is the 15.6" Enigma IV on PC Specialist, which is based on a Clevo/Sager chassis (although I'm not sure which one). Does anyone know if these laptops have the same swap-out feature? I'm guessing it's quite rare?

EDIT: Actually, I think the Enigma is based on a Compal QAL51.

Last edited by antobag; 02-28-2013 at 04:55 AM.
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