New laptop: 2core i7-3520M or 4core i7-3720QM

Epsil0n00

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2001
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76
#1
Hey all,

I'm about to get a new laptop and need to choose between the Core i7-3520M (2.9GHz, Dual Core) or the Core i7-3720QM (2.6GHz, Quad Core).

Which one should I get and why? Pricing is not a concern as they are only $40 different.

I am want performance, but wonder if the Quad Core 3720QM will be hotter and consume battery life quicker than the Dual Core 3520M.

The laptop will be running Windows 8, 4GB RAM, Intel 320 SSD. I will be using it for MS Office, some graphics apps like Photoshop, and other light-office work.

Thanks!
 
Dec 17, 2008
1,850
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#2
Yes the quad core will get about 30 minutes less of battery life and it will generate more heat if you are using all 4 cores simultaneously. That said most of the time it will not use all 4 cores at full load and those 4 cores will be deactivated and power gated or they will be running at much lower ghz speed and thus the battery life will not be substantially better just 30 mins or so. The same logic applies to heat, your quad core will not produce extra heat if you are not using the processor to its full potential.

Yet at the same time you have 4 cores if you need it. If you need the extra horse power you have it.

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Thus I recommend the quad core model if possible. Photoshop likes cores when you apply filters.
 
Jul 6, 2011
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#3
If you're going to keep it plugged in, quad.
Also you should upgrade the ram (add more) photoshop eats ram alive
 

Zodiark1593

Platinum Member
Oct 21, 2012
2,232
0
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#4
Go quad. The differences in power consumption and heat only really kick in under full load, and if you're going full load, odds are you'll be on a wall outlet.
 

Epsil0n00

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2001
1,187
0
76
#5
Thanks for the responses... Good points about it running at lower clocks and core utilization when the additional power is not needed. Based on that I think I'll go with the quad... Are there any drawbacks to choosing the quad core (aside from price)?

Also good call on the RAM upgrade--I think I'll pop in another 4GB to get to 8GB total.

Thanks!
 

Epsil0n00

Golden Member
Aug 29, 2001
1,187
0
76
#7
Are there any drawbacks to choosing the quad core (aside from price)?
 

Jimzz

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2012
4,269
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91
#10
Are there any drawbacks to choosing the quad core (aside from price)?

As said power and heat are a big one but also some duals usually go higher Mhz. So if you use programs that can't use more than 1-2cores they might work better on a dual.

But for what he is doing adding another 4gb and going quad will probably work better.
 
Last edited:
Dec 17, 2008
1,850
7
91
#11
As said power and heat are a big one but also some duals usually go higher Mhz. So if you use programs that can't use more than 1-2cores they might work better on a dual.

But for what he is doing adding another 4gb and going quad will probably work better.
Not really this was the case with core 2 duo vs quad and 1st generation core but was not the case of 2nd and 3rd generation core

3520m has a 2.9 GHz base and with turbo it is 3.4 GHz dual core or 3.6 GHz single core
3720qm has a 2.6 GHz base and with turbo it is a 3.4 GHz quad, 3.4 GHz tri, 3.5 GHz dual, and 3.6 GHz single core.

Plus the quad has more cache which is another 1 or 2 percent
 


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