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

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by Epsil0n00, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Epsil0n00

    Epsil0n00 Golden Member

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    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!
     
  2. Roland00Address

    Roland00Address Golden Member

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    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.

    --------

    Thus I recommend the quad core model if possible. Photoshop likes cores when you apply filters.
     
  3. T_Yamamoto

    T_Yamamoto Lifer

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    If you're going to keep it plugged in, quad.
    Also you should upgrade the ram (add more) photoshop eats ram alive
     
  4. Zodiark1593

    Zodiark1593 Platinum Member

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    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.
     
  5. Epsil0n00

    Epsil0n00 Golden Member

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    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!
     
  6. MarkLuvsCS

    MarkLuvsCS Senior member

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  7. Epsil0n00

    Epsil0n00 Golden Member

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    Are there any drawbacks to choosing the quad core (aside from price)?
     
  8. IntelEnthusiast

    IntelEnthusiast Intel Representative

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    A little shorter battery life due to the processor having a higher TDP of 35w.
     
  9. aaksheytalwar

    aaksheytalwar Diamond Member

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    Quad no doubt
     
  10. Jimzz

    Jimzz Diamond Member

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    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.
     
    #10 Jimzz, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  11. Roland00Address

    Roland00Address Golden Member

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    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