Skylake vs. Broadwell for laptops (also quad vs dual core)

dpk33

Senior member
Mar 6, 2011
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#1
I'm "upgrading" from a laptop with 4 gb of ram and a Westmere (Nehalem) i5 460m - dual core with hyperthreading. I'll be buying a new laptop this holiday season, but I'm not really sure what to look for anymore (so many different cpus, i5, core m, etc). Skylake was released very shortly after Broadwell, so it just makes the choice so much harder.

I use the laptop primarily for schoolwork, with internet browsing and video watching as close secondary uses. I do very light gaming from time to time (league of legends). Overall light usage, i'd say, so my priorities are centered around value (performance/dollar) and battery life, and basically whatever ISN'T performance (hoping you guys could enlighten me on more pros and cons) ;)

My choices are typically between the i5 5200u and the i5 6200u, as they are the most commonly found. However, I am very open to other suggestions if they are better choices. My idea was originally just to jump on a Skylake laptop, solely because it's newer but I'm doubting that logic now for whatever reason. Anyway, what do you guys think?

EDIT: also, while I did mention performance as not being important, it'd be nice to have. But of course, this would be secondary to power consumption/value. I do notice slowdowns from time to time with the i5 460m laptop, so I'm wondering if this aspect would improve with an upgrade?

And it seems that most laptop cpus are 2 cores/4 threads. Would there be any good reason for a user like me (movies, very light gaming, schoolwork) to get a quad core laptop? If NOT, then what's the incentive to go for an i5 over an i3 (they're both 2c/4t cpus)??

WOW that's a lot of questions haha
 
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Azuma Hazuki

Golden Member
Jun 18, 2012
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#2
Skylake, no question, especially if the prices are the same. If it's responsiveness you're after, get something you can slam an SSD into and do a clone (via Acronis) or a fresh Windows install onto it.

It sounds like your work isn't very demanding, so you'll be I/O bound rather than CPU bound; SSD's near-complete lack of access time will make all the subjective difference in the world. Remember, subjectively, a computer is only as fast as its slowest part!
 

dpk33

Senior member
Mar 6, 2011
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#3
Skylake, no question, especially if the prices are the same. If it's responsiveness you're after, get something you can slam an SSD into and do a clone (via Acronis) or a fresh Windows install onto it.

It sounds like your work isn't very demanding, so you'll be I/O bound rather than CPU bound; SSD's near-complete lack of access time will make all the subjective difference in the world. Remember, subjectively, a computer is only as fast as its slowest part!
Yep, definitely gonna slap an SSD in there. Thinking of 256 or 500~ gb. Could you elaborate on why Skylake though?
 

Azuma Hazuki

Golden Member
Jun 18, 2012
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#4
Yes. Broadwell is basically just a die shrink of Haswell; it brings virtually nothing new to the table. The major improvement is in the ULV i3s, oddly; the 5xxxU series is clocked a lot higher than the 4xxxU. In terms of i5s, there's less improvement from Haswell to Broadwell.

Skylake is an entirely new microarchitecture. It's a more mature 14nm product compared to Broadwell, IIRC there's a couple of new instructions, and it's a few percent faster. As far as I know it's basically already replaced Broadwell in the channel at the same price point, so there's no real reason not to get it.

Conversely, if you find a really good deal on, say, an i5-5200 unit and it's like $100 less than an i5-6200, go for it :)
 
Apr 21, 2012
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#5
EDIT: also, while I did mention performance as not being important, it'd be nice to have. But of course, this would be secondary to power consumption/value. I do notice slowdowns from time to time with the i5 460m laptop, so I'm wondering if this aspect would improve with an upgrade?
Does your current laptop have an SSD? I have an old laptop with a i5 430m and it's still adequate for light tasks. In certain scenarios, a new laptop with the 5200u/6200u could actually be less responsive than an old laptop with SSD. Of course the cpu helps, I reckon the newer cpus are around 50% faster than your old cpu. The 5200u/6200u are of course ULV so it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.
 

dpk33

Senior member
Mar 6, 2011
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#6
Does your current laptop have an SSD? I have an old laptop with a i5 430m and it's still adequate for light tasks. In certain scenarios, a new laptop with the 5200u/6200u could actually be less responsive than an old laptop with SSD. Of course the cpu helps, I reckon the newer cpus are around 50% faster than your old cpu. The 5200u/6200u are of course ULV so it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.
Yep, it's running an intel x25m 120 gb. Not the latest and greatest, but definitely a step up from an hdd. I see the cpu usage pegged at 100% in task manager about half the time i'm using it during times of slowdown, so I'd assume it's the cpu. But I also do plan on having an ssd in the new laptop as well.

Yes. Broadwell is basically just a die shrink of Haswell; it brings virtually nothing new to the table. The major improvement is in the ULV i3s, oddly; the 5xxxU series is clocked a lot higher than the 4xxxU. In terms of i5s, there's less improvement from Haswell to Broadwell.

Skylake is an entirely new microarchitecture. It's a more mature 14nm product compared to Broadwell, IIRC there's a couple of new instructions, and it's a few percent faster. As far as I know it's basically already replaced Broadwell in the channel at the same price point, so there's no real reason not to get it.

Conversely, if you find a really good deal on, say, an i5-5200 unit and it's like $100 less than an i5-6200, go for it :)
Okay, that makes sense. I hear Skylake is going to be here to stay for quite a while as well, so even more tempting to pick up a Skylake. I guess my main concern now is between quad or dual core and 13 vs i5 vs i7. Not sure which one is most suited to my needs. 2c/4t chips are in each line, but i'm debating getting 4c/4t.
 
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Apr 21, 2012
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#7
Yep, it's running an intel x25m 120 gb. Not the latest and greatest, but definitely a step up from an hdd. I see the cpu usage pegged at 100% in task manager about half the time i'm using it during times of slowdown, so I'd assume it's the cpu. But I also do plan on having an ssd in the new laptop as well.



Okay, that makes sense. I hear Skylake is going to be here to stay for quite a while as well, so even more tempting to pick up a Skylake. I guess my main concern now is between quad or dual core and 13 vs i5 vs i7. Not sure which one is most suited to my needs. 2c/4t chips are in each line, but i'm debating getting 4c/4t.
You are clearly cpu limited. That is so typical when an ssd is paired with a slower cpu.

I'm tempted by the new SKL 4C/4T laptops with the i5 6300HQ. Might be a good choice if you can tolerate the increased weight.
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
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#8
I noticed an HP laptop on sale, I think it's worth mentioning because of it's low price with a Nvidia GPU. You mentioned some light gaming, with these low power CPUs even a low end GPU will help. These U series chips are seriously TDP (power) limited when gaming and performance suffers, even if they have a good IGP.

Anyway, wait for it to load and then click customize:

http://store.hp.com/us/en/PDPStdVie...d=-1&langId=-1&productId=998661&storeId=10151

If you change the color to basic silver, and then add the 940m GPU you'll be right at $500. I'd highly suggest the 1080 screen upgrade for $20 as well.

Oh also, I found a coupon code to knock a couple bucks off:
15TECHBARGAINS75

Up to you if you want to change the RAM, or add .11 ac WiFi. Not sure they're worth the cost. There is a backlit keyboard option that might be worthwhile, depending on your use.

Edit: Oh if you're wondering how much better the 940m will be, figure 50-75% faster than the CPU/IGP alone. Anandtech just did a review on the Surface Book, it's got a U series i7 CPU and a 940m class GPU. The one in the review uses faster GDDR5 memory, and roughly doubled the speed of the IGP (this one is likely DDR3, and thus wont give you double). They also noticed that in some situations they were CPU limited. As mentioned earlier, trying to game on the IGP is going to take power away from the CPU and you will run into even more CPU limited situations.
 
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EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
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#9
If the laptop above aint got enough oomph for you, I think the next step up would be this for $800:

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron...UTF8&qid=1447530399&sr=8-1&keywords=dell+960m

It's a Dell laptop with the i5-6300HQ quad core and a much faster 960M along with a 256GB SSD already installed. This likely would double the speed (or more) of the HP laptop above in all situations. This laptop is almost a pound heavier, and will use the battery faster. However this comes with almost double the battery size, so hard to say how they compare in actual run time. I think this may actually run longer on battery during light loads...and less when pushed hard (like gaming).
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
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#11
Maybe try this?

https://store.hp.com/us/en/Configur...temId=48220897&storeId=10151&contractId=10003
This configuration is with the i5/940m, 8GB RAM, .11 ac, and backlit keyboard

It's an HP Pavilion 15t and comes with the i5-6300u 6GB RAM at $429.99. As mentioned you can customize it to make it much more attractive. Even without the GPU, getting the i5 with a 1080p screen well under $500 aint to shabby. Though I cant comment on it's build quality or HP customer service.
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
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#12
Did that new link work for you, or do you need any further assistance in finding the laptop/s?
 

dark zero

Platinum Member
Jun 2, 2015
2,493
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#13
You are clearly cpu limited. That is so typical when an ssd is paired with a slower cpu.

I'm tempted by the new SKL 4C/4T laptops with the i5 6300HQ. Might be a good choice if you can tolerate the increased weight.
Good choice? Is directly a NO BRAINER desicion. The HQ 6300 brutalizes the 6200U big time. Even it has up to 50% more MT performance and has far better ST since it has no "chains" (energy) to that unleashed beast
 
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myocardia

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2003
9,223
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#14
Did that new link work for you, or do you need any further assistance in finding the laptop/s?
None of your links to hp.com are working. It's because you are attempting to deep-link from these forums, which don't link at all, they redirect, and hp.com seems to be one of those sites that doesn't appreciate being deep-linked, it looks to me. Now that you have named the product you're recommending, anyone can go to hp.com, and find it. After having said all that, I'd recommend that the OP grab that $800 Dell ASAP.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#15
Yes, we had a similar discussion in another thread, and I strongly recommended that Dell with the 960M. That is an outstanding deal. With all the hype around the various Skylake products, I think the best advance could well be the 4c/4T laptop chips, at least if they continue to sell significantly cheaper than the i7 quads.
 
Feb 1, 2000
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#16
i just got the new envy 13t with skylake.

also have a haswell machine which is as people have mentioned basically the same as broadwell. honestly cant' really tell the difference cpu wise, but theres really no reason not to get the latest one.
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
5,880
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#17
Yes, we had a similar discussion in another thread, and I strongly recommended that Dell with the 960M. That is an outstanding deal. With all the hype around the various Skylake products, I think the best advance could well be the 4c/4T laptop chips, at least if they continue to sell significantly cheaper than the i7 quads.
The other thread was about playing Fallout 4. A 940m will not play that game to any satisfactory level. This thread however is about League of Legends and similar games (DOTA 2, POE, Diablo 3 etc). A 940m will be able to handle such games at medium+ detail and high frame rates.

Based on specs alone, I think the HP is a good deal for a low end gaming unit. I don't know what, if any, internals can be upgraded and haven't done any further research into the unit. That's my only caution to potential buyers. Do a bit of research before you buy something this cheap. Though who's to say that particular Dell is made any better...as always, buyer beware.
 

XabanakFanatik

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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#18
i just got the new envy 13t with skylake.

also have a haswell machine which is as people have mentioned basically the same as broadwell. honestly cant' really tell the difference cpu wise, but theres really no reason not to get the latest one.
I have a 2014 Razer Blade with the i7-4702HQ that I've heavily modified (Flashed with custom modified bioses to overclock as much as the unit will take). My GF just got the new XPS 15 with the 6700HQ, so I did some side-by-side tests on the two.

My 4702HQ runs at the same clock speeds as the 6700HQ with my overclock, so it was basically a clock-for-clock comparison. My 4702 was slightly faster in all benchmarks but when it came down to heavy loads like Prime95, mine would throttle down 300/400/500 mhz depending on the instructions where her 6700HQ would maintain maximum turbo clock no matter what I threw at it.

Her temps in P95 at 3.2 GHz were the same as mine at 2.6/2.7 GHz. I know the Blade has a better cooling solution, so that says a lot for Skylake and heat/temps.

I have a feeling the real edge skylake is going to get will be from Speed Shift, but until then I don't feel it really performs better outside of thermals or heavy loads where haswell might throttle.
 
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Feb 1, 2000
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#19
I have a 2014 Razer Blade with the i7-4702HQ that I've heavily modified (Flashed with custom modified bioses to overclock as much as the unit will take). My GF just got the new XPS 15 with the 6700HQ, so I did some side-by-side tests on the two.

My 4702HQ runs at the same clock speeds as the 6700HQ with my overclock, so it was basically a clock-for-clock comparison. My 4702 was slightly faster in all benchmarks but when it came down to heavy loads like Prime95, mine would throttle down 300/400/500 mhz depending on the instructions where her 6700HQ would maintain maximum turbo clock no matter what I threw at it.

Her temps in P95 at 3.2 GHz were the same as mine at 2.6/2.7 GHz. I know the Blade has a better cooling solution, so that says a lot for Skylake and heat/temps.

I have a feeling the real edge skylake is going to get will be from Speed Shift, but until then I don't feel it really performs better outside of thermals or heavy loads where haswell might throttle.
i do have to say that the fan on my haswell laptop runs more often and is louder but its hard to compare apples to oranges since the cooling systems are obviously different.
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,394
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#20
The other thread was about playing Fallout 4. A 940m will not play that game to any satisfactory level. This thread however is about League of Legends and similar games (DOTA 2, POE, Diablo 3 etc). A 940m will be able to handle such games at medium+ detail and high frame rates.

Based on specs alone, I think the HP is a good deal for a low end gaming unit. I don't know what, if any, internals can be upgraded and haven't done any further research into the unit. That's my only caution to potential buyers. Do a bit of research before you buy something this cheap. Though who's to say that particular Dell is made any better...as always, buyer beware.
I still would not consider a 940m a real gaming gpu. Granted in the surface book it looks a lot faster than the skylake IGP, but a big part of that is the DDR5 memory. A garden variety 940M with DDR3 will be a lot slower. I suppose for about 500.00 it is a decent deal, but you are going to be limited to 768p in any kind of demanding game.
 

coercitiv

Platinum Member
Jan 24, 2014
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#22


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