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  1. #1
    Jul 2014

    i3 or i5 laptop processor?

    Greetings, my name is Robin and i have a small problem.

    I'm putting together a laptop for college over at I'll be doing information technology, branch programming, and the school gave me a list of specs the computer needs to meet or exceed. They are as follows:
    Core i7-3630QM running at 2.4GHz;
    15.6" 1920*1080 display;
    8 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM;
    AMD FirePro M4000 graphics card with 1GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.

    Now...the RAM, for multitalking, I can agree with. The display is also plausible because we probably can use the workspace.
    But the processor and the video card? Not so much. I asked one of our IT professors and she said we won't ever need to do any rendering work, it's all purely programming, so that Firepro would never do what it's made to do. Also the i7 processor seems very overkill; will we really need that thing for .NET and Netbeans work? We did the same tasks on first-generation Core i3-laptops in middle school...It just seems to me that they had some uninformed secretary copy and paste the specifications of a high-end Dell laptop (I think they're financed by Dell in some way and the specs sheet lists a Dell wireless card...) that'll run us all upwards of a thousand euros, which is very much outside my budget.

    What do you guys think? enabled me to put together a nice 15.6" laptop with 1920*1080 IPS display, an i3-4100M CPU and its accompying HD 4600 GPU, 2x8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSHD for 800. Really, for programming, this should be enough, no? Or will an i5, whose only difference to the i3 is the inclusion of turbo boost up to 3.2 GHz for 46 euros more (outside my budget), give me more performance in some areas?


  2. #2
    Aug 2004

    Re: i3 or i5 laptop processor?

    An I3 maybe good enough for this year, check into what you will need for later classes as you near graduation. Also check to see if they have grants available to increase your budget. Since money is your limitation, there isn't much you can do about it.

    Good Luck!!!

    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  3. #3
    Jun 2014

    Re: i3 or i5 laptop processor?

    I imagine the Firepro could be necessary for running GPGPU software.

  4. #4
    May 2014

    Re: i3 or i5 laptop processor?

    Find out who wrote the documentation and ask them. If they know their talking to someone with half a brain they should be happy to discuss. You're not the first person to question these specs I'm sure as yes I agree they are overkill. The department head is another option to go to about this and these are all people you'll want to make friends with throughout your time there anyway. Make sure that you're getting educational pricing wherever you're making your purchase also. I just finished a Master's degree with a 5-6 year old i52430M. Plenty of programming. Programming in and of itself doesn't take much in the way of horsepower. Also, they've left out hard drive speed which will be a big factor in overall performance (SSD if you can).

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