overall processor speed - how affected?

  Superstylin 15:54 15 Aug 05
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hi, i'm looking at buying a laptop and am confused by the array of processors on offer.

i have a short list of systems with intel and amd processors with clock speeds from 1.6ghz to 3.06ghz....is this a true reflection of performance? are they comparable or does fsb and cache come into it? (i realise other things like ram etc will also affect system performance but i'm talking purely processors here)

thanks

  DieSse 17:26 15 Aug 05

"clock speeds from 1.6ghz to 3.06ghz....is this a true reflection of performance? are they comparable or does fsb and cache come into it?"

Processor design comes into it a lot - that's why AMD processors tend to do more for a given clock speed. Not all Pentiums can be compared on the basis of clock speed either. And remember AMD "numbers" are not clock speeds at all.

Cache comes into it a lot - more cache = higher performance.

In a laptop I recommend only buying a "mobile" rated chip - they tend to perform better at a given clock speed - run cooler - and have superior power saving characteristics.

  Superstylin 13:13 16 Aug 05

of the 9 laptops i have on my shortlist these are the processor's:

Pentium 4 532 (3.06ghz, 1mb cache, 533mhz fsb)
Pentium 4 same as above but with 512 cache
Pentium 4 (3ghz, assumed 512kb cache, 533mhz)
Pentium M (1.6ghz, 2mb cache, 400mhz)
intel celeron D 340 (2.93ghz, 256 cache, 533mhz)
amd turion ml-32 (1.8ghz, 512 cache, 400mhz fsb)
amd turion mt-30 (1.6ghz, 1mb, 400mhz)
amd turion ml-28 (1.6ghz, 512kb cache, 400mhz)
amd athlon 64 3400 (2.2ghz, 1mb cache, 400mhz)

the confusion arises between models ie pentium m, p4, celeron d,turion ml or mt and athlon, then of course there's clock speed which appears to be comparable but then you have to consider cache and bus!

is there some kind of calculation that will tell you the better of all??

  DieSse 14:16 16 Aug 05

is there some kind of calculation that will tell you the better of all??

Not that I know of - and you don't mention price or the other laptop facilities, which are also important.

As is what you want to use it for.

I'm not looking for a laptop right now - but if I were, my criteria would be 1. Price 2. Battery performance 3. Screen size 5, RAM size 4. Wireless connectivity 5. Overall weight/size/temperatures 6. Disk size 7. Processor

The reason I list processor last is because for what I would want to do, any of the above processors would do the job just fine.

I'd be inclined to go for a mobile Celeron on price grounds - or perhaps a Pentium-M.

So you see how difficult it is to give very general advice. Peoples needs differ.

  Superstylin 15:47 16 Aug 05

i agree completely diesse that that other factors come into equation such as ram etc. the thing is, in the price bracket i'm looking at, £500-£600 almost all other specifications are the same or not applicable (ie battery life since i'll be using it as a desktop replacement and therefore mains powered). the main difference in my short list is between 256 or 512 ram but if i got a 256 system i'd upgrade to 512 anyway so the thing i'm left with is processor difference.

i too have a feeling a celeron would probably do me fine for the present but i'd like the system to be as future proof as possible being as my interest in computing is increasing

  DieSse 17:31 16 Aug 05

Laptops are not very "future-proof" in general, as they're not easy (often impossible) to upgrade. So just when you think you want a faster processor, you realise that better graphics are needed too - and usually can't be changed. And so on.

The Pentium-M processors with 2Mb caches are really very good. Coupled with 512Mb RAM and the best graphics and largest HDD you can afford - you won't go far wrong.

In fact almost whatever you choose you can't make a big mistake.

Try and get a good warranty too.

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