How would I figure out if I should go with a Intel Core 2 Duo or a Core i5?

by on February 27, 2010

Q: I am planning on buying a new laptop soon. I know that when comparing two computers with the same processor we can simply use the RAM and GHz specs to figure out which will be faster.

How do I determine whether a Core2duo (4GB, 3.06 GHz, 1066 MHz 6MBL2) or a Core i5 (4GB, 2.40 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB, 3ML2) is better? Is speed the only consideration while choosing a processor? For example, if I choose the Core2duo over the Core i5 will I face compatibility issues with upcoming software, games etc in the future.

Also, what exactly does the L2 or L3 cache spec mean?

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One Response to “How would I figure out if I should go with a Intel Core 2 Duo or a Core i5?”
  1.  
    Picked as best answer

    First off, you don’t have to worry about any kind of compatibility issues with software.

    Processors are very confusing to compare, any looking at their specifications really isn’t a clear indicator of performance. So to actually know how a processor is going to perform, I like to use this benchmark tests to see how they actually run: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

    Based on what you said, I’m guessing the CPUs are these two:
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core2+Duo+E8435+%40+3.06GHz
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5+M+520+%40+2.40GHz

    You’ll see the processors spaced separately partway down the chart. Since the score are that close for this specific benchmark, what it means is you’re not going to even notice a difference in terms of cpu performance.

    Since you mentioned games, if you have any intention of playing current graphic intensive games on your new laptop you’ll need to buy a laptop geared toward gaming with a fast video card. (You can’t upgrade or replace it later). So search for “gaming laptop”. Expect to pay a serious premium. If mobility isn’t that important, save yourself some cash and just buy a desktop.