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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Notebook processor speeds

    Hi, I am looking to buy a seond hand, reasonably powerful laptop (from eBay etc.) to serve as a backup while my main jumbo laptop is being repaired, and perhaps also to have something I can carry around with me on the odd occassions when I do need to be mobile (my jumbo laptop has a 17" screen, weighs 14 pounds and is not really portable, but is great for most daily tasks).

    I am confused with the whole laptop Centrino/Pentium 4 question. My jumbo has a standard P4 3GHz processor and is great. Since this new acquisition will be a back up, I don't want to spend an excessive amount, hence a new P4 3/3.2GHz laptop is out of the question, but I can afford either a P4 2GHz (or thereabouts) or a Centrino 1.4/1.2GHz. My present backup laptop is a P3 600MHz, and with windows XP, Office XP, internet and Trados (a language/translation database) running, it gets a little tired out.

    My point is, I don't normally need lots of battery autonomy, I'm always in my house, but a laptop means I can move around the house, watch TV, work while sitting on the balcony etc. even while out of the house i.e. travelling, I only need a couple of hours autonomy which even the hungriest of P4s should still be able to provide. Would I find a 1.2GHz centrino too slow? Or do they still have enough processing power to simultaneously run the above applications without slowing down excessively?

    Any opinions/experiences ragrding the above would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    Sandy

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Notebook processor speeds

    Sandy,
    The Centrino is Intels' specialty laptop CPU and a 1.4 will probably be fine for what you describe.

    The capability of handling XP and other apps will be MORE dependent an the amount of RAM you have installed rather than the raw CPU speed. If you compared a laptop with the P4 chip versus the Centrino of the same speed , you will probably not be able to see much difference between the two. This assumes that the amount of RAM is the same in each machine.

    While XP will RUN with the minimum amount of RAM (256 ), by adding at least 256 MB more ( 512MB total ) to that will show a noticeable speed bump.
    So check the RAM total more critically than the CPU speed.
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: Notebook processor speeds

    Sandy,

    Check your favorite hardware OEM sites for refurbished machines. If you don't need the latest and greatest you can find good buys alsmost always with a full warranty.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Re: Notebook processor speeds

    Thanks for the above comments and suggestions. So am I right in now thinking that with equal amounts of ram (512) the P4 2GHz will be about 50% faster than the Centrino 1.2GHz? And will this impact on the core applications (word, internet, Trados etc.) that I run simultaneously, with the only main difference being the increased battery autonomy of the centrino machine?

  5. #5
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    Re: Notebook processor speeds

    I believe the Centrino has wireless connectivity on the motherboard. With the P4 it is another card. The P4 will not necessarily give you 50% better performance as AMD has shown with their slower clock speed processors. While CPU power should can not be completely ignored, your performance is dependent on other factors as well, such as cache memory, instruction pipeline, RAM, disk speed, etc. For most of what you do you'd not notice a difference in performance. Normal applications such as Word, Internet Explorer (or your favorite alternative), etc. are much more memory dependent that processor dependent. It is just a matter of what you normally do on your PC.

    Joe
    Joe

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