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Sszecret

i5 with 1 GB VRAM or i3 with 2 GB VRAM?

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I've recently been asked the very question in the title, and I wasn't sure what to answer, so I thought I'd ask you guys.

I should also mention that it came from a guy looking to buy a laptop for about 600 to 650 dollars. 

 

The choice is between:

 

1) 15.6 inch Lenovo Ideapad G5070, core i3-4030U at 1.90GHz, 4GB of RAM, 1TB storage, and an AMD Radeon R5 M230 2GB (about $540)

 

and 

 

2) 15.6 inch Asus X552CL-SX033D, Core i5-3337U at 1.80GHz, 4GB of RAM, 500GB, nVidia GeForce 710M 1GB (about $600)

 

Other suggestions are also welcome. 

 

He wants to play games (WoW, LOL and such) and mostly consume media. 

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I suppose if he wants to play games you could look at the graphic card specs and compare? I'm not across graphic cards these days (no gamer by any means).

 

If it was me, I'd go with the i5 because that'd have more horse power to play the game. I'd prefer a game that the CPU can clearly keep up  and the graphics OK, compared to a PC that can't keep up with the game but the graphics look sweet (reminds me of playing Starcraft 1 on my 586 back in the day).

 

But yeah, I'm no gamer so I'm not sure if that's how it works in the real world. 

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Go for the Lenovo, it has newer generation processor (Haswell 4xxx vs Ivy Bridge 3xxx) which means it will have better battery life. Speed wise they are both roughly the same.
The graphics chip in the Lenovo packs a bigger punch:
http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=1888&gid2=1250&compare=radeon-r5-m230-vs-geforce-710m

It's also cheaper and has double the storage.

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Lenovo model you mentioned is a clear winner.

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Just remember that everything without an SSD will feel slow nowadays.

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Just remember that everything without an SSD will feel slow nowadays.

 

Don't be so negative. :p Everything without a SSD feels normal, those with SSDs feel lightning fast.

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I suppose if he wants to play games you could look at the graphic card specs and compare? I'm not across graphic cards these days (no gamer by any means).

 

If it was me, I'd go with the i5 because that'd have more horse power to play the game. I'd prefer a game that the CPU can clearly keep up  and the graphics OK, compared to a PC that can't keep up with the game but the graphics look sweet (reminds me of playing Starcraft 1 on my 586 back in the day).

 

But yeah, I'm no gamer so I'm not sure if that's how it works in the real world. 

 

I was thinking about the same. Maybe he could upgrade the graphics card further down the road if he needs to. 

 

 

Go for the Lenovo, it has newer generation processor (Haswell 4xxx vs Ivy Bridge 3xxx) which means it will have better battery life. Speed wise they are both roughly the same.

The graphics chip in the Lenovo packs a bigger punch:

http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=1888&gid2=1250&compare=radeon-r5-m230-vs-geforce-710m

It's also cheaper and has double the storage.

 

 

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If the person wants to game half decently then none of those will cut it, he's going to need to double the budget and even the will have a hard time raiding in WoW if that's his eventual goal, don't play LoL but I'm fairly sure he won't be too competitive there either. 

 

Might want to cross post this question in the PC gaming forum too, you could possibly find a decent compromise 

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Both those videocards are complete garbage, barely faster than the IGP. Also why are both the processors the low-power versions? There should be laptops with better CPU/GPU at that price. I bought an i5-4200M with a 740M in december at 500

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Both those videocards are complete garbage, barely faster than the IGP. Also why are both the processors the low-power versions? There should be laptops with better CPU/GPU at that price.

 

Fair enough. Do you have any suggestions? 

 

 

If the person wants to game half decently then none of those will cut it, he's going to need to double the budget and even the will have a hard time raiding in WoW if that's his eventual goal, don't play LoL but I'm fairly sure he won't be too competitive there either. 

 

Might want to cross post this question in the PC gaming forum too, you could possibly find a decent compromise 

 

Ok then, will do. 

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Fair enough. Do you have any suggestions? 

 

In that price range you should find laptops with Geforces 740M or Radeon M265. If you don't care much about the battery it's better to buy a non-U model.

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I don't know. I think the Intel HD4600 is overall faster than the 710M (it also scores better on videocardbenchmark) but since it doesn't have dedicated memory there could be games where it runs much worse. The i5-4200M is certainly faster than U models though.

 

What about asking on a DOTA forum? They could likely tell you which build works better. There are some games where the CPU can be far more limiting than the GPU, especially those based on the Valve Source engine: maybe DOTA would work better with the i5-4200m and integrated graphics than with a 740M and a low-power CPU (U series).

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I don't know. I think the Intel HD4600 is overall faster than the 710M (it also scores better on videocardbenchmark) but since it doesn't have dedicated memory there could be games where it runs much worse. The i5-4200M is certainly faster than U models though.

 

What about asking on a DOTA forum? They could likely tell you which build works better. There are some games where the CPU can be far more limiting than the GPU, especially those based on the Valve Source engine: maybe DOTA would work better with the i5-4200m and integrated graphics than with a 740M and a low-power CPU (U series).

When did he even talk about Dota? If it's for Dota, then there are no worries at all. I play it on a 1.4GHz i3 and integrated ###### video and it performs just fine. Either will work perfectly. On a separate note, I have an old 2.6Ghz E8200 in my PC and so far it maxes out every Source engine game (3GB RAM, GTX260 for the record). So I don't agree on the "limiting CPU" part. In fact Source has got to be the best written engine ever so I don't think it limits anything.

 

And yes, a newer CPU comes first, then RAM.

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When did he even talk about Dota? If it's for Dota, then there are no worries at all. I play it on a 1.4GHz i3 and integrated ###### video and it performs just fine. Either will work perfectly. On a separate note, I have an old 2.6Ghz E8200 in my PC and so far it maxes out every Source engine game (3GB RAM, GTX260 for the record). So I don't agree on the "limiting CPU" part. In fact Source has got to be the best written engine ever so I don't think it limits anything.

 

And yes, a newer CPU comes first, then RAM.

Sorry, I confused LOL with DOTA. The i3 you used likely had an HD graphics, the newest Intel IGPs are faster than the AMD/Nvidia base models and on par with their mid-range models (hence the reason Apple only puts a dedicated GPU only on the most expensive Macbooks). Also I was referring to multiplayer Source games, e.g. TF2 is heavily CPU-bound, you can have a GTX780 yet you would have huge frame drops without a proper processor. Regarding RAM I think 8gb are out of the price range (600$), however in the same range he can find a non-U i5 and/or a 740M (or AMD 265).

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Also I was referring to multiplayer Source games, e.g. TF2 is heavily CPU-bound

Well, I do play it on the 1.4GHz i3. And yes, I don't meet the minimum requirements.

 

While the Intel HDs could be powerful, mine doesn't really have much power to gain from that CPU.

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At 1366x768 the performance difference between 1 and 2GB of VRAM won't even be noticeable, I'd go for the device with the more powerful CPU.

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At 1366x768 the performance difference between 1 and 2GB of VRAM won't even be noticeable, I'd go for the device with the more powerful CPU.

 

So the more powerful CPU, with a half decent GPU is better than the other way around. On the off chance that I won't find a laptop with a good enough dedicated GPU, would a series 5000 Intel HD Graphics suffice? I'm not much of a gamer myself, but I have heard that the integrated solutions have gotten pretty good lately. 

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So the more powerful CPU, with a half decent GPU is better than the other way around. On the off chance that I won't find a laptop with a good enough dedicated GPU, would a series 5000 Intel HD Graphics suffice? I'm not much of a gamer myself, but I have heard that the integrated solutions have gotten pretty good lately. 

No, he's saying that it doesn't matter whether the GPU has 1GB or 2GB memory when running at that resolution. Intel's iGPUs are still fairly poor when it comes to mobile gaming with the exception of Iris Pro (5200).

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So the more powerful CPU, with a half decent GPU is better than the other way around. On the off chance that I won't find a laptop with a good enough dedicated GPU, would a series 5000 Intel HD Graphics suffice? I'm not much of a gamer myself, but I have heard that the integrated solutions have gotten pretty good lately. 

 

Games aren't generally developed to work on Intel IGPs (it's not a coincidence Intel IGPs are often missing the system specs of most games) and also although Intel drivers have improved with time they're still not on par with AMD/Nvidia quality. If the only choice is between a 710M or a 235 then an Intel HD4600 or the Intel Iris models would certainly be more powerful but games aren't usually optimized or tested to run on it so you always risk running into issues. It's better to ask on forums dedicated to those games, they certainly know better.

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