i5/i7 Low Clock Speed vs Quad Core/Dual Core high Clock Speed

Are you out for buying your gaming laptop and worried since the i7 shows only 1.6 GHz which is lesser than your existing Quad Core?? Confused? Read on, when I take you through the background besides this.

There is no need to assume since i5/i7 shows low clock speed, it is slow. They are powerful than Dual cores and Quad Cores. For example, the Core i7-720QM 1.6 GHz has 4 cores and 8 threads, but a low clock speed (1.6 GHz) that can be increased up to 1.73 GHz with all cores operating. It can go as high as 2.4 GHz with only two cores. The Core i7-620M, on the other hand, has a clock speed of 2.66 GHz, which can be increased up to 3.06 GHz with Turbo Boost using all cores.

It also has Speedstep and Turboboost, which means that if an application only requires a single thread, the single core devoted to that application will be pushed up to 3GHz, allowing for much faster processing.. With more applications that use more than one thread these days, you will be more “futureproof”, with a Core i7.

Theoretically, the i7-720QM would be a superior processor. Intel has put a higher number to identify it (7 instead of 6… duh…). Four cores operating at 1.6 GHz equals to 6.4 GHz (in the case of i7-720QM), while two cores operating at 2.66 GHz equals to only 5.33 GHz (in the case of 620M); with Turbo Boost, the i7-720QM would sum it up to 6.92 GHz and the i7-620M to 6.12 GHz – still a big gap in performance. In addition, the i7-720QM has 6 MB L3 cache while the i7-620M has 4 MB. But that’s just theory. In real life, things are a little bit different.

Don’t go for Quad Core now, if Low on Budget, check out i5 750.

Keep in mind that when it comes to gaming, the most important thing is your GPU, as long as your memory and CPU are decent (and a Quad 9650 with some 4Gb of a fast DDR2 are quite decent). But at this point of time going for a quad core in a new purchase is not advisable. The i5 750 would be a great alternative to the Q9650. It performs almost identical (a little better actually) to the Q9650 and it costs $130 less. P55 motherboards aren’t extremely expensive either. That said, if you have budget constraints, go for i5 750. If you have the money, then go for the i7. Today, it would some small gain in FPS, but should keep you safe for the future.

As for gaming the Core i7 will pay off in better performance while the Core i5 will simply do the job meaning it has enough power for smooth game play but won’t perform as good as the i7.

For the everyday tasks (email, office, movies) the Core i5 will probably be the more powerful choice, since it uses less power and your battery will last longer.But that’s just the general rule, there are Low Voltage i7 CPU’s which will have lower power consumption than some of the i5.

So as for the CPU it’s more about high-end or good value as in the money you want to spend. What’s way more important is the Graphics Card!


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