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Business laptop -- how much cpu is needed?

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  • Business laptop -- how much cpu is needed?

    I am buying a new laptop and having trouble deciding on a processor. Here is a list of processors available:
    The laptop will have 8gb of memory and at least a 128gb SSD drive (perhaps even an M.2 PCIe x4 SSD). It will also have a dedicated video card. It needs to be able to run at least 4 monitors (3 external + internal).

    I use and have open at any given time the following apps:
    Chrome browser (multiple windows and many, many tabs)
    Google Drive Sync
    Adobe Acrobat Pro (multiple pdf's open at once, often creating, sometimes editing)
    OpenOffice (a few documents open)
    MSOffice ( a few documents open)
    Quickbooks Pro 2014
    Windows Explorer (multiple windows)
    I also often run a media player or stream music from the internet (Google Play, Pandora, Amazon Prime).

    When working I am constantly flipping between monitors and windows, various tabs in Chrome and opening new documents. I will be using a docking station at home and work. It will be used on battery 6-12 times/year and probably only 30 minutes, at most.

    I don't like waiting on the computer. Unless I find a really good deal on the 4940mx, I wouldn't consider buying it based on price, tdp, and performance. It simply doesn't outperform the 4910mq sufficiently to warrant the extra cost.

    1) With this type of use will I experience any real world difference between these processors?
    2) Running multiple apps like this, is it better to have 4 cores than 2? I assume that, if background apps are tying up 1 or 2 cores, the foreground app will roll to the next available core, but I'm not sure that is how it works.
    3) I know cpu bus speed used to effect the speed of the memory and, iirc, the PCI lanes, so do I need to take that into consideration? I don't want to invest in fast memory and SSD drive only to have them slowed down by going with a cheaper processor.

    Thanks in advance for any help,

  • #2
    Running more than 4 monitors from a laptop might be an issue. This requirement more than anything else might determine what you purchase.

    You might also consider buying a high end desktop machine and a low end laptop (or Chromebook with remote desktop access) for the 4 hours a year that you need portability.

    A good desktop will outperform a laptop, be more upgradable and support nearly any number of monitors.


    • #3
      I've got the monitor angle covered. And, if a desktop would work, I would be all over it. I've built my own systems for 20 years (thanks to Win95, I have an easy time remembering when I built my first computer). No, I work from home nearly as much as I do at the office. For various reasons, it needs to be the same computer at both locations, so it has to be a laptop.

      I've always tried to balance price and performance and I've always avoided those nose bleed expensive cpu's like the 4940mx. However, unlike a custom desktop, I have to get the cpu choice right the first time in a laptop, as I won't be able to swap to a faster processor a year down the road.


      • #4
        Have a look at the list there & get what you can afford (and is available to you locally).

        You might want to consider 16GB of RAM, or at least make sure you can upgrade to 16GB in the future.