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Comparing 5-yr-old PC to new Laptop

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  • Comparing 5-yr-old PC to new Laptop

    Hoping someone can offer a quick tip to help me out. I currently use a desktop (for power) and a laptop (for mobility). I would love to reduce my technology count and just use one, fast and mobile laptop. However, I don't want to just replace my existing specs, I'd like to (hopefully) double my current specs.

    My old desktop is an HP a6650f with an AMD Phenom 9550 Quad-Core with 6GB of PC2-6400 RAM. The new laptop I am looking at is the ASUS S56CA-DH51 with an i5-3317U and 6GB of DDR3 1600 (that I thought about upgrading to 8GB). The CPU benchmarks are 2484 and 3128, respectively. I having a hard time believing that a a brand new, seemingly nice laptop is only 25% faster/better/strong than my 5-yr-old desktop. My guess is that there is more that goes into a computers overall performance that I'm just not thinking of here.

    So, can someone help me out? Is the newer CPU technology and the difference in RAM enough to satisfy my "double performance" desire or is this new laptop really only marginally better than my 5-yr-old desktop?

    A sincere thank you to anyone that can help me out!

  • #2
    Laptops are constrained by the need to run on batteries and lack of space in the box (which leads to cooling problems for high end CPUs).

    Have a look at laptops with a i7-4930MX or Intel Core i7-3940XM in them. These should blow your old machine away.


    • #3
      Wow, blow the old machine away for sure. Unfortunately, laptops with the i7-3940XM also blow my budget away. Looks like I'd have to spend at least $2,500 and end up with a laptop that weights a ton.

      Thanks for the input, David. If I didn't need to necessarily blow my old machine away, just wanted to surpass it by a but, would that be a worthy upgrade? I certainly don't want to get a machine that is just comparable, but I also don't want to break the bank (and want a thin lightweight laptop).

      Is the PassMark score a single performance number that I can use for comparison or do the change in CPU manufacturing and type of RAM (things that may not show in PassMark) work together over the past 5 years to get me performance that many that single number doesn't show?


      • #4
        If you are just looking at our CPU chart, then this is just one aspect of performance. Disk, memory & network speeds have also improved (with the right gear).

        I assume you aren't a gamer?

        My advice would be to look for a laptop with a CPU that is at least as good as the old desktop CPU, but then get a solid state drive in the laptop. They make any machine feel much quicker. You might even find you can just upgrade your old laptop.

        Also consider the new Apple laptops released just this week. They have the best SSD system (PCI-E based) available in pretty much any laptop, and a reasonable CPU.


        • #5
          You can tell I'm not a gamer just by looking at those specs, eh?

          And you are right, I was purely looking at the CPU score found here. For the laptop I am considering it is roughly 25% "better" but I figured there must be other considerations that would make it faster overall. Adding an SDD is a great idea.

          I had though about upgrading my current laptop but being a few years old even the best processor that it will accept is no better than my desktop and I might as well get something thinner, lighter, and newer while I'm spending money.

          If I'm reading your response correct, the fact that the CPU-vs-CPU comparison shows an improvement is only part of the story and the changes to memory and everything else in the past 5 years should show me a reasonable increase in performance, not just the 25% that the CPU increase represents.

          Thanks for the help!