Anybody know about processors?

November 26, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Posted in technology | 3 Comments

Quick notebook question. I’ve been looking at PCs with Intel Core 2 processors, and ones with AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core processors. Does anyone here know anything about them? For my purposes, web-surfing and word processing mostly, will it make a difference?

A slightly longer version. We’d love a MacBook, of course, but some of these sales are just too good to resist, and Jenny’s PC is really on its way out.

Thanks, dudes.


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  1. It’s a much harder decision today than in the past. Both are 64-bit dual-code processors, and you can’t compare raw MHz numbers. If you want the most bang for your buck, I’d Google around and read reviews of entire systems (not just individual processors). Depending on other aspects of the system’s design, two computers with identical processors may perform very different from each other.

    WRT compatibility, I don’t think either processor will be an issue, but, as with performance, read reviews. Often, other aspects of system design can affect stability and compatibility.

    Your needs (web surfing and office apps) are relatively modest, so a fast processor won’t matter very much. You should, however, get as much memory and hard drive capacity as possible. This means 4GB of RAM and at least 500GB of disk (for a desktop system – laptop hard drives currently top out at about 320GB).

    Windows (especially Vista) is a resource hog. The extra memory will help keep that from getting in your way. The disk space is just a good idea on general principles, since software today is much bigger than it was yesterday, and will be even bigger tomorrow.

  2. As I recall, we ended up with the Dell Inspiron 1525 with the Intel chip, 3GB RAM, and 250GB disk. It ships in about a week. I totally agree with what you said about memory and disk space.

    Thanks for weighing in!

  3. I asked Rafe (whom you may remember from our visit a few years ago) about the Inspiron 1525. It’s an average machine. With the memory and hard drive upgrades you mention, it should have no problem running your software.
    The only issue he has is that the Inspiron series is a consumer-targeted laptop and won’t be able to take as much punishment as a business-targeted laptop (like Dell’s Latitude series.) So if you transport it a lot, be sure to get a nicely padded bag and try to avoid banging it around.

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