View Full Version : Processor speed and Cache question
6th of December 2008 (Sat), 14:37
So I am looking at a laptop with the following components. My budget is modest but I don't want to handicap myself for the next three years. My question is 2.5ghz, 6mb cache for an extra $125 or keep the 2.4ghz, 3mb cache?
If I went with the 2.5ghz processor wouldn't I also need more than 4gb of RAM?
Sorry for the newb questions. I appreciate any and all responses.
XPS M1530 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T8300 (2.4GHz/800Mhz FSB, 3MB Cache)
Vista Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-bit
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz (2 Dimms)
LCD, Color and camera High Resolution, glossy widescreen 15.4 inch LED LCD (1440x900) & 2.0 M
Video Card 256MB NVIDIAŽ GeForceŽ 8600M GT
Hard Drives Size: 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Combo or DVD+RW Drive Slot Load DVD+/-RW (DVD/CD read/write)
Wireless Networking Cards Dell Wireless 1505 Wireless-N Mini-card
If you see something out of place or missing please let me know.
7th of December 2008 (Sun), 11:00
That glossy screen won't be that good for photo editing if that's your plans for the lappy.
As for the CPU, the 6MB cache one will be better. I think it runs on a faster FSB as well. 4GB will be fine either way.
7th of December 2008 (Sun), 18:21
Buy what you can afford, both will be pretty quick. Check out www.tomshardware.com for CPU benchmarks.
7th of December 2008 (Sun), 22:53
I would only get 2gb memory then use a 8gb USB Memory stick to enable "ReadyBoost"
8th of December 2008 (Mon), 02:43
RAM is WAY faster than ReadyBoost, as well as maybe being cheaper, I think Willowtree's suggestion is flawed. RAM is *way* as it goes across a dedicated bus, instead of USB, and things can be cached in RAM. The only advantage of ReadyBoost is it might provide a cache between reboots.
8th of December 2008 (Mon), 03:10
I did a bit of playing with readyboost on and off using a 1GB USB stick.
It doesn't seem to make any difference to processing times, but it does seem to improve load times of programs and performance when moving between multiple programs.
8th of December 2008 (Mon), 11:21
This is my first time hearing about Readyboost. I will have to google it to see what it's all about.
8th of December 2008 (Mon), 15:35
The amount of memory (2gb vs. 4gb) shouldn't make any difference between the 2.4ghz and 2.5ghz systems. The memory hog in question is Windows Vista, which you will presumably be running with either processor. The general consensus I've seen is that you're better off running Vista with 4gigs over 2.
2.5ghz over 2.4ghz doesn't translate to that much real world difference. I have used 2.1 and 2.2ghz Macbooks side by side, and 98% of the time I'm completely oblivious to which one is faster.
However, the Cache upgrade (6mb vs. 3mb) is significant. That should translate into a noticeably faster computer. If performance is important to you, then I'd get the upgrade for the cache increase (not the ghz increase).
And Tim is exactly right about the memory. It's physically impossible for a USB memory stick to give you the kind of memory performance that you can get via dedicated RAM. If you are piecing together a new laptop, you shouldn't even be messing with USB memory -- get what you need via RAM!!
8th of December 2008 (Mon), 16:01
The extra cache allows better access to your RAM, so yes, it is a good idea when increasing your RAM to also allow for more cache.
It's not necessary, but more cache does work hand in hand with more RAM.
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