I5 vs I7 Midrange gaming performance test with GTX 850M

Back to the I5 vs I7 debate. In this post I’ll test the I5-4200M vs the I7-4700MQ inside a W650SJ Clevo machine (Eurocom Electra 2.0 in this case). It is very compelling to get an I7 with twice the cores over the I5 for like 10-20% premium in some laptop and it is also known that some games in some cases can make use of the I7 capabilities and specifically, the 8 logical cores compared to the 4 cored of the mobile I5.

I5-4200M and I7-4700MQ basic specs:

CPU # of cores / thread Clock speed GPU TDP
I5-4200M, 22nm 2 / 4 2.5 – 3.1 GHZ (Turbo) HD4600. 0.4-1.15GHZ 37W
I7-4700MQ / I7-4700HQ, 22nm 4 / 8 2.4 – 3.4 GHZ (Turbo) HD4600. 0.4-1.15GHZ 47W

 

Most benchmarks done in this field – or at least those that are quoted – are made with some monster GPUs, which eliminate to some high degree the GPU bottleneck. The result is that the CPU power is more pronounced in these cases. However, the case with a midrange GPU power is different. In most games, played with reasonable graphics settings on current $800-$1200 gaming laptop, you’d probably hit the GPU ceiling well before the CPU power can shine.

I’ve already posted a comparison between the Toshiba X70 with an I7-4700MQ and GTX 770M and the Y510p with GT 750M SLI and I5-4200M. If there was a significant advantage for an I7 for such configuration, it should show. The test was built around the BF4 campaign and multiplayer modes. The result was that an I5 would work a lot more, but generally for such a level of GPU, performance was about the same. The GTX 770M roughly equals the GT 750M SLI and GTX 860M in gaming performance. The GTX 850M is like the previous generation GTX 765M or GT 650M SLI. So I would expect to have around the same results.

 

Measuring performance and temperatures

System: Clevo W650SJ, equipped with an I5-4200M (system 1) / I7-4700MQ (system 2) and a GTX 850M, 1x8GB DDR3 and 500GB 7200RPM HDD. You can read the full review here.

The Clevo W650SJ uses the same fan for both the CPU and GPU so the temperatures of both of them are coupled and a CPU which is a bit hotter might overload the cooling system under full load of the GPU and CPU.

I5 vs I7 test: W650SJ inner components

Temperature tests:

  • Idle: Temperatures while Idling for few minutes
  • GPU only : Temperatures under Furmark load
  • CPU only : Temperatures under Prime95 load (CPU only test)
  • CPU + GPU load : Temperatures under Prime95 + Furmark load

 

Gaming performance test:

In test (all 1080p):

  • Battlefield 4: ‘high’ settings
  • Titanfall : highest settings, MSAAx4. Minimal FPS.
  • Total War II : ‘Ultra’ settings
  • Borderlands 2 : highest settings, Physx on ‘high’
  • Crysis 3 : ‘High’ settings, SMAAx2
  • World of Tanks : ‘High’ settings, FXAA on
  • Bioshock Infinite : Highest settings, no AO enabled in Nvidia Control Center.

I’ll add now a series of benchmarks I’ve done with the W650SJ using an I5-4200M and an I7-4700MQ:

I5 vs I7 midrange gaming performance, Battlefield 4, high settings

I5 vs I7 midrange gaming performance, Titanfall, highest settings I5 vs I7 midrange gaming performance, Total War : Rome 2, ultra settings I5 vs I7 midrange gaming performance, Borderlands 2, highest settings I5 vs I7 midrange gaming performance, Crysis 3, High settings I5 vs I7 midrange gaming performance, World of Tanks, High settings I5 vs I7 : midrange gaming performance, Bioshock Infinite, highest settings

Temperatures

I5 vs I7 - CPU temperatures I5 vs I7 - GPU temperatures
GPU temperatures are not a lot different – under full load of the CPU and GPU, the CPU does get hotter. Note that there are some differences in ambient temperature, so small differences say nothing actually.

However, the CPU front is a different thing. The CPU would get 15C hotter under full CPU+GPU load and 12C under full CPU load. This is a significant difference in favor of the I5-4200M and also remember that the I5-4200M was not throttled, it was set on 3.GHZ-3.1GHZ while as the I7 clocks was set on 2.6-2.7GHZ.

I5 vs I7 : I5-4200M temperatures under Prime95 + Furmark with GTX 850M

I5 vs I7 : I7-4700MQ temperatures under Prime95 + Furmark with GTX 850M

It is quite obvious that the I7 is a lot hotter which is no surprise. The laptop in test is the Clevo W650SJ (Eurocom Electra 2.0) which uses the same fan for both the GPU and CPU. That’s true that in some other laptops with two separated fans for the CPU and GPU the results might be different, but they usually cost more and will come with a GTX 870M and up.

 

Conclusion

It’s quite obvious that the I7 has no real advantage in FPSs, even in Crysis 3 where is it known to use the abilities of an I7. This is the case with midrange GPU level of a GTX 860M or GTX 850M – the GPU bottlenecks way before t he small advantage of the I7 kicks in.

I haven’t tested the difference in BF4 multiplayer in this one, but according to my previous tests, though the CPU does make more effort, the difference in gaming performance is not significant. I’m not saying that an I7 won’t have benefit with future 3D Engines, but currently, for such a GPU level, the difference is minimal and might have some benefit only in extreme cases.

Bottom line, if there is a big premium for an I7 laptop, I would seriously suggest considering the I5 version (like in the Y510p I5 vs I7 case) as the I5 version not only delivers around the same gaming performance, but also produces considerably less heat. In laptops like the Clevo W650SJ with a single fan for both the GPU and CPU, this is significant issue. The same goes for the Lenovo Y510p, Clevo W230SS (GTX 860M), Asus N550JK (no I5 version though) and more.

  • cuzildaozild2

    Hi Junky, nice article,do you think that the performance of a laptop, with an i5 processor (4200m) vs an i7 (4710mq), with a gtx980m GPU, would be significant? The i7 one is 200 dollars more expensive.

    • yes, I think so. But what is the price?
      Remember that in few days laptops with the new and much more energy efficient Broadwell CPUs will be available

  • Frozen

    Hi Junky, excellent review. Really liked it. Thanks for this 😉

    After this review I started looking for gaming laptops with i5 cpu as I want less heat issues. However the i5 available in my country is not the standard one but rather i5 4210H cpu which uses 47W! and it’s coupled with GTX 850m/860m gpu. All these models: Lenovy Y50-70, Acer Nitro VN7 and MSI GS60 have this option available. The price difference between i5 4210H and i7 4710HQ models are huge, ranging between 400-600 US dollars depending on rest of configuration. That is alot of money to save :O

    So I really like to go with the i5 option however I am concerned about cpu temps. Some sites say that 4210H in real life never generates same amount of heat others say opposite.
    I am bit confused. If the heat is the same as well then I may have to look for models with regular i5 abroad instead 🙁

    Hoping you can help me out. Many thanks

    • Hi again Frozen! thanks for having nice words – make me feel good

      First two things:

      1. You might want to wait for the Broadwell/Skylake update – they should be considerably more energy efficient
      2. The I5-4XXXH is actually better. You have to understand what this “47W” means – it’s the *upper TDP limitation* and not shir constant power consumption. In practice, the 47W part will allow you to get higher clocks without being automatically limited.
      If you don’t want it, you can downclock it manually

      3. The I5 will have lower consumption compared to an I7 even if it’s a “47W” part. My tests with the I5-4210H showed power consumption around 30-35W tops and while gaming, even lower on average

      • Frozen

        Thanks a lot for your great advice. Very appreciated.

        What laptop did you test with i5 4210H? how was the heat handled in everyday use?

        I was leaning at the Acer Nitro 15″ and I found out that Acer is already ready with a Broadwell model 😉 look at this link: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/6071-acer-aspire-nitro-review/

        This is a i7 Broadwell with only 15W TDP! However to my big surprise this laptop still gets too hot and throttles :O It turns out that Acer decided to change the internal design and remove one of the fans and add a bluray drive instead. The one fan solution both makes more noise and gets hotter, so I would rather go with the “old” model.

        My other concern is the gaming performance of the i7 5500U vs i5 4210H vs i7 4710HQ. Also I may start to do some video editing on it as well. How much slower would a dualcore setup be, compared to quardcore? and I am not talking about statistics but real life experience. I don’t care if rendering a video clip takes 5 mins or 7 mins.

        • 1. This is the VN7-571G which comes with a lower specs hardware – GT 840M or GTX 850M and a Broadwell-U. You can also read my review:
          http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/acer-vn7-571g-review-broadwell-gtx-850m/

          2. As before, 15W is the TDP. They configured the system to not pass 15W for long periods. So, it would throttle to keep the power consumption at around 15W

          3. A VN7-591G with GTX 860M or 960M will be much much faster for gaming

  • Mr Happy Face

    The whole quad core vs dual core thing is actually very interesting, almost ironic actually.

    Everyone seems to think “more cores = faster”. Few people understand that it really is just not that simple. If you think it is that simple, then the dual vs quad decision will not affect you at all. If you understand why it’s not that simple, then you will already know whether it’s worth the money to begin with.

    • I remember how lots of people got the new Q6600 back in 2006-7, for having 4 cores, saying it’s for the future and all. It was a good CPU, but heavily underutilized. Intel, ofcourse, was smiling.
      One might think that if you advertise falsely, you should be judged or something..

      • Mr Happy Face

        It’s even worse today, with top end gaming processors shipping with 8 (even 12) cores. Like… why? My work and study is all about using computers to do a huge amount of really difficult maths, and usually I don’t even use up all of my QUAD core (though I’m infinitely grateful to have 4 cores when I need them, and they do have a very slight impact on day to day use).

        I mean, the last time I really used that many cores for something other than work-related computational stuff, was when I used to mod Minecraft and made fully threaded voxel fluid simulations. At one point, I ran it on a 40 core workstation, although I stopped seeing significant performance improvements beyond about 16 threads, which was kind of disappointing tbh.

        • true and with DX12 and stuff like that, given it is utilized correctly, the load on the CPU will be even lower
          Maybe in the future it will have some sense

          What do you do with coding?

          • Mr Happy Face

            For the most part, I am an engineer and computer scientist, so basically just a lot of modeling and simulation… things like structural dynamics, FEM, etc.

            • so can you help me design a motherboard? (-:

              • Mr Happy Face

                From scratch, unfortunately that’s a huge undertaking. I mean, a huge undertaking. This level of design is an extremely specialist area of expertise, and unfortunately I’m more of a computational engineer than a PCB designer.

                To give an analogy… designing a PCB is like knowing how to put in an IV, or stitch a wound closed. Designing a mobo in this analogy would be like cutting open someone’s head and tinkering with parts of their brain.

                • I know, I know, but I saw these guys from “fedevel academy” : http://www.fedevel.com/academy/ and they have tutorials and even an open source ARM board (which you can download and/or order from suppliers). I thought maybe someone with some experience could do that – I’m a software developer and it would take me a lot of time just to get the first grip

                  I wanted to start and run an open source project for a modular mobo (at first stage) – I think it could be nice and even important for some

                  • Mr Happy Face

                    Hmm, that site is quite interesting.

                    But if you want to start up a project like this, you will probably need someone who works in this field already. Sorry I can’t be of more help :'(

  • Hi, sorry for reviving such an “old” thread.
    I would like your opinion on my laptop buying decision.

    Im a student photographer, and a long time gamer.
    Dota 2 (mainly), and recently BF4 & Hardline. Hopefully will expand my gaming preferences with this new laptop purchase.
    I’m looking at this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LO3K002/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2L77EE7U53NWQ , for the IPS display that i need for “emulate” that MBP retina display that every photographer has.
    I’ve already seen that with an i5 you could get good gaming performance, with less heat (that didn’t started to concern me until now), but i would be processing large PSD files and reading/writing a lot of data (transfering RAW files from drives).

    Am i ok getting the i7 or should i start looking at an i5 and with the money saved get some goodies?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi!

      1. Can you please post it over the forums?
      2. The new N551JK on Microcenter is selling for $1000 with an I7 and 16GB RAM which will be great for you

  • Ogrey

    Hey, could you give me a hint considering I5 and I7 with 850M? (MSI)
    I have 3 specifications of different laptops from MSI with everything the same but processor and graphic card (DDR).

    Cheapest version (of course i5 and ddr3)
    GP70 i5-4200H (2.8GHz, 3MB Cache 2 cores) with GTX 850M 2GB DDR3

    Those two comes at the same price
    GP70 i7-4700QM (2.4, 6MB Cache 4 cores) with GTX 850M 2GB DDR3
    GE70 i5-4200H (2.8GHz 3MB Cache 2 cores) with GTX 850M 2GB GDDR5

    What I’m wondering – which one is better, because if I’m going to have bottlenecks and not be able to use GP70 i7 with DDR3 on 850M then there’s no reason to buy it at all. The only difference other than that is the look (lightened keyboard in GE70), but that doesn’t really matter that much.

    • Hello!

      The 850M GDDR5 will be faster for 3D gaming. Is that what you’re asking?

      • Ogrey

        Hi Junky, Thanks for answer!

        Well not really that but rather will I be able to gain any advantage using i7 rather than i5 with a GTX 850M DDR3. So my main consideration is that if I take GP70 i7-4700QM (2.4, 6MB Cache 4 cores) with GTX 850M 2GB DDR3, will I be able to gain any advantage over a GE70 i5-4200H (2.8GHz 3MB Cache 2 cores) with GTX 850M 2GB GDDR5 for example. Gaming purposes of course. The main thing is will DDR3 be slowing down my i7 (I guess it will but don’t know how much) enough to consider getting i5.

        • Well, that’s what I said – the 850M GDDR5 will be *faster* than the 850M DDR3, even with an I5

          The main bottleneck in this case is the GPU, not the CPU. It would be better to get the GE70 with 850M GDDR5 than the GP70..

  • BobbyBurnpile

    If you were buying a new gaming laptop today, would you pay an additional $90 for the i7 over the i5? I’m planning on keeping the laptop at least 3 years. Leaning towards the i5 but am a little worried about “future proofing”. Will not be doing any video editing/rendering or the like. Just standard web surfing/email/Word and gaming. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Bobby!!

      What kind of gaming?

      • BobbyBurnpile

        Hey there…I play lots of different games, but mainly FPS’s and RPG’s. I rarely pay full price for new games, so I’m usually playing stuff that’s a year or two old. Games I’ve been playing a lot of lately include Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, Batman Arkham City, The Witcher 2, Far Cry 3.

        I’m willing to pay the extra money if I’ll see legitimate performance boost, but there seems to be so much conflicting info out there. It also seems the i7’s benefits are greatly/totally reduced within the build of the Y50 due to heat and throttling. What are your thoughts on this?

        BTW, the i7 version also comes with an external DVD-RW which is not a must, but would be a nice thing to have. Could buy one separately for $35 or so.

        Oh, and thanks for this site and your Youtube reviews! Such an incredible resource!

        • 1. There are three general variables : the game (or more generally, the software), CPU and GPU.
          The facts are the in most games, with a midrange GPU like 850M-860M, the I5 will have more or less the same performance, sometimes even higher due to less throttling issues
          Some games can benefit from an I7, but again with GPU like the 850M/860M performance is more GPU-bound

          2. What’s your budget? – it really depends on your needs and budget and how much you want to spend

          3. Being future proof – I don’t know what will be the future of gaming / hardware, but DX12 and such will bring lower CPU load (which is now quite high), meaning the I5 will be less limiting.

          4. Some laptops have the option to replace the CPU, so it’s not that of a big issue..

          5. Thanks for your kind words!

          • BobbyBurnpile

            Thanks a lot! Don’t really have a budget per se – just looking for the best value. The way I look at it is the i7 version is effectively only about $60 more expensive — I’m more than willing to pay that, but I’m honestly torn about which processor will perform better in this machine, given the issues with throttling/Turbo Boost being disabled after temps reach 65 C.

            I’m gonna order one of them tonight (already placed and canceled orders two different times because I’m so torn, lol). So, if you were me, which you spend the extra $60 or so and get the i7?

            • what laptop/model are we talking about? can you give us link?

              • BobbyBurnpile

                Lenovo Y50 – here are the two I’m torn between:

                i5 version: http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-15-6-Inch-Gaming-Laptop-59418222/dp/B00K6ZIO2K/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1414024288&sr=1-2&keywords=lenovo+y50

                i7 version: http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-15-6-Inch-Gaming-Laptop-59425944/dp/B00K6ZIMPE/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1414024288&sr=1-1&keywords=lenovo+y50

                BTW, the reason I called it a $60 difference earlier is the i7 version comes with an external optical DVD-RW.

                • 1. I would wait for black friday deals

                  2. The VN7-591G is a more attractive I7 option, with 1080p IPS display and an M.2 port
                  http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/acer-vn7-591g-15-6-gaming-laptop-i7-4710hq-gtx-860m-2gb-8gb-ram-128gb-ssd-1tb-hdd-1080p-ips-1080/

                  are you aware of this option?

                  • BobbyBurnpile

                    Yeah, I came really close to ordering the Acer V Nitro but concluded it was just slightly too wide to fit in my bag. The Y50 is barely more narrow – but just enough to make the difference, I think. The V Nitro is also sold out currently. And I’ve not had great experience with Acers in the past. This is going to sound silly but one thing about the Y50 that really appeals to me is the rectangular power input – I’ve had the traditional round jacks break on a couple of different Acer laptops.

                    • yea, that’s a nice one, but not a standard plug..

                      can you wait with this purchase? anyway, for $50, I’d go with the I7

                    • BobbyBurnpile

                      Yeah, I could wait I suppose but I’ve been researching for several weeks and am kinda ready to just be done with it. It’s killing my productivity at work and at some point I just get tired of obsessing about it. I could probably wait another week or two for the right machine but I’ll go crazy waiting for Black Friday.

                      I have been all over the place with this thing. At one point, I had decided I was gonna wait until the end of October and get a Sager NP8268-S with 970m. But I was always torn about the weight/bulk and I have a hard time dropping an additional $500 for the more powerful machine. My primary gaming is done at home, but I want something that will perform reasonably well when I’m traveling or stuck at the office.

                      I then decided I’d get the Acer V Nitro and was literally about to order it but saw that it was 15.34″ wide and became convinced it wouldn’t fit in my work bag/briefcase. So I came full circle and started looking at the Y50 again. When the i5 version dropped to $900, I thought it was too good to pass up. What appeals to me about it are the plug I mentioned earlier, the thinness/portability, professional look, gaming performance, speakers and price. I figured if the display bothers me too much, I can just replace it for roughly $100.

                      Shopping for a gaming laptop is a nightmare for someone like me (i.e., obsessive, perpetually conflicted) because every single one of them seems to have at least one fatal flaw.

                      In any event, I really appreciate all your help!

                    • But they are pretty much the same (V15 vs Y50) – 15.3″ vs 15.23″ in width, 10.1″ vs 10.37″ in depth. So you see, the V15 is even less deep..

                    • BobbyBurnpile

                      The dimensions I saw had the Nitro at 15.34 and the Y50 at 15.24 — only a tenth of an inch but, believe it or not, enough to make a difference re: fitting in my bag.

  • Patrick Ortega

    Most people buy the Quad Core because they don’t know better. The people who do know about it understand the risks and how to prevent temperatures getting out of hands. Sometimes they buy it because they need the extra performance for things like rendering videos and CPU intensive tasks. One trick I learned from a user of a Gigabyte P34G (860M Maxwell 2GB i7 4700HQ) is that he did notice the temperatures during intensive loads on the CPU and GPU on stress tests. He figured out a way to drop temperatures of up to 15 Degrees and reduce speed of temperature climb: Downclocking the CPU to stay on stock clocks and perhaps reducing voltage too.

  • Patrick Ortega

    I was hoping someone would do benchmarks for the GDDR5 850M model but overall good work mate.

    • too busy for it now 🙁

      But I have the GTX 850M GDDR5 benchmark for the MSI GE40 :
      http://www.gaminglaptopsjunky.com/msi-ge40-review-gtx-850m-gddr5-ms-1492-barebone-almost-there-but-not-enough/

      and soon – the Y50 review!

      • Patrick Ortega

        If you can with the 850M GDDR5 and 860M in future, could you do benchmarks in a variety of resolutions? There are some who are willing to tune down the resolution of gameplay for the sake of performance but there are so few benchmarks with 720p and 900p.

        • I can, though it require a lot of time 🙁
          But the real problem is that if you set the resolution to a lower one, the image will be blurry in an 1080p display using 900p or 720p resolutions (unless youll run the game in a window) – so there is no point doing that

          • Patrick Ortega

            I know that but the fact of the matter is that there are people who do this. Sometimes people connect to external screens with lower resolution to play. It would be nice just to do it for people who do tone down the resolution to get achievable performance.

            • hmm, I’ll try !

  • razor_edge

    really helpful article my friend!

  • Dudewitbow

    Alternatively, if one was used to the relative desktop comparison, a 850m is more or less a downclocked 750ti with a smaller effective bandwith. It’s simply more logical to pair a 750ti with an i3(2c/4t) rather than an i7(4c/8t). By the time the GPU runs out of grunt force(first wall will heavily be memory bandwith due to small memory bus, the gpu was not designed for heavy Memory usage in the first place) by the time the CPU will actually become relavent. I’d argue that even a laptop cooler could potentially be a better option then paying the extra for the i7 $/performance. keeping the i5 cool will allow it to play at its higher frequency and could pretty much match the i7 with less cost(of course now a cooler is involved).

  • CharlieFox

    AMD is going to come out with their mobile Kaveri later this year. Hopefully during the summer.
    If it’s similar to their other APUs, laptops with the flagship model should be around 575-700. The FX7600P is rumored to have performance similar to a 7730/7750.
    For that price range, should I wait until then or get an nVidia’s Kepler instead?
    AMD also have new GPUs (Crystal Series), but they dont have a predecessor so I cant compare.

    • Hi Charlie!

      1. The built-in GPU in the FX-7600P, according to current rumors, won’t be more powerful than a Radeon 8850M, even slower (512 vs 640 cores) and that’s without mentioning the memory limitations DDR3, (or will it be DDR4?)

      2. Not Kepler! Maxwell! Maxwell is the new and much more energy efficient one. The Electra 2.0 (W650SJ) is selling for $750 with GTX 850M, I5 and 1080p IPS display (currently IPS is not available, but it will in two weeks)

      But, if you can wait – why not? Currently for $500-$600 you can get a refurbished Dell 3540 with Radeon 8850M (when coupons are available) and few months from now we might have a refresh

      What exactly are you looking for?

      • CharlieFox

        Mainly price limited 600-700.
        If I go for Maxwell, it’d go above 700 based on the recent posts in the deals section.
        I’m interested in Kaveri cause rumors back in 2013 were that it would be close to a 7750 and werent too expensive.

        I’m ok with 720p medium quality on a 15″. It’ll mostly be for D3 and GW2.
        My bro has a 7700 series on his desktop. How does the 8850M compare to a 7730/7750?
        Decent thermals would be nice too since cool hardware means longer life.

        There’s also another problem: The arrow keys.
        I hate the fused up/down arrow buttons. I need something where the up/down buttons are the full sized versions. Home/End/PgUp/PgDn buttons would be nice too.

        • 1. You can get the Electra 2.0 without an HDD and it will be like $700 – the gaming performance advantage is big
          Also, there currently no gaming laptops with good 720p displays and alternatively, running games @ 720p on 1080p display is not optimal unless you are playing on a small window

          2. The 8850M is actually an (seriously) underclocked 7770 – 640 cores @ 575-725MHZ. The problem with the Dell 3540 is that Dell limits the clocks in the bios under load and you’ll get like 575MHZ for the core.
          I’m using my own testings, notebookchecks, Anandtech, Techpowerup and more..

          3. A Kaveri FX-7600P with an integrated GPU of 512 cores will be like a 7750, given the memory will be less of a problem. The HSA should also help a lot, but for that to happen, used software would have to be making a use of it, and that will take time.
          Anyway, I don’t think it will be as fast as the GTX 850M this time. Maybe in one or two iterations. Also remember that they would prefer not to kill their higher end GPU market, though I’m not sure about that in the mobile scene.

          • CharlieFox

            I use tomshardware hierarchy chart. It’s good for a quick glance, but they dont list some of them so I get confused. I’ll just switch back to notebookcheck.

            I’m only considering 720p cause of budget. I’d skimp on the display to get better GPU.
            Originally it was 500-600, but the AMD APUs require higher-end ram so that adds like another $100.
            I also plan to get an external monitor to dual-monitor it, which would be another $100.

            I guess it’ll be 8850m, 840m, 850m, new AMD mobile Kaveri for me.
            I’ll just wait for something cheap to come along. Should be something in summer or BTS in Sept.

            Btw, generally, are you referring to CAD or USD prices? I’m in Canada.

            Thanks for all the help.

            • I’m referring to USD, sorry – the Eurocom prices are higher for Canada and I guess you have to add another 13%?
              Let me check what’ available in Canada

  • spenny

    Hey Junkie, long time reader, first time poster; I’ve been waiting for this article. This is starting to become one of my favorite sites. Excellent write up on i5 vs i7 – keep up the excellent work!

    • thanks spenny! really nice to hear such nice words!