Laptop processors - help please!

    Hi guys!

    I'm looking at getting a new laptop, but am confused by the thousands of different processors...

    Is there a rule like:

    Any i7 > any i5 > any i3 > anything else?

    What about AMD chips?

    I'm on a very tight budget, so there's no chance I'd be able to afford an i7, but I'd like to know...

    Is it worth shelling out so much more for a touchscreen? Also, when Windows 10 comes out, would any laptop I buy now be able to upgrade?

    Cheers for any info!

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    It all depends, you would have to tell us specifics (model names) to compare CPU's, using the i7 -> i5 -> i3 method only works on desktop processors, mobile CPU's are a lot more fragmented.
    There's nothing confirmed about Windows 10 right now, so can't say for sure.

    Windows 10 runs the same as windows 8.1 so not much difference in CPU usage but I'm only basing that on the Beta copy I have.…266

    While not exactly the same information that you are searching for, the links posted are very relevant and should help with your search to get the most power for your money.

    As said W10 vs W8 vs W7 is really a non issue it should run just the same on any machine even a few year old laptop should have little issue with the requirements to run W10. In most cases the average person will find that there's very little reason to upgrade the operating system as the cost usually outweighs any benefit for the average (non power) user.

    A touch screen I've always viewed as a gimmic, a standard laptop gains very little benefit to having one. For me I'd rather have the money it costs to lose the touchscreen added to other areas of the machine such as a better processor, better build quality or more ram. This I feel also goes out the window if you are buying a convertible type laptop.

    Both AMD's and Intel's model range is rather a mess.

    Both have two designs on the go at the moment. A higher power one shared with their desktop processors (Haswell for Intel, Steamroller for AMD) and a lower power one shared with their tablet processors (Silvermont for Intel, Jaguar/Puma for AMD). You'll also find older models (Ivy Bridge) still around or newer models (Broadwell) sneaking in. Oh, and they also give code names to specific configurations, so Bay Trail is the same thing as Silvermont in this context, it specifically refers to the Silvermont processors for tablets, laptops and desktops while those for server and other use get their own codename.

    They offer these designs in various power levels that trade off performance for lower heat output. Intel tend to denote them by suffixes (M, U and Y) while AMD seem to change their model number (so XX75 may be the standard power model and XX45 the low power).

    Finally there are different models that have various combinations of features such as different graphics, specialised hardware (AES for encryption, VCE/quicksync for video encoding) and some general performance improvements. This is what the Pentium, E1, i5, A8 etc. branding denotes.

    So an i7 is an Intel processor with all the trimmings. Not necessarily a fast processor, an Ultra-low power i7 (Y suffix) is only about the same speed as a Pentium or i3 at the top power levels, but the best Intel produces at that power level.

    You haven't given us any idea of budget, use or size so I can't suggest which models would suit. Generally on a very tight budget, especially in larger machines, you want to be focusing on more important components as the difference between a good processor and a bad one is small next to the difference other components like screen, keyboard or drive can make for normal usage.

    For the average 15" laptop user an £80 screen, £75 SSD, £50 processor and £20 keyboard will be infinitely preferable to a £150 processor, £40 screen, £30 hard drive and £5 keyboard.

    Original Poster

    Wow, thanks for that EndlessWaves!

    With regards to budget, if I'm buying a laptop in one go, then I've got only a maximum of about £150... However, I'm planning on buying one from Argos, and paying interest free over however long I can! This means I can probably stretch to an absolute maximum of around £400...

    As for use, it will mainly be for media and internet, with some office jobs... Maybe some light gaming, but it *MUST* be able to run The Sims 2 for my fiancée!

    I'd like a large hard drive for my music and video files, but if I could get a 500GB SSD instead, then that would be better!

    I wouldn't want to go smaller than a 15" screen, and I'd really like a touch screen, although I fear that may push me over budget...

    Is there such a machine for such a relatively small amount of money?

    Original Poster

    And thanks to rev6, Kester76 and Astec123 - for some reason I couldn't see your posts last night!
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