DELL D505 or D500?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by rtknecro, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. rtknecro

    rtknecro Newbie

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    The specifications of both notebooks are nearly identical. The only difference is that if I get the D505, I will have to get the new Celeron M 1.2Ghz option (to keep prices low) but I will have the advantage of faster RAM speed with DDR333. If I get the D500, it comes with a Pentium M 1.3Ghz and DDR266. The price of both notebooks are also identical.

    Now the Celeron M is just a weakened version of the Pentium M. They are the same except the Celeron M has only 512kb of L2 cache and it doesn't use the SpeedStep technology. Will the performance be much different? And will the DDR333 make up for it? Please help.
     
  2. Andrew Baxter

    Andrew Baxter -

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    mmm, tough choice. The Celeron M is new to the market and not much is known as far as performance. However, given the two strikes against it with having less cache and less power efficiency (due to absence of speed step) I'd definitely lean towards the Pentium M, especially since it's 1.3 v. 1.2 in your configuration options.

    You can always upgrade RAM on a notebook going down the road, just budget it for a purchase a year from now or something, but the processor you'll be stuck with.
     
  3. tk1780

    tk1780 Newbie

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    As for battery life, Intel estimates that most Pentium M notebooks with the 855GM chipset consume about 12 watts per hour. That's probably what the D500 consumes.

    They also estimate that notebooks with the 855GME consume about 10 watts per hour. This is due to reduced LCD backlight when not needed. Much like Speedstep for LCDs.

    At most, the difference in wattage from Speedstep is .5 watts versus the Celeron M and that may be generous.

    So the D505 should theoretically give you 10-15% better battery life. I haven't seen any reviews to verify this though.
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Working at 486 Speed NBR Reviewer

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    Please stay away from the Clereon M, the PM will be your better bet.

    Editor in Chief http://www.bargainPDA.com and http://www.SPOTstop.com
     
  5. srdhkl

    srdhkl Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    I agree with Brian, The Celeron M is really bad a move by Intel. Several articles I've read are questioning why Intel is releasing this chip.
     
  6. tk1780

    tk1780 Newbie

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    If you don't care about price and really need the performance (not many do) then clearly the Pentium M is better. But that doesn't make the Celeron M a bad choice for most people who want to save $150.

    Most people really don't need the performance. Very few people push there computers to full capacity. The Celeron M is just a marketing way of selling Pentium Ms that don't quite make spec. The outer dies on the platter are not as high quality as the inner ones. So rather than throw out the ones that don't quite make spec they sell them as cheaper Celerons. It shows that Intel is having trouble with its manufacturing process getting all 1MB of L2 cache to work. AMD is having the same issue with its A-64 chips. Dothan is having even more trouble at 90 nm.

    The Celerons have 512k of L2 cache, the same as the PIII-M, the P4-M and the p4, so its no slouch. Yes it's less than 1mb but the vast majority will never notice. The desktop Celerons only have 128k of L2 and that is way too little and causes problems, but that is not the case here. 512k L2 cache is great. I think that because the desktop Celeron is a dog, they see the name "Celeron M" and assume that it is a dog as well. I disagree. If you want to blow an extra $150 on the PM and feel better, that's your choice, but it is merely feeling better for the vast majority than real needed extra power.

    So I guess the conclusion is, if you're a real power user, get the PM D500.

    If battery life is more important, get the d505. The 2 watts per hour saved by the 855GME trumps the up to .5 watts per hour saved by SpeedStep.

    If you don't care about money, get the D505 with the PM.
     
  7. Andrew Baxter

    Andrew Baxter -

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    I think tk1780 has obviously made the best case here, and to conclude the same as he has, the Pentium M is obviously the better chip but you'll have to measure the $ value of speed versus your budget!

    I will say this, someone like myself often finds themselves selling old (i.e. one year used) equipment on eBay and in general the consumer market as a whole has had driven into their heads that Celeron = cheaper slower budget chip and Pentium = more expensive but faster chip so there's some value in current prestige and future resale value. A thought...
     
  8. m3

    m3 Notebook Consultant

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    I have to agree with tk1780, the performance gap between a Celeron M 1.2GHz and a Pentium M 1.3GHz shouldn't be considerable. That being said, however, I severely doubt DDR333 would make up for the Celeron M's slower clockspeed and much smaller cache. [btw, bravo to tk for the reality check]

    But to step away from the "M" debate momentarily and to focus on rtknecro's dilemma, I'm surprised that he seems quite concerned about the performance difference of the M processors. Both the D505 and D500 have integrated graphics, so those who value performance should stay away from them and opt for the D600 instead. The D600 has the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 (32MB), which is pretty good. One can get a decently equipped D600 (PM 1.4GHz) for about $1400.

    But if I had to choose between identically-priced D505s (with the CM) and D500s (with the PM), then I would definitely choose the D500. The superiority of the PM is far more important than RAM speed. Administrator abaxter is dead-on in his first post.

    He's also right in his assessment of the public's views of the various processors. The free market of Ebay provides a good indicator of those views. The public is indeed correct in viewing Celerons as crap compared to P4s.

    Intel would have been far better off choosing a different name for the Celeron M. It should have created a new name rather than use the Celeron moniker. A new name might have generated some excitement and at the very least provided manufacturers with some marketing opportunities. Instead they got the synthetic material-sounding "Celeron." How can anyone forget how horrible the first Celerons were? Only recently have they gotten decent (but just decent).
     
  9. Brian

    Brian Working at 486 Speed NBR Reviewer

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    The last thing I care to throw in on the topic is a reliability concern. The PM has been out for a while now, where the CM is a new player. I really don't care for using an unknown in a notebook. I think the PM is worth the investment on this merit alone.

    Editor in Chief http://www.bargainPDA.com and http://www.SPOTstop.com
     
  10. tk1780

    tk1780 Newbie

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    Great Discussion
     
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