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SSD vs CPU Upgrade

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by zak89, Jul 3, 2010.

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  1. zak89

    zak89 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am hoping to purchase a new laptop in the near future. My budget is limited, and I am trying to get the most for my money. Basically the situation is that I can afford a newer machine with a Core i5/i7 cpu, or a last-gen (refurbished) machine with a high-end C2D (2.8-3.0Ghz) and an SSD. I'm a programmer by trade, so I access the disk rather frequently working with multiple files, but I also am running an IDE and doing a fair amount of compiling.

    So the options I'm looking at are 1.) New core i5/7 machine with HDD; 2.) Refurb fast CD2 with SSD; 3.) Lower end core i3 with aftermarket SSD upgrade.

    Before anyone tells, me, yes, I know the smartest move is probably to get a newer core i5/7 machine and upgrade to an SSD when I can afford it, but for the purpose of this thread, which if these options is most likely to give the best performance for the money?
     
  2. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell? Super Moderator

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    i3 with SSD is probably the best balance here. CPU power is probably comparable to that of the C2D solution and you can always upgrade to an i5 or possibly an i7 if you need it.
     
  3. zak89

    zak89 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well, it is it really practical to upgrade a laptop CPU? I kind of agree with the i3 being a good balance though.
     
  4. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell? Super Moderator

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    What do you mean by "practical"? Unless you're really pushing your CPU often, I typically don't think it's worthwhile. Going from like an i3 to a quad i7 would definitely give you a significant increase in processing power, though.

    The difficulty of physically changing out the processor will vary from laptop to laptop.
     
  5. zak89

    zak89 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I was refering to upgrading a laptop cpu *after* purchase - i.e, physically removing/replacing the cpu. I've always assumed that the job was much more involved than replacing memory/HDD which I've done many times.
     
  6. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell? Super Moderator

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    Some manufacturers make it really easy, some don't. Even between models of the same manufacturer you get variations. It's 5 screws to get to the processor in my E6400; it was like disassembling the whole machine to get to the processor in my old D830. I suppose if you plan to upgrade... choose wisely?
     
  7. LOUSYGREATWALLGM

    LOUSYGREATWALLGM Notebook Deity

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    +1 to what Commander Wolf said.

    Would be good if you let us know which specific model you plan to get.
     
  8. zak89

    zak89 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Sorry - actually I've not firmly decided, but it will like be either the Dell Studio 15 or Studio XPS 16 - I've also looked at HP models but I don't like their glossy touchpad, and the new aluminum models have no decent (1080p) resolution options (other than the Envy line). Sony's Vaio F11 series looks wonderful, but they have terrible Linux support, which is a dealbreaker for me.

    I'm not a gamer, do little multimedia work (other than listening/editing music some).

    I'm leaning towards getting a faster CPU (i5/7) with a HDD and upgrading to an SSD later, but I'm still undecided.
     
  9. laststop311

    laststop311 Notebook Deity

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    well my opinion on this, the ssd is gonna give a bigger performance boost but if ur planning on going with a higher cpu and upgrading to ssd later or getting a ssd and upgrading cpu later well the cpu is usually alot more work to get to. hdd's are readily accessible. So it would end up being less manual labor for you and less chance of messing your laptop up if you get the higher cpu now and just replace the hdd with a ssd later.
     
  10. sniper_sung

    sniper_sung Notebook Evangelist

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    It depends on whether you have a powerful desktop with a decent i7 or not, and it also depends on the size of the source code files you are compiling. I would say C2D is kinda old, and the core ix architecture is definitely a lot more future proof. To compete against i5 520M, a C2D has to rely on a 0.5GHz advantage to deliver the same performance. Getting i5/i7 now and upgrading with Intel X25-M later seems to be the right thing to do, unless you really need heavily IOPS intensive jobs done on your laptop now.

    However, if not for compiling code, I would say SSD is more important for daily use, e.g. Windows/program loading time can be significantly reduced and one can tell the difference easily, without using any measurements.
     
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